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2019 CAS Report by David Blumenstein, Part 1

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The 2019 California Audio Show, “CAS9” as it unfolded, as it was and is destined to be in its past, present and future incarnations. CAS shall always be an intimate affair, not by design, not as artifice, but by its very core principles. It truly is a family affair. All one need do is look to the extent of involvement and dedication of Constantine and Vivian Soo and their extended family, actual relatives and Dagogo staffers, of which I am one. We all pitch in on the organization, planning and execution of CAS and that will be no different in this coming year as CAS celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Holger Adler of Voxativ Acoustic Technologies and an exhibitor this year put it best:

“My personal impression of the show was how Constantine Soo and his partners: Byron Baba, David Blumenstein and Doug Schroeder created a feeling that is simply the meeting of old and good friends who like each other. I enjoyed my stay very much and I will be back next year with Voxativ Acoustic Technologies.”


This is what the crew strives for on behalf of CAS, its attendees and its exhibitors. The intention is that nobody on either side of the equation feels any pressure, and that there can be open discussion between all parties without feeling the need to rush off to the next exhibit.

A noticeable first this year was quite possibly the best sounding speaker/panel room ever at any Hi-Fi show on record. It’s not so much the quality of the Behringer gear, but the sheer number of ASC TubeTraps in the room. For those of you eagle eyes, there are actually 12 in the photo below, as two corner units are obscured by their brethren and the screen. But what you’re not seeing are the four more TubeTraps in the back of the room. That’s right, 16 of them. It made the Forum room look like the Parthenon. Anyhow, the sound was amazing. Room treatments can indeed do wonders, and what with so many of the hotel rooms being TubeTrapped, it really did make a sonic difference. Exhibitors and attendees alike took notice and made favorable comments.

Tossing 16 TubeTraps at one room might be excessive in one’s book, but if it can be done, why not? I requested and ASC’s Jordan Goulette, Engineering, Production, Research and Product Development, has agreed to write a piece for Dagogo on what prompted the incredible set-up pictured above, and his detailed insights into several other TubeTrapped exhibit rooms. Stay tuned for this to appear, at the moment a work in progress.

I for one appreciated just how patriotic ASC could be, and was surprised to see in just how many colors they could be obtained. Guildford of Maine does them proud with their vast selection of fabric colors.


On the topic of colors, a well-lit room is a thing of …, and I for one could not pass up the majesty that was the handiwork of Brian Ackerman of Aaudio Imports. Brian went truly International with his approach and there’s no mistaking him as importer of brands.

The light show having served its purpose, I turned my sights on to the impressive Wilson Benesch (United Kingdom) A.C.T One Evolution speakers sitting upon their expressly designed Carbon Plinths along with their Torus + AMP, an infrasonic generator. I was there on set-up day and in the hotel’s Boardroom 1 its not just room treatments but speaker treatments which helps brings things together in rooms not specifically designed for audiophile purpose. While I have heard/read of Ypsilon (Greece) as a manufacturer, this was my first opportunity to get close and personal. Seeing and hearing is believing. Exquisitely designed, I found myself returning to this room, not just for the colorful lights, but to experience Ypsilon’s Phaeton Integrated Amplifier and DAC 1000 Valve (Tube) DAC.

Note to Exhibitors: While it does not and should not REQUIRE you to mount your own light shows, do take on board that Brian’s attempt to be creative with his room did indeed make it memorable, even unforgettable to some who were heretofore not acquainted with ANY of the brands in his room.

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