Show Report – California Audio Show 2017

Show Report – California Audio Show 2017

This was one of the best shows we have ever exhibited at and the energy compares favorably to those wonderful first few years at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver.

I was seriously excited about this show, unlike any show since our first shows over 10 years ago. So much so that I hardly slept the night before the first day the show opened [sleeping man walking, I was]. This has been a show that we had talked about exhibiting at since its inception, me being more gung-ho and Neli being more practical. We were planning on moving here [said I], but hadn’t moved yet [said she].

But now we are here and this, our first CAS show, was a blast.



We were a little worried the first morning. We get there on time [a miracle. Seriously, for us, a miracle] and the parking lot is not at all full. We find our way in, look down our hallway… empty. Weird.

We get into our exhibit room, turn off the air conditioning [brrrrr… when we weren’t careful, it got a wee bit frigid in there, especially overnight]. A half hour goes by, only one or two people came in.  Uh oh.

We’ve been to shows when very few people showed up – Vacuum Tube Valley in L.A. next door to old Stereophile Show comes to mind. Send positive vibes to Constantine the show organizer.

Then more people show up. And soon we had a full room.

Music was playing. People were making requests. We were playing their CDs.

The party had just started a little slow.

The parking lot was huge and there is also public transportation.

People were spending more time in rooms listening than milling about in the hallways [unlike CES, for a prime example, which has many people who drive-by listen].



This noise from the airport was minimal – much less than the Alexis Park and even less than LA Audio show earlier this year.

We thought that there were fewer women and young people here than expected on the first two days, but the last day made up for it – so, overall, this was a well-balanced show people-wise [as these shows go].

The array of gear was also nicely diverse, from the $295K Von Schweikert “ULTRA 11” speakers to our $55K Acapella Audio Arts “Cellini High” speakers to the $10K-ish Zu Audio Druid VI or $8K Audio Note AN/E SPe HE speakers and many less expensive.



So many old friends, many, many new friends, several members of the SFAS [San Francisco Audio Society], several Dagogo reporters, The Audio Beatnik[s] :-), RGA [Richard Austin] in from Hong Kong… Wow.

As much as we love them [:-/] it was great not to have a ton of press here. Exhibitors tend to pander to them, ignoring audiophiles, and the vibe gets weird [“this is new”. “no. wait. that is new”. Oops, sorry, nothing new here this year, I guess we must suck].

We discovered more music this show than at any other show in memory.

Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra, “Pictures at an Exhibition” (thanks Dave!)

Valerie Joyce, Michael Wolff “For Heavens Sake” (thanks Valerie :-))

Jaeger & Reid “Bringing You Harmony” (thanks Judi & Bob :-))

Daria “Strawberry Fields Forever” (thanks Joe!)

Blue Coast Collection and Blue Coast Collection II (wonderful, thanks Cookie!)

CAS 2017 Show Demo (thanks Mark!)

The walls of the rooms at the Hilton Oakland Airport, where the show was held, are a little more solid than average, though the ceilings a little lower than I prefer [our boardroom ceiling was about 8 feet]. This made for better than average sound for a show. We expect even better sound next year – the exhibitors learned a lot this year about how to set up our systems to best effect in our rooms over the 3 days of the show [and we can’t wait to try out our ideas! But, you know, I guess we’ll have to :-/].

We were very happy with our room sound – it was our favorite at the show by an extremely wide margin [I always get to hear the sound of all the exhibits but this show even Neli got out to hear several of the large rooms]. This is the sound we are going for, though like everyone else, if we had more setup time we could have made it sound even better 🙂

Our good friends at True Sound had a nicely setup Audio Note room on the second floor. It was especially involving when they played the reel-to-reel tape deck 🙂 [both they and the Von Schweikert room took the trouble to bring superior-sounding tape-decks to the show].

All the exhibitors learned a lot about the rooms this year, and next year things will sound significantly better – and, because they sounded pretty good this year, that portends great things for the CAS 2018 🙂



Dagogo CAS 2017 Show Reports (the local show sponsor)

The Audio Beatnik CAS 2017 Show Report (great report from one or our local audio mags)

Facebook (Jeremy Robison Kipnis) CAS 2017 Show Photos (he does things with a smartphone that I didn’t know could be done. Good to know. Good… to… know…)

Cheers: CAS 2017 Show Report (more photos)

Audio Federation (this blog): CAS 2017 Show Report (the category for CAS 2017)

More links will be added as we discover them.

So, that’s about it for this show. Until next time… keep the show going no matter where you live.



Audio Federation, Acapella Audio Arts, Audio Note UK, Harmonic Resolution Systems

Spatial Audio Lab, Vinnie Rossi, Audirvana

Von Schweikert, VAC, Masterbuilt, ASC

Rogers High Fidelity, Oppo Digital (, Burwell & Sons)

Booths and Lecture Hall

LX Speaker Factory, Wyred 4 Sound, Minidsp, Raspberry Pi

Volti Audio, BorderPatrol, Triode Wires Lab

Burwell & Sons

Eficion, Line Magnetic, Exemplar Audio, Plinius 

Fritz speakers, Channel D, Parasound, WyWires 

Pass Laboratories, Vienna Acoustics

Audio Note UK, True Sound, Technics

Tannoy, Prima Luna, Wireworld, SIM2, NAS

Napa Acoustic 

Genesis, Syncopation, Profundo

Zu Audio, Pass Labs

Margules Group

PureAudioProjects, Exogel, VeraStarr Cables

Sound Lab, Pass Labs, Pranawire, Spiral Groove, Quadraspire

Martin Logan, Pass, MiT, Aurender




Audio Federation, Acapella Audio Arts, Audio Note UK, Harmonic Resolution Systems – California Audio Show 2017

And now we come to our exhibit room at the CAS 2017.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit our room and take a listen. We could not have wished for a better welcome from our new local community. Seriously, you all are awesome. Please come visit, it would be so much fun to see all of you more often.

Thanks also to Constantine [show organizer extraordinaire], Chris [security and all-round helpful guy], and Alex [hotel general manager and, we suspect, a potential audiophile ;-)]

Neli swapping CDs…

The system was centered around some interesting artwork that came with the room [a deer with a really crazy shadow?]. Neli thought it worked great though we both usually prefer more vibrant colors…

Somebody [not me, name starts with ‘N’] decided to organize the giant CD folder late Thursday night before the show :-O


The Acapella Cellini speakers have a wonderfully artistic industrial design – but can really rock out [as many people can attest – both Hermann and Neli, and even I for several songs of the rock & roll genre, have a tendency to have a heavy finger on the volume control]

Lucy Valea-Winters [Hermann’s wife] brought and professionally setup the roses. [Thanks Lucy :-)]

The Audio Note UK CDT Five transport and DAC Five Signature DAC. We ran Acapella’s forthcoming LaMusika music server through the [“fabulous”as Neli puts it] DAC Five Sig.

The purplely glow of the Acapella ion [plasma] tweeter.

The Acapella La Musika integrated amplifier is on the bottom shelf of the HRS [harmonic resolution systems] SXR equipment rack

Yes. We play CDs. In this case on one of the best CD transports in the world.

The view of the system from the side where Neli spent most of the show.

Our poster is shiny, unfortunately, but we’ve had it seemingly for-ev-er, and have grown fond of it.

We got to meet several wonderful couples at this show.

Hermann Winters [Acapella Audio Arts] being the masterful DJ.

The show is over. Turn out the lights.

Ah. The show has only moved. 😉

Hope to see everybody here at our “show away from the show” in Palo Alto. But, if you find you can’t make it, then we hope to see you next year at CAS 2018!