The Hub: California Audio Show - First time's a charm

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Audio dealers will tell you that things are tough these days, and finding new customers continues to get tougher. That's why audio shows open to the public are vital to the health of the industry: in one day, in a non-threatening environment, newbies can get a sense of the depth and breadth of the biz, and some idea of what they might like.

So when Dagogo's Constantine Soo couldn't find anyone willing to put on a west coast audio show, he did what tough guys do. He got going, and put on the California Audio Show himself.

The Hilton Garden Inn in Emeryville, across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, never knew what hit it last weekend. The parking lot was full, and standing-room-only was common. This is what's known as a GOOD problem, as opposed to "the halls were so empty you could almost see the tumbleweeds tumbling down the hall", a situation seen at some other first-time audio shows.

The final tally's not yet in, but it appears there were over 1500 attendee-days, to couch it in event-speak. Constantine was so encouraged by the turnout that we can expect at least two more California Audio Shows. "If I can't make money by the third year, then I'll quit," Constantine said, laughing.

A pair of newbies were escorted around the show by Constantine himself. The Chinese Deputy Counsel General and his wife visited several rooms and listened intently to Magico and JBL Everest speakers, as well as a live/recorded session hosted by Blue Coast World. Constantine said, "they totally got it, they were sold. They told me that they were redoing their house and wanted my help in picking a big hi-fi!"With any luck, other newbies will have discovered the joy of good sound, as well.

Audiogon's exclusive room-by-room coverage of the California Audio Show is now online. We have hundreds of pictures and quite a few soundbytes, organized by each room and by each exhibitor.

View Show Coverage: Room by Room | By each Exhibitor
I hope Constantine will consider a California Audio Show in the Los Angeles area.
Thanks so much to Constantine Soo and his crew for producing such a great show! My wife, who does not share the same level of enthusiasm for audio, found the event enjoyable. Hope to see you again next year.

Sincerely, G