The New York Show Starts Friday April 12

What, another audio show? Yes, barely three weeks after the close of Salon Son et Image in Montreal, and five weeks after AXPONA Chicago, the UK-based Chester Group's New York Audio Show gets underway. Running April 12–14 in the New York Palace Hotel (455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street), the show promises perhaps the largest numbers of seminars and live music events of any current audio show in the US.

The NYAS promises 40 display rooms from 13 dealers and 27 manufacturers/distributors, a Headzone filled with gear from nine companies, one marketplace room with lots of goodies, and two extremely juicy "Attraction Rooms" (see below). Among the 250 brands at the show, look for at least one product launch, VPI's direct-drive Vanquish! turntable, whose unique arm is mainly composed of epoxy. Another highlight is sure to be found in Innovative Audio's two rooms, where recording engineer Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio Specialties will hardly need coaxing to share his superb high-resolution master recordings.

Seminars, We Got Seminars
This is one show that puts equal emphasis on music and equipment. For starters, take a look at those "Attraction Rooms." The Spellman Room, jointly sponsored by PMC Loudspeakers, Soundstage Direct, and The Sound Organisation, plans a series of "From Studio to You" seminars with major mastering engineers. Events include an exciting session where Prof. Clive Davis and recording engineer Jim Anderson compare Patricia Barber mixes, other sessions with Barber co-engineer Darcy Proper, an inside look at the recording of Lori Lieberman's CD, Bricks Against the Glass, and, in the early evening, a performance by Lieberman herself.

Not to be outdone, the Garrison Room's Classic Album Sundays offerings include Michael Fremer's ever-popular, immensely entertaining turntable seminars, and Classic Album Sundays listening sessions where founder Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy will host sessions that complement talks about the history of great vinyl albums with uninterrupted, mobile phone-free listening on a superb system. Last but not least are the room's two screenings of Last Shop Standing, a movie which discusses the rise of record shops, the short-lived demise of vinyl, and the rise of CDs and new technologies.

"There's no one who's going to be wandering around, wondering what they might do next," says Christina Yuin, show publicist and high-end audio veteran extraordinaire who knows the industry inside out. In addition to the above, she points to the New York Audio Show's 11 different seminars—no repeats!—scheduled over the course of the three days. Stereophile readers who have followed Art Dudley as he's dismantled and remounted countless components will flock to his joint seminar, with TONEAudio's Jeff Dorgay: "Virtues of Vintage: Audio Gear from the Early Days Of High Fidelity." Of later vintage are seminars from Channel D's Rob Robinson and AIX Records' Mark Waldrep that address the digital download end of things.

Seminar presenters also include Sound & Vision's Brent Butterworth and HDTracks' David Chesky. Cable debunkers may wax ecstatic over Dan Foley's "Cutting the Cord—Will Bluetooth Replace Audio Cables?" And folks in both subjectivist and objectivist camps, if such absolute camps truly exist, will delight as Spiral Groove/Immedia's Stirling Trayle and cyber-security computer specialist Steve Hurd introduce The SLOEMusic Foundation, which has yet more luscious listening in store.

Thanks to Chesky Records, there's additional entertainment. Schedules had not been finalized at press time, but there were hopes of performances, on the 4th floor foyer, by Amber Rubarth, Valerie Joyce with Andy Ezrin, and Louise Rogers.

Not to be outdone, KEF America sponsors jazz guitarist Fabrizio Sotti on Friday from 9-10pm in the "Hubbard 2" ballroom. Free passes to Sotti's celebration of his new album will be available in the KEF suite.

Present and Future
Yuin is hopeful about the acoustics in the Palace. Only one active exhibitor is in a large, air-walled space, and individual exhibit rooms are staggered over multiple floors for optimal sound.

Contacted in the UK, Roy Bird, Honorary Chairman of Chester Group Exhibitions USA LLC, addressed his vision for the New York Audio Show. "I believe that the only venue and location to properly represent high performance audio to new audiences is a hotel like the Palace, which presents the right environment and image for the products on display," he said. "We also have some genuine and unique attractions that will attract a new and vibrant market. And in a further attempt to reach beyond the traditional audiophile audience, 70% of our advertising budget targets non-audio publications and media."

The New York Audio Show has already publicized plans for its third annual show, in 2014, again at the Palace. On April 2, Bird announced that he has been in contact with organizers Richard Beers of T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, Michel Plante of Salon Son et Image, and Steve Davis of AXPONA. Beers, Bird, and Plante agreed that scheduling the next New York Audio Show for April 25–27, 2014 would work best to ensure that there was at least one month between their three shows. However, Davis had announced on March 29 that the second installment of AXPONA Chicago was scheduled for the very same weekend, April 25–27, 2014.

Bird also promises a new series of smaller, exclusive Chester Group high-performance shows backed by "completely new and major media (not audio)," launching in November. The Chester Group is also re-establishing its steering committees, composed of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, to address ongoing issues that include show dates.

NYAS seminar star Art Dudley will join Stephen Mejias, Ariel Bitran, and John Atkinson to report their thrills and discoveries at the show as they trip the life fantastic while traipsing between exhibits and seminars. Here's hoping for the skinny on what Patricia Barber's engineers have to say, and how successful presenters are in getting New Yorkers to slow down and listen to the music. Stay tuned to as the fun begins.

audiocaptain's picture

We are very glad to see that Mr. Serinus mentioned that our show was offically announced prior to the mention of a possible show for the Chester Group next year on the same dates. AXPONA was the first show in April with the Atlanta Event in 2011 and planned to continue with events around these dates. The Chester Group announced a date for NYC April 2012 and we / AXPONA, to avoid conflict with other shows moved to March. With the advent of a very strong Chicago show featuring 90 plus exhibit rooms, 400 plus manufacturers over 70 table displays with over 4300 attendees it was clear to us that later in the spring was the best option. We determined this after almost being blasted by a blizzard the week of the event.

The AXPONA Chicago Show is at the Westin O'Hare April 23-27, as there is a new component as an option to Dealers and Manufacturers on the 23rd, setup day is the 24th and the show 25-27. I would hope that since AXPONA announced and has contracted these dates prior to the Chester Groups announcement, they would show the same courtesy that was afforded them in 2012 by AXPONA and move their show to alternate dates. 

John Atkinson's picture

We received an email from The Chester Group's Roy Bird this morning (April 7) clarifying his position on the 2014 New York Show. The email included the following text:

"As well established Organisers we like stability, and unless a venue (Hotel) lets us down we like to commit long term with them. This is the case with the Palace and we have two dates optioned  and held for us for every year through to 2017.

Both are in April, and the Hotel has acknowledged them . . . So our plan is to stay at the Palace for at least the next 4 years, and beyond. However most Hotels can’t plan beyond this. We always have two dates held, so that we have maximum flexibility!"

Roy Bird. Honorary Chairman
Chester Group (Exhibitions) Ltd

Et Quelle's picture

A show a thousand miles from another show doesn't overcrowd the landscape. How many people will attend both the canada,NY, Chicago and Newport show. It is wonderful! People in every region should have a show every year. Hear the best! Go Barber!

Chrisy's picture


Hear Hear Et Quelle! 

Although this particular situation is of more concern to Exhibitors who are stretched thin, and having a hard time being in multiple places at once.

I received this email from Roy Bird and he asked me to post it. (below).

I recall Roy had reached out to speak with Steve Davis on or around February 28th, sending him 4 separate emails. At the same time Roy was in communication with Michel Plante and Richard Beers, and they all discussed the prospective 2014 dates and how to work around them to ease the pressure on the Exhibitors.

Steve Davis never replied to Roy on this issue but was certainly aware of Roy's 2014 dates.

For Steve Davis to consider a Facebook post on March 25th and a "reply comment" on Robert Deutsch's story "Too Many Shows?" a proper "Industry Announcement" is to my mind, at best extremely disingenuous.

You may all recall that Steve held HIS 2011 New York City Axpona show on June 24-25, so his dates and timeframe have certainly not been "fixed.”

Here’s the post from Roy Bird:

To whom it may concern:

Following considerable criticism from the industry this year that there were no less than three major shows all within a few weeks of each other, ourselves the Chester Group, Richard of the T.H.E. Show group and Michel of SalonSonImage, worked together to try and get better organised for 2014.

The result of those negotiations meant that the Chester Group, exceptionally, moved their show to the end of April, which eased the situation considerably.

Before that we communicated with Axpona several times in an attempt to establish their dates for 2014. Although our communications were diplomatic and sincere, we received no cooperation.

Thus we had no option but to assume that Axpona would keep to their existing slot and Hotel, as they had had a successful show in Chicago so there could be no logical reason to change things.

Last week we formally announced to the International Trade our plans for 2014 including dates for the NEW YORK AUDIO SHOW 2014.

48 hours after that, we received what can only be described as a hurried and brief announcement, advising us that Axpona was going to be moving their show to the same dates as ours, but had also moved Hotels.

Those are the undisputed facts.

This situation is none of our doing, but now we have to deal with it, which we will of course.

Kind regards

Roy Bird. Honorary Chairman

Chester Group (Exhibitions) Ltd

audiocaptain's picture

This is just not true. For people to assume they are being given accurate info from Chester is for them to decide but I say nay. Never told of any dates. Roy contacted me 2 weeks prior to our show pushing me to give him confidential company information and I declined. Nothing was ever mentioned about dates or conversations with other show persons. 

If people choose to post hearsay let it be but we have facts in print for all to see the truth. 


Steve Davis

audiocaptain's picture

Just mentioned the facts since Mr. Serinus said something about it. Don't really want to get into this. We will have some interesting news for everyone soon. Chicago 2014 Westin is going to be awesome. 

Bill Leebens's picture


deckeda's picture

Show organizers will need to communicate with each other if they depend upon press coverage. And that surely seems to be the case.

Then again, is it POST event coverage that's truly needed, or mainly PRE event announcements?

I appreciate the coverage of the overall vibe of shows, but reporting on individual rooms --- what takes so much time and effort from the press --- is mostly worthless to me because good or bad it's hardly representative of the gear's potential IMO.

What I'd love to see are more online videos of the seminars. I've basically given up on RMAF's because it takes them forever to post them. For some reason.

As was mentioned above, so long as shows don't conflict geographically for consumers, it "shouldn't matter" --- but of course the press is expected to always show up, and that's a lot tougher.

Find a way to make it work for everyone, guys, or decide which group (press or consumers) you wind up shutting out.