The California Audio Show Part 1

The eighth California Audio Show ran from July 27-29 at the Oakland Airport Hilton, the same venue as last year. Also like last year, the weather was spectacular during the run of the show; the characteristic fog burned off by mid-morning every day, revealing clear and sunny skies and highs of 68-70 degrees F, with a nice breeze off the bay. It’s hard to separate the venue and the weather from the exhibits and vibe of the show; the site and setting are a major part of the show’s appeal.

CAS has never been a huge show, and recent years have seen, shall we say, negative growth. Historically, both exhibitors and attendees have welcomed the show’s smaller size and less-hectic pace relative to major shows like RMAF, Axpona, and Munich; the fact that show-goers have had easy access to designers and the time to chat with them has been a major plus.

Lunch or a beer outside? Don’t mind if I do!

Come on—what other audio show has a gazebo?

Dr. Mark Waldrep of AIX Records was in the vendor area.

Industry vet Steve Holt brought a van-load of rarities from his record store, The Audio Nerd.

The crew at Reference Records offered Keith Johnson’s immaculate recordings.

Discussion panels covered topics like speaker design (with David Bernhagen, Bernhagen-Porter; Sam Wisniewski, Destination Audio; Julian Margules, Margules Group; Murray Harmon, Muraudio; David MacPherson, Studio Electric; and Rong Zhang, Unisinger. Art Noxon of ASC Tube Traps gave a presentation on power balance in listening rooms. Amplifier manufacturers were represented by Julian Margules (again, doing double duty); EJ Sarmento, Wyred 4 Sound; and George Counnas, Zesto. Record labels were represented by Mark Waldrep, AIX Records; Cookie Marenco, Blue Coast Records; and Keith Johnson and Marcia Martin, Reference Recordings. Finally, a panel of writers and Editors included Dave Clark, Carol Clark, and Malachi Kenney from Positive Feedback; Jack Roberts from The Audio Beatnik; David Snyder and David Blumenstein from Dagogo; and yours truly, from Copper.

Me, Dave Clark, David Snyder, David Blumenstein, Carol Clark. Other days, Mal Kenney and Jack Roberts participated.

Aaudio Imports had the distinctive Wilson-Benesch speakers and Ypsilon electronics…starkly-lit.

Destination Audio horns may be very dynamic—but you couldn’t tell, given the tinkly cocktail jazz.

The Triangle Art/Angel City system produced full-bodied, dynamic sound. Most enjoyable.

Audio Federation’s Acapella/Audio Note system was terrific, and they played great music.

Napa Acoustic showed this cute little integrated, along with their usual wall-hung “painting” speakers.

Unisinger’s speakers were…distinctive. ;->

Dave and Carol Clark chatted with Sean Casey of Zu Audio.

In the next issue of Copper, we’ll run through the rest of the rooms at the California Audio Show!