Making your first foray into the world of audio visual technology can feel like a step into an ocean of uncertainty. Does price equal quality? What do I actually need? Should I only stick to big name brands? For the past two years, the Melbourne HiFi Show has been here to guide us through, showcasing a breathlessly exciting range of gear and events. Mixdown laid down five unmissable reasons to head along to Australia's biggest audio and entertainment HiFi Show.
1. Australia's only three-day record fair
Vinyl has never been more in vogue, and accordingly, Melbourne HiFi offers a staggering three-day record bonanza. In 2016, the record fair shattered a figurative record with over 30 vendors bringing in 100,000 unique vinyl recordings and related pieces of memorabilia. Plus, all who spend over $50 (which, let's face it, will be all of us) are in the running to win a MMF 1.5 turntable each day. This year will see Vinyl Rules Music, JJ’s Vinyl and Candyflip Records amongst many others sling their varied wares, though if you feel like you have a sizable enough collection to offload yourself, you can grab your own sale table for just $100.
2. First ever public demo of Dolby's cinema-quality sound system
Dolby are debuting their 34-channel Dolby Atmos home cinema system at Melbourne HiFi, a theatre accurate sound experience previously unavailable for private consumers. Its public demo is shaping up to be a very speccie affair; taking place in the ballroom of the Pullman Mercure Hotel in Albert Park, with a special visual system designed by Barco. An array of 15-inch loudspeakers positioned behind the screen, along with 27 surround and overhead speakers, ten subwoofers and four dual 18s will leave even the snootiest of audiophiles drunk on fidelity.
3. History of radio exhibition
When eagerly anticipating the future, it's always worthwhile to take a look back at the past. The Historical Radio Society of Australia has curated a fascinating exhibition of radio equipment from the 1920s onwards. Don't miss the glorious kitsch of The Golden Age of Radio or the once groundbreaking hi-fi systems of the '60s and '70s, or a fascinating display of vintage televisions. The emphasis here is particularly on Australian works, as the society's collection packs nearly 30,000 radios.
4. A refreshing slice of affordability
Hi-fi is often regarded as prohibitively expensive, but the Melbourne HiFi Show is determined not to exclude those without bottomless pockets, namely through the presence of Osborn Loudspeakers, an affordable range of sound systems that doesn't sacrifice quality. Osborn is showcasing a system comprised of one integrated amplifier, DAC/Streamer and a pair of Osborn Reference Epitome Tower speakers, all in one economical package.
5. Catch a set from one of Melbourne's best emerging songwriters
Melbourne HiFi won't stop at gear, giveaways, record-breaking record fairs, or historical collections, adding live music to the figurative, but also actual mix, with a set from one ofMelbourne's best up and coming songwriters, Little Wise. Little Wise, whose real name is Sophie Klein, has been blazing a trail through the local and international scene with her wisened and soulful rock, at home with both an acoustic or Americana flecked electric guitar. Klein will perform a set from her second and crowdfunded second LP, with what could only be expected to be expectional sound over each day of the HiFi Show. You'll also be catching her right after returning from a string of shows in New York.
If you still need the extra little push, use the code MIXDOWN at www.hifishow.com.au/tickets for 20 percent off tickets. The Melbourne International Hifi Show will take place from October 12-14 at the Pullman Mercure Hotel. For more details, head to hifishow.com.au.