I woke up at 4.00am to catch the first flight from Sydney and was in Melbourne way before the opening time. Walking from Spencer Street Station to the Intercontinental is only a 15 mins walk, invigorating as the cold Melbourne morning air was "au rendez-vous". And the place was packed with 70,000 Jehovah Witnesses attending their annual gathering at the near by Etihad Stadium. Quite a sight and a very polite, well dressed and orderly procession, it was!
With 42 exhibitors and maybe 50 rooms to visit, it is not a huge show, but all the important players in the local market and their suppliers are committed to give the audience a good time!
And a good time I had, indeed...So here is my report organised in a different format, as I can!
Involve Audio - The most innovative product and it is Australian!
I actually find the look of the speakers quite interesting and they sound pretty good at the price.
Kyron Audio - the most awarded product before and during the Show
And I have been vindicated by Michael Fremer of Stereophile fame who could not find enough praise for the Kronos on his blog Analog Planet: http://www.analogplanet.com/content/kyron-audios-kronos-best-sounding-system-you-will-ever-hear.
Michael was invited at the Show to run a turntable masterclass and he was enticed to go and have a listen to the Kronos. The boys were a bit nervous, I heard, but then they got over it!
The cutest products
I will have a whole chapter of this review on headphones, miniDACs and amp in episode 2.
SONY - the most innovative and coherent offer in AV
The audio side of things was not as stunning, but it was very good indeed for a Japanese designed speaker. I like the new three-part tweeter. Things were on the brighter side as a result.
Where are the French?
On the other hand a few, like Kyron Audio, Siegfried Linkwitz and the two culprits here, Brodmann and DC10Audio make wonders out of designs that are not following the book.
I have been willing to find out about these speakers in real life for quite a while, as I suspected that although their design is very unconventional, they might actually work very well. And guess what? I was quite impressed! And yes they were very well fed by a YBA CD transport, an Allnic DAC and an YBA amplifier, and I was welcome to play one of my favourite CDs - Patricia Barber's Cafe Blue, A Taste of Honey on HDCD - and the high sensitivity coupled with the horn dispersion made it for a very smooth, dynamic and precise sound. And they look gorgeous too...WAF!