It’s surprising that no-one came up with the idea sooner, but an audio show dedicated to all things vinyl is – in hindsight – an obvious choice for a niche show. Over the weekend of the 23rd-24th April, at the Park Inn just outside London’s Heathrow Airport, a small but energetic group of manufacturers, distributors, and dealers assembled to showcase the latest in top-notch turntablism.
The show size was either a problem or an opportunity to visitors. With less than 20 rooms given over to the event, show-goers were either happy that they could take their time giving each one a useful amount of time both in listening and discussing the products on show, or they raced around the show as if it had 200 rooms and considered it poor value for money. Meanwhile, manufacturers were not sure whether to expect a cohort of hipsters, or a cabal of older vinylistas who had not been to a show in 25 years. The reality, in both cases, probably sits somewhere between the two poles: a niche show is always going to attract a niche crowd, both in terms of visitors and exhibitors, and Styl:us was no exception. I still think the show was largely reaching the older end of the vinyl spectrum (the end of the ‘vinyl’ era, rather than the start of the ‘vinyls’ age), but overall it was a positive first effort.
Ammonite Audio chose the 'bazaar' (as opposed to the 'bizarre') approach to its range of vinyl accessories, Jelco tonearms, and Miyajima cartridges. This worked really well for the audience attending the event
Stephen Harper of The Audio Consultants spent most of the weekend demonstrating the importance of good record cleanliness, with before and after demonstrations of showgoers LPs ultrasonically cleaned with the Audio Desk Systeme
Clearaudio turntables and GamuT electronics and loudspeakers were popular choices at the show, appearing in several rooms, including the lecture theatre
The innovative Plato media playing system by Entotem is about to be updated with a new Class A amplifier stage, which will be followed by a sensing power supply for truly international playback. The Plato's LP ripping system is particularly clever and one to watch...
The show wasn't totally about vinyl. HiFiHeadphones was allowed in to demonstrate its wide range of headphone amplifiers and loudspeakers... as long as they played them through a vinyl source! The MrSpeakers Ether and Ether C headphones were a popular choice