Many of you might be wondering what I have been doing over these past few months. Obviously, I haven’t been writing new blog posts and to those readers that miss them and asked what’s up, I’m really sorry. Life HAS been less busy now that the book is finished and has been shipped to all backers and customers (if you purchased a copy and have not received it, please contact me). But somehow everyday still gets filled up. I’m actively promoting the book, still consulting on the YARRA 3DX sound bar (which has raised over $1 Million on KS and IGG), teaching audio at CSUDH, and working on a few side audio projects.
Today’s post is about the upcoming AXPONA show, which starts at the end of next week in Chicago. Unlike previous years, AIX Records will not be demonstrating our high-resolution, 5.1 surround audio/video productions in a large ballroom with our regular partners JVC, Benchmark, Oppo, Emotiva, and DH Labs. Increasing show costs and difficult logistics make it prohibitive. If you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the incredible system we assembled at past AXPONA shows, consider yourself lucky. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to pull that off again. I’m sorry that I won’t be able to demonstrate the amazing sound of real high-resolution music. I have genuinely enjoyed the AXPONA show and our little hi-res, 5.1 surround oasis. It’s even difficult to justify sponsoring a single $1000 table in the marketplace. The new corporate approach and new venue means small vendors like me have to pay $100 for an additional table, $168 for an electrical outlet, $200 for internet, and even more if you want carpet, plants, etc. This doesn’t include airfares, hotels, car rentals, and shipping costs. It’s crazy expensive and makes breaking even almost impossible — unless you’re selling expensive “designer” speaker cables, interconnects, or power cords!
In addition to the normal slate of seminars, AXPONA has dedicated a space in the marketplace ballroom for additional speaking/educational opportunities. They’re calling them MASTER CLASS THEATER presentations and I’ll be presenting for 45 minutes on Friday afternoon from 3:00-3:45 (I’m up against a panel called “Meet the Editors”). My topic is the title of my new book “Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound”. The blurb says:
“Mark Waldrep, founder and Chief Engineer at AIX Records, just completed a comprehensive book on music, audio, and record production. At almost 900 pages and filled with 300 illustrations, the new book has already been described as the “Gold Standard” by reviewers and readers. AXPONA marks the launch of this important, no-nonsense book. You won’t want to miss Dr. Waldrep as he introduces the new book, talks about the myth of high-res audio, reflects on the interviews conducted with Bob Stuart (of MQA and Meridian), Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac producer/engineer),and others. Attendees will be given a coupon for 25% off the price of the book and accompanying Blu-ray disc. A rare event not to missed.”
Yep, all attendees will receive a discount of 25% off the paperback book and accompanying Blu-ray disc. What a deal. In the interest of all readers that can’t be in Chicago next weekend, I’ll make the same discount offer. Use the coupon code AXPONA 2018 when you check out of the Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound website and the discount will be applied. BTW, I was recently interviewed by Carlo Lo Raso of Secrets of Home Theater & HiFi magazine for a featured piece in April. I’ll let you know when it’s posted on their site. Carlo enjoyed the book and said, “Positively outstanding! As an audio hobbyist, this is the first book that I’ve come across that lays out so much technical and practical audio knowledge in such an approachable manner.” Thanks Carlo!
This year will be different. AIX Records will be in the marketplace at Booth 424. I’ll have the usual assortment of AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video and Blu-ray music productions and plenty of copies of the new “Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound” book. In addition, I shipped a shiny new YARRA 3DX surround sound bar to Chicago and will be demonstrating the amazing ability of this technology to reproduce immersive 3D sound without headphones or multiple speakers. The crowd sourcing campaigns for the YARRA 3DX have raised over $1 million since the launch in September. The company plans to begin shipments during the second quarter. If you’re interested, discounts are still available at the YARRA 3DX Indiegogo page. I’m convinced that sound field modeling will have a large impact on high-end audio in the near future. Why spend crazy money on expensive headphones or speakers when all you really want is great fidelity to reach your ears. How it gets there is actually less important. You can visit the YARRA 3DX website for additional information the technology.
The audio world is changing. I just read the announcement that Oppo has decided to cease designing and manufacturing optical disc players. Does this mean that high-end audio enthusiasts will have to retreat to Tidal (with or without MQA) or Spotify? I’ll be addressing these and other issues in future posts.
For those unable to visit Chicago, I’ll be exhibiting at the Los Angeles Audio Show in June and the California Audio Show in July. I’m also considering a road trip to promote the book. If you’re a member of an audiophile society and would be interested in hosting a visit by yours truly, please let me know. I can’t promise anything at this point but it’s worth putting out some feelers. Charlie and I would love to come to your town.