It’s early Saturday morning here in Rosemont, Illinois. Mona and I will be headed to the Westin Hotel shortly and get ready for day two of the AXPONA show. Yesterday, was surprisingly busy for a Friday. I think AXPONA has eclipsed all other North American audio trade shows. It’s well organized, professionally run, and supported by knowledgeable individuals. Kudos to Joel Davis and his entire team.

We arrived on Wednesday evening but didn’t get access to the Lakeshore B ballroom until the next morning. There were three palettes from Harman loaded with almost 1000 pounds of speakers…the 5 Revel Salon IIs, a large rolling road case with the equipment from Benchmark, and the projectors from JVC. Usually, it takes the entire setup day to chase down the equipment, unpack everything, and set everything up. But after only 3 hours, the first AIX Records Blu-ray discs were producing sound through the 5.1 surround system. And it sounds absolutely amazing! It’s great to have partners that know how to efficiently pull a room together.

We had lunch at about 1 pm and my wife and I decided to head downtown to visit the lake front and tour the Art Institute of Chicago (which was incredible…Van Gogh exhibit, the Bean, and lots of other well know modern art!). We had dinner in the city before heading back to the Westin.

A couple of notable things happened yesterday. More than a couple of visitors and even a couple of press came by and told me that we clearly have the best sounding room of the show…for the second year in a row. At one point a gentleman came up to me and said he didn’t realize there was a demo room behind our sales tables and believed that a live ensemble was performing in the ballroom!

During one of the slower moments in the afternoon, a guy pulled a Miles Davis recording out of his bag and asked if he could hear it through our system. It was a classic recording of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival on a CD. I don’t usually let others play their music through our setup. After all, I am the record company but I was curious about the fidelity of the CD and pushed it into the tray of the Oppo player. Honestly, the sound was boomy, the drums out of balance, there was no sound stage, the image was as flat as a piece of paper, and both the bass and high-end were dull. It was virtually unlistenable. In spite of the terrific musicianship, rare performances, and great music being played, the fidelity was so trashed that I hit the stop button and suggested we swap in my recording of Wallace Roney, one of Miles’ protégés. The AIX Records Blu-ray was everything that the CD wasn’t…rich, deep, resonant, and fabulously clear.

I showed off the new book. I printed 25 copies of the book in progress (it’s lacking the illustrations, and a number of chapters are unfinished but it’s coming along). And after the end of the show, I held the first of two seminars on MQA, high-end production, and how to avoid expensive mistakes. Once again, it was standing room only. During the two hours, we talked about a variety of topics…very enjoyable.

Thanks to everyone that came by and said hello. On to day two…

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