I'm hearing the same story over and over again: two-channel audio is coming back strong. Home theater sales are flat or dipping, but high-end sales are more than taking up the slack.
Talk is cheap, but I can't remember when we had this many high-end audio shows in North America. The Salon Son & Image is being held at the Hilton Bonaventure in the heart of downtown Montreal. The show expects to host 10,000 to 12,000 visitors from Canada and the U.S. The show opened on Friday and will run through Sunday. Tone Audio magazine will be there, playing music on a very high-end Burmester hi-fi system.
The Axpona Audio Expo, at the Atlanta Sheraton Downtown, runs from April 14-17, and this year the show has double the floor space of last year's show.
A brand-new event, T.H.E. SHOW: The Home Entertainment Show, will be held June 3-5, at the Hilton Newport Beach Hotel in Orange County, CA. This show will include some high-end home theater gear, but judging from the exhibitor list, two-channel audio will dominate the show.
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2011 will be held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel on October 14-16. I've attended this show for the last three years and will probably go again this year. It's a lot of fun, and like the other shows, it's a great way to meet the world's best high-end audio designers. Think about it: there's a slim to impossible chance to meet the engineers who designed your Corvette at a car show, but you can talk to the guy who designed your high-end amplifier at one of these shows!