T.H.E. Show is Back!
We are excited to be at our local hi-fi show
Maurice Jung, president, and Emiko Carlin, senior vice-president, T.H.E. Show, at the screening of T.H.E. Human Side in Los Angeles.
"We're not building up, we're building out."
Let's first get the baggage out of the corridor and packed away. T.H.E. Show is a well-established SoCal event, but a few years ago, it suffered significant brand damage after a messy split that—for a brief surreal period—left the region with two audio shows in the same month. Dealers backed one or the other or backed out entirely, then one show was canceled, and things didn't look great for the Southern California hi-fi community.
In 2018, Emiko Carlin stepped in, joining Maurice Jung at the helm of T.H.E. Show, and by sheer force of will and positive energy that can be felt even when talking to her over the phone, moved us all forward, leaving the confusion behind. "I came on board after the debacle, and I was never going to be embroiled in the drama," says Emiko. "We're here for the community. We are here to be of service."
Shortly after, the pandemic obligingly rolled in.
Emiko can't do much but laugh at the timing, but the longest-running show in North America refused to be capsized by a squall: It was the first to reopen after the shutdown. "We were the second show to reopen in the world," says Emiko. "That's how committed we are to our attendees, exhibitors, and our industry."
By all accounts from last year, T.H.E Show is back, baby, and this year the excitement is as palpable as the soundstage on a PrimaLuna driving Tannoy Kensington*. Ticket pre-sales are at a high, there are about 150 exhibitors signed on, and the displays will stretch over five floors in an expanded venue featuring, enthuses Emiko, "more awesome large-scale rooms."
*Listen to this very combo in Room 244 at T.H.E. Show.
Come listen to this setup at T.H.E. Show, room 246. The Pathos Legacy will be driving the Klipsch Klipshchorn AK6.
An Audio Show Near You
With the beloved Rocky Mountain Audio Fest gone (RIP RMAF!), CES reducing hi-fi focus, and AXPONA all the way over in Chicago, T.H.E. Show is now the show for a huge region. So how does it fit in?
Emiko was very clear on this. "We are not fitting in. We are leading the way."
She described how the T.H.E. enterprise has launched a record company (T.H.E. Music Group) and a radio show (T.H.E. Radio Show). Watchable on the website is the T.H.E. Human Side, a documentary on, you got it, the human side of hi-fi, which had its theatrical premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. (The film won the Grand Prize for Best Short Documentary at the Silicon Beach Film Festival 2021 and won Emiko Best Director at the Silver State Film Festival in the same year.)
The big plan (or, should we say, T.H.E. Big Plan?) with audio shows is to expand across the region, with talks underway for shows in Nashville, Las Vegas, and somewhere in RMAF's old stomping grounds. This is what Emiko means by: "We're not building up, we're building out."
"Rather than occupying 20 stories in one city, I would rather us have smaller shows in four or five cities and hit the regional markets," she says. "We want to have the best-feeling show, where audio becomes family."
Another way to "build out" is to expand the audience for each show. The industry talks a lot about gaining a diverse customer base, but Emiko is forging ahead by simply doing what's needed to bring in humans of all persuasions. It's working. Members of the audio press observed last year that they saw more young people than ever before. Says Emiko, "Most had found us on social media."
Upscale Goes to Orange County
T.H.E. Show SoCal 2023 is from June 9 to 11 at the Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa. Upscale Audio has four locations. Though T.H.E. Show has been going since 1996, this is our first time heading there. The community has grown in the last couple of years, and Kevin Deal, founder of Upscale Audio, says, "My personal love of hi-fi wants me to do everything I can for the industry."
We will be at T.H.E. Headphonium, booths 5 and 6, with our usual show-stopping selection from Aurender, Pathos Acoustics, Feliks Audio, PrimaLuna, Abyss, Dan Clark Audio, Meze Audio, Focal, Sennheiser, and HiFiMAN.
Upstairs, we are in rooms 241, 244, and 246. In room 241, experience the astonishing Cabasse Rialto, as well as the Cabasse Abyss amp and Minorca loudspeakers. Alexandre Paul of Cabasse will be in attendance.
Room 244 will feature PrimaLuna products, including the new EVO 300 Hybrid and the EVO 100 Phonostage, Aurender N150 (music server/streamer), and Tannoy Kensington. Our analog manager Kat Ourlian will be at the helm of a VPI Signature 21 turntable with Soundsmith Hyperion cartridge, playing her unique choice of tracks.
Room 246 is the place to experience Pathos' new $50,000 InPol Legacy integrated amplifier, driving Klipsch Khorn AK6. Sales associate Chris Landfield will be in attendance here, playing demo tracks through an Aurender N200 and Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC.
Power conditioning is by AudioQuest, and all cables are by Cardas Cables.
Driving In To Orange County?
If you're in Southern California or within reasonable driving distance, we hope you'll come to T.H.E. Show, not just to see us but also to support our region's audio community. Will it be your first audio show? Here are some tips.
1) Don't be scared! You are not entering a community of frightful snobs. Hi-fi enthusiasts are warm, friendly, and welcoming and are always excited to meet people who are new to the hobby. Besides, we're there!
2) Use the show directory. Mark the brands and dealers you want to see, and plan to hit just those on the first day. You'll be surprised how a handful of rooms can take an entire morning. Then, based on tip #5, you'll know exactly what you'd like to revisit on Sunday.
3) Minimize waiting. You can take the elevator to the top of the show, then walk the stairs down floor by floor. When you finally have to take the elevator again, perhaps just after lunch, you will appreciate how much time this has saved you. Also, buying advance tickets will save you from waiting in line first thing, especially on Friday and Saturday.
4) Eavesdrop freely. People are always talking about things they love hearing (in fact, this is one time it's good to be waiting for/riding in elevators!), and this is a great way to catch that life-changing room you may not otherwise have visited.
5) Friday for people, Sunday for sound. Friday and Saturday are when all the reps are energized and eager to meet and share. By Sunday, they're flagging, and voices are getting hoarse, but that's when the systems have all settled in and are sounding their best.
MoFi StudioDeck on 40% Sale
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Usually $1,499, the MoFi StudioDeck is on sale for just $899. This rare 40% sale ends June 30.
|MoFi Electronics StudioDeck Turntable
We're Open on Saturdays
The Upscale Audio store at 2058 Wright Avenue in La Verne is open on Saturdays from 9 to 5. We will be running with a smaller crew, and there are a couple of important things to note:
1) As with all other days, you'll need to call ahead and set up an appointment for a specific demo. If you decide to drop by, you won't be turned away, but your auditions will be limited to our headphone station and—only if the rooms are free—whatever systems we already have set up.
2) The warehouse will be closed, so if you need to pick up something, please call ahead, and we'll ensure we bring it over by Friday. If you buy something while you're here, it might be cheaper to ship it! After all, shipping is free above $49, and you'll save a little on La Verne city tax. Unless you live in La Verne...
Please call 909.931.9686 to make a demo appointment.