Mar 272011

My Exhibitors Prologue feature which I wrote last year as an introduction/preview to the National Audio Show at Whittlebury Hall was so popular that I decided to put a similar item together for the Audio World 2011 show which was to be held at the Park Inn Hotel, London, Heathrow; the question was though, who to feature in such an article?

Arriving early on Friday afternoon at the Park Inn Hotel, I booked into my room, relaxed and then had something to eat across the road from the hotel in a very nice pub that also happens to serve very good quality, reasonably priced pub grub.

Anyway on returning to the hotel I happened to bumped into Harry O’sullivan in the foyer and my ‘who to pick’ question was answered after he responded positively to my suggestion of featuring the Music First room. Explaining they could not set up their room until after 7 o’clock (you are required to pay more for the privilege of being able to set up earlier) I returned to my room for a short while before heading down to the exhibition area for 7 o’clock.

I was greeted by Harry, Jonathan Billington of Stevens & Bilington (owners of Music First), Lucy (one of their employees and Pre-amp builder extraordinaire) and John Howes (1) and Mike Blackwood of John Howes Acoustics who were waiting to get into their rooms. With the arrival of the keys to the rooms I decided to muck in and help Music First move their gear from their vehicles. After-all It hardly seemed either right or fair to just take photos and not help out; so I rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in.

After a fair bit of backwards and forwards, moving lots of heavy gear to rooms 18 and 19 the process of un-boxing began and then setting up. Music First had a number of flight cases made to store their gear including a very nice Revox A77 and Quad amplification; among other items.

After a fair bit of basic set up and then more specific set up the rooms began to take shape.

In room 19 John Howes and Mike Blackwood were setting up a pair of their speakers and amplification; as Music First had opted to use them in their second exhibition room. Interestingly the speakers and Quad 2 amps were in Music First colours (I wonder how many show goers noticed that. Truth be told I was told by Harry, otherwise I would not have picked up on this either).

I must say that I really enjoyed my time helping the Music First/John Howes Acoustics  team out as they are all really nice people.

I offer this set of photos as a tribute to mark the hours of unseen work that exhibitors put into setting up an audio show such as this one.

Over the next few days the Show Report proper will start to appear but in the mean time enjoy this sneak preview of Music First.

(1) John Howes also had his own room.


© Text/Photos Copyright 2011 Adventures in High Fidelity Audio.

NB No part or portion of this article may be reproduced or quoted without written permission.

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