It is considered de rigueur to select a Best of Show exhibitor, as well as other categories of recognition, and I have always done so. Interestingly, soon after signing up for my Press Pass, I had an exchange of emails with Roy Bird, the founder of the show sponsor, Chester Group.
He feels that selection of a Best of Show award can have a negative influence on potential exhibitors who might shy away from attending, knowing that their wares were designed to compete at a more affordable, yet perhaps not state of the art, level. The flip side to Roy Bird’s point is that exhibitors who work so hard to get good sound in their rooms should be rewarded. That is my position and it was an easy pick this time.
Best of Show: Vinnie Rossi / Well-Pleased Audio / Triode Wire Labs – hands-down winner and agreed upon by many with whom I spoke
Runner Up: Tweak Studio / T+A Electroakustik / Channel D – very involving sound from great vinyl selections.
Trending: using Qobuz (a show sponsor) streaming for source. I brought some CDs, but not many rooms had the hardware to play them.
— Steve Marsh