Late April and early May 2005 means two of the largest consumer shows are upon us. While we have just finished wrapping up our Le Festival Son et Image de Montréal 2005 audiophile show reports, Enjoy the Music.com™'s exclusive daily updates of New York City's PRIMEDIA (Stereophile) Home Entertainment and Germany's High End Society Munich audiophile events will soon appear within this website. Many new and innovative technologies will be nearly side to side with horn loudspeakers and tube amplification. Loyal readers to these pages know we take great efforts at insuring world premier products are also highlighted.
While i sit here wondering where has the time gone, we must remember that after these two events Enjoy the Music.com™ will have over 80 show reports spanning over nearly a decade online! So it is with that knowledge that the below tips are for those who plan on attending one of these shows.
And Now Some Helpful Hints
No Ticketee, No Takee
Pre-purchase you tickets. This allows you to avoid those last minute attendees who have to wait in a long line to purchase their ticket. Another benefit is that advance purchasing usually provides a discount, thereby saving you hard-earned cash for such things and music.
Its A Shoe In
Most show venues have hard floors so leave you best Italian designer leather shoes at home in favor of comfortable sneakers or the like. Your feet will thank you later for choosing comfortable walking shoes.
Perform Your Best Strip Tease
Exhibition halls and hotel rooms may begin the day nice and cool, but have a hard time keeping up with the crowd and a multitude of electronics. So wear comfortable cloths, perhaps layering, so that you can remove a layer as the day progresses. We must remember each human outputs the heat equivalent to a 100 watt light bulb. Multiply that by the crowd and you have only basic starting point because... High-end audio and video electronics output an amazing amount of heat! While the beginning of the day may start out nice and comfortable, as the hours pass all that heat builds up, so very few show venues appear to be able to cope with all that heat. Therefore wear an outfit that keep you warm in the morning yet can adapt as the day gets warmer.
Money, Its A Hit
Nearly every show i have attended has a place where large groupings of both music and accessory vendors sells their products. Usually there are package deals and new/limited production releases at quite attractive pricing. Audiophile gadgets, tweaks, etc can usually be purchased at dazzling discounts. And this leads us to...
You Need A Bag
All the literature, music, tweaks and other goodies need to be carried around. While a basic bag may be good, a backpack may be a better idea. It not only provides great storage, it may also have places for storing containers of water or other beverages. Keep yourself hydrated! Furthermore, it is easier on your body to use a backpack than to hand carry everything for hours. It follows the same idea as comfortable cloths and shoes.
Top Down Won't Make You Frown
With the show room list within your eager hands, start at the top floor and work your way downward. Walking down stairs is easier than upward. Also remember that elevators can be hit n' miss situation, plus overly crowded by the hundreds of other people.
Day'zed And Confused
Best days are Sunday (morning especially) and Friday morning (provided you avoid the lower floors at first). Saturdays is usually extremely crowded so unless you must see something, the immense crowd will basically let you get a glimpse of it and that's about it. Maybe you can find to enjoy a few rooms on Saturday, though it may be only a few as compared to Sunday morning.
Yummies For The Tummy
Bring snacks as usually food is very expensive at shows if you're against paying $1.50 for a can of cold soda or $7 for a basic cold sandwich. Better still, leave the venue and go to a restaurant of your choosing. Sometimes leaving the show is a good thing as it provides your ears time to rest. You'd be surprised how your ears constantly being bombarded with sound can cause fatigue!
Fantasy Island Fun
Remember all the lusting over the nearly unobtanium gear is akin to taking a test drive in your favorite exotic sports cars all in the same day. The problem is, show venues are not usually the proper place to get a full understanding to the product's potential. Think of it this way, you get to hear a wide variety of gear is like test driving an Austin Martin, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Lotus, Nobel, Porsche, TVR, and Pagani... in New York City traffic. Not quite the best combination... and (usually) neither is a show exhibition room. Sure there may be times where a manufacturer and/or distributor has a great room and setup, though we must remember that the most important parts of virtually every audio system is the room setup and acoustics. Large loudspeakers in small rooms is usually not a match made in heaven. Furthermore we must remember a system is just that, a system. So proclaiming that 'X' amplifier sounded great at the show may be a bit incorrect as there needed to be a source unit, cabling, amplification, loudspeakers, and of the course the room itself.
And With All That Said
So with all that in mind, enjoy meeting the many great personalities and equipment that make us this amazing industry. Who knows, you may end up with some great music to take home and a few tweaks to keep you busy enhancing your enjoyment of music. Of course in the end what really matters is that we all....