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CAS7 Richard Austen Reports, Part 1

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I’d like to start by saying that the overall sound of this edition of the California Audio Show has been the best yet and that several attendees mentioned to me that they felt it was the best sounding show across the board that they have heard. Perhaps being an airport hotel the construction to reduce noise here is superior. I must say I never heard a plane during my stay. Further, the air conditioners were competently placed so as not to interfere with loudspeaker positioning.

I missed the first day of this show so I didn’t have to hear systems in their growing pains on the first day as demonstrators have cold gear and haven’t quite gotten the positioning down.

This year, Constantine Soo (Dagogo’s Founder, Chief, Top Man) came up with the idea of letting reviewers and attendees vote for some of their favorite systems in 5 categories. So I have decided to start off my coverage with a bang and tell you what I chose for Most Innovative Product.

This is difficult because there isn’t necessarily a lot of new tricks in terms of truly unique designs. So, I decided to cast my vote for a company that makes a lifestyle system that actually has style! And that room belongs to Napa Acoustic Wireless Planar Speaker System and their surround sound speakers. The interesting thing with these speakers is that they are flat panels that also double as acoustic foam panels. They have various silk prints that you can choose from their catalog, or if you wish you can provide your own. No more boring boxes on the walls! Now, I didn’t hear amazing sound here. The show runners were using very inexpensive amplifiers and cables and a sub that looks like they picked it up at Best Buy’s computer department. Nevertheless, what the speakers did present was plausible and as a consumer you can spend large on a subwoofer because all of these speakers range between $395 to $995.

This is perfect for people who want style but believe style isn’t a Bose cube.  I can just picture watching Jaws with that theme coming out of the Mona Lisa.  The possibilities are endless.  This room was great fun!


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