Take a mental picture of this: a large modern hotel on the outskirts of Chicago, its rooms stripped of furniture to make way for six or so dining chairs, ready for the exhibition of a high-end audio system. Each room hosts a single exhibitor but each exhibitor may be demonstrating more than one brand. Some exhibitors are the manufacturers themselves, others are US distributors. The audio system demonstrations are usually active – music is played through the hifi system on display – but some static displays can be found in the lobby. The bigger-spending exhibitors get to show in bigger rooms. Some even show off their wares in the ballrooms on the ground and first floors. Show attendees then pay an entry fee for a 3-day pass that gives them access to the hallways of the hotel and allows them to drop in on the high-end audio exhibitors that pique their interest for a listen. This is AXPONA – North America’s largest hi-fi show. Michael Lavorgna visited the 2022 edition – which took place at the end of March – and returns to the podcast with a report on his findings.
Taking place on the other side of the Atlantic this month is the world’s largest hifi show: Munich High-End 2022. It does not take place in a hotel but in a proper exhibition centre called the ‘MOC’ — picture large open halls hosting static displays downstairs and then 100+ active demonstration rooms upstairs. I put a call out last month for Munich High-End 2022 exhibitors to send me (us!) advance notice of any new gear being shown at the MOC in May. Michael and I discuss those submissions in the second half of this podcast.
👉🏻 As mentioned in this podcast…
AXPONA 2022 review
MUNICH HIGH-END 2022 preview