It's that time again! THE Show Newport is around the corner (next week) and we're PUMPED! Three years ago I was approached by Richard Beers, a dear friend and the Founder of T.H.E Show in Las Vegas, to set up a dedicated headphone show at THE Show Newport. The first year we were small but mighty. ALO Audio formally introduced their innovative and beautifully built Studio Six reference tube headphone amplifier - which is now a permanent fixture in the Sonic Satori Personal Audio Lab. I'm proud to say the Studio Six I have in the Lab came from that first show! Ken Ball, head of ALO, asked me to take it home for my first review of that magnificent magic-making amplifier. It was slick on his part (and wasn't his intent I know) but I ended up moving Heaven and Earth to buy the thing! We also had industry leaders like Schiit Audio, Audeze, AstellnKern (then, still building up their street cred), HiFiMAN, CEntrance and others there. I even got Perfect Sound in - and that was their US show debut! Well, last year I asked my partner over at Audio360.org, and fellow Head-Fier Warren Chi to help me out with THE Headphonium (named by Mr. John Darko - friend and the man behind DAR) so we could expand it together. We tripled in size last year! This year, we planned on having THE Headphonium at THE Show Newport in the Grand Ballroom - but there were some expected complications (first year in a new location for Newport) and so we'll be at the Pavilion. NO BIG DEAL - we like that the headphone portion of the show has a dedicated spot (we had that before, but we had to host THE Headphonium in two different locations last year because of the overflow). This year so many vendors wanted to get in, we have NO CHOICE but to put it in the Grand Ballroom next year! So SORRY to ALL MANUFACTURERS that couldn't nail down a spot with us this year. But Richard Beers knows how to run a FUN show, and the future will open up all sorts of doors for new exhibitors. In the meantime, here's a map of our lil' show:
T.H.E Show was originally created as a terrific alternative for all hi-fi companies wanting to be at CES - but couldn't afford the bloated prices at the designated CES hotel/exhibition spots. So Richard opened up the St. Tropez years ago - when The High End Audio portion of CES was housed at the Alexis Park (man I miss those days, the Alexis Park had an amazing outdoor courtyard where we'd gather) so we had two hotels next to each other full of amazing high end audio gear! Years later, Richard decided to focus all his energy on Newport, and last year THE Show didn't happen in Vegas during CES. Good for you Richard! We like the sunshine and good vibes out here in Cali...
So THE Headphonium is Powered by Audio360 - and yes, 360 has been stagnant for a couple months - but the community is still fired up and rolling! I'm a partner at 360 alongside Warren and Michael Liang (who currently works for Woo Audio - so he's been on editorial hiatus there) and we have great future plans for the site - but that doesn't matter at this point. We keep moving forward (never straight) and so it's time to get your headphone bliss on at THE Headphonium during THE Show Newport! I'll be there along with Warren and my dear friend MJ workin' the headphone show. We've also got all sorts of industry peers, leaders, and good friends comin' down for the show, like the Grand Puba of the personal audio movement: Mr. Tyll Hertsens of Innerfidelity! Tyll's been a great friend and a super teacher, and I'm honored to call him my friend. I need to call you more Tyll! Lookin' forward to seeing him and everybody else down in SoCal this week!
We've got all sorts of amazing vendors lined up - along with a party that's being hosted by our good friends over at Zu Audio Friday and Saturday night! I'll be DJing alongside my good friend Alex Rosson of Audeze. Opening Djs include John Darko of DAR, Sean Casey of Zu Audio, and a couple of others I believe. Thanks to Sean for putting on the PARTAY!!!! Two years ago I DJ'd out in the courtyard with Alex (Rosson) and we had a BLAST. I'll be playing an ALL VINYL DJ SET. I'm not sure what incredible tricks Alex has up his sleeve this time - but he's an amazing drummer and DJ - so I can't WAIT! We're also playing on a classic Rupert Neve console! Now I'm drooling... If this turns out to be anything like two years ago - you WONT WANNA MISS THIS PARTY.
So the stage is SET - I'm pickin' records after I get this posted - and we hope to SEE YOU ALL THERE!!!!
Music Saves Lives. Great Sound Moves Souls.