November 16-18, 2018
All prices in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), US dollars ($), or British pounds (£) unless indicated otherwise
From our vantage point, the 2018 Audio Video Show in Warsaw hosted more product premieres in the loudspeaker category than in all the others combined. And of those new introductions, by far most were presented at the Radisson Blu Sobieski hotel. This place was a goldmine. Here’s the third and final batch of loudspeakers Jason and I saw, with all prices in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), US dollars ($), or British pounds (£). All the speakers were at the Sobieski except one, the FinkTeam Borg, which was just down the street at the Golden Tulip hotel.
Here’s how crazy our pace became: As we were leaving the PGE Narodowy stadium on the first day of the show, we saw the shuttle bus about to depart. At Doug Schneider’s urging, I ran to flag it down. Unfortunately, there were four floodlights placed around the exit, pointing up at the building. One wasn’t working, and the other three faced in my direction, essentially blinding me. At full speed, I ran directly into the one that was switched off, and it took me out at the knees. I thought I’d fallen into a hole, as I flew forward and landed stunningly hard on the cement. The result was a nasty gash on my leg and bruises on both knees. Although Doug thought I’d broken both legs, I was merely hurt, not injured. I take the risks for you, readers. It’s dangerous out here. Don’t try this at home.
I stated yesterday that the Radisson Blu Sobieski -- one of the venues for Warsaw’s Audio Video Show 2018 -- held about as many exhibits as the entire Montreal Audio Fest. That was when I assumed the show occupied only a couple of floors. Well, this monster of a venue encompasses seven floors of exhibits, plus more in the substantial lobby. There are still more exhibits at the Golden Tulip hotel just down the street, and at the PGE Narodowy stadium 5 kilometers away. This, folks, is a big event. So big in fact that it has turned my head around and made me re-evaluate my North American-centric view of audio. If you have a chance to visit this show, you owe it to yourself to do so.
On Saturday, the second day of Audio Video Show 2018, we went up and down the floors and back and forth through the halls of Warsaw’s Radisson Blu Sobieski, which is where we stayed and where most of the exhibits from smaller manufacturers were positioned. Here we found numerous electronic components, which Jason Thorpe focused on that day, and many more loudspeakers -- my main beat. Below is the second part of my loudspeaker coverage; you can read “Part 1” here. Prices are in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), US dollars ($), or British pounds (£).
This is the third straight year I’ve covered the Audio Video Show. One reason is that I thoroughly enjoy visiting Warsaw, Poland, where it’s held. I always arrive at least two days prior to acclimatize so I can hit the show running and keep my stamina all the way through, as well as take in the numerous attractions and restaurants around the city. Warsaw is a great place to have an audio show, as well as a great place to visit.
The first thing I did on November 16 was sit through an Audio Video Show 2018 press conference conducted in Polish. I didn’t get the jokes and the banter. As a Canadian, I’m used to getting the gist of languages I understand only a little, but I’m completely out of the loop here in Warsaw.
I’m not a pushy guy, so sliding past a bunch of angry Poles to get to my reserved seat to listen to the premiere of Jean-Michel Jarre’s new album, Equinoxe Infinity -- actually introduced and presented by JMJ himself bang-on 40 years after the original Equinoxe album (it was originally released on November 16, 1978) -- made me slightly uncomfortable. Doug Schneider was also somewhat apprehensive, but for another reason. “John Michael who?” he asked me. We persevered regardless.
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