I’ve spent today packing for the International 2015 CES Show. There’s a whole checklist of things to identify, locate, and layout on the floor prior to packing. Most times I’ll actually assemble the entire system just to make sure that I have everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to a trade event and lacked some connector, power supply or special cable.
Then you have to worry about the logistics when you get to the event. Will the show organizers have my badges ready, will the two tables that I ordered for my booth be there when I arrive etc. I’ve had mixed luck with the CES Show. Last year, the first year of the HRA Techzone”, the organizers tried to sell everybody at $6000 booth…no alternatives were offered. However, because one of the other presenters…and friend of mine…told me he was bringing his own booth, I was able to opt out of the expensive booth. The expensive booth was still set up in the space when I arrived. We’ll see how this year goes.
The gear that I’ve gathered together and packed into cases consists of an Oppo BDP-83 (I’ll use the digital output with an inexpensive cable), a Samsung flat panel display, Benchmark DAC2 (still the best DAC on the planet as far as I’m concerned), the Oppo HA-1 headphones amp, and a couple of pairs of Oppo PM-1 phones. I’ll be playing my content from Blu-ray discs (I had hoped to get a temp BD-R done in time…but things continue to be challenging on that front) and DVD-Audio/Video discs. I’ve purchased a new banner and will have some post cards promoting the HRAPlanet website as well as this one.
What else do I expect to see at the show? After all it is the biggest convention each year and everyone loves gadgets…including me. There will be lots of high-resolution portable players from the big manufacturers and the specialty folks like Pono and Astell & Kern. I’m honestly surprised that Pono opted out of taking a booth in the HRA Marketplace like the rest of us. It seems to me that this would have been the perfect place to inform, demonstrate, and hype their whole program. I guess when you can get an entire session dedicated to just you AND a public interview with Rolling Stone at the main convention center hall, you don’t need to mix with the HRA riff raff.
There will undoubtedly be a lot of promotional hype around high-resolution audio. I won’t be surprised to see the JAS logo on lots of gear from Sony, Teac, Onkyo, Denon, and Yamaha. It’s really not that hard to ensure that you electronics can handle all of the formats and maintain high-resolution signal integrity. When it comes to speakers, things get a lot tougher. Although, the inexpensive Sony speakers used at the recent research study claimed a frequency response to 40 kHz…convenient since that the minimum specification for the new logo.
If you’re planning on being at the show this next week…please come by the AIX Records/iTrax booth. I’ll be there from Tuesday through Friday talking to anyone that wanders by. And I’ll be reporting on the day’s sessions and events in the HRA Markteplace ballroom.