OK, so I wrote this blog entry and am now just posting....guess I have been busy!
Axpona Chicago 2013
A time of firsts and a time of friends, family and good people.
The Axpona Chicago 2013 show was the first audio show in Chicago in the last 15 years. This strikes me as odd for a city that is so rich in musical culture and color. It shouldn't be surprising that the turnout was STRONG and the people who came to our room were eager to enjoy MUSIC!
I had the great fortune of showing with Olu from Dynamic Designs and, for the first time, with John Van of Van L Speakerworks. I have shown with Dynamic Designs in the past, at past RMAF and Newport Audio shows and know their cables to be of exceptional quality and performance. I only met John Van last year, at a presentation that was put on by ModWright, Van L and Dynamic Design cables, for the LA & OC Audio Society. I honestly had not even HEARD of Van L Speakerworks, but I have since learned that he is WELL known in his home town of Chicago!
The goal for the show was simple. Lets put together a simple system of HIGH QUALITY, HIGH PERFORMANCE and HIGH VALUE products! We showed with our KWI 200 Integrated, LS 100 tube preamp and Oppo 105 with tube mods. All cabling by Dynamic Design (Lotus Series) and speakers by Van L included the new Silhouette, and two VERY popular designs from his stable, the Duets and The Quartets.
The Duets are a two way monitor, the Quartets, an MTM monitor and the Silhouette a floor-stand, transmission line 2-way with wood laminate cones. I personally OWN a pair of the Silhouettes, acquired since meeting John last year in OC, so I KNOW how good they are! I had not experienced the Duets before and had only heard the Quartets at the LA & OC meeting last year.
I can only say that this show was a TRUE pleasure, in many ways! First of all, I believe that we produced EXCEPTIONAL sound, with a system of speakers and electronics at a price of < $16K! We were CONSISTENTLY told that our room was one of if not THE best sound at the show, and MANY of the rooms had systems, if not SPEAKERS ALONE, that retailed for over $100,000!
Our room and our system was simple. No fancy lighting scheme, simple but effective room treatments thanks to the good people at ATS, and a lot of GREAT music! I was consistently told that the sound in our room was 'RIGHT', 'NATURAL' and 'BALANCED'. To me it was just MUSIC, in its truest and most natural form.
John Van has quite a following in Chicago, having been an Audio Icon for over 35 years in the Windy City! Our room was consistently full, over the weekend, with old and new customers of John's and people who knew of ModWright and Dynamic Design Cables, but were hearing Van L's speakers for the first time. The synergy between Van L Speakers, Dynamic Design Cables and ModWright Instruments Electronics was very special and very right! It was exciting to see people closing their eyes, tapping their feet and letting themselves be absorbed in the music.
Our music ranged from Bach to Barenaked Ladies to Miles Davis and Alice in Chains….it was an eclectic and refreshing mix and the room was CONSISTENTLY full of people enjoying it all.
For me personally, it was a true pleasure to get to know the people of Chicago, John Van and his entire family, who came out to support their father. It was for me, a powerful weekend that reminded me of WHY I do what I DO! It is about PASSION and it is about MUSIC! John, Olu and Myself all have built our businesses in audio around the same passion. We have all invested a part of ourselves in our products and our businesses. Perhaps this is why the synergy was strong and the attendees could feel it too.
I sincerely hope that there is a show in Chicago again next year, because if there is, I will BE there!
For those of you in the Chicago Area, please visit Van L Speakerworks and check out his FANTASTIC speakers. Van L Speakerworks is ALSO the EXCLUSIVE ILLINOIS dealer for ModWright Instruments. If you are in the midwest and want to audition our products, please make the trip to Van L Speakerworks.