The Home Entertainment Show is in NYC this year. Click here for more information:
Have been attending CES for many years. To see everything takes more than a day or two, in my experience, so I attend all four days and find it worthwhile. Although audiophiles can usually finagle their way in, I don't know if I can recommend it for all consumers because it is overwhelming and, let's face it, it's in Las Vegas, which incidentally is getting expensive. A lot of folks are finding RMAF to be the show to attend, and I can see why. Laid back, everybody's in a good mood, well organized and easy to get things taken care of, no union hassles and associated exorbitant costs, and so on. The hotel in Denver is very accessible, and there are plenty of places to eat nearby. I haven't been to a Stereophile show in several years, but they're OK.
Harrygoldsmith, Stereophile had announced on their website before their show last year that this year's show was going to be in Chicago. But that didn't happen because they were firm about wanting to hold it at the Palmer House Hilton, and by the time they got around to trying to reserve a date the only dates open were in February and July. Cross your fingers, they said the 2008 show will be here.
I attended two of the VSAC in Washington and loved their seminars and shootout among vacuum tubes, but it dried up. The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver replaced it. In someways it is superior to the VSAC, such as having more demonstrators including some bigger companies, and some ways not its equal, such as not having real seminars by authorities or interesting demonstrations, or awards for DIYers' projects.
Nevertheless, the RMAF has displaced the CES and THE Show from my perspective. Many manufacturers avoid CES because of the expense, which increased with going to the Venetian and THE Show as the San Tropea is just too run down and now isolated from high end at CES.
I have attended several shows abroad, they are all better than CES in my experience.
I should say that shows are now invaluable given the rapid decline of local dealers and few of the remaining having much choice. Of course, Audiogon and AudioAsylum all at least partially fill this void also.
IMO, the show to attend is RMAF. CES and the Stereophile show primarily cater to manufacturers and distributors. Setting aside the cost and stone cold quality of CES - and the ridiculous cost for any out-of-town attendees to the Stereophile show in NYC (not to mention the cost to exhibitors) - RMAF is geared to the enthusiast/consumer. I suspect we'll continue to see RMAF grow although CES will continue to survive in LV. FWIW, I've attended several CES', more than a half dozen NABs and a like amount of COMDEX' in LV. I can't stand the place but it can handle a ton of exhibitors and attendees. Unless you're into horrible traffic, brash neon lights, questionable architecture, gambling and cigarette smoke, LV is no place to park a show...makes Denver all that more attractive.
if you are a serious audiophile, ces has a greater variety of manufacturers than other shows based in the US.
i have been going to las vegas for over 10 years. i suspect the cost of going to colorado will exceed what it cost me to fly, eat and stay at a hotel in las vegas, provided i don't gamble, which i don't.