Report from the Top Audio Show - Milan 2008
The Show season kicked off as AMR for the second time, attended the Top Audio Show: Atahotel Quark in Milan courtesy of ProAudio Italia, AMR's distributor for Italy.
The Top Audio Show ran from 18th – 21st September (inclusive); a 4-day show which is most unusual.

In the ProAudio Italia room – the brands on display were AMR, Analysis Plus, Coda, Definitive Technology, Modwright, The Funk Firm, Raysonic and Triode.

The main system that played for the lion’s share of the time consisted of: of CD-77 > Coda pre and power amp > Definitive Technology Mythos speakers with cabling by Analysis Plus and Lovan stands.

This time around, taking into account the economic turbulence:

- more customers came in enquiring about AMR and our Italian distributor, Michele Cicala was on hand to explain the CD-77 and AM-77.

- visitors were down, the most noticeable was a lack of non-Italian EU visitors. Last year, many visitors from the EU countries came to the Top
Audio Show. This is no surprise given the popularity of this Show coupled with the central location of Milan in northern Italy.

- there was a definite interest in more mid-priced items, mainly equipment that was from EUR3,000 up to EUR6,000.

- there were more “other halves” this year and the Italian clientele is certainly very studious when it comes to making notes for their preferred rooms for repeat visits.

- the organisation of the Show was again, well handled, the customer footfall flowed well and there were very few bottlenecks. More space was opened up as we estimate that the number of exhibitors was definitely up year on year.

- there remains a high percentage of CD software on sale, predominantly classical and jazz music.

- being car buffs ourselves we were pleased to see that a classic VW Beetle had been modified by Pioneer to run their latest DVD and audio equipment. There was even a “sweet spot” in the rear as it had the speakers directed to fire at this optimal listening position. Who says the WASP setup does not work in a car?

Old and New Friends
Srajan Ebaen – came into the room and cast his eyes over ProAudio Italia’s portfolio of equipment. See photo of him trying to take of with some off the equipment!

Ray Kimber - of Kimber Kable who was on hand to exhibit DSD recordings in a very large venue that sonically speaking, was difficult to tame

Ken Kessler – of HiFi News fame came in and cast his eyes over the CD-77. He was certainly very pleased to hear that the CD-77 has his favourite digital-to-analogue converter, the venerable TDA1541A.

Alan Sircom – of HiFi Choice and HiFi Plus came in and took all the photos he needed before he poured over the equipment in the room.

Amedeo Schembri of Viva Audio Devices – these guys are very friendly and we always make the effort to meet up to discuss industry trends whenever we are at a Show.In the evening, we dined at the "Trotter Restaurant" (address: Via Rembrandt 56). Trotter is Italian for "Horse" as it is located close to a horse race track (there are numerous photographs of racehorses on the wall so there are no surprises there) is a great restaurant also located very near to the San Siro stadium (soccer stadium for AC and Inter Milan).the service and atmosphere and most of all, the
food was excellent.

On the whole, the Top Audio Show was busy but not as busy as last year as the economic turbulence had an impact upon this Show.

Nevertheless, for those wishing to see the European equivalent of the Rocky Mountain Audio Show, the Top Audio Show is the place to be.


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