The 2017 Los Angeles Audio Show held at the Sheraton Gateway was very well organized.

  • Driving to the venue from Downtown LA wasn’t bad at all at 10 am.
  • Parking was a breeze.
  • Check-in was easy, the event booklet was helpful, and there was even signage on the elevator doors to direct you to some of the hottest rooms.
  • I never had a problem traversing the 3-point hallways of some of these floors and there wasn’t a moment where one of them wasn’t filled with beautiful music.
  • As far as food, I ate at the Costero restaurant for three nights and thought the food was fantastic. They were even passing out booze on the first floor.

Being there on the day before and the hours after the show, it’s amazing the amount of work some of these vendors have to do to get these rooms ready. Their efforts are shown both audibly and visually in the rooms. I was only able to cover the 5th floor on the first day, fortunately some of the very best sound were on this floor.

The best part of the show was listening to all the designs. It’s difficult to isolate which component you’re actually listening to so the setups themselves are a curation of some of the best ears in the industry. In addition, the rooms were suboptimal and some were unable to perform room correction on their systems. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, many of these rooms sounded absolutely incredible. I was impressed with the effort these guys made to ensure the speakers were voice properly.

Overall the event was a very smooth and enjoyable experience. Admittedly, the attendance could’ve been better (sweet spots were obtainable in most rooms) but I thought this was a fantastic first show. I also felt it to be much more seamless and orderly than the 2016 Newport Show. There was less cognitive load and just more musical enjoyment. Kudos to those who help put all this together. Your efforts paid off and I’m sure it’ll only get bigger and better next year. I’m sure LAAS 2017 was only a glimpse of what’s to come.

Day 2 & 3 Coverage

Probably the most WTF setup at the show. HFC debuting the Pro Elite RCA interconnects. Surprisingly they were able to go through airport security without being stopped. o_O

Wyred 4 Sound’s DAC-2v2SE 10th Anniversary Limited Edition DAC

These TAD Micro Evolution ONEs ($12,495) had some of the best tactility I’ve heard at the show. It’s definitely the kind of sound that sings to me emotionally and has me slowly pulling out my wallet. Jonathan Derda from Mofi was describing the very interesting cabinet design which allows it to produce an enormous amount of low-end that competes with much larger floorstanders. One of my favorites from the show and one of the few speakers I revisited during my 3-day visit.

Fantastic room design and sound.

These Wharfedale Diamond 225 are great sounding speakers. Although the demo was more about IsoTek’s power conditioning, these sub $500 speakers sounded great even with a $8 surge protector. One of favorites from the show and an easy recommendation.

The Acapella Cellini ($55,200): Silky, seductive, and smooth. I had a great time talking to Neli (Cornelia) and spent quite a bit more time in this room than others. So musical and effortless.

Aurender’s new wireless speaker. Sounds pretty dam good for a wireless (~$3k). Just get the battery at Home Depot.

Michael from Elite Audio Systems always keeps it groovy with this selection of music. Although the room wasn’t optimal, he’s one of the best in the industry when it comes to the art of setup.

Had a great time chatting with the guys at Voodoo. Awesome guys.

Esoteric K-01X/N-05/G-01X/F03A and Canton Reference 3K ($15,600): Another memorable setup at the show.

Inside out, the Jadis stuff is absolutely stunning.

The BBBs didn’t disappoint. No one left their seats and the icing on the cake for the first day.

Vivid Audio Giya G1 – Six-figure sound at its finest. Absolutely exquisite, dynamic, and well textured sound in this room.

YG up in the hizzouse!

One of the most beautiful acoustic treatments at the show.

The Vapor/EMM Labs room was superbly fun and got everyone’s head bobbing.

Authority Monster

All-in-one solutions for small spaces and dorm rooms.

Had a nice chat with Sean. I thoroughly enjoy the look of these Zu Audio Druid 6 single-drivers. A very high-resolution and transparent sound. Hoping to get a few of their smaller models in for review.

Ampsandsound’s wonderful decor

Tidal Contriva G2 Speakers – So much authority while preserving a delicate musicality.

Gamut El Superiores S5 Speakers (~$26,000)

Gary from Audiophile Zone did a fine job voicing these Spendor D9 speakers.

Magnets make music but they’ll also make muscles if you were to curl these HFC Pro Elite RCA interconnects.

Had a great time chatting with Alex Siufy from Alma Audio. Mesmerizing and sultry music coming out of this YG + Aqua Acoustic Formula + Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server setup. Although it’s difficult to discern which component I’m hearing, I recognize the Aqua Acoustic signature from the La Scala II. As far as servers are concerned, I’ve heard the Sound Galleries music server is currently the one to beat.

The demo by Bjorn Hegelstad at IsoTek made apparent how power conditioning could improve the dynamics and clarity of a system. The first thing that hits me was a much blacker background with more delineation from voices and instruments. Going from a cheap surge protector to the Polaris, huge difference. Doesn’t even sound like the same recording. Going from the Polaris to the Aquarius the differences weren’t as stark but it indeed provided more air, control, and resolution.


Day 2 & 3 Here!