Light The Lights, It’s Showtime!

It’s been really exciting for everyone here producing this issue, and we hope it’ll be an exciting read for you too! The primary cause of this excitement has been getting the Show Guide ready, because it’s the first Show Guide we’ve produced for more than twenty years, for the very simple reason that it’s been that long since Australia had a proper, hotel-style hi-fi show, one where exhibitors used their best products to assemble a ‘showcase’ system that they’d then demonstrate in their room.

The beauty of hotel shows is that they allow people like me—and you!—to wander blissfully from room to room, clutching a favourite demo CD in our hand, and judge the sound from each of the systems, compare it to what we’re hearing from our system at home and, perhaps, plan our next purchase at the same time.

Even if you have no intention of buying anything at all, it’s also a great way to hear great music, and the ‘dazzle factor’ of some of the equipment on show is always worth the price of admission. I don’t know about you, but I keep a running tally of the sound quality in each room, so I can come up with my own personal ‘best sound at the show’. (To be frank, I also keep track of ‘worst sound at the show’ too, but that’s a story for another time!)

If you’re an audio enthusiast, rather than a hi-fi journalist, there’s yet another good reason for visiting a hi-fi show, which is that you’ll usually get the chance to talk to the people who actually designed the equipment—maybe even the person who designed your own speakers, and you’ll definitely have the opportunity to talk to the people who distribute it in Australia.

You’ll also get the chance to chat to a great many retailers, who are usually called on by distributors to help staff the rooms.

What’s so good about this opportunity to get ‘one-on-one’ is that it’s likely you’ll ‘click’ with some distributors and retailers, in which case your next purchase can be on a more personal basis. If you’ve already peeked at the show guide, you’ll see that it’s pretty much a ‘Who’s Who’ of the Australian audio industry.

At the time of going to press, there were only two distributors of any note who had not booked into the show, and I fully expect to see at least one of these two there when I arrive at the show (if not both!).

So you can see that pretty much every significant brand available in Australia will have representation at the show, and, although room size limitations mean that not every brand will be being demonstrated, that’s a pretty good start! As I promised in an earlier issue, Australian Hi-Fi’s publisher, Next Media, has a stand at the show, so I’ll be helping to sell current issues, back issues and dispensing free advice if you care to drop by.

If I am not on the stand, I am probably sitting alongside you in a demo room, so feel free to share your opinions about what you’re hearing and what you think of the show!

Greg Borrowman, Editor