Bristol Show 2024 - noticeable names absent - General discussion.


Well-known member
Let me just say in advance, I knew the list of exhibitors before attending so knew these companies would not be there and yes, I could email them and ask them directly but…..

Anyone with any inside/dealer info, have an idea why KEF, Arcam, Q Acoustics, Denon, Marantz, Monitor Audio & Mission (there are probably more) were absent from the show? Especially as most of them have new gear out. Whilst I enjoyed listening to £120k Focal speakers on a Naim set-up, the show felt like a lot of the budget friendlier options were missing.

When I get more time I will add further thoughts on what I did listen too.

Anyone else go?

Any general feedback?
Last edited:
The Bristol Show is ridiculously expensive to attend and exhibit. Van hire, man hours loading/unloading, travelling, hotel bills, food, etc etc can pretty much triple the not insubstantial room cost.

With the Bristol Show being the most long standing show, it's the most well attended, so there's more to see than any other show. It's great for giving a new brand/product some exposure, but showing the same thing year in year out to mostly the same attendees isn't a cost effective exercise. Managed to get out of there at 9 this evening rather than almost midnight last year, which was only doable by taking less stock and keeping displays simple - we were packed up by half six, but still had to wait until 8 for a loading slot.

Some brands don't really need to the exposure, as they've done the show year in year out, so everyone knows the brand - would being at the show again further that? The big three speaker brands (KEF, Monitor Audio, and B&W) don't really need to be there. And some don't deal with Audio T, so see no point in getting involved.
Last edited:


Well-known member
I attended on Saturday. It was a long day for me, leaving home at 6:15am and not getting home until 9:45pm - Derby to Bristol by train. Overall I feel it was worth it, and I enjoyed the day despite the obvious gaps in brand representation.

I would have liked to hear Mission's latest releases, but IAG clearly made the decision to focus on Audiolab and Wharfedale. Alongside Mission they also excluded Quad, and made only a token gesture towards Leak by having them on silent display. The revived Castle brand was nowhere to be seen. The system they were demonstrating was superb though, and I enjoyed listening to it.

It isn't the best environment for making comprehensive judgements of kit, given the nature of the rooms and environmental noise, but useful and interesting nevertheless.

The brands that stood out to me were GoldenEar, Hegel, Amphion, Exposure, Acoustic Energy, Auralic, Harbeth, Audio Note, Dynaudio, Audiolab, ProAc, Dali and Rega.

I was underwhelmed by the very expensive Linn system, and didn't enjoy the Wilson Benesch set-up either. Also disappointing to me were Rotel Michi, Spendor and Cyrus.

Overall, I enjoyed streaming and CD sources more than I did vinyl. There was an interesting comparison between CD and vinyl versions of a Fleetwood Mac song in one of the Audio Note rooms, with the vinyl sounding very dull in comparison. I know, from owning both myself, that this is down to the vinyl pressing rather than the format itself.

The vinyl system I enjoyed the most was the Rega, but that's not really a surprise as it's something they do extremely well, and I having a longstanding liking for their kit. Their new compact floorstanders are superb, and a great match for the Elex MkIV,

Will I go for the third time next year? Yes. It's a good day out, and a chance to listen to some kit I could afford at some point, and some that will be forever out of reach.

Has it made me discontent with my own system? No. I had a very enjoyable listening session last evening, and I'm happy that my modest system would have been comfortable amongst some of the set-ups at the show.


Well-known member
So was I.

Shame, as it was nice to see them in a bigger room in a more prominent position and not tucked away in a tiny room upstairs.

Still, I have no doubt about their pedigree as I have always been impressed with the Linn products I have heard over the years.

I suspect the size of the room was part of the problem. Nevertheless that's quite a lot of kit to produce a sound that to my ears is no better than far less expensive kit, including Linn's own more affordable products. At the end of the day it isn't real-world product for the vast majority of people, but a nice thing to see and hear regardless.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Messiah


Latest posts