The California Audio Show Starts Friday

The California Audio Show returns to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Burlingame August 3–5. Produced by Constantine Soo's, and sponsored by Stereophile, The Absolute Sound,,,, and San Francisco Classical Voice (, Northern California's only show aimed at audiophile consumers promises 36 exhibit rooms stocked with equipment from at least 100 manufacturers.

This year, a host of Northern Californians have chosen to venture onto Highway 101, drive from nearby San Francisco International Airport, or shuttle from BART to attend the show. As of July 24, a good 600 three-day tickets had already been sold for the show. Given that in 2011, 1100 tickets were sold at the door, Soo has hopes of healthy attendance. Whether his decision to focus advertising on the two major print audiophile publications plus DaGoGo will fulfill one of the show's purposes, "to introduce the hobby to a new generation of audience," remains to be seen.

Attendees will find their visit filled with rewards. AudioVision of San Francisco promises four rooms that include the US premiere of the new KEF LS50 monitor, the new Simaudio 380D DAC, new Dali Epicon 6 floor-standing loudspeaker, and new tube electronics from Mexican manufacturer Margules.

Not to be outdone, Music Lovers of San Francisco and Berkeley, in conjunction with Oakland-based distributor Musical Surroundings, promises Wilson Audio's mighty Alexandria XLF loudspeakers and Thor's Hammer subwoofer paired with the first Northern California showing of the AMG Viella 12 Wood turntable. Powering them, also in their first Northern California show appearance, are the VTL Siegfried Series II Reference monoblocks, TL7.5 Series III Reference preamplifier and TP6.5 Signature phono preamplifier. The second Music Lovers room will include the Synergistic Audio Tranquility Base component shelves whose noticeable effects rocked John Atkinson's boat in Newport Beach, and, for all I know, will sink mine.

Loggie Audio of Redwood City will pair the YG Acoustics Anat Studio Signature III speakers with the Esoteric D-02 DAC and P-02 CD/SACD transport. And a new speaker company, Burwell & Sons, promises a reincarnation of the ultra-efficient Altec Lansing A7 in a cabinet half the size but a price that dwarfs that of the original.

Audio Image of Oakland brings the Magico S-5 loudspeaker to North California, along with the Northern CA debut of the new Kronos Audio counter-rotating Dual Platter turntable and the final iteration of the Auraliti L-1000 music file player. Audio High of Mountain View and Los Angeles promises yet another listen to the KEF Blade, this time driven by Chord electronics.

Tone of Music in San Francisco will present a first listen to Franco Serblin's compact monitor, the Accordo, which is hand-built in Italy. A Southern California interloper, Angel City Audio of Rancho Cucamonga, debuts Melody's brand new AN845 integrated amplifier and P2688 preamplifier. There will also be several foreign companies, including Audio Note UK, Bared, and Music First Audio. And, of course, no show would be complete without a major exhibit from MBL.

"Burlingame is a very good place to have a show because of the high concentration of venture capitalists," says Soo. "There is a good proportion of people with disposal incomes who want products with tremendous value."

In addition to lots of unique offerings for the venturesome and the bargain conscious, the Bay Area Audiophile Society will host a Hospitality Suite. Audio Luxuries is carting in many thousands of LPs, The Cable Company and other vendors will pedal their wares, and the award-winning San Francisco Classical Voice website, for which I write, will have a display that includes a classical CD giveaway.

MIT promises two seminars, "Listening to the Science of Audio" and "The Sonic Benefits of High-Resolution Audio." Kimber Kable will bring its IsoMike engineers to chat with folks. Equally exciting, Blue Coast Audio and OTR Studios will again present live E.S.E. (Extended Sound Environment) recording to DSD (direct stream digital), engineered and produced by Cookie Marenco. Soon after the performances—see schedule here—the recordings will be uploaded for DSD, 96 and 44.1 download.

Stay tuned for complete show coverage by yours truly starting on August 3, with posts appearing over the next 5 days or so.

Et Quelle's picture

I've got my tix. It is my first time at an highend audio show and my wife and I will have a blast. Probably no alcohol there, but I will be mentally in another world! Gotta see the sytems that costs more than a porsche. Who cares cars fade quickly!

anomaly7's picture

I plan on attending two days of the show. Last year, one day was not enough and I missed 3 floors! Is there a Pete's near by?  I may made need some caffeine boosters to keep me going.

Looking forward to your blogs Jason-

Mortsnets's picture

I really liked the Tannoy Westminster Royal speakers in the Blue Moon Audio room.  The nearby Vintage Audio Fair also had some killer Tannoy's: 15" silver dual concentric.  Also suprised how good the sound was from the DIY speakers featuring Audio Nirvana 15"  Neo's in the Bay Area Audiophile club room.

169glazier's picture

I was very surprized to see one manufacture to have everything for your HiFi system Amp, Preamp, Speakers, Cables, Dac, Line conditioner its a one stop shopping.

All the componets were top notch. I rated the system best sound of the show.

Great Job.      I cant wait till the next show.