Salon Son & Image / Montreal Audio Show Cancelled

From today's press release:
It is with considerable sadness that we have to inform you that it has been decided to defer this year’s Salon Son & Image Show/Montreal Audio Show due to take place at the Bonaventure Hotel on the 18 – 20 March 2016.

The deciding factor has been market support, with a substantial drop in companies wanting to support this long established event.

I attended the SSI show back in 2012 and had a ball (see show coverage) so I view this news as a real shame. Before we take this as a sign the industry is on the verge of collapse, I would suggest that a show's success, or failure, largely lies at the feet of show organizers.

While I have not attended Axpona, and only covered the first Newport Beach show for Stereophile, word has it that these shows are on the rise both in terms of exhibitors and attendance. That being said, this year's CES was a tad dismal in terms of turnout and it sure seemed to me that there were less exhibitors than usual.

With Munich only months away, yay!, I look forward to getting the pulse of what I consider one of the best audio shows around.

A Joke Turned Pitch
During CES I joked with a few people, when talking about the sag in CES' mojo and how much I hate being in Las Vegas, that we should coordinate a hi-fi show to coincide with SXSW. What better combination than live music and hi-fi in Austin? That's an event I'd camp out for.

I'd be curious to hear what you think of this pitch....

Denis de Montréal's picture

disappointed. I planned to go this time after not attending for the last 3 years. There is an obvious declining interest in high end audio among people nowadays. One is more interested in Mobile Technologies, Home Theater, Portable MP3 music players, Blue Tooth portable speakers, rather than the good sound of HiFi. Shall we call it progress?

Decodering's picture

I don't believe there is the market critical mass to make the event doable (profitable). As has been pointed out ad nauseum here and elsewhere, I think that the vast majority of people are satisfied with the quality of sound they get, especially when they look at the cost of improving what they hear and the complexity of doing so.

For instance, I've spent the last few years replacing all the AAC files with Redbook recordings and meticulously ripping hundreds of CDs to get the most of my existing system. I admit that I would have a better system if I could afford it, but I cannot. And while I really can tell the difference in sound quality between streaming Spotify and listening to CD-quality and hi-res recordings, to be frank, I love Spotify. (To be clear, I still buy as much music as possible in addition to my Spotify subscription, and I would never buy anything less than CD-quality.) I would love it even more if it were possible to stream CD-quality music. I'd even sign up with Apple Music if they offered such a service. But two things: Spotify is a real joy to use; and sometimes there are lossy recordings that sound surprisingly good through my system.

So I totally get why lots and lots of people don't see the added value of expensive, seemingly complicated systems when their needs can be met with simple systems and lossy music files. I don't see that changing any time soon.

Bill Leebens's picture

One of the main issues with high-end audio at CES is that compared to the main freakshow, the high-end audio exhibits are very small cheese indeed, and the organizers (CEA/CTA) don't give a rat's ass about us/the audio geeks.

I suspect that grafting it onto SXSW would be a similar mismatch, with rooms and flights as inflated and extortionate as they are in Las Vegas...and with the added annoyance of artisanally-curated hipster bullshit.

Yes, I am cynical and old. Meanwhile: best of luck with the resuscitation attempt to Michel and Sarah!

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...and what I remember most is the over-abundance of great music to be had every day, all day, and all night. I was also very fortunate to have Robert Baird as my guide, so there was also great food and great times.

The idea that hi-fi and music is a mismatch is like peeing on my dream, Bill ;-)

mikeinvt's picture

I have always enjoyed going to the show but given the industries focus on the ultra high end that just isn't affordable for most of us, it comes as no surprise to me that interest is declining. The price increases that most of the High End Audio companies have exposed us to are not in tune with what has happened to the rest of the retail industry. In fact the High End Audio industry introduces new versions of the same old every two years just to increase the price by another $5000.00. How many versions of a Wilson loudspeaker have we been exposed to over the last 10 years? If a car manufacturer would do the same they would be out of business in a short amount of time. Let's face it, High End Audio has become a playground for the rich and ultra rich.