Setup Day – T.H.E. Show 2019

Hilton Long Beach

It wasn’t all boxes and half ajar screws at T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment) on move-in Thursday. In fact, some preparations had been in stride since Wednesday for Southern California’s only high-end audio event. The halls were filled with crates and clear wrap while the rooms were starting to hum in anticipation for the next three days of audio celebration.

The show itself has seen major growth over last year’s Orange County engagement, and the Hilton Long Beach appears as a subtle resting place for the 6-floors-plus-big-rooms location nestled next to LA’s biggest shipping port. There is also a larger presence of press already making their way to the hotel, including our sister site PartTimeAudiophile.

We ran into Mark Sossa of Well Pleased AV on our initial run though, supporting Innuos and the guys down at San Diego retailer Alma Audio. Alma has a significant footprint at the show and housed some impressive looking gear on the second floor. I was able to sneak a peek into the “still in progress” room for a first glance at Dan D’Agostino’s newest integrated, paired with Wilson’s Sasha DAW loudspeaker.

The new Progression integrated amplifier ($18k) pushes 200w into 8 ohms and allows for a modular phono or digital stage as add ons. It wan’t all big ticket, megawatt setups preparing for the noon roll on the 7th. Several price points for a large range of budgets appeared to take form over the day. Showrunner Maurice Jung was quick to point out that one of the goals of THE Show this year was to have something for everyone, without of course, leaving the core audiophile behind. And it was very much business as usual from this end of the lens for a Thursday prep.

The marketplace on the second floor offers several options for booth-sized vendors, including some pretty interesting portraits of various musicians already setup in full view for attendees from Merryl Jaye Studio. After-hours entertainment includes a viewing party of an early cut of a documentary T.H.E. Human Side on Friday created by Jung and Emiko (Director of Marketing for THE Show) as well as a concert on Saturday that will be recorded live directly to reel-to-reel.

Eric Shook and the rest of the Audio-Head crew will be bringing you all the highlights from the show along with a few surprises that have already blown downwind to our eager ears. Stay tuned to this bat-channel for all the goods, bads and otherwise delightful audiophile happenings in the next few weeks.

More info: T.H.E. Show