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I was in Irvine for business yesterday and decided to stay over and pop into T.H.E. Show at the Hilton Costa Mesa. It’s been many years since I’ve been to and audio show and it was quite fun. I listened to Von Schweickert, Acora (new $250K big ones), Magico S3, Tannoy, YG, Audionote, Cabasse, Focal, Klipsch Heritage, Linkwitz, Lansche, Linn, Boenicke, TAD, Raido,  Estelon, PBN, Peak and a few others that I wasn’t familiar with including some $300K 6 cabinet 6ft tall array playing with all Dartzeel electronics. 

I know it’s hard to get good sound at these shows but I didn’t hear anything that really impressed me in comparison to my Kentos. The Magico room sounded pretty good but was somewhat analytical sounding.  The YGs were their new lower priced line (Peaks Ascent) and sounded pretty good with Dan D’agostino monoblocs driving them.  Most of the high end speakers sounded unnaturally bright to me.  The Focal Utopia(?) was definitely not my cup of tea.  The little Boenicke W8s from Switzerland were interesting for their small size but at $22K. The little bookshelf Cabasse are completely self contained with DAC, streamer, room correction mic with cloud based DSP, individual driver class D amps (1000 watts total) for $3300. They sounded pretty impressive for the size for non-critical listening. Could be a good solution for an office or bedroom.  

Many of the high end speakers had built in amplification for bass drivers. Interesting trend that validates Richard’s designs. 

Some interesting electronics I saw were Westminster Labs, Vitus, Margules, Moonriver ($5K integrated), Soulution, darTZeel, and CH Precision.  The Swiss stuff is beautiful but, wow, is it expensive. 

The show is on through Sunday if you are local and want to check it out. 


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Thanks for sharing guys. I keep hearing about the Westminster gear. I’ve heard the CH line many times.  It’s really good, but I can’t u set stand the cost of them. Often times I’m not I love with the Uber expensive electronics as they can be bright and or sterile to my ears. The darTZeel gear is outstanding and stuff that is own if given to me lol.  My buddy sells a fair amount of it and also feels it’s about as good as it gets. 

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