California Audio Show Starts Friday

The 5th annual California Audio Show takes place August 15–17 in the four-star Westin SFO hotel in Millbrae, CA. Easily accessible via the freeway or BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), this smaller-scaled show showcases rarely encountered big speakers from Dynaudio, Genesis, JBL, and Sound Labs.

"The uniqueness of this show is that even though it's smaller than many, it's in a hotel with a very comfortable, luxurious ambience," show organizer Constantine Soo tells Stereophile. "Attendees will be able to revisit their favorite rooms, linger, and really gain a strong impression of the sound of the systems they like. And we're also showcasing major products not seen at other shows."

This writer, who will again be covering the show for Stereophile, can only agree about the location. Not only is the hotel itself quite comfortable, but it also has some of the better sounding small and large rooms encountered in a hotel environment. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that exhibitors have commandeered 13 large rooms out of an estimated 34 total. And while the hotel may be close to SFO airport, it sits right on the water, with a lovely and surprisingly serene view.

A welcome repeat visitor to CAS is Grammy Award-winning producer and recording engineer Cookie Marenco, who will again do live recording and playback in the large Sony room on the 2nd floor. Another return highlight will surely be the intimate HeadMasters exhibit room, which includes headphone listening to the finest issues from Reference Recordings.

New is Danish classical and baroque concert soloist Ida Riegels, who provides a live reference via cello and recorder almost every afternoon. Riegel, who founded the young musicians "Cake Concerts" in Copenhagen, writes of her craft, "I am interested in what happens between the audience and the musicians: how the listener, in a subtle way, becomes part of the performance, and how an alert and connected audience subtly influences the performer into breathing life to the music. Classical music is fascinating because it is spoken in a language that reaches deep into the emotions of people in a manner that transcends one's own culture or upbringing. One could say that depth of feeling can be more clearly expressed in music than in any spoken language."

The seminar line-up looks quite good. In addition to two Ask the Editors panels, Oliver Masciarotte, Rolf Hartley of Sonic Studio, and John Mingo of Baetis Audio will offer some unusual seminars on digital audio, one of which addresses room acoustics management via Amarra. Not to be outdone, Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Vinyl / Pure Music) shows up on Sunday to repeat the Vinyl Ripping session he recently presented to what is now the San Francisco Audiophile Society.

CAS offers single-day tickets at a reasonable price, as well as special hotel rates for out of town visitors. Hope to see you there.

audiocaptain's picture

I'll be traveling to the show for the first time. I went out for the first event but got stuck in Bolinas. Not a bad place to be stuck.