There is no doubt that high-end audio shows are growing in popularity worldwide. AXPONA is no exception as there were far more rooms than a single photojournalist could ever hope to report on. Furthermore, there were many seminars, live music events, and friends to hang out with and talk shop, family, and about life in general. Attendance seemed to be at an all-time high as well. Bravo AXPONA! So let's get to it shall we?
The AXPONA 2017 show registration booth was packed with people getting their badges. This year's event seem to be a record attendance, too, judging by the busy hallways plus well-attended seminars and music events.
Marc Finer of The DEG (The Digital Entertainment Group), perhaps the hardest working man in the Hi-Res Audio business, was at AXPONA sharing all the great new developments plus discussing the many great partners supporting Hi-Res Audio. Over the past few years, The DEG has successfully amassed an incredibly prestigious grouping of leading music labels and hardware providers to support Hi-Res Music / Hi-Res Audio. During the show he had a variety of portable players while also demonstraiting their dedicated website Stream The Studio. There you can learn more about the ongoing efforts to bring music lovers recording studio quality music. MP3 is so 1990's! Welcome to 2017 my friends as we celebrate enjoying great high quality tunes. Enjoy the music!
One of the best values for the buck is Emotiva, and here i enjoyed talking with head honcho Dan Laufman discussing their upcoming multi-channel surround sound processor. Even a two-channel guy like me knows that multi-channel audio can be truly awesome for both music and movies, so this soon-to-be-released Emotiva RCM-1 ($5000) is a natural for high-enders. Featuring both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR, you get high quality through, yet at reasonable pricing as one expects from Emotiva. They came to AXPONA with what seemed to be their entire line of products, both for home, home theater and studio use. If you're not familiar with Emotiva, i highly recommend you check them out. In the back of their room was a surround sound setup and it was tremendous! Great showing guys!
The opening seminar, What does 2017 mean for audio?, was moderated by publisher of Hi-Fi+ magazine Chris Martens. Conor Cawley, senior writer for Tech.co, Steve Guttenberg who writes The Audiophiliac blog for CNET.com, Jason Victor Serinus who is a contributing Editor for Stereophile, plus myself were panel members. Chris Martens did an excellent job with well-pointed questions for us panel members. There is no doubt that 2017 is an exciting time for audio! We discussed everything from vinyl records to Hi-Res Audio and music streaming. Chris' questions were augmented with excellent enquiries from the audience. There is no doubt that shows, and music formats, are gaining strength. Vinyl playback is constantly breaking new sales records for the past decade, CD is hanging on, cassette and reel-to-reel tape are creeping back in too. Music streaming is making big waves and is the preference for many modern music lovers.
Many seminar attendees came up to us after the session to ask questions, or to simply say hi and thank us for our efforts to educate and promote high-end audio. We owe much gratitude to AXPONA for allowing us to hold this excellent seminar. No worries if you couldn't make it to the seminar as you can look forward to the video on AXPONA's website in the coming weeks.
One seminar attendee, Jim Hampton, dons the 'cans to join our beloved Steampunk Brotherhood.