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Odds and Ends – T.H.E. Show Newport 2014

Big speakers and upscale head-fi isn’t the only thing that can be found at the Newport show. In addition to all the hifi madness T.H.E. show offers plenty of playful distractions including wine tastings, plenty of live music and even a fine selection of cigars to purchase and enjoy within the sunny atrium in the center of the hotel.

Several of the panels were even held outside in the perfect L.A. weather, much to this reviewer’s delight. Finally some good lighting! Check out the video below for a very interesting panel on planar magnetic technology in headphones starring a very strong selection of those on the forefront of the market including Tyll from InnerFidelity, Alex Rosson from Audeze, Dan Clark from MrSpeakers, Fang Bian from HiFiMan, Luis Flores from Reference Sounds, and moderator Frank Iacone.

A fairly exotic display of transportation greeted attendees on their way into the show again this year, complete with serious sound systems that didn’t necessarily sound like tin cans rattling around in a trunk. Probably one of the most photographed subjects at the show, my guess is the venn diagram for luxury cars, photography gear and hifi leaves little untouched space on the outside edges.

As a fan of photography, I can say this books seems like a brilliant idea. One can only imagine all the design attempts, success and failure stories that makeup this fun and elaborate hobby. The Illustrated History of High-End Audio is on display here with editor Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound. It retails for $129 and is available from the publication’s online store.

Last but not least is the Anthony Gallo Acoustics room which ends up in this post only because it doesn’t quite fall into the big ‘o speakers crowd, although it may find a suitable home in personal audio under the right conditions. This softball inspired speakers have gotten some good press in the past few years so I was glad when I finally got some time to listen to them myself.

In short, sound stage and imaging is very impressive for a grand. The rig in the room sounded outstanding but keep in mind if you want full range you will have to shell out some extra cash for a subwoofer as just the Referance Strada 2 pictured here were a little light in the LF with the subs turned off. Gallo offers a wide selection of assistance in that department on their site with a range of subwoofers that are priced from $600-$1,000.

The Gallo company had clearly thought out a diverse range of applications for their product. Not only does the product line adhere itself to both 2 channel and home theater applications, the little round spheres fit well into in-wall installments, capable of rotation and directional adjustments, very clever.



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