For me, the recent Las Vegas shows was an eye opening experience. Our $80,000 Equipment Contest is being very well received by the industry, yet it appears writers for other magazines were not overly thrilled at the prospect of what they feel is their competitor receiving high visibility. Be that as it may, some comments behind my back were met with amazement from others within the industry. i guess over a decade of hard work in helping the audiophile community, including traveling the world to cover nearly 100 shows, has little merit. So be it, no hard feelings, but at least some of us take the time to try something on their own. A leap of faith as it were. Of course the slings and arrows have been felt for years. Am sure many of you remember years ago when certain magazines were saying that Internet thing was just a fad and as for the credentials of those reviewers for those magazines... Now it appears virtually every magazine has a site online with reviews. So you see, competition is a good thing as audiophiles worldwide have more choices. We all win!
Show Competition Part I
The one thing many attendees hate about the CES is the fact they do not organize the rooms to be together, and all rooms being on a lower level. The CES may be said to illegally have rooms on the upper floors, as there is no elevator service to the over 20 separate buildings! So if you are in a wheelchair you can forget about all those rooms on the upper levels, as the stairs are steep and there is no facility for wheelchair ramps. On the other hand, T.H.E. Show has their rooms very well organized and there is indeed an elevator for those who are wheelchair bound.
Show Competition Part II
Because the Los Angeles event allows for proper competition as there will be another show only a block away by a major conglomerate (read: a company not dedicated solely to audiophile interests) who charges a huge amount more than VTV! Sure we can all lament about what happened to Art Dudley when he sold Listener to a large company with other non-audiophile interests and how quickly it went wayside, never again to grace the loving audiophile community. Now we have a major parent company operating a show versus true audiophile enthusiasts operating a show during the same time in Los Angeles.
Years ago the CES was forced to lower their high rates because T.H.E. Show was there providing proper competition. The same can be said with the upcoming Los Angeles show as those who desire showing their products can save thousands of dollars with VTV versus a self-proclaimed leading targeted media company (sic) with many interests outside of the audiophile community. We are not talking about a subtle financial difference if you desire having room at their show! With the VTV show being reasonably priced and operated by audiophiles, it makes sense in my opinion to support our community. Of course i should also mention that only a few days before either of these shows is one of Europe's largest shows, Germany's High End Society event in Munich. As for which show is the best investment for manufacturers, only those looking to attend any of these shows can make their final decision. Naturally those companies looking to make their worldwide presence known would choose Munich. But let us get back to the United States.
Only the Unites States audiophile community can decide which way they vote by investing their hard-earned dollars. Is it some huge conglomerate with a very small minority interest in audiophiles yet charging vast amounts of money or VTV with much lower room rates as they are dedicated to the audiophile community?
TAS & HF+
So you see, competition is a good thing. It matters not if it is magazine content or expositions, having competition generally brings fair value and balanced views. As we always say, in the end what really matters to me is that we all....