A Bright and Exciting Future
Last week, AudioStream’s Michael Lavorgna and InnerFidelity’s Tyll Hertsens shared their insights and images from the 2013 Munich High End Show. In case you missed it, Michael, Tyll, and AnalogPlanet’s Michael Fremer, provided further coverage at their respective sites. I highly recommend checking out their show reports. It makes up some of the best show coverage I’ve read anywherea testament not only to my colleagues’ passion and skill, but also to the utter brilliance of the Munich High End Show, which continues to set the bar for high-end audio shows worldwide.
As ML notes in his wrap, when it comes to the Munich show, there’s one opinion expressed time and time again: “It’s how all hi-fi shows should be.”
This holds true in my experience, as well. I’ve heard it said, and I’ve said so myself. So, we have to ask ourselves: Can all hi-fi shows be as efficiently run, popular, successful, and downright fun as the Munich High End Show? Is it possible to cultivate, here in the United States, that combination of heartfelt enthusiasm, relaxed atmosphere, and healthy balance of substance and style?
It may be that Munich’s success is something that cannot be easily replicatedit would take too radical a shift in our cultural priorities, too radical a shift in our relationship with technology, music, and people. But, we can certainly move in that direction.
It would mean understanding that sound isn’t everything. It would mean adapting to new technologies, allowing those technologies to provide customers with useful services and products. In turn, it would require from high-end audio manufacturers the good sense to get with the times, to provide customers with the services and products they really want. It would mean sharing with our friends and familiesespecially those who do not consider themselves first and foremost audiophilesthe appreciation of a high-quality listening experience and maximizing the joy such an experience can bring.
Actually, that doesn’t sound very difficult at all. Maybe it can happen. In fact, I think it is happening. The success of North American shows such as the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Salon Son et Image, and the upcoming Home Entertainment Show Newport Beach, combined with the continued popularity in the analog, computer audio, desktop audio, and headphone markets, points to a bright and exciting future for the hi-fi industry.