New York Audio Show 2015 – Report

I attended the New York Audio Show on Saturday November 8, 2015. It was held at the Westchester Hilton in Rye, NY. Apparently the cost and logistics of running a Show in Manhattan are daunting, so they tried a more remote venue this year. I haven't heard if the attendance numbers were sufficient to justify the exhibitor costs - I sure hope so.

It was a smallish show, and Rye is not a tourist area, so I only went down for one day.

There were only two corridors, but there was quite a bit of equipment showing.

There were rooms showing headphones, a more and more common product at these audio shows. I still prefer the big box speakers though. If I lived in an apartment, I would have to reconsider!

I enjoyed the Lawrence Audio "Double Bass" speakers, at $28,000 per pair. But they didn't have quite the bass slam that I like for the rock music I listen to.

There was a room showing big Magnepan planar speakers, but the times I went into the room they weren't playing them! Oh well. I heard them at a dealer at the last Show, and was impressed - they are just gorgeous sounding, but being electrostatics with no regular woofers, they just don't have the bass slam I like.

Triangle was playing a very nice large speaker, the Signature Alpha at $10,000/pair. Triangle has historically produced good speakers at "reasonable" prices, and their rooms at Shows are always interesting.

Technics had some big speakers playing.

One of the best-sounding rooms was playing Accoustic Zen speakers ($18000/pair), but as part of a $100,000 system! I'm not convinced that electronics should be such a large portion of system cost. But it did sound nice...

The Legacy Audio Aeris, $20,000/pair, was showing in a dealer room. This is one step up from the Legacy Focus speakers I have. There seemed to be a lot of sales discussions going on in the room - all the sales people were busy talking to people, so they were ingoring the listeners and not doing much of a demo, and had the sound turned way down. So they weren't really showing off the speakers. This was disappointing to me, because I haven't yet heard these speakers properly demonstrated. I will need new speakers someday, and I'm curious to hear what I can get for more money.

The highlight of the Show for me was a large room playing big Martin Logan electrostatic speakers, the Neoliths, with traditional dynamic woofers to support the bass. It was a nice sound, but it was driven by tube electronics which I think produce a slightly rolled-off treble. The speaker is 75 inches tall, weighs 385 pounds, and costs $80,000 a pair. But being an electrostatic speaker, the top 3/4 is pretty much transparent, so it isn't quite as visually imposing as might be expected.

There were some very big speaker companies not represented at the Show: Focal, Magico, MBL, Raidho, and Wilson. Their speakers are always fun to listen to, and it is interesting to hear what they can do in comparison to my much cheaper system.

Most of the rooms were sponsored by dealers, so they were showing a variety of brands. Dealers are very interested in making contacts with potential customers, so there is a lot of conversation in the room. Rooms that are sponsored by the equipment companies, of which there were more at the previous show, are more concerned with building brand awareness by just playing the equipment, so they are more comfortable for a listener like me to visit.

This was the quietest audio show I've ever been to! Traditionally, the hall is full of sounds aggressively leaking out the various demo rooms, but the halls here were quiet, and the demo rooms were not generally playing their equipment loud. But it may have louder later near closing time, when exhibitors can sometimes get egged on to really crank things up.

Sadly no one was selling CDs at the Show, which is generally an interesting part of a Show. I enjoy seeing what audiophile music offerings are available.

There were some lectures/seminars at the Show, although I didn't get to attend any - the schedules just didn't work out for the ones I was interested in.

Attendance wasn't very heavy, and being there by myself I found it quick and easy to move around, although the more popular rooms were crowded. It did get more crowded as the day went on though. I finished before the Show ended, and was back home for dinner.

Here is a link to a much more in-depth report by an online audiophile site: