Australian Audio & AV Show Day One
The Australian Audio & AV Show, Melbourne, is well and truly underway. The typically quieter hours of Friday offered a great chance to get around and quickly scope out the exhibitors for another longer visit over the next two days.
With absolutely no accomodation available in Melbourne due to the show coinciding with a number of major events, including the Caulfield Cup, MotoGP and 70,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in town, attendance numbers are likely to be down on last year. Combine this with the fact that unless you're on Facebook, a StereoNET reader or know someone 'in the know', you'd probably not have even heard about the show. In fact, you could walk right past the Intecontinental Rialto on busy Collins Street and not even know the show was on. Inside the foyer, a small indiscriminate sign suggests there is a Hi-Fi show taking place.
Criticisms aside, hats off to Chester Group and Next Media for doing their bit to promote HiFi, and organising a show in absence of any other.
If you'd ventured in on Friday you would have enjoyed unfilled rooms and mostly empty corridors, in stark contrast to last year's show. Those exhibiting have suggested there are far less rooms than the previous show, and I'd agree. The upside is it was refreshing to enter most rooms and take advantage of the 'hot seat' or 'sweet spot'. There is an overall feeling of quality over quantity, but it seems there is much less “high-end” this year.
Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) was on hand via Australian distributor Convoy, to offer his thoughts on the current and future music industry. The overall tone was that technology has changed the way in which consumers purchase and listen to music, but that a new 'model' was required in order to reward artists and encourage them to create, and allow the industry to continue into the future. Nothing really new there.
We haven't had the chance to visit every room at length yet, but already there are some stand-outs that are worth a visit. By all reports the Audio Note room is a must-visit, as is the Brodmann Acoustics / German Physics room from Telos Audio. Greg Osborn, a stalwart Hi-Fi show exhibitor not only in Australia but around the world, has a large room with a vast array of product on display and demonstration. His Osborn Speakers are absolutely singing and his range of speakers and electronics offers something for all budgets. Be sure to check it out.
Warwick Freemantle's Pure Music Group room continues to impress each year. Effortless, engaging and dynamic sound; remarkable considering that each year the room consists of entirely different products. The Air Force One turntable signifies true 'high-end' and is another must see.
Addicted to Audio continue to set the benchmark for Head-Fi. Their stand could keep you entertained for hours with some of the world's best head-fi gear ready for demonstration. There is little wonder why they have such a good reputation when you see the lengths they go to to assist customers.
It's also great to see so many of Australia's iconic Hi-Fi brands on display; Redgum, Equinox, Osborn, Krix, Legend, Richter, SGR Audio, just to name a few. There is no doubt that some of our home-grown brands can certainly take it to the world stage in Hi-Fi.
We'll get around all the rooms over the next 48 hours, stay tuned.
Posted in: Hi-Fi Headphones Home Theatre Visual Lifestyle Technology Industry
Tags: au audio show 2014 audio note telos audio brodmann acoustics german physics osborn pure music group techdas redgum audio equinox audio krix legend acoustics richter sgr audio addicted to audio