Now in its second year, the North West Audio Show is fast becoming a staple on the UK audiophile show circuit. The setting of Cranage Hall is absolutely gorgeous, but what sets this show apart from others is that it is free to enter, the people are extremely friendly, and there’s ample free parking.
What was also really good to see was people coming to the show as families or couples, proof that music in the home is still massively important to a large number of people and not just the stereotypical audiophile or music buff. This can only be a good thing for the industry as a whole and while there are of course people who love to talk the sector down at every opportunity, it is clear that there is still plenty of positivity, and people who care about quality audio playback in the home.
Kris, the organiser of the show, has managed to create an open and warm atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable to get what they want to get from the show, be that looking at the very high-end equipment, planning their first real system, or simply having a great day out with family and friends.
There were over twenty rooms at the show and rather than hotel box rooms, these are proper sized rooms where you can hear the equipment in realistic surroundings. This also means there are more good sounding rooms than many events. There was something for everyone and every budget, which was good to see. The inclusion of a live artist at the show offered a great opportunity for folk to sit and enjoy a breather whilst listening to the rather excellent Oliver Manning.
The North West Audio Show manages to create a great atmosphere, in lovely surroundings, and the exhibitors went to great lengths to ensure the kit on show sounded its best. We’re already looking forward to the 2016 event. Meanwhile, here are some of the best of this year’s event…
Boenicke’s new W8 loudspeaker was shown for the first time in the UK.
Focal’s new Sopra N2 loudspeaker sounded good on the end of Vitus Audio equipment
BD Audio’s Jack Durant, with one of the best sounding systems at the show
The distinctive Existence loudspeaker by Polish brand hORNS, as shown by G-Point Audio
Oliver Manning sang tracks from his new album ‘The Man Boy LP’
Volker Lange and Thilo Berg from Horch House with their collection of reel-to-reel tapes – all copies from master tapes
Brodmann Loudspeakers brought the whole family along
Ophidian Audio, with its range of Minimo, Mojo, and Mambo loudspeakers
A classic name from the glory days of British hi-fi – Nytech is back!
Always a favourite round these parts, Tsakirdis Devices from Greece makes great valve amps at excellent value for money
High End Cable pitched up with Bel Canto, Jeff Rowland, and Raidho… and some extremely good cables, naturally!
Brian and Trevors Booplinth LP12 plinth is attracting a lot of attention
MCRU had one of the nicest Clearaudio turntables we’ve heard
Puresound’s rooms are always a thing of beauty and vinyl wonder
Paul and Erika from Diverse Vinyl sold a lot of music
Divine Audio showed its latest EgglestonWorks loudspeakers, with Rogue Audio amplifiers, and Analogue Works turntable
The Swiss Soundkaos’s Wave 40 loudspeaker and SubWave subwoofer sound as good as they look
Albarry Music made a wonderful sound with its distinctive pre/power amps
Even headphonistas were well catered for in the HeadFi room
Finally, Acoustic Energy’s Reference 1 helps keep the classic high-performance mini-monitor popular
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