Extracurricular Activities – AXPONA 2014

A fair amount of fun could be had just roaming the halls of AXPONA. One of our [fan favorites from last year] Man Cave Metal made another appearance, this time with his take on the bookshelf speaker. Sticking with a post-apocalyptic T2 theme, the loudspeakers above do actually work, and are sure to be a conversation starter at you next dinner party. [http://mancavemetal.com]

I first stumbled upon John Yurick late one night playing for a few friends on one of the hotel lobby pianos. The man has unbelievable chops. He was able to play every request thrown at him with the truly skillful mastery only a lifelong veteran can summon. I can honestly say I’ve never sat next to such a talented performer in all my years of playing music professionally. Turns out John has been able to make a career out of it, acting as a composer, music director and professional pianist for multiple soundtracks, radio and TV commercial work. He can also play the Beatles like a kid out in the rain, his rendition of Something is really…something.

Sennheiser sponsored a silent disco on Saturday. For those of you who aren’t “in the know” in this regard, a silent disco is like a traditional DJ experience, except all the music is pumped wirelessly to headphones instead of a blasting PA. The effect is truly unique.  You can actually talk to a person next to you with out screaming directly into their ear. Needless to say I was extremely impressed with the wireless headsets Sennheiser used to pull this trick off. It was by far the one of the best sounds I’ve heard through a wireless headset utilizing RF technology and it was transmitting out to a room full of people. Volume could be controlled individually from each headset and the one I used went surprisingly loud while still maintaining a solid threshold of clarity.

Dan Peer could be caught jamming out across AXPONA with his eclectic melodic bass playing. Is it just me, or does the drummer here look a lot like VP Joe Biden?

CEO of PonoMusic John Hamm (not the actor) delivered a very intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the launch of the upcoming Neil Young-backed Pono digital player. See the embed above for the Q & A section from that presentation.

Personal audio was not left out in the cold at AXPONA (it was actually in the 40’s a few nights over the weekend). The spotlight was shone on headphones with this seminar panel consisting of Brannan Mason of Noble Audio, Scott Houston from Sennheiser, Chris Martens from HifiPlus, Kevin Glendinning from JH Audio and moderator Scot Hull from PartTimeAudiophile. See the embed below for the full session.