Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


Have you ever looked in the window of a bar and watched people dancing? Without hearing the music? It’s creepy to watch, sort of like human versions of those weird-ass birds of paradise you see on nature shows, doing nutty dances while the female bird watches intently from a nearby twig. We’re not far removed from the simpler animals. We build fences to protect our territory from intruders. We dress up and work out to attract mates.

And when a juicy Italian sports car goes by on the street, it’s natural for your head to swivel and check it out. Shiny. Loud. We humans seem to have a built-in, genetic attraction to such technological marvels.

Jason ThorpeIs it over before it even starts?

The world of audio is where a specialized subspecies of magpie hangs out. We’re a granfalloon of Goonies who are attracted to audio gear and the sounds it makes. It’s about the reproduction of music, sure, but it’s really, really about the shiny equipment.

We all need hobbies. Without hobbies, we work and then sleep. It’s no life without some sort of specialized interest. Some people read, some exercise, some collect stamps. You and me? We build an audio system or two and then spend time using it to play music. It’s a noble pursuit, I tell myself.

Doug SchneiderA jet-lagged Doug Schneider

And now I’m here in Munich, Germany, set to examine what’s arguably the largest audio tradeshow in the world, and inarguably the most important. Doug Schneider and I are headquartered at the Marriott Courtyard Munich City Center, which is quite close to downtown.

It’s a colorful area, and I’ve already staked out what I think is the best shawarma restaurant in this neck of the woods.

ShwarmaToo much food

Munich is a delightful city full of beautiful architecture, and it’s very easy to get around. The pastries are phenomenal, and they’re everywhere!

CoffeeA great coffee and a jammy dodger

I’ve had a wonderful dinner to wash down the jet lag, and I’m getting settled for the start of the show tomorrow.

I’m going to let my inner magpie go nuts. I’m going to let myself be dragged into whatever rooms have the craziest, nuttiest systems, and I’m going to share them with you. For the most part, it’ll be an extravaganza of excess, although I’m certainly not going to overlook products that offer exceptional value. I’m gonna hunt for One-Eyed Willie’s rich stuff, while Doug Schneider, who’s also covering the show, is going to track down the new products and let you know about the new news.

Jason Thorpe
Senior Editor, SoundStage!