Gramophone 'Spring Showcase' 2024

At Gramophone, we love a consumer event, and we’ve just finished one! Spring Showcase 2024 is now in the books, so let’s update you on all the happenings. Nearly a hundred Gramophone consumers stopped by to enjoy good food, music, and conversation, and to chat with some of our top manufacturers as they show off their latest gear. Let’s start with the outdoor activities

Séura showed off a stunning outdoor TV display, brought to us by Jeff Allen and the team at Aurora Group. Standard indoor TVs simply won’t work outside. They are not bright enough to provide a clear, bright picture when surrounded by the sun’s rays. Nor are they able to withstand the heat, cold, snow, humidity, and rain that we encounter outdoors. Séura has been making great-looking outdoor TVs for years. The display model TV that Aurora Group brought with them even featured water running down the middle of the picture screen, in case you don’t believe that an outdoor TV can really survive in the elements. How cool is it to watch an Orioles game outdoors, enjoying the sunshine while having a summer afternoon picnic?  

Adam from Coastal Source brought down the full Coastal display truck and treated us to both lighting and audio. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a Coastal Source demo, Adam-style. Those speakers can crank like mad without distortion – and have remarkably audiophile qualities that you simply don’t expect in an outdoor speaker. Even our most veteran salespeople were impressed! 

John Bevier did demos and answered questions with both Rega turntables and Chord Electronics. The Chord Ultima Integrated amp in particular captured everyone’s attention, driving some of our largest and most demanding loudspeakers with ease. Chord is all about studio-grade performance, and Chord Mojo 2 is one of the most strongly sold DAC / headphone amplifier products at Gramophone. We discovered why the Mojo 2 is a What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year winner, and a HiFi Choice Editor’s Choice winner, too. He also showed DAVE, Chord’s flagship DAC, so we could hear why it is one of the finest DACs in the world.

Our Focal Powered by Naim demo was an absolute hit with our customers. To be fair, David Cohen of Focal and Jim Tharp (local rep) were playing an elite system – a $200,000 Focal Maestro-based system in our Experience Center. Sonically, what’s not to like? Most of us have never before heard something that outstanding. David and Jim curated a great-sounding group of songs, from classical to classic rock, and they didn’t hold back on the volume knob. It sounded amazing, and we noticed that our guests were smiling broadly!

Vince Bruzzese, founder of Totem Acoustic, is one of our most entertaining vendor partners. His combination of a soft-spoken and easygoing manner, plus his heartfelt enthusiasm for his designs, never fails to disappoint. He was ably assisted by Lucy Lentini and Paul LaPlaca of Totem, plus Fred Carrico with Aurora Group, our local Totem reps. Their room was busy the whole evening, as listeners were taken in by the huge soundstage and impressive bass generated by the slim Totem speakers – notably the vanishingly slender Tribe Tower.   

Jim Kershaw of Stewart Filmscreen and Tim Painter with NuTech (our Sony / Stewart Filmscreen rep) made video presentations in our twin theater rooms. Any high-end projector presentation crosses over into discussing screens, and any screen presentation naturally includes some projector discussion; Spring Showcase was no exception. Tim highlighted Sony’s class-leading projector lineup and also discussed what to expect from Sony’s innovative new 2024 flat panel displays. Jim used the knowledge he has gained from decades of repping Stewart Filmscreen to share with our clients what things to be aware of when choosing the right screen for your home theater.

Wireless speaker technology and wireless streaming have improved massively over the past few decades, so the wireless technology audiophiles once scoffed at is now a very important part of our business. John Turchinetz, our KEF regional sales rep, demonstrated the extremely popular LSX II Wireless system, showing the crowd that convenience and ease of use can in fact co-exist with audiophile sound quality.  Even better, the LSX II takes up almost no room! Speaking of taking up very little room, John showed off KEF’s amazing new subwoofer, the KC92. Its compact dimensions make it a perfect complement to the space-saving LSX II. Better still, you can now stack a pair of KC92 subwoofers by using KEF’s new KSC 92 Subwoofer Stacking Kit. You’ll get even more impressive bass output, but give up no additional floor space. We made a video with John showing us how the Kit goes together easily.  

Last but not least, the Masimo team of Kevin Zarow, Michele Varro, and Aurora Group’s Pete Madueno presented the amazing new Bowers & Wilkins 702 S 3 and 705 S 3 Signature speakers. These are among the most gorgeous speakers we have ever seen, and Bowers has included a whole series of sonic upgrades as well. The system sounded fabulous, and if you have not seen and heard Signature products from Bowers & Wilkins, you simply must stop in for an audition. You’ll be as impressed as we are by these beauties!

Thanks go out to all the folks who made this event possible: our valued business partners, and our vendors, first and foremost. Without all of you taking the time to travel and visit us, and then giving such wonderful presentations, the Spring Showcase could not have happened.  Thanks too go out to Bruce, Dave, and our entire Gramophone set-up crew, who worked tirelessly to get the showrooms ready for the vendors to get ready.  Last but not least – thanks to all you wonderful clients of Gramophone, who showed up to have some fun with us!  We hope you can join us at our next event!