February 18-20, 2022
All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise
Alex Sound Technology
The room hosted by Alex Sound Technology—a newcomer on the Florida distributor scene—was packed all weekend. From the hallway, on multiple visit attempts, I glimpsed a handsome pair of Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin FS MK 2 loudspeakers (starting at $21,050 per pair, all prices USD) wrapped in a striking Makassar ebony veneer. I’m a sucker for big-cone two-ways, and the Genuin FS MK 2 filled the bill: high-efficiency, 12″ paper woofer, floor-ported bass-reflex design, and a horn-loaded compression driver mounted atop the cabinet.
In my previous product-coverage articles, I tried to include a broad range of product categories. For this third and final installment, I’m keeping it mostly to loudspeakers, since I came across several interesting ones. But I also added one amplifier into the mix because I felt that it was important to include in the coverage. All prices are in US dollars.
It’s easy to fall in love at an audio show.
It’s easy to fall out of love at an audio show.
Depending on whom you ask, there is uncertainty in the audio show business. Some forecast gloom and doom, suggesting that the show model has run its course, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened its irrelevance. Others (extroverts, I’m sure) have been dying to corner press contacts in person for the first time in two years in the show’s hallways—or over coffee at the restaurant’s breakfast bar or over drinks after hours—exuberant to share in the spectacle of the hotel audio experience.
The speed with which my first round of coverage showed up online was because the manufacturers whose products it featured sent out detailed preshow press releases about what they’d be displaying at Florida Audio Expo 2022. Having that information ahead of time let me know that those products would be there and provided details that I didn’t have to waste time getting in the display rooms. Instead, I went straight for the rooms the products were in, photographed them, got out, wrote them all up, and then uploaded the completed coverage online. I am bringing this up as a less-than-subtle hint for those manufacturers still wondering about the best way to get covered in a show report quickly.
The third annual Florida Audio Expo (FAE) kicked off on Friday, February 18, around the time that the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic began to decline nationally. After an underwhelming CES, the question on everyone’s mind was whether manufacturers, dealers, and showgoers would actually show up.
It’s fitting that Florida Audio Expo 2022 is the first hi-fi show I’ve attended since the COVID-19 pandemic began. That’s because the last show I attended prior to the pandemic shutting everything down was Florida Audio Expo 2020. It was held then at the same site of its inaugural year, 2019: the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, located in Tampa, Florida. And it’s back there again this year. It’s a great place to hold a hi-fi show—if only to get so many of us out of the snow for a few days.
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