T.H.E. (First Post-Pandemic) Show Starts Today

It's been a long time coming, but it is finally happening. As I write these words, T.H.E. Show (aka The Home Entertainment Show), the successor to the late Richard Beers' original T.H.E. Show that began as an alternative high-end showplace to CES, is about to begin in the Long Beach Hilton. (That's Long Beach, California, for the uninitiated.) Dealers and exhibitors have set up in 20 or so rooms and numerous marketplace booths, said their prayers, enjoyed dinner in the hotel or in downtown Long Beach, and begun to burrow in for the night. As they do, components cook, cables settle, and the acoustic gods and karmic gatekeepers prepare to hold their traditional midnight meeting of the minds to decide each exhibitor's fate.

This may be the smallest audio show Stereophile has ever covered, but its significance as the first US audio show in over a year cannot be overstated. In addition to a number of big-name brands and premieres, this three-day show promises a number of new companies who have a good chance to make a favorable impression. Although attendance is strictly limited by California and Hilton safety protocols—even the number of chairs is limited—the ratio of attendees to exhibits suggests that many rooms will be full a lot of the time.

I'm curious about lots of things. Right after I reached the hotel on Thursday evening, I headed to the second floor to see what was happening. Who did I discover but longtime distributor and show exhibitor Brian Ackerman of AAudio Imports? Many of Brian's brands are familiar—Aurender, Ypsilon, and Wilson Benesch amongst them—but there are also some extremely impressive cables (Stage III from the USA), power conditioning (HB Design from Germany) equipment platforms and footers (Stacore from Poland), and room treatment (Stillpoints), that by their very appearance demand attention. Though it's impossible to evaluate their individual contributions to system sound—that can only be accomplished by trying them, one at a time, in a known reference system—you can be sure that I'm going to be asking about them when the show opens.

My goal is to search out what's new and exciting, whether from familiar companies or relative unknowns. Some reports I'll write up during the show, but others I'll save for when I get back to Port Townsend and recover from the shock of going from 80° sun to 60°gray. Sometimes I'll focus on just one room, and other times I'll combine them. After a very mixed up year, why not mix it up?

T.H.E. Show opens today at noon California time at the Hilton Long Beach, 701 West Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90831, and runs though Sunday June 13. Please stay tuned.

Anton's picture

Jason, we will be living vicariously through you!!!

rt66indierock's picture

I’m there too. Hope to catch up with JVS and few others.

thatguy's picture

I'm excited that the show is happening and I really look forward to your reports.

JohnG's picture

The list of attendees was a bit underwhelming.


klosterman's picture

Don't even comment, asshat.

Jack L's picture


Don't take it too easy yet. Variant COV-19 is still there bigtime. e.g. Delta,....

Make sure got fully vaccinated with approved vaccines (Phizer & Moderna only) & bring receipts with you as in some public arears, the security guards at the entrance may demand inspection of full-vaccination receipts.

Have you heard there was ban to & performers & audience to a Broadway performance who have not got fully vaccinated with approved vaccines ??

Don't hold your breath yet, fans !

Jack L

PS: thanks goodness, I am fully vaccinated with Phizer.