pl | en

No. 223 December 2022


images „High Fidelity”

No 223

December 1, 2022

A SHOW as a CONCERT experience

‘SHOW’ –
1. «a collection of items on display»
2. «a place, where such collection is displayed»
3. «shop window with goods on display»
„Słownik Języka Polskiego PWN” →

DON'T KNOW WHEN EXACTY ARE YOU going to read this words, during or after the Audio Video Show 2022 in Warsaw. However, regardless of whether you are just visiting the rooms of the Radisson Blu Sobieski and Golden Tulip hotels, or you are strolling through the wide corridors of PGE Narodowy, or you are already at home, this event will be one of the the most important events of this year.

⸜ Audio Video Show 2019 and participant of the „High Fidelity” workshops

One of the reasons - an important, although not the most important one - is the fact that it returns after two years of absence caused by restrictions introduced due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We have almost forgotten about this social and economic catastrophe, although its successive waves are still with us. First the High-End Show in Munich, and now the one in Warsaw in a symbolic way are "opening" the industry anew. I am talking about these two events because they seem to be the most important ones for our industry.

Each for a different reason. High End is a "business" place. Although two days are open to visitors, the most is "happening" on the first and second day, intended for the industry only. There is not much music there, but a lot of presentations, meetings and shared meals. The Audio Video Show, on the other hand, is a place where music is listened to. This has been emphasized many times by both journalists from around the world and manufacturers. Both types of shows are needed and each has a slightly different task.

From the point of view of a music lover, audiophile, or simply a person interested in an unusual event, the audio show is a place where they can see a large part of what is most important and the latest in audio under, so to speak, one roof. This is a truly unique opportunity, because there is no showroom in the world that would offer at least a fraction of the brands we meet at shows, not to mention presentations.

And yet it is so that audiophiles, with time, with gaining experience, visit Warsaw - let's stick to this example - less and less often. Among my friends, also among the members of the Krakow Sonic Society, there are many who openly declare their dislike of such events, often even disgust. Their argumentation is simple and completely correct: at an audio show you can't hear even a small percentage of a given product’s or system’s capabilities. It's about acoustically unprepared rooms, overloaded power grids, RFI and EMI noise generated by countless audio devices, as well as people constantly entering and leaving rooms.

⸜ Audio Video Show Praha 2020 and the crowd waiting at the entrance

That's true. There is no reason to repaint a horse into a zebra, because the horse is what it is. It remembered it exactly at the moment when I was sending my friends from KSS my and my son's photo from THE CURE concert. The day I had been waiting for came on October 20th, and at 7:30 p.m., way before the start of the show, we were already drinking beer, walking through the corridors surrounding the Tauron Arena. The day was eagerly awaited as Robert Smith's band was one of my favorites in my school days. To this day, I eagerly reach for Disintegration or - these are later times - Wish/p>

The performance of the British band was long, and ended with many encores. Most of the songs were played almost exactly like on the albums. This is an interesting trend. I remember how in 2013 we were, also with my son, at PETER GABRIEL's concert in Łódź, during which he played 1:1 the So album, and a year later in Sala Kongresowa in Warsaw YES played, also 1:1, three of their classic albums: The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One, Bartek then wrote a report on this event for the

It was a fashion based on the fact that great records were slowly becoming classics comparable to - nomen omen - classic music. That is, "sanctified" by the recorded performances, which became the only and the correct version for the fans. And yet, for years, one of the coolest properties of live performances was that you could hear concert, i.e. different, changed, enriched, extended versions of well-known and loved songs. After all, the concert was an opportunity to listen to the long solos of individual instrumentalists and learn about their abilities. This created a bootleg market that took advantage of the fact that each show was a little different.

With the decline of the progressive trend in popular music, this became increasingly outdated. Today, the "classic", including the rock music, is petrified. And that's exactly what happened at the Cure concert. I'm not complaining. More than that, it's actually what I expected, and Smith gave us exactly what we asked for. Already the first sounds of the bells informed us what we were going to listen to, a few bars of drums and we knew that a characteristic guitar riff would come in a moment.

‘FAIRS’ – «a national or international exhibition offering an overview of exhibits from various fields of production» „Słownik Języka Polskiego PWN” →

But I don’t want to talk about that… The sound was bad. Although I attended many great-sounding performances of large bands in Tauron Arena, I accepted it "as it was", understanding that it was a social event, not an audiophile one. After all, it was MY band, right? And when I was taking the aforementioned selfie, it occurred to me that we experience audio shows in exactly the same way.

⸜ Munich High End 2022 and one of the presentations – Raidho Acoustics

It is obvious that in most cases the sound "isn’t good". The absolute truth is that usually you can't count on comfortable listening conditions, because you are sitting or standing next to strangers, others sneak in in front of you, enter the listening field, peek behind the loudspeakers, etc. These are the things we avoid sitting alone in front of a pair of speakers in an armchair or on a couch. Nothing distracts us, it's just us and the equipment. I meant - us and the music, of course.

On the other hand, at a show we meet brands that we value or that we dream about. We can approach their creators, shake their hand and say a few kind words. We have an opportunity to sit down for a while at one of the many meetings, workshops and presentations. There are novelties, there are special presentations, there are things that you won't see anywhere else, and you won't hear anywhere else.

Therefore, it is worth thinking about the shows differently. Not like about a place where we can really hear how some products sounds like. The chance that we will change our mind will appear if we approach the show same way as a rock or even jazz concert. Because it's all about emotions. And what is more exciting for an audiophile than seeing something new that he or she only knows from audio magazines? Even if he/she doesn't hear what he/she wants, even such a confrontation with the object of interest is worth the effort. I am not saying that we all have to visit the shows. All I'm saying is rethink your attitude.

After all, at a concert our beloved guitarist can play on a planed stick, a favorite trumpeter on a wooden trumpet, and a dream drummer on mud drums - it doesn't matter. We don't go to a concert to listen to an album. We can listen to it at home, which is one of the reasons why a concert is completely different experience from a recording. The dreams of some audiophiles about the recording being the most faithful "documentary" are not realistic. It does not work like that. A concert "story" has no common points with a recording "story", even if it is a live recording.

If you succeed, I guarantee you that your perspective will change. Going to a show you will feel like you are going to a concert. Maybe not with a beer in hand, but with records, still the impressions will be similar. People - it’s cool, we love the same things. Crowd - that's what it looks like. Poor sound - we didn't expect anything else. But if in all this we manage to sit down once or twice and hear something that knocks our socks off, we will remember it for life. And that's what it's all about, the emotions.

Chief editor

About Us

We cooperate


Our reviewers regularly contribute to  “Enjoy the”, “”“”  and “Hi-Fi Choice & Home Cinema. Edycja Polska” .

"High Fidelity" is a monthly magazine dedicated to high quality sound. It has been published since May 1st, 2004. Up until October 2008, the magazine was called "High Fidelity OnLine", but since November 2008 it has been registered under the new title.

"High Fidelity" is an online magazine, i.e. it is only published on the web. For the last few years it has been published both in Polish and in English. Thanks to our English section, the magazine has now a worldwide reach - statistics show that we have readers from almost every country in the world.

Once a year, we prepare a printed edition of one of reviews published online. This unique, limited collector's edition is given to the visitors of the Audio Show in Warsaw, Poland, held in November of each year.

For years, "High Fidelity" has been cooperating with other audio magazines, including “Enjoy the” and “” in the U.S. and “”  in Germany. Our reviews have also been published by “”.

You can contact any of our contributors by clicking his email address on our CONTACT  page.

positive-feedback linia hifistatement linia Net Audio

Audio Video show

Vinyl Club AC Records
Audio Video show