01 Jul What goes into a HiFi Show?
Huge amounts of planning, great staff, enthusiastic partners… and a lot of fun!
Today we welcome you to a more candid blog, looking at the unseen side of exhibiting at the recent Stereonet HiFi Show. Following the success of the world first 24.10.10 demonstration, initial planning and discussion led toward demonstrating a more achievable channel count and equipment list – so a 9.4.4 layout (with bi-amped MX-40) was chosen early on, which would also demonstrate the capabilities of the Trinnov Altitude +4 update and new 16 channel Amplitude amplifier.
The MX-40 LCR were bi-amped, with active filters managed inside the Trinnov Altitude16.
Planning and logistics would easily be the hardest, most time-consuming aspect of a HiFi Show. From freight logistics and hotel policies to staff flights and accommodation, one forgotten item has the potential to make or break the show. Having all equipment accounted for – speakers, subs, audio processor, video processor, amplifiers, source player, projector, screen, DAC’s, switches, modems, brackets and cables (speaker, interconnect, network and power) are all integral to success. Having super-reliable speakers and extra backup equipment on hand is a necessity – reliability and uptime is paramount both at home and especially at a show!
We couldn’t have a show without fantastic partners – so we extend a big thank you to all the companies and individuals that contributed to making the show a big success. Marc and Ness from Stereonet, were as always, well organised and had everything running smoothly. Our rigging, trusswork, lighting and staging partners were also as helpful and efficient as ever, both in the planning and in the execution.
Trusswork, lighting and staging forms a large part of the exercise.
Our wonderful co-exhibitors Trinnov Audio not only sent us pre-production amplifiers and components, but they also sent Mr. Tom Garret, who presented with his usual flare and good-natured banter. HiFi shows are meant to be fun after all.
We had some of our other dealer’s pop in to lend a hand and Tony from Clarity Calibration made himself available until the late hours of the evening the night before opening, thanks Tony.
Barco Residential brought their stunning Njord projector to the party, along with 180” Screen Innovations Scope Screen and MadVR Envy video processor. One of the more nail-biting moments of setup (seen in the video at the end of this article) was lifting and positioning the 60kg+ projector up on its perch. Needing to be a specific height and distance from the seating area to meet safety requirements, it meant that the projector would sit 2.5m above ground level on a plinth connected to the main structure and weighted with two 150kg ballasts.
The majority of the Krix team arrived on the Wednesday morning before the show’s Friday opening, and promptly began forklifting and unpacking the 15 pallets of goods into the “Real Cinema Zone” while the rigging company constructed the trusses and lighting next door. The weather wasn’t the kindest on the day, and the majority of the forking/loading was done in the rain. By the end of the day, all trusswork, lighting, flooring and speakers were in place. The team had also managed to position the enormous KX-5996 cinema speaker in the hotel lobby, which would turn out to be a major talking point of the show.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
The 3.6m tall KX-5996 commercial cinema speaker stands in the hotel lobby. This speaker suits auditoriums up to 80m deep.
Friday morning started in earnest with cable runs, rack builds and curtain hanging, and by early afternoon the system was ready for some Trinnov Optimizer magic. This is the point where half the team retreat into the shadows to let the engineers and designers “talk things out”. With preset names starting with “DON’T TOUCH THIS ANDREW v1” and evolving from there, it was nice to see a mutual agreement from all parties without too much bloodshed.
Krix tradition: setting up a “target dummy” in the money seat of the cinema.
The idea was to deliver the dynamic, smooth and focused sound of the MX-40 that could be enjoyed for hours on end, while maintaining the impact and bass that the mighty Megacyclonix subs were capable of. The line had to be drawn somewhere though, as the ceiling tiles of the State Ballroom began to sympathetically vibrate and ring when turned up past reference levels. Such is life at a HiFi show. The result was a well-balanced room that felt very comfortable at reference levels without diminishing from the surround sound field or feeling too overwhelming.
The Megacyclonix features dual 18″ drivers with an astounding 106dB sensitivity.
The “Real Cinema Zone” in State Ballroom 2 had also been transformed into a Trinnov/Series MX display room, where punters could see the products in the flesh and chat to dealers, Krix engineers and staff.
The “Real Cinema Zone”.
As evening approached, most of the crew headed down to the hotel lobby for dinner while a few video enthusiasts watched on as Tony O’Brien weaved his magic with the Barco/Envy duo.
The Main Event
As show day rolled around, a few last tweaks were made to the system and demo scenes were locked in. Tom from Trinnov and Don from Krix steered the ship in the demo cinema and presented what makes Krix and Trinnov unique manufacturers, before firing up some demo scenes. During that first demo scene of the show (A Quiet Place II), a woman jumped out of her seat, looked at her partner and they both laughed… we knew we were in for a fun ride!
Don MacKenzie from Krix presenting the Real Cinema at Home demonstration.
Over the course of the three days, the feedback on both the 9.4.4 demonstration and Real Cinema Zone was incredibly positive. Friday was attended at very close to full capacity, and Saturday and Sunday saw completely booked out sessions across both days.
After two years of lockdowns and cancelled shows, it was a thrill to be able to see the smiles on people’s faces as they were transported into the movies. Catching up with people within the industry and chatting to show attendees about their rooms, equipment and their love of movies, was what the show was all about.
Tony from Build Montage (YouTube) spent some time with the Krix team and streamed videos from the show.
It was also a great opportunity to spend some time together outside of the usual workday structure. Saturday night saw the team “order-in” for a memorable night of good food and conversations, followed by a sneaky screening of A Quiet Place in the cinema room.
Once the show was over there was a big sigh of relief and a brief moment of relaxation before the realisation of the mammoth job of packing up and “bumping out” set in. By now everyone was getting a little bit tired, delusional and the shenanigans began. One big push until 1am and everything was ready for loading the next morning while the team could have a well earned sleep-in. After a long six days, it was time for everyone to head home to their families, tired but feeling a huge sense of accomplishment. We’d like to thank everyone involved once again for making the show a huge success, at the end of the day it’s the people that make it special. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Check out the video of the event here:
9.5m x 7m x 3m
Front LCR speakers and subwoofers: MX-40
Listener level surround speakers: Megaphonix Flat x 6
Overhead speakers: Megaphonix Centre x 4
Rear subwoofers: Megacyclonix x 2
Processor: Trinnov Altitude16
Amplifiers: Trinnov Amplitude16
Source: Zidoo UHD3000
Video Processor: MadVR Envy
Projector: Barco Njord
Projector Screen: Screen Innovations 180” Acoustically Transparent Cinemascope