TAVES Toronto Starts Friday
"From the very beginning, we had a vision to shape TAVES as more of a Consumer Electronics Show rather than just another audio show," show co-owner and Canada HiFi publisher Suave Kajko, 35, explained by phone. "This year, for the first time, I'm very happy to say that some 20% of the exhibit spaces will be showing home theater equipment or other products."
In its third year, the show has already doubled in size. Now occupying four floors of the King Edward, it will offer perhaps 70 live systems in perhaps 64 exhibit spaces. Attendance, which last year tracked at over 3000 unique visitors, will likely increase.
In a development reminiscent of T.H.E. Show Newport Beach's multi-ring circus (audio, cigars, cars, wine), Harley Davidson will occupy the hotel's entire lobby with their latest and greatest. Remind me not to tell idiot Rich, whose muffler-less Harley and blasting radio set off car alarms every time he drives to and from our block, that the company's infotainment systems include a 6.5" touch screen, the ability to answer phone calls and communicate with other cyclists on the road via a microphone inside your helmet, and the blessing/curse of listening to music streamed wirelessly from your iWhatever as your roar down the road. Please, please, please don't tell me that cyclists will be able to text from their touch screens as well.
"We attract what we think is one of the larger groups of women to the show," Kajko continued. "From the outset, we made this a goal, since more and more women are making the decisions in the home theater department. This year we've teamed up with a number of different women's networks, as well as taken advantage of social media, to promote the show to women and their significant others."
The show's two biggest coups are an advanced launch of the Sony Playstation 4 before it hits the stores, and the first-time presence of Sony and Samsung. Both will show 4K Ultra HDTVs. Samsung is bringing two curve-screen OLEDs to the show, including, the largest TV sets (8485") available to Canadian consumers. Another first is the presence of a number of different and very unique watch manufacturers, who will show "distinct and artistic timepieces." Take that, Newport Beach!
In the headphone department, TAVES will not try to outdo Montreal and RMAF's huge headphone roomq. Instead, headphone products will be mixed in with others in a large exhibit ballroom. As for entertainment, expect the unamplified Ray Montford Trio.
The number of seminars, on the other hand, will be major, with more topics covered than ever before. For more commercially oriented attendees, TV personality Marc Salzman will introduce the Playstation 4 and Xbox 1 OLED and 4K. Balance that with two sessions on advanced turntable set-up. DSD DACs will be explored by exaSound, and speaker placement by Roy Gregory and Nordost. I expect the seminar on how to set up a hi-res system for under $10,000, as well as improve your existing system via tweaks, to be extremely popular.
"Toronto, which is the New York of Canada, is the biggest consumer market in our country," says Kajko. "We have a lot more companies headquartered there, and TAVES has the potential to attract them as exhibitors."
Robert Deutsch will post reports from TAVES during and after the show. You can get your 84" eyeful and more by staying tuned to this very station.