LAAS 2017

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 07, 2017  |  10 comments
Grand Prix Audio, whose attractive isolation racks, amp stands, turntables and other products featured prominently in multiple rooms at LAAS, debuted their less expensive Grand Prix Audio Parabolica turntable ($16,500). Here shown with TriPlanar 2SE tonearm ($7500) and Lyra Etna cartridge ($8995), the Parabolica rested on a Grand Prix Formula shelf upgrade ($2495) to the 4-shelf Monaco Modular isolation system ($10,250) that was supported by Apex Feet with levelers ($1320). I was told by the company's Jesse Luna that the Grand Prix Parabolica, which is based on the Monaco 2.0 turntable ($37,500), has a direct-drive system with factory-sealed hydrodynamic bearing that never needs servicing.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 07, 2017  |  0 comments
One of the several rooms from Audio Plus Services at LAAS was headlined by the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista CD player ($9999) and Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 integrated amplifier ($11,999) driving Focal Sopra No.2 loudspeakers ($13,995/pair) via Crystal cabling. Solid Tech's Rack of Silence ($5795) and assorted IsoAcoustics Iso-Pucks completed a chain whose electronics—even the loudspeaker—had less than 24 hours of break-in. Hence, beyond saying that the timbres were beautiful, I shall refrain from critical comments that most likely would not apply had the system been show-ready.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 07, 2017  |  5 comments
After a forgettable lunch (the food at the Sheraton Gateway hotel was mediocre at best) a change of pace was required. It was time for a mid-day treat: compact horn-loaded speakers. Greg Roberts of Volti Audio and Pete Grzybowski (nicknamed "Triode Pete") seem to consistently know how to produce good sound in hotel rooms.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 06, 2017  |  8 comments
At first-time show venues with hosts of unknowns, some exhibitors luck out, while others unwittingly end up with unmanageable spaces. Alas, to retailer Brian Berdan of Audio Element in Pasadena did fall the distinct dishonor of two larger 2nd floor rooms with the noisiest, constantly-on air conditioning I have ever encountered at an audio show. Perhaps to compensate for an environment destined to repel rather than attract, Brian tilted the Wilson Audio Yvette loudspeakers ($22,500/pair) upwards, so that people who didn't even bother to sit would get more of a sense of all they can do.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 06, 2017  |  2 comments
The LA Show was my first time aboard the (appropriately) hyped Magic Bus! A one-of-a-kind audiophile-mobile custom-built by Sony contractorJon Whitledge, the Magic Bus is a rare feat.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 05, 2017  |  81 comments
Industry veterans EveAnna Manley (left) and Mary Cardas (right) were in a particularly ebullient mood when I encountered them in the second-floor hallway. "We just got mansplained," laughed EveAnna. "Whatever you do, man, don't mansplain us," she continued, as the two women recounted the tale of entering an exhibit incognito—they were judges for the "Alfies," the LAAS awards—and discovering some salesman talking down to them.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 03, 2017  |  3 comments
As the second wave of registrants stood in multiple lines in the lobby of the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles on the morning of Friday, June 2, the Los Angeles Audio Show was already off to a promising start. And what a promise it was. The night before show's open, when I encountered the force behind LAAS, Bob Levi of the Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society, in a hotel elevator, he told me that pre-registration had already topped 7500 people. That number, it seems, has set new records for attendance at an audio show in Southern California. It also undoubtedly sets a pre-registration record for any first-time high-end audio show in the US that welcomes the general public.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 03, 2017  |  1 comments
At the opening ceremony (left–right): Chip Moore (Executive Vice President Programming, LAOCAS), David Robinson (PFO), John Atkinson, and Marine Presson (LAAS).

Attendees were already moving from exhibit to exhibit on the first five floors of the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Friday morning when the opening ribbon-cutting ceremony began to take form. To John Atkinson went the honor of the opening keynote. Keeping it short, John reflected on his many years as editor-in-chief at audio publications, starting with Hi-Fi News & Record Review in England in 1982. JA's move to take the helm of Stereophile took place in May, 1986, a little over 31 years ago.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 29, 2017  |  4 comments
For a first-time audio show, the Los Angeles Audio Show's (LAAS) June 2–4 stint in the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, adjacent to LAX, could very well move the bar higher for consumer audio show expectations. With 116 active exhibit rooms—participation was intentionally capped so that show manager Marine Presson could keep a handle on things during this initial run—348 brands and manufacturers, and a >8000ft2 HeadGear Planet with 35 booths in the "affordable section" and another five in the "Xtreme section," this looks like it is going to be one helluva show.