Audio show season is upon us

The 2018 audio show season is about to kick off starting in March. There’s Montreal Audio Fest, AXPONA, Munich High End show, LAAS, RMAF, Capital Audiofest, New York Audio Show and Warsaw Audio Show among others and that doesn’t even include the CanJams, which are strictly about headphones. Yours truly can only make one show because of everyday work schedule, lack of money and I am all there is to this little enterprise, endeavour or whatever you want to call “Its About The Music” blog.

I was considering not attending or covering another show after last year. However, after thinking about it over the last couple of months and the encouragement of a couple special friends and a few requests from readers, I have decided to attend LAAS 2018. Yes, so for you guys, I will be covering the show.

I’ll give you a little preview of The Los Angeles Audio Show (LAAS) 2018. It is happening again this June 2018 and this time it is almost a whole new show. Like a renovation to a home, so to is the LAAS for 2018.
First of note is the new dates, which are June 8,9 & 10. Second, you know what they say in real estate, “Location, Location, Location”! Well, the biggest and most effective change is the fact that the show has come back to Orange County, California! Not only has it come back to the county, but it is back at the very facility where it started, The Irvine Hilton (and Atrium) hotels, directly across from the Orange County John Wayne Airport. For those who were in attendance at last year’s show in Los Angeles, this news should be music to your ears, if you pardon the pun.

So, what makes this show location better than last year? At the LA location of the show last year, the parking was a nightmare and expensive, food choices were almost non-existent and expensive, the space was too spread out and too many hidden areas and long treks making folks wander around confused as to where things were even with signage clearly posted and incompetent hotel staff only added to problems.
While the LA location (Sheraton), was across from LAX airport, it was more the backside of the airport. The new (original location in Orange County) now is literally across from the airport and one could walk to the venue in well less than 30 minutes from the airport. Other improvements include the venue layout itself, it is a little more compact making for less hidden areas or long treks to get to anything. It is also less expensive: Parking will be less than half of what it was in Los Angeles ($6 vs $13 per day in LA). Not only is food a little less expensive as well, but eating choices are in abundance both on site and off site, close by too (LA had precious little dining options, about 2 and a half places and the least expensive was a sandwich shop about 15 minutes walk from the hotel and it was $12! Even room rates are less expensive, they will be around $160 per night, (in Los Angeles it was around $190 per night).
LAAS 2018 in Orange County will also offer many of the same treats as the show usually does, but there are some new additions and changes as well. For example, the 2018 show is offering two of the world-renowned Michael Fremer Turntable seminars, they will be the same, so don’t worry about having to attend both for the full program. (They will be held in the “Million dollar system room”, but do not let that discourage you. Michael’s turntable seminars are the ultimate in learning how to set up your turntable and ok, I happen to know Michael. He is an entertaining and a nice guy. He is not afraid of more “budget” leaning audio gear either, just trust me on this. There is also going to be a limited class from McIntosh where you can learn more about audio.

Another bit of good news to those of us here in cowardly valley is that an entire floor, yes, you read correctly, an entire floor will be devoted to “non-stratospherically expensive equipment”! This is according to LAAS promoter Bill Kanner who also says, “that people have family members who are not all committed to audio, and we need to have something for them. This should not be an exercise in acoustic technology; it should be a smorgasbord of fun.” Can I have an “amen”?! Usually, there are maybe 3 or 4 exhibits in that dedication scattered around, but this time for what may be the first for this show, we get an entire floor of such exhibits!
That is just a few of the changes and additions, more info to follow as it becomes available.

Delores O’Riordan, singer of The Cranberries has passed away. (Ouch)

I write this news article with heavy heart. Delores O’Riordan of The Cranberries has died today. She was only 46. Cause is unknown at this time. Her songs were iconic. The song “Zombie” was one of the most human songs ever! It was a song of mourning and pleading for peace and for humanity to wake up. The song has been covered in several talent shows such as The Voice with one Russian contestant who really got the whole of the song and presented it with much intensity to a stunned, but accepting audience. Delores struggled with being bi-polar, but through it all managed to be very kind and caring by most accounts and managed to give us some of the best song lyrics ever penned. She captured the human soul in her writing despite the affliction. It was as if she refused to let it take over despite it being a physical ailment that effects cognition.

Thank you Delores for your music, activism and message, rest in peace.

Analog provides more affordable high quality audio than digital these days

I want to show you what I am talking about in the title of this post with this video from Michael Fremer at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this past October covering systems ranging from $500 to $2500. These are just one way of doing it, there are many variations if you want an analog based or analog front end system that keep things affordable.