2012 T.H.E. Show Newport Beach Report 
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Written by Andre Marc   
Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The second annual Southern California version of T.H.E (The Home Entertainment) Show was a major success by all accounts. T.H.E. Show also takes place in Las Vegas in January during CES. Last year, many in the high-end audio world were stunned at the overwhelming response to the first event, with 6000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors. Press coverage was extensive and many proclaimed it rivaled numerous other established shows in general enthusiasm, attendance, and exhibitor quality.

This year, things were even bigger and better. In addition to the Hilton, a second hotel was added to accommodate the additional interest from exhibitors. 9000 attendees were expected this year and the final tally has yet to be published. One thing is certain; the event's quality was superb, with most of the top echelon manufacturers and distributors on hand.  Southern California’s top dealers were also exhibiting their lines.

Some of the big names in attendance were Audio Research, Wilson, Conrad Johnson, dCS, Magico, Focal, MBL, Kimber, Vandersteen, McIntosh, VTL, Dynaudio, YG Acoustics, and scores of others. There were also hundreds of up and coming brands like Napa Acoustic, Audioengine, Avatar Acoustics, Centrance, Schitt, and more. T.H.E. Show provides these companies with a way to expose their products to large numbers of potential customers and dealers in one weekend.

Along with a ton of hifi, there were other attractions as well. There were several live musical performances and an autograph session with legendary recording artist Jennifer Warnes, gourmet food trucks, and an exotic car show. There was also a marketplace with thousands of LPs, SACDs, and CDs for sale. The sunny Southern California weather certainly added to the ambiance.

There were many outstanding sounding rooms as well. Despite the challenge of setting up a good sounding demo in a strange hotel room, many exhibitors came early and managed to work within those limitations. The mood was upbeat, and many exhibitors were offering refreshments, shopping bags, and other goodies.

Please check out the gallery for pictures from the show!


 

Here are my top 10 T.H.E. Show 2012 rooms in no particular order:

  • One World Audio featuring Lindemann and Voce Audio
  • Magico room featuring the Magico Q3 and Soulution electronics
  • The Audio Salon featuring the Magico S5, Constellation electronics, and a reel to reel.
  • Gene Rubin Audio with Fidelis featuring Harbeth speakers and LFD electronics
  • E.A.R. USA featuring E.A.R. electronics and Marten speakers
  • KEF featuring the KEF Blade speaker and SIM electronics
  • Channel Islands Audio featuring a complete system
  • Raytoc Systems featuring Raytoc and Technical Brain electronics with TAD speakers
  • On A Higher Note featuring Vivid speakers and Luxman electronics
  • Ayon USA with Ayon electronics and Lumen White speakers

 

 

 






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