Retro Drivers

On display in the Hi-Fi News Show ballroom were classic Lowther and Voigt drivers (bottom left is an AC mains-energized field-coil Voigt).

Not mentioned earlier in this report was the fact that there were actually two shows taking place simultaneously this past weekend. For the best part of 20 years, the September Hi-Fi News-sponsored show, usually held at hotels close to Heathrow airport, was the premier UK event. The last few years, however, have seen a steady decline. The decision was therefore made to locate the 2006 Hi-Fi News event at just one hotel, the Renaissance, which was the original venue.

At this point a rival show organiser, Roy Bird of Chesterfield Communications, jumped in and announced an alternative and concurrent show. This would be sponsored by Hi-Fi World magazine, and held in the Park Inn hotel (which had been used by Hi-Fi News for its show for some years previously!)

Gossip and politicking ran for months, with exhibitors choosing one or other, or indeed both—major high-end distributor Absolute Sounds had at least three good-sized rooms in each show! In the event both Shows seemed to go off quite well, and although the trade day (Friday) seemed very quiet in both venues, Saturday was quite busy, and exhibitors I spoke to seemed pleased with attendance. Sunday details and post-show reactions will be reported once everyone has packed up and gone home.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Great blogging, PM! I especially love the coverage of classic gear. The history of hi-fi is fascinating.

John Atkinson's picture

As is the fascinating variety of English hotel carpeting on show!