The Hub: Axpona comes to Atlanta!

Audiogon attended the inaugural edition of Axpona (The Audio Expo of North America) in Jacksonville, Florida, last year. Along with the attendees and industry folk, we were pleased at the reappearance of an audio show on the east coast, and felt that the new show had a great deal of potential (as detailed in our exclusive room-by-room coverage of the show).

This year, promoters Steve Davis and Andrew Spaulding have taken the show on the road, with the road being I-75, and the destination being the newly-remodeled Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. It's an easy target to find, smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta near I-75 and I-85; just don't make the newbie error of confusing Peachtree Street with Peachtree Center Avenue, or you'll run in a Peachtree loop for days. Atlanta, how we love thee!

The show, running April 14-17, is once again sponsored by our friends at Stereophile, with a full schedule of seminars presented by John Atkinson, Michael Fremer, Stephen Mejias and Robert Reina. This year Axpona also welcomes Goldmine, the long-running magazine for record-collectors, as a co-sponsor. On the main show-floor, the Goldmine Showcase will feature dozens of sellers of LPs, CDs, and music memorabilia. It's a natural fit with an audio show, and should be a great addition.

Other seminars will be presented by Richard Rives Bird of Rives Audio, well-known as America's premier designer of audiophile listening rooms, and Jim Smith, author of the book, "Get Better Sound", and perhaps the world's best-known authority on system set-up. Also presenting will be Rob Robinson, digital designer of Channel D, Steve Rochlin of Enjoy The Music , and the folks from AIX Records, who will be discussing the future of HD downloads and 3D Blu-ray audio discs. It's an intriguing and wide-ranging group of seminars, and offers something for all varieties of 'philes.

Exhibitors at the show run the alphabet from Aaudio to Ypsilon (where's ZYX, when you need them?), and range from affordable lines like Audioengine, Glow Audio, Madisound, and the apt-for-Atlanta Peachtree Audio, to the, um, NOT as affordable lines like Lansche, Spiral Groove, Scaena, and Daniel Hertz. You may recall that last name as the latest offering from Mark Levinson-the-man, as mentioned in a previous installment of The Hub. This will be the first U.S. appearance for Daniel Hertz, and should be interesting to see and hear.

The always-got-somethin'-up-his-sleeve Steve Davis has just announced that a classic and exotic car show will take place during Axpona, and promises much more musical entertainment in addition to the previously-announced University of West Georgia Saxophone Ensemble. Advance tickets are available on the Axpona site at only $35 for all three days; the term "affordable" is often abused in the audiophile world (don't get me started!), but thirty-five bucks really IS affordable, and might well be less than a family outing to Mickey D's would cost. Bring the family, bring the newbies, bring the folks who own table radios from the B-brand.

Axpona is the kick-start to a killer spring and summer of American audio shows, as detailed in our Audiophile Calendar. As the number of brick and mortar audio specialists has declined in the U.S., consumer shows like Axpona, RMAF, and THE have gained in importance. For many audiophiles and newbies, shows offer the only opportunity to see and hear a brand; and for new and upcoming manufacturers, the shows offer invaluable exposure. Not to beg... but please, please, PLEASE for the sake of our hobby and our industry, GO TO THESE SHOWS. And loosen up and SPEND a few bucks, willya?

Thank you. Seriously, just GO. It'll be fun!
Will people be writing their impressions of the rooms and sound from the show on this thread or will there be separate coverage (photos and print)?
Decent show; just returned from three days at Atlanta AXPONA. Sheraton was a very nice venue overall and the many of the rooms had better than average sound. Especially enjoyed the DaVinci DAC with the Wilson Sophia's and Pass amps in room 317; nicest DAC sound that I have ever heard. The MBL room was also very nice; not as 'bright' or 'hot' as they usually are at RMAF.

The Highwater Sound room with TW-Acustic turn tables were very good as always; the Raven Black Knight and AC are AWESOME!
Overall this show was very disappointing and very poorly attended.
Montreal a few weeks back was way more interesting.