In light of the current scenario of Covid 19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc all over the world, it was still astonishing to see that the show took place to begin with. The organisers, hotel and exhibitors must have all collectively sighed a huge relief that they could all continue to carry on ‘business as usual’ as things quickly got out of hand in the days that followed.
Was it right to continue with the show, what with so many international shows which are much larger & reputable in nature cancelling one after the other is something that did play in the minds of a lot of people who are part of the circuit as well as that of the target audience that definitely had the resulting impact on the show in more ways than one.
Firstly, the number of exhibitors was very small and to be honest laughable to have a show to begin with.
Secondly, the turnout of the visitors was also low, but then that was to be expected keeping the nature of the beast we are all grappling with, in mind.
The show did go on and remarkably all that were part of it be it via organising, exhibiting or attending have not been exposed to the dreaded virus or we hope so!
Plenty of things to ponder on and for sure would have been discussed behind closed doors but anyhow, this is all in the past now, so let’s get to the show coverage itself.
This year the show was split into 2 floors only, the 8th & 16th.
8th Floor :
Using the large stateroom to show case as many models as they could Benq Showcased every model worth their salt in all angles possible. Plenty to see (all in the dark that is) but nothing that really stood out worth talking about. Thankfully no crowding otherwise it would definitely be avoided at all costs!
Having taken two state rooms, one of them had a static display largely consisting of Monitor Audio Speakers, from their various ranges.
The new Bronze Series(not yet officially launched) was occupying the lion’s share of the room, by means of static display, though we can’t write anything further or show pics as per instructions of PTC.
The Platinum Series speakers of Monitor Audio, along with Accuphase E480 Integrated Amplifier with Denon DCD1600 NE were to be on demo, though when we visited the same wasn’t connected which was a shame.
The adjoining stateroom had a Dolby Atmos enabled Home Theatre demonstration that was consisting of Ascendo loudspeakers, powered by a Storm Audio processor and Powersoft amplifiers. Very loud and lots of bang bang!
PTC presents What Hi-Fi? Show 2019 in association with Marantz|Q Acoustics and powered by BenQ, from 30th August to 1st September 2019, at Trident, Hitec City, Hyderabad.
Currently, we only know that the above entities are part of the show and that the show timings are from 11am to 7pm. We shall update on the brands participation and other allied information, once we are privy to the same. Till then expect it to be a khufiya show with one getting to know the rest only when one lands up at the Trident Hotel.
Once again the Lyravox SM3-150 was showcased by Nucleus Audio, although this year with some new clothes (Centre Grill). Inside also there were changes in the form of a revised amp module software that has resulted in the Lyravox SM3-150 shining to an even higher level now, thereby making what was a great piece of kit even more amazing. We felt the dynamics are now even larger and when the volume was increased the Lyravox SM3-150 turned into a party animal with EDM music being belted out at full tilt but never as jarring as some of the other rivals at much lower price points end up doing. Having said that, the Lyravox SM3-150 at 16L isn’t for the average Joe, so the target audience is one that we feel won’t be visiting such a show in the first place, but rather would be advised about its presence by dealers, advisors and influencers who would be part of the inner coterie of the said clientele. The Lyravox SM3-150 is definitely a product that demands attention from the rich & famous.
1502 – OKAS
Excerpts from their website:
“OKAS a Sanskrit name for home or a place where you feel peaceful inspired the idea to create a solution that makes you feel more connected to your home. While designing OKAS, we understood that home is an exceptional space for people with class or taste for exclusivity. Also, each member has their preferences and feeling of living. Keeping all this in mind we integrated Artificial Intelligence with User persona to create the world’s first human-centric and user-driven home automation system with quintessential design features.”
As per our understanding, OKAS is a tailor made software that not only does everything that a automation software should do but it goes further by constantly tweaking the settings via artificial intelligence thereby suggesting the end user what he/she may like at the given time of their presence in the various zones of their home.
OKAS has smart controllers that function either for a single room or could multiply the same for larger spaces with integration of lighting, music, video, climate control, security and more into one simple system—a system you can access and manage from anywhere in the world. The user ultimately determines when, where and how things and actions should happen. The salient features of OKAS are as under:
Multi-Room Music – Play music from almost any format, in any room, any time.
Lighting – Save energy and enjoy the perfect ambiance in every room.
Interface – Enjoy control from anywhere-online or on your smartphone.
Security – Experience peace of mind with features that enhance your home security.
Artificial Intelligence System that is Human Centric.
We were given a remote tour of what OKAS does and how it can be implemented into the automation platform. The OKAS team advised us that the same will be ready for purchase in a couple of months’ time, during which they will also announce the pricing of the same. In the current scenario where there are already a lot of players offering various options and solutions, it will be interesting to see how OKAS gains a foot hold into this crowded market and notably at what price. We shall observe their progress nonetheless as the concept is interesting and challenging to be accepted by one & all, to say the least.
1503 – SONY INDIA PVT. LTD.
SONY DOLBY ATMOS SOUNDBAR
In typical Sony fashion, there was an exhibition vibe associated to their room, with one part showcasing the much talked about Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar – HT-ST5000 and in the other part were the headphones on display. Sadly, the way the demo of the sound bar was given, much was left to be desired and frankly speaking it wasn’t done in the right manner to showcase the Dolby Atmos effect. Hopefully, the others who visited the room did not think that Dolby Atmos is a gimmick as that would surely do more harm than good to the Dolby Atmos format in the long run.
1504 – NAGAOKA TRADING CO.
NAGAOKA PHONO CARTRIDGES
NAGAOKA RECORD CLEANING ACCESSORIES
NAGAOKA ISOLATION ACCESSORIES
A rather young gent was in charge of the room, who incidentally is also the newly appointed distributor for the Nagaoka brand products, notably their very popular range of Moving Magnet Phono Cartridges, which currently are the rage the world over. Along with the range of these Moving Magnet Phono Cartridges, were samples of the Nagaoka brand of Vinyl playback related & storage accessories such as Record Cleaning Brush, Cleaning Sprays, Inner Sleeves. Besides these, Nagaoka’s Isolation Devices were also on display and so were their Head Phones. The distributor kept changing the cartridges for demo purpose, amongst the range to showcase each ones sonic capabilities as well as show the visitors how to use the cleaning sprays and brush. Other than Nagaoka, the gent also is the distributor for a couple of record labels (World Circuit & Jackpot Records), of which he had on display as well as played most of the titles, for the benefit of the visitors. A team of Nagaoka representatives had also come down especially to be part of the show and to gauge the market response of the same for their products. We were very happy to meet them and interact with them, in regard to the Vinyl scene in general not only in our country but the world over. We hope that the distributor does justice to the Nagaoka brand and is able to keep the prices that are in keeping in accessibility to the Vinyl Aficionados across all walks of life and wish him the very best for his endeavors.
1511 – NEXUS AUDIO VIDEO
One of the rooms that always is one of our favourites, not because we are good mates with the Nexus Audio Video Bossman, but because he has that ability of making his brands sound top notch almost every time he takes part in the show. He is one of the very few gents in the AV Industry Distribution business that is firstly a die-hard audio-video enthusiast and that truly reflects in not only the brands he represents but also the way he does so. This time, he showcased PMC’s newest line of ‘budget’ speakers that too active ones and currently are the flavour of the audio circuit world, be it home or studio. The PMC Result 6 are aimed at the prosumer segment, meaning they can fill in the requirements of not only a home audio enthusiast but also that of the professionals in the recording studio industry, notably those that are just getting into the business. A tight rope walk as we would imagine but something that a company like PMC is very much so capable of pulling off effortlessly and that is exactly what the PMC Result6 do! The new Business Development Manager for PMC – Asia Pacific, was also at hand to experience the show and gauge the reaction of the visitors. Personally speaking, the PMC Result6 aren’t very much so in the realm of what may be called as typical ‘PMC Sound’. In fact, we feel that the boffins at PMC have taken a very different approach with these speakers. We even stick our neck out when we say that the way these speakers deliver the LF, is very different to that of a traditional LF response of a PMC loudspeaker. That itself made us sit up and take notice of the Result6. Coupled to this aspect the MF & HF’s also are so well integrated and pleasing that one thinks that these surely are very different speakers. The PMC Result6 have this uncanny ability to sound musical, precise and accurate whilst still providing a clear insight into the blemishes that might be present in a less than stellar recording, which itself is such a great asset that one can even listen to the poor recordings and not feel agitated to the extent with speakers which make them totally unlistenable. This is one very difficult feat that needs to be complimented to the fullest. At 2.5L, the PMC Result6 still aren’t cheap but yet when one pays attention to how they were showcased, minus any paraphernalia in the form of special cables, isolators, stands, acoustic treatment, etc., one wonders how much more can be gained if one decides to go down that path. Yes, a good source was used to pair the speakers with (AVM CS3.2 – 4L), but then the quality of a source can make or break the outcome of any set-up. Suffice to say, that we are very much so impressed with the PMC Result6 and would heartily recommend to those looking for a musical yet accurate active speaker. We would like to rate this room as the ‘Most Aspirational’ Room of the show.
1513 – ABSOLUTE SOUND
EMOTION & KRAFT
Kii Audio Kii Three Active Loudspeaker
Kii Audio Kii Control
Kii Audio Kii Stand
SOtM sMS-200ultra Roon Streamer
SOtM tx-USBultra USB Regenerator
SOtM sPS-500 Regulated Power Supply to power Streamer and USB Regen
SOtM sCLK-OSX10 Master Reclocker
SOtM sPS-500 Regulated Power Supply to power Master clock
Roon Nucleus Roon Server
SOtM sPS-500 Regulated Power Supply to power Roon Server
Transparent Audio Premium Line Power Cables and Conditioners
Bamboo platforms from Emotion and Kraft
Stillpoints Aperture Acoustic Panels
Total Cost of all the Equipment Showcased – 27.5L
Absolute Sound once again showcased the gear that was done the year before and we can state with confidence that this was going to be spectacular irrespectively. To say that the ‘Audiophile Crowd’ was happy is a forgone conclusion as JK, the set-up guru and owner of Absolute Sound always does his best to satisfy this crowd to the hilt. Having said so, we still have a lot of questions that need to be answered with regard to the Kii3 speakers as we have never heard them without the associated paraphernalia attached to them. How do they sound as is? Why can’t we hear them as is? What would be the outcome of the Kii3’s if they played without these attachments? Would they still sound as good? So many questions that aren’t being answered at the moment and we for one would love to learn the answers but only IF the opportunity so presents itself. Maybe, we need to speak with JK, to make this happen.
We can safely award this room as the winner of the ‘Audiophile’ Room of the show.
1514 – ELITE SCREENS
2 Screens, 1 with a short throw projector with some clips played in a loop, the other screen being a static display and one very disinterested person in charge of the room. That’s it folks!
1515 – LUXURY PERSONIFIED LLP
A complete illuminated wall of various Marshall Wireless Speakers of varying sizes dominated the room, along with a wall of Marshall Headphones were on display. We rather liked the sound of the Marshall speakers and would definitely love to hear a few of their models as & when we get the opportunity to review them if at all it happens. Prices were not advised to us so unfortunately we cannot state the same in this write up.
1516 – LUXURY PERSONIFIED LLP
Stars of the room were the Devialet Phantom Reactor 600 & 900 Ultra Compact Wireless Speakers, which are priced at 99K & 1.2L respectively. Also on display were the carry cases called Skin (30k) & stands called Legs (20K). As is with the bigger Phantoms, the Reactors go very loud and that is their claim to fame. Whilst it’s all good and fun for a while, one gets the feeling that fatigue sets in rather quickly with all this high SPL shining. Not to our liking to be very honest.
1518 & 1519 – BENQ INDIA PVT. LTD.
A couple of projectors showcased in each room, darkened rooms due to lights being shut off and again a couple of attendants walking around like zombies. The W2700 was the notable new model being showcased and on demo.
1520 – EIGHT AUDIO
Eight Audio is established in Hyderabad Telangana, and has brought in revolutionary designs of Danesian Audio (Denmark).
Eight Audio also design, develop and manufacture high-quality Audio Amplifiers, Pre-Amplifiers, Speakers, DAC’s using high-grade components. Eight Audio have been designing and building hand crafted high-end audio amplifiers and speakers for about 8 years. Eight Audio’s pricing is also rather very reasonable with the prices of the models showcased at the show as follows:
SATORI ARA BOOK SHELF SPEAKERS: 1.25L
SATORI RINJANI TOWER SPEAKERS: 1.5L
NOTE: 10K EXTRA FOR GLOSSY FINISHES (BLACK, WHITE)
Both the above speaker models were paired with Parasound Z Series Pre+Power Amps, with a Marantz CD Player. Why they did not showcase their speakers with their own amplifiers is a question mark though.
For the price, we rather liked what the ARA & RINJANI had to offer and surely look forward to hearing them in the near future as and when they arrive for a review. The attendants manning the room were young and dynamic which is always a good sign of an up and coming company.