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Michael Fremer at Pacific Audio Fest – Part 1: The Marketplace

A Seattle, WA audio show seemed like a good idea to Lou Hinkley, founder of loudspeaker manufacturer Daedalus Audio. To get it done he called upon Capital AudioFest’s Gary Gill, who’s been putting on that East Coast show since 2010 and last weekend July 29th-31 the two put on the first PacificAudioFest at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel located within walking distance of Sea-Tac airport (COVID canceled last year’s planned premiere). With help from RMAF’s Marjorie Baumert, Positive Feedback’s Dr. David Robinson and Genesis Loudspeaker’s Gary Koh and of course the participation of  dozens of audio manufacturers and local retailers willing to chance a new, unproven show as well as sponsorship provided by Qobuz and others, Hinkley and Gill produced a full-featured, well-attended successful show that included seminars and live music events.

The 70’s era hotel had large, pretty good sounding hotel rooms and even better sounding large spaces. The spread out nature of the show due to the hotel’s layout produced some confusion but ultimately it was an excellent experience, especially when exhibitors say things like “My room was 80% full, 80% of the time”, something heard more often than not. TrackingAngle editor Michael Fremer attended the show more to see what was going on and to “catch the vibe” than to do a room to room detailed show report—especially since as expected there were few produce introductions and most of what was on display has previously been covered in other show reports. This was a good opportunity to try out a new iPhone gimbal device, the PowerVision S1 and to experiment with a Bluetooth microphone set-up, which was used for part of the show coverage, and not without issues as you’ll hear. The goal is to provide viewers with steady images and intelligible audio. We got part way there.

This first video covers “The Marketplace”, where newcomers and veterans show and sell their products. The one major show disappointment was the absence of vinyl vendors (with the exception of Todd Garfinkle’s M-A Recordings) , though Seattle has some great record stores. Hopefully more next year! The 2023 show is set for July 28-30th.


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