When the 2020 New York CanJam concluded, nobody knew what was around the corner. The COVID-19 pandemic was about to take hold in Spain, Italy, and N. America and nobody could have imagined that the lights would officially go out for trade shows for almost 15 months. But here we are. The doors have opened and T.H.E. Show 2021 is underway in Long Beach, California and we are thrilled to be back on the road covering the first of many trade shows over the next 6 months.
We spent last week in Texas with our friends at Focal Powered by Naim Houston and it feels almost surreal to be home in California to cover the first Hi-Fi show of the season.
COVID restrictions have played havoc with international travel for almost 15 months so it’s not surprising that very few companies or their representatives are able to be in Long Beach this weekend.
Canadian companies have issues being here so we can’t imagine that this show is going to be very large. We’re just happy to be at one and to applaud all of the smaller manufacturers who have taken the opportunity to demonstrate.
We’re going to be here today and Saturday visiting every room and reporting on what is new or really caught our attention.
T.H.E. Show 2021 is observing COVID protocols which will certainly add a layer of awkwardness to the event. So yes, that means mask wearing in every room as it’s a requirement to enter the venue. Not a big deal, as Californian’s have seemingly adjusted to masks just about everywhere.
There were quite a few six figure demo rooms, more than expected. But also less well known brands, such as Margules and Oriaco with very revealing stand-mount loudspeakers at $2,500 and $3,500, respectively. Vintage audio was not forgotten either thanks to audio consultant, Wayne Carter. His demo room consists of his very own hi-fi audio system — Waveform loudspeakers, Lazarus amps and a massive JBL subwoofer — all attained for around $3,000. Unbeatable price for performance, but also nearly impossible buy on your own.
Stay tuned for more show reports this week as we bring you coverage from these participating companies: