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Old 5th May 2014, 08:16 PM   #21
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I did have one complaint about Embassy this year. I came in on Wednesday. I picked up my second room on Thursday and my 3rd room on Friday.The 3rd floor row straight above check in were not available. They said they were blocked. I assumed it was do to others for LSAF. The rooms never got used still forcing some to the dark corners.
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Old 5th May 2014, 08:20 PM   #22
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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Austin has SXSW each March - something that the bigger audio players can and do support. Perhaps connecting to that effort using informal means would cover Austin/Houston/Dallas audio show needs. SXSW is of course playing to a much younger crowd, which means hand-held/earbud devices--and perhaps more HT stuff.

Perhaps LSAF should think about refocusing their vision for a sustainable target audience demographic? DIY audio in two channel alone probably isn't going to be an expanding group vs. time. If you are going to track traditional audiophiles you're going to be competing with RMAF, etc. with much deeper pockets and more "mature" preferences...

On a more delicate note: I'd also recommend giving LSAF exhibitors some blanket pointers in how to enhance the acoustical performance of their display rooms. Last year my experience was that a few first floor exhibitors were having real trouble getting set up acoustically in their respective rooms (but not all exhibitors). However it was a much more prevalent issue than I had expected. The small hotel rooms are also acoustically difficult to deal with - and some tips and pointers on the AudioRoundTable.com site might help.

Personally, I'd like to see more emphasis on getting many more good loudspeaker dealers/reps that might enhance the word-of-mouth campaign in years to come. It looked like Polk pulled out this year. I'd like to see more of those type of setups than analog/tube equipment playing on very small full-range driver setups in small hotel rooms.

Finally, exhibitors typically are motivated to come back based on prior year sales. Word of mouth ad campaigns should extend to the realm of creating sales for exhibitors...shouldn't it?

JMTC:YMMV...

Chris

Last edited by Cask05; 5th May 2014 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 5th May 2014, 08:22 PM   #23
udailey is offline udailey  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mockingbirdaudio View Post
When I emailed Wayne and Pete, I definitely wasn't wanting to change locations, change months, throw the baby out with the bathwater, make a bunch of money or just screw **** up. "
This could be taken poorly by people who want to or are trying to improve the situation. I know I did. Take it poorly. I am hoping people who attended and people who have shown at LSAF can weigh in without worrying that their comments/suggestions/ideas have already been dismissed.
I really hope more people join the conversation and I really want to know what they feel can be done.
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Old 5th May 2014, 08:28 PM   #24
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Interesting discussion.

One comment stood out to me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Parham View Post
We started off the show with a basic premise: To give the niche-market audiophile companies a place to show their wares that wasn't expensive
Certainly this year, and maybe to a lesser extent last year, the "exhibitors" seemed to be more individuals, DIYers, and audio clubs, rather than niche manufacturers. I think manufacturers were in the minority.

Perhaps this lack of focus is hurting the event? And maybe is the reason for a lack of promotion?

Would it make sense to split off the DIY and audio club crowd to a different event? John Q. Public who might be interested in coming to audition speakers or equipment most likely is puzzled by presence of those freaky DIY guys who aren't selling anything...

Pete
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Old 5th May 2014, 08:34 PM   #25
SY is offline SY  United States
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Is it possible that niche manufacturers are basically extinct? Certainly, the fashion market is driven solely by magazines which explicitly exclude cottage producers, and that would seem to leave no place for those guys to promote. And their market is an increasingly shrinking one.
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Old 5th May 2014, 09:16 PM   #26
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Default no dismissal

It wasn't meant as a dismissal. If you want to have a show in Austin, then fantastic. It could be coordinated with one of the other big events that are already scheduled, if you could find hotel rooms. It will be hard finding affordable rooms anywhere near Austin the weekend of SXSW, but if you buy them now, maybe you can pull it off. I'm sure there are people in Austin able to put it together and market it.

What I wanted to do is improve what is already here. I have the time and connections to do that, but not something several hundred miles away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by udailey View Post
This could be taken poorly by people who want to or are trying to improve the situation. I know I did. Take it poorly. I am hoping people who attended and people who have shown at LSAF can weigh in without worrying that their comments/suggestions/ideas have already been dismissed.
I really hope more people join the conversation and I really want to know what they feel can be done.
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Old 5th May 2014, 09:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mockingbirdaudio View Post
Jan,

How much did that cost? Anything like that has to be passed on to someone. I want this to be done more like a '60s commune than a typical high-end audio affair. With announcement boards, blogs, user groups, public radio and tv, and word of mouth, I think it can be done for almost nothing. On the other hand, if we attract hotshots that want to cover the show (reviewers/reporters) or show something really cool, their talent could be appropriated for nearly nothing.

Thanks,
Phillip
Didn't cost anything. Find a guy in your area and they'd be happy to spread the gospel!
We had industry types arriving with a carload of freebees even!
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Old 5th May 2014, 09:45 PM   #28
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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Perhaps Wayne will chime in here. I think that Dallas/Ft. Worth should be more than able to host some sort of audio event that's unique. Personally, if that is going to be DIY audio like a HAM event, then okay it should be branded as that. If it is really an event for dealers or manufacturers-for-profit, then we all know what that entails.

Personally, I think that there is a lot to offer in the "frugal audiophile" category, i.e., better engineered stuff that costs a lot less overall - which is going to tick off the audiophile cable/cable-elevator/magic rocks crowd. I'm an engineer by trade and by upbringing, and there are a lot of engineers in the D/FW area that might be interested in less BS/more performance.

Additionally, there seems to be sustainment/mild growth in the...well how shall I put it? Vinyl crowd. Among younger folks. To me, this is pure nostalgia, IMHO, but I can't argue that there are increased sales in this niche marketplace.

With the advent of counter-loudness-war "soundcheck" or "replaygain" for new audio playback devices and by design, new recordings, this marketplace may expand due to increased enjoyment in dynamic, natural recordings again. A few old analog recordings are dynamic - and these can be had on vinyl or SACD or other HD formats. There's a demographic that's barely being addressed by RMAF or even SXSW. And this crowd looks more like DIY. High efficiency types may come out of the woodwork if an audio show, perhaps even DIY focused, shows up. Perhaps a one-year event to see what interest is out there...? Full range dynamic (cone type) and horn-loaded aficionados could sit side-by-side with hobbyist commercial sound guys.

Just ideas to feed the grist mill. It helps to have a new vision...sometimes...

Last edited by Cask05; 5th May 2014 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 5th May 2014, 10:07 PM   #29
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Again, I think Austin is a fantastic city and is perfect for an audio event. It's one of the best musician-friendly cities in this part of the country and is just a blast to hang out in. And South-by-Southwest has really taken off there.

That said, it's just too far south to be as inclusive as we want LSAF to be. Dallas is just four hours north, so folks from Austin have no trouble at all getting to Dallas. That can't be said for people in Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. People from these states drive four to eight hours getting to Dallas already, and going to Austin doubles that. So I think it's a really bad idea to push it further south.

About DIYers attendence compared with small niche-market manufacturers, it has been my experience that DIYers motivated enough to show their gear in these kinds of shows often become niche-market manufacturers. Most (if not all) of the tube amplifier and many of the high-end speaker manufacturers started off this way. That's really what LSAF was for - To give the passionate craftsmen and small manufacturers a place to show their wares.

Of course, all are welcome. There is no rule that sets the size of the manufacturer, or even that they exhibitor has to be a manufacturer. That's why some years you see a lot of DIYers and some years more manufacturers. It ebbs and flows, changing a little bit each year.
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Old 5th May 2014, 10:12 PM   #30
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I went to the original show back in Tulsa because it was a chance to hear equipment from small companies like Pi Speakers and Brines Acoustics. Small niche companies that produce very fine gear but that aren't available for audition in retail shops.

It has also been a place to hear things you won't find in main stream dealers or audio shows. Single ended amps, coax speakers, single driver speakers, horns, array speakers, etc. This stuff is very hard to find in the real world unless you just order something and pray you'll like it.

What I found while attending was a whole group of similar thinking audio folks who love well reproduced music but like "odd" technologies and aren't necessarily after the uber fancy case treatments and the automobile sized price tags. The Lone Star Show has some expensive gear but there will also be rooms that have some of the most amazing stuff that most of us can actually afford.

I'll even call it an "out of the box" kind of audio show because it was the first place I ever got to hear open baffle speakers.

Again, stuff you'd never hear at the local audio salon. It is a great show.
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