The Third Annual California Audio Show Begins
It's the morning of Friday August 3, and I've arrived 30 minutes before dagogo's third annual California Audio Show begins in Burlingame's Crowne Plaza Hotel. In the lobby, the website's founder and show organizer, Constantine Soo, just has time to pose before a map of exhibit rooms on the hotel's first floor.
A glance at the 42-page show guide here shown being perused by my daughter Daisy Mae Dovenreveals 17 exhibit spaces on the first floor (including The Cable Company's very active hallway exhibit), 9 on the second floor, and 10 on the third. Yes, 36 total, just as promised. This should be a very nice show.
First, order of business: deliveries. A few weeks back, I was given a box of open-reel tapes that I thought might work for deHavilland Audio's open-reel/tape preamp demo. Hence the joy of encountering Kara Chaffee of deHavilland in the room her company was sharing with Randy Bankert's Sonist loudspeakers.
When Marc Silver of Soundscape AV in Santa Rosa told me a few weeks back that he would be sleeping on the floor of his exhibit room at night, the Jewish mother in me offered to bring him my inflatable camping mat. In the process of delivering said pad, I discovered that the hotel wasn't exactly ready. At 10 minutes to show time, furniture still litters the third floor hallways in both directions.
At T.H.E. Show Newport Beach in June, Bob Levi, show co-organizer and President of the Los Angeles Orange County Audio Society, was waxing ecstatic about Jack Bybee's new Bybee Gold Goddess 'Super Effect" Phono/Interconnect RCA Bullets ($2195/pair). Happening upon Jack in the hallway, we shared coffee and herbal tea in the hotel restaurant as he told me that while the bullets were initially designed to counter what he calls "very low-level quantum noises" that obscure low-level details between turntable and phono preamp, he has discovered that they work equally well between other components, including digital.
Jack explains that his internal speaker bullets are now used in speakers from Boenicke Audio (which he says won a Best Sound of Show in Munich) and Marten Audio. Jorma Design and WyWires incorporate his products in their speaker cables. In addition, many of his devices are now available for DIY and OEM use from Parts Connection and, in the UK, Audiocom.
At 82, Jack is finally moving close to retirement. Hence, he plans to hand over management of his new Bybee Technologies website to his nephew, Marc Stanbuck. Meanwhile, his Music Rails are now distributed by Bybee Labs, which is run by Scott Frankland and Doug Hall.
Final stop entails delivering a big bag of organic almonds to the BAAS (Bay Area Audiophile Society) Hospitality Suite. There I discover, in the throes of set-up, BAAS President Bob Walters and his extremely able partner in crime, daughter Caitlin Carney. Bob isn't smiling because I've just told him that he needs to straighten up the signs touting the room's bargain sound system.