A Little Bear from Brentwood Explores Sound & Vision, The Bristol Show

Every year at the Marriott City Centre Hotel, in Bristol, Audio T organises the Sound & Vision - The Bristol Show in association with What Hi-Fi?

Now in it's 31st year, the Bristol Show is the largest and longest running consumer Hi-Fi and home audio show in the UK and continues to go from strength to strength showcasing the latest and greatest Hi-Fi from the UK and from around the world. This year there were well over 200 brands exhibiting!

This year Boswell our intrepid teddy bear (from Brentwood not Peru!) took a short tour and stopped for a few selfies along the way. 

 Boswell looking regal in the Rega room!

Boswell looking regal in the Rega room!

It's a very busy show so he had to sneak photo opportunities wherever he could without getting in the way of the eager and enthusiastic listeners in every room, but he was most impressed with the breadth of equipment available and the great energy from both exhibitors and attendees alike.

 The sound from the Exposure room was enticing, plus Boswell couldn't resist the lighting!

The sound from the Exposure room was enticing, plus Boswell couldn't resist the lighting!

A lot of the rooms were dark spaces full of sound, not the best for photographs, but Naim and Dynaudio were making some great sounds. Still more exhibitors choose to have timed and structured demonstrations like KEF and B&W both showing off their technological advances in the world of loudspeakers.

 Boswell did have a chance to perch on the new Monitor Audio Studio speakers which were rather wonderful.

Boswell did have a chance to perch on the new Monitor Audio Studio speakers which were rather wonderful.

 Revel are now being handled in the UK by Arcam alongside Mark Levinson as part of Harman Luxury Audio.

Revel are now being handled in the UK by Arcam alongside Mark Levinson as part of Harman Luxury Audio.

 Quadraspire were so take with Boswell they even let him hold one of their new Q Plus isolation devices which are used when a rack is impossible or to further enhance performance on a rack

Quadraspire were so take with Boswell they even let him hold one of their new Q Plus isolation devices which are used when a rack is impossible or to further enhance performance on a rack

 Rega turntables have always been popular with the little bear and this years Record Store Day limited edition promises to be a corker!

Rega turntables have always been popular with the little bear and this years Record Store Day limited edition promises to be a corker!

Needless to say there was so much to see and hear that it is impossible to do it justice in a short blog. Let's just say the Sound & Vision - The Bristol Show should be on every enthusiasts list of must-attend events. There are some gems in every bedroom and you will often be left impressed and amazed by what you see and hear.

 Not only was Boswell very impressed by the Quad equipment on display especially the new Solus but he also had a chance to catch up with his old friend Paddington who travels with the lovely people from IAG. Now where did I put those marmalade sandwiches.

Not only was Boswell very impressed by the Quad equipment on display especially the new Solus but he also had a chance to catch up with his old friend Paddington who travels with the lovely people from IAG. Now where did I put those marmalade sandwiches.

The 2019 Sound & Vision - The Bristol Show is held from the 22nd to the 24th of February. You really should come along for a look, a listen, and possibly even purchase b(e)argain! Trust the bear from Brentwood he thoroughly recommends it. Hope to see you next year!

Reflecting on 25 Years Of Service at Audio T

It only seems like yesterday when as a teenager I first set foot in Audio Excellence in Swansea to purchase my first Hi-Fi, and who knows that it would have led to this....

At 16 years of age I had saved all of my part time job money so that I could become the very proud owner of a new Dual Turntable, NAD amplifier and Celestion speakers. That is where (what was to be) my life long love of music and hi-fi began.

I had only bought a few LP's up until that point which I played on the family music centre which was very average at best! I had heard a friends system and I wanted one of my own. A few months later I had my system and had started buying a lot more music to listen to. This then lead to going to see the artists I liked in concert and more visits to Audio Excellence, although these trips were mainly to buy more anti-static record sleeves for my ever growing collection.

A few years later and I found myself being made redundant and making daily visits to the job centres around the area, until one day I saw an advert for an electrical retailer with the hours Tuesday to Saturday. I instantly knew who it was, so I grabbed an application form and headed off to a friends workplace to fill it in as it was on the way to the shop. Once filled in I carried straight on straight to Audio Excellence to hand the application form in and was lucky enough to have a preliminary interview straight away. A few days later and it was off to the Cardiff Head Office for an interview with Tony Revelle. This is one day that I can remember very well indeed as I drove up in my Vauxhall Viva that was not in the best of running order, but not having money to fix it I arrived at Cardiff a little oily due to several maintenance stops. Laying on the floor under the car greasing the ball-joints in your best clothes somewhere near Bridgend was not the best of things to doing but the car got me there. I remember not being able to shake hands with Tony as I had dirty hands, but once we had started talking about the car while I freshened up it put me at great ease and that's where the story began...

 A few silver whiskers and beard hairs these days!

A few silver whiskers and beard hairs these days!

25 years later I still have the same feelings about music and hi-fi, to the point that I could write exactly the same things on that application form as I did over 25 years ago; "I love listening to vinyl, I love listening to live music and love getting the best from my hi-fi".

So what has changed in all these years? Well I guess I'd have to say that why we do what we do hasn't changed at all, we still want to make sure that people get the same enjoyment from music as we do. People often ask me if I am still into "the gear" and I have to reply that "it's the music I love", and if you want to enjoy music to its fullest then there is simply no substitute for a well set up hi-fi and helping other people to get the same enjoyment has always given me great pleasure.

Thinking about how the methods of listening of music for so many people has changed over the years it did make laugh to think that as a teenager I was very excited about coming in to listen to my first turntable based system and I am now demonstrating the very same things to teenagers myself! Who would have predicted that one eh?

 The cable guy...

The cable guy...

Also, to think that I have worked at the Annual Sound & Vision - The Bristol Show for over 20 years is amazing. Again, I remember most of these as if they were yesterday although there are some days that are a little fuzzy but nothing to do with too much to drink.... obviously!

We recently celebrated Audio T's 50th Anniversary with a great evening at the shop, and 2017 also sees the 10th Anniversary of Record Store Day which is one day of the year I really look forward to. We hope to do something very special this year to celebrate as we were one of the first shops to team up with our local Record shop and make it a big day for us.

As you can imagine; I have made some wonderful friendships over the years with colleagues and customers alike, which makes me feel very lucky. Here's looking forward to the next part of the story......