Australian Audio & AV Show Day Two
Day two of the Australian Audio & AV Show for 2014 came to a close as the last punters straggled out a few minutes after six o'clock. While a slow start with no apparent queues as the doors opened this morning, a steady stream travelled through the corridors of the Intercontinental Rialto Melbourne throughout the day.
Giving the 'Headzones' area another walk around this morning it's apparent Addicted to Audio are the undisputed kings of Head-Fi in this country. With a team of staff willing to go that extra mile for listeners wanting to audition everything from entry level buds right through to a $60K+ headphone rig, this year, like last year saw a flurry of activity surrounding the Addicted to Audio stand. Credit where it's due. We'll cover some of the newer products released in more depth in upcoming editorial.
Attracting quite a bit of attention was a brand new product from Nashville based Aurisonics. Dale Lott, CEO of Aurisonics was on hand to show off his latest in-ear monitors, the Rockets. Lott explained that his wife had purchased a pair of “insert big-selling, well marketed junk buds name here” some years ago that had broken within weeks. Dissapointed at the performance and quality Lott knew he had to do something about it. Just three years later, Lott is supplying his products to multiple countries around the world and has created what he believes (and isn't hesitant to demonstrate) could be one of the most indestructible, reliable monitors.
Hand crafted, with titanium, kevlar and a propietary quad weave cable, Lott shows the sheer strength of his cable by literally wrapping each end around his wrist and trying with all his might to break them. There's a rumour of a video of them being stepped on, hit with hammers and more, but we're yet to see that.
Roaming around there is no doubt that vinyl has made a genuine comeback, and Quality Records Plus was on hand with new release, rarities and other vinyl goodies on sale.
Bill Mclean is no stranger to high-fidelity sound, and was offering a very enjoyable music experience via Divore Fidelity Orangutan loudspeakers, the new DEQX Preamp/DSP/Room Correction, and the very impressive Line Magnetic amplifier.
Redgum Audio and Equinox, two icons of Australian Hi-Fi teamed up to showcase their latest goods, both celebrating over 20 years in business this year. Lindy, Ian and Rick are some of the nicest people our industry holds and it's great to see Aussie brands still doing so well in a challenging market.
Richter Acoustics, yet another Aussie brand was also present showcasing their extensive range of amplifier and speakers. Their amplifier in particular offer excellent bang for buck and are certainly worthy of an audition at your nearest dealer.
Entertaining Environments, located in the 'Juniour Suite', a room a little larger than most were on hand with Moon Audio and Raidho loudspeakers on demonstration. After a short presentation, the stand-mount speakers were turned up past normal listening levels with a few tracks from The Rolling Stones. The Raidho's punch well above their weight and we were quite impressed by their effortless ability to fill a reasonable sized room with very engaging sound. Both brands are very well respected and this room was a great example why.
There's still a few more rooms to visit, but we couldn't help but revisit the Pure Music Group room after being so impressed yesterday. Thoughts were once again confirmed, and at this point it's still without doubt one of the best sounding, and well organised rooms at this years show.
National Audio Group, showcasing their Avid Turntable, AVM Audio Electronics and Audiovector loudspeakers was also very impressive.
One thing that's apparent is that it's quite difficult to judge rooms and systems against one another, particularly without the ability to play the same reference material in each and every room. Add to that listening fatigue, not knowing the material being played and so many other variables, you really need to form basic opinions and follow up with dealers for private demonstrations post-show. We were fortunate enough to spot Alison Krauss' 'So Long So Wrong' LP in the National Audio Group room who were only too happy to give it a spin. Being a personal favourite, with familiarity it's much easier to form opinions. Unfortunately we had more chance of playing an LP in most rooms rather than the USB stick I've been dragging around with me.
There's still a few more rooms to visit tomorrow; you can't rush these things. While not the world's biggest audio show, it's still most enjoyable and virtually the only chance to see so many brands up close and personal at one time. If you want to seriously audition products and are in a purchasing position then it makes perfect sense not to whinge about a “show environment”, but to organise a post-show audition with the dealer.
More tomorrow night ... in the meantime, follow our reader reports in the discussion thread.
Posted in: Hi-Fi Headphones Home Theatre Visual Lifestyle Technology Industry
Tags: addicted to audio au audio show 2014 aurisonics divore fidelity line magnetic equinox audio redgum audio richter raidho moon pure music group national audio group