Dissappointed by this years show

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Attended the show yesterday & am disappointed. I should have guessed when it was billed as the 'Stuff show incorporating What HiFi' as the focus was clearly on the Suff crowd rather than the specialist HiFi.

Compared to previous years events at the Novotel this was a mess, one big space for everyone, all vendors competing to be louder than their neigbours ruining it for everyone. Excel is a great venue for events such as the motorshow but simply didn't work here.

Perhaps the reason that everyone was crammed into one small part of the hall is that many of the big names (Onkyo, Kef, Cambridge to name but 3) appears to have boycotted the show.

Lets go back to the Novotel, split the Stuff crowd back onto their own floor & give a dedicated floor + individual rooms back to the specialists.

The £20 entry was in no way justified, i'm sure this is much more expensive than last year?

There were some genuinely good people on a few of the stands - Pure deserve particular praise, their staff were knowledgable & really interested in ther customers needs. Their Avanti Flow looks like a great product once the last couple of 'bugs' (their words) have been ironed out.
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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Sorry you feel let down by the Show - and I can assure you there's no 'boycott of the Show (KEF has its Muons on display, for example, and Superfi are doing a roaring trade selling KEF kit (and much more) at 10-20 percent discount, with KEFs blessing).

I can also assure you that our exhibitions team - who run our Shows - have approached as many (scrap that - more) hi-fi brands as ever this year.

But with a new venue and a credit crunch in the mix, maybe it's not the best time for many companies. Several major companies who weren't here this year were visiting yesterday, and several were regretting their absence, as it's full of people spending money!

If you're seeking a more traditional hotel-room Show, can I suggest the Bristol Sound and Vision show next February - we'll be there, as ever!
 

SACripps

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2008
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I can only echo the first poster's disappointment. I cannot understand how the hike in price of entry over previous years can be justified. Maybe despite appearances, it felt like a smaller show than before and definitely didn't have some of the big names that would be expected - Sony, for example. The suspicion about the boycotting (because of the format that show had taken on this year) was confirmed by one of the exhibitors I spoke to - please contact me privately if you'd like more details - and they and others are considering whether or not they'll be participating in future.

The What Hi Fi demo was a waste of time even though it was over far too quickly - new and cutting edge equipment is great but how about something demo-ing more affordable gear as well. And how can you provide a proper demo when there was so much sound leaking into the room from the Rock Band stage (and elsewhere)? There was no high fidelity at a What Hi Fi show. Even in the best sound proofed room (Clearer Audio) it was still possible to hear a large amount of noise outside.

I really missed the number of rooms at the Novotel where you could dip in and out and listen to music or watch a dvd demo alongside all the other demonstrations that took place with a presenter every half hour. I suppose I should have realised the obvious - the threadbare website advertising the show was a reflection of the show itself.

As it's more than two hours away by road, the Bristol show isn't really an option for me.

Yes, this is negative, but is it better to speak up or shut up?
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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SACripps:
The suspicion about the boycotting (because of the format that show had taken on this year) was confirmed by one of the exhibitors I spoke to - please contact me privately if you'd like more details - and they and others are considering whether or not they'll be participating in future.

I doubt it was confirmed - we're not aware of any boycotting, though some manufacturers did fail to take up their options on space for financial reasons. But we'd like to know who was suggesting this - please do email us with details.

SACripps:The What Hi Fi demo was a waste of time even though
it was over far too quickly - new and cutting edge equipment is great
but how about something demo-ing more affordable gear as well. And how
can you provide a proper demo when there was so much sound leaking into
the room from the Rock Band stage (and elsewhere)? There was no high
fidelity at a What Hi Fi show. Even in the best sound proofed room
(Clearer Audio) it was still possible to hear a large amount of noise
outside.

We have received many positive comments about our demonstration, but the noise from adjacent (and not so adjacent) stands was a problem, and something of which our colleagues at Haymarket Exhibitions - the show organiser - have been made very aware. Some stands did seem keen to indulge in a sound level 'arms race', and this is something to be addressed in the future. Given the levels at which the stand you mention was opearting at the beginning of the show, it seems some progress is being made during the duration of the show to curtail these overloud stands.

As far as I am aware the Clearer Audio room isn't any more soundproofed than any of the other sound rooms - it may just be further from the major sources of noise than some of the others. But as the show expands, as we are confident it will in the future, the plan will definitely be to increase the space between those stands trying to do demonstrations, and those creating as much noise as possible.

As for the remark about demonstrating more affordable equipment, we decided to give a demonstration showing what could be done, as the need to demonstrate to as many people as possible in limited space precludes a lengthy comparative demonstration.
 

SACripps

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2008
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I really appreciate the speedy response and for the feedback to some of my points, but could you comment on the price hike? I didn't feel like value for money at for me. As an example, the Classic Motor Show (ok, it's not in London, but at the NEC) costs £15 for each ticket, while MPH is £38 a ticket, but that includes a £12 programme, a seat at Top Gear live and access to the motor exhibition.

Where should I email?
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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SACripps:
I really appreciate the speedy response and for the feedback to some of my points, but could you comment on the price hike? I didn't feel like value for money at for me. As an example, the Classic Motor Show (ok, it's not in London, but at the NEC) costs £15 for each ticket, while MPH is £38 a ticket, but that includes a £12 programme, a seat at Top Gear live and access to the motor exhibition.

Where should I email?

The price hike is a matter for Haymarket Exhibitions, which is a separate part of the company to the magazine, so I couldn't comment on the pricing policy, as it is beyond our control.

To email, please click the link in my previous post, or email to whathifi@haymarket.com, and I will ensure your comments are passed on.
 

mafrost

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Sep 24, 2008
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Agreed. Please next year back to the Novotel. A much better location and a considerably better setup for listening to the various manufacturers products without all the other distractions and general noise.

Also, a little surprised at the ticket price hike this year.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I must also stress my dissapointment with the show. I think last year's was better in terms of the organisation. Many big names were not there last year and it appeared to be the same this year too.

Stuff TV really should be far, far away from WHF. It was a long travel for me and unfortunately, was hardly worth the money or my time.

A wasted weekend.
 

SACripps

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2008
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Thanks - I somehow missed the link to the email address in your original response. My mistake.

Email sent.

One final observation - I found the use of Pixar material a little predictable and far too widely used as demo material. I think it's well established that everything they churn out looks fantastic, but it would have been good to have seen some more testing Blu-Ray discs and DVDs used.

And can all those who are fans of Justin Timberlake raise their hands please!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes I agree with the comments raised. I had to ask at the organiser's office if there was another hall full of the equipment I actually wanted to see from the likes of Sony (not the laptops or Playstation 3), Panasonic, Onkyo, etc. Where were they? I am in the market for a new Home Cinema set-up and went to the show for some inspiration but came away with none.

I have been a subscriber to What Hi-Fi for 2 years and I am interested in what you guys have to say but why couldn't we even see the kit on demonstration from the manufacturer's? I would have been better off in Curry's!

What were Denon playing at? A tiny shared stand with next to nothing on display, although the girls were nice!

We can't blame the credit crunch, surely if sales are down then the manufacturer's should be doing more to advertise, like attend the exhibition.

Back to the Novotel please, the format was so much better and was bigger in terms of the range of the equipment on show. Yes What Hi-Fi and Stuff should be split. The Excel just didn't work, leave it for the boat and motor shows.

And another thing, why book your ticket online, pay the ticket price and booking fee and print out the receipt? When you get there, you have to queue up to be given a ticket anyway. We could have simply queued up to pay the overpriced ticket fee of £20 instead of £21!

Regards,

James
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I was also extremely disappointed this year. This was only my second year at the exhibition, and last year was so so much better! So many of the big brands that fill the pages of What Hifi were nowhere to be seen - Pioneer, Cyrus, Sony, Onkyo, Roksan, Panasonic, KEF, Arcam, Sevenoaks, Denon (well, hardly), Cambridge Audio, NAD, Arcam - to name a few, not to mention smaller names. And nearly every one of the brands I've just mentioned were there last year at the Novotel.

Last year it took me many muchly enjoyed hours to look round the whole show, and then more hours going back round again. This year I seemed to have seen the entire show within (literally) twenty minutes of arrival and ended up staying longer just to try and make it worth the uncomfortable journey to the other side of London - I feel sorry for people who had to travel from outside London. I also had to ask twice just to make sure that I hadn't missed the other room! This was completely the opposite experience to that of last year when I would have still had a very entertaining day even if the first floor was all that there was - actually there were at least two more levels.

Last year's event was everything I could posssibly have wanted from a What Hifi show. For anyone who had been reading the magazine over the past year it was a really fun chance to see all the best and award-winning products for real - and more importantly get to listen to and view the products in use.

The What Hifi demo was amazing last year but this year I found myself daydreaming. I am going to stop banging on about this now. I just wanted express my own dissatisfaction to that of everyone else.
 
Feb 9, 2008
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£20 to wander around a room ....where was the show, there were plenty of people sat around like bored market traders in their little booths, no one seemed to be actively demonstrating any Hi Fi kit at all, the word show here is in contravention of the trades description act...there was no showing!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'd like to echo the above statements too. I was so looking forward to this show and my mate and I were sorely dissapointed. Even the What Hi-Fi demo (something that always makes it worthwhile) was a blink and you'll miss it moment. Not worth the two hour journey to London and interupted journey across the capital (not What Hi-Fi's fault admittingly) And definetly not worth £20.... I know I won't be attending next year.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
i was abit disapointed the show wasnt bigger and there where too many gadgets and not enough hifi or av stuff

loved the various demo rooms , with all the kit , espically the projectors and the fixed screen ( need to research them , cost etc ... )

also with the blueray player , im a person with a ps3 i was surprised by the diffrence with the PANASONIC DMPBD35 to the ps3 the panasonic was alot better ,

shame i alreadt got a lot to my system with denon 1909 and kef 2005.3 and harmony 1000 aswell as other stuff , should of waited now

best thing i found was after i left there was a small shop outside which done custom installs it was nice with projectors and stuff and with loads of ideas for arond the house

ps - in the blueray chill out zone with all the games and stuff , there was a poker game table , anyone know where to get it from ,

thanks
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I didn't get to attend last year as I had to go to a wedding reception so was looking forward to this year's show. I was sceptical about the move as I've never felt these kinds of shows work particularly well in an exhibition hall and, unfortunately, my apprehension was justified. I really enjoyed the '04, '05 and '06 shows at the Novotel Hammersmith and spent over 3 hours wandering around them but I couldn't find anything this year to keep me there more than an hour. The hotel room layout of the previous shows was so much better suited to demoing AV/Hi-Fi kit and there seemed to be a lot more of it to see/hear at the Novotel. Also, not only where there more manufacturers at previously shows but those who actually did turn out this year had more on display at the Novotel. For example, I remember when I was in the market for an AV Receiver in 2004 and Denon's room had every single receiver they make on display, many actually running. As a result of what I saw at that show I bought an AVR-2805. Denon had nothing like that this year.

I really hope this show returns to the Novotel as there was always so much to see there and, every time, I walked away with ideas for what I might think about buying next. There were no such feelings this year and I'm sorry to say that I will not be going again unless it returns to where it belongs.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I absolutely agree with all the other independent posters. The format of the show simply didn't work. I went to the Novotel as a Home Cinema Newbie last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The individual demo rooms were far better suited to the concept of the show, and there were a much wider range of exhibitors. This year was extremely disappointing, particularly having paid the exorbitant £20 ticket price for my son and I and £10 for parking, as we were fully expecting to spend several hours at the show. Total £50 for less than 2 hours.

Unless the show returns to the Novotel, or somewhere equivalent and the price returns to a level which doesn't feel like a total rip off, then I shall not be attending again. I'd sooner go to a good dealer. At least they recognise that I am a customer: they don't try to charge me to see inadequate displays in a noisy environment.

Finally, why demo Blueray using CGI? So far, even the best animations from Pixar et al do not look natural. If I want to evaluate a screen or player then I want the video or audio to be natural.

Very, very poor.
 

topbloke55

New member
Oct 31, 2008
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I feel I need to add my disappointment.ÿ


The last show I went to was 2 years ago in Hammersmith and it was very impressive, following that I purchased over £4,000 worth of equipment I saw demonstrated, if only I had the budget to add the Wilson Benesch speakers to the list.

Now being in the market to go Blu-ray I was hoping to find some useful demo's ... sadly not. ÿThere was so much noise it was impossible to hear any of the demo's over the sound of computer games and human beat box. ÿ(Keeps the teenagers happy I suppose)

I won't be going back again to this venue, it is very poor for this kind of show, plus as others have stated you pay for 5 hours parking based on previous years experiences, however even having two coffees find it hard to drag out to 2 hours.

The best stand was the Shure, as there headphones acted as ear plugs to drown out the human beat box ... well done Shure!

Bring back the Novotel all is forgiven!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Add another to the 'disappointed' pile.

ÿThis was my first time to a What HiFi show, so I had nothing to compare it to. Nevertheless I have to agree with many of the other posts here that it was somewhat lacklustre. Mixing HiFi and 'gadgets' may not necessarily be the way forward....

Highlight of the show for me was the Q-Acoustics booth where they were demoing their Q-AV system. This, for the money (600 squids), was thoroughly impressive and the chap running the demo was entertaining enough and didn't ramble on too far. I think the NAD Viso 5 box driving the system from may have been running out of puff a little - it had to be driven hard to be loud enough and the was a certain amount of harshness and treble distortion - but forgivable in the show conditions. The choice of demo material was good too, Flags of our Fathersÿand a female singer/pianist that was very impressive.

ÿLowlight of the show.... Loath as I am to admit it, was the What HiFi demo room. Apart from the awful din from the Guitar Hero stand, there were two glaring issues for me.

ÿFirstly the demo material. Whilst I admit the 'One Man Band'ÿÿPixar short is a great piece of animation with good sound, I don't feel that a CGI demo was the best option to show off Blu-Ray (yes it looks fantastic but what percentage of most peoples viewing will be CGI films? Transformers or the ubiquitous Iron Man would have been a better idea). Justin Timberlake to demo sound quality? If the target audience had been 15 year old girls then fine, not however, if your audience is predominantly male and aged between 25 and 50 (ok that's an assumption). A bit of rock, or, better still, an acoustic performance would have been a far better way to demo high-def audio.

Secondly, sound quality. Now don't get me wrong, the system didn't sound badÿ- 80k's worth of kit should never be that - but it just wasn't as convincing as I'd expect (ok show conditions and the room can account for much I admit). The biggest problem for me was the bass. It was just too loud, overbearing and really just didn't feel mated to the rest of the system. For example, when the bag of coins hit the floor in the Pixar demo, it should sound like just that, a relatively weighty thud. Instead it sounded, and felt, like Optimus Prime had just jumped off a building and landed in front of me. Also during the orchestral parts of that demo the bass was excessive, lacked definition and frankly just sounded separate from the rest of the soundtrack. I don't blame the equipment, I'm fully aware of its high end status. Maybe it was my positioning within the room (second row from the back), but frankly it just didn't sound set-up correctly.

ÿAnyway enough whinging. I still enjoyed myself during the day, and saw some things that would not normally have interested me. It just didn't feel as good as it could have been.

ÿOh and to the people who were missing the Arcam stand, they were there, in the small hifi shop out the front of the exhibition centre. Saw the new AVR-600 receiver and contemplated stealing it I want it so bad. Also talked shop with the Arcam chap there that was thoroughly enjoyable. Very nice man. Great setting to show off a new receiver too.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Same hear, especially with the queing system for the WHF show - every 30 mins and having to wait in the queue.
Can I make a suggestion in that a 'reservation' system is used. At least then I could go off to view the other stands and come back at the allotted time!!
BTW, I did find the people at the Shure stand very helpful, willing to demonstrate their wares and also provided some free refreshments....always welcome.

Lets go back to the Novotel (or similar) where hopefully some more of the "hifi" is on display as opposed to the "Stuff"
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree I travelled from South Wales to the show (not the sole reason I was in London, but one of them) and I on the whole enjoyed but was a bit disappointed by the content. I went with the intention of buying a QAV system as it suits my needs. But as mentioned previously the noise coming into the Q acoustics booth made it impossible to judge it fairly but seemed especially for the money worthwhile. The demo guy was great and wasnt on a hard sell and knew his stuff. I eventually purchase the whole system for £440 which I was extremelly pleased with. But after 45 mins I must admit I was on my 2nd circuit, the What Hi-Fi queue seemed to long especially with a 15 month baby to entertain. Highlights : Yamaha, Q acoustics Superfi discount Lows : guitar hero stand
 
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Anonymous

Guest
This years show was dissapointing to say the least.

First of all the cost of the ticket was not justified, and the lack of top level companies was also dissapointing, as for the venue for this event it was a very poor, next year back to Hammersmith.

The lack of Panasonic, Pioneer, Rotel, Sony, Arcam and Kef was a major blow. ÿ

I would like to mention the stands i found enjoyable, Chord Company, Supra Cables, CSE Solutions & Freesat.

In regards to the demo's, I found CSE solutions demo the best in the show, The poorest demo was Super-Fi.

The what Hi Fi demo was not up to it's usual high standards of previous years.

Overall this years show was the poorest ever, I would think twice before attending another one in future, The £20 cost did not represent value for money. And more should be done to attract those company's who have been shy to attend london shows such as Rotel.

Please return to Hammersmith and keep the stuff away from the main Hi fi and Home Cinema Crowd and if the cost of next years ticket is £20 pounds or more, I am sure i will boycott the show and most likely the bristol event in the new year.

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ
 

PJPro

New member
Jan 21, 2008
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I drove up from Dorset, spent the night at my sister's at Worcester Park and then travelled right across London to get to the show. I had twisted my brother-in-law's arm to come with me.
When I went into the main hall, I was assuming the hifi & AV equipment would be else where in some side rooms or something. I think there was a competition going to see who could get the loudest and lowest bass......this signalled that things weren't going to be as I expected.
Went to the Humax stand. It was being manned by a Free Sat rep not a Humax employee. The bloke didn't really know anything about the new PVR and apologised for his obvious lack of knowledge. I couldn't believe this was supposed to be the UK launch of the product!
Pitched up at the Chord stand to discuss the Gem. Rude, aggressive and thoroughly unpleasant.....but that is a subject for another thread.
In terms of customer relations, things were much better at the Chord cable stand. They had three headphone amps set up (Creek) with Denon headphones. Each rig had different interconnects from freebies to the Chord premium product. Tried each in turn and struggled to actually hear the music so loud was the adjacent Guitar Hero stand. The guy from chord apologised and agreed the demo was a waste of time. Did have a nice chat with him and a technical support engineer regarding the merits of HDMI cables. Nothing new to report which hasn't been said on this website, so won't go over old ground.
Went to a Clearer Audio demo. A fancy rig with freebie power cable and interconnect was played. The power cable and interconnect were exchanged for their products and replayed. OK, there was a difference......but I suspect it was more about the interconnect than the power cable. Had to laugh when their bottom of the range kettle lead was being described. Apparently they use torque wrenches when tightening up the connectors on the plug. All made by hand too! The guy doing the demo again apologised for the noise pollution from the rest of the show.....and this stand was the furthest away from the worst offenders.
Have to say the show was a major disappointment. Relatively few manufacturers and those who were there only had a handful of products eg Denon. But worst of all was the ill concieved setup of the whole show. Someone needs a carpeting!
At the end of the show I had to apologise myself.....to my brother-in-law for wasting his money and time. There was no way a ticket price of £20 could be justified. We paid £16 (subscriber discount plus £1 booking fee) and still felt as though we had been had.
I went to the Bristol Show earlier in the year which was far, far, far superior to the Excel event. Wild horses won't get me to the Excel show next year. Bristol? Maybe....but I'm feeling a little wounded at the moment.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It is a sad reflection of the state of hifi today that this was all London and the Home Counties could come up with. The 'Haymarket' show truly did reflect the industry as it now stands - overpriced and failing to deliver. In retrospect, perhaps What HiFi? would have been a better descriptive title for the show rather than Stuff.

Maybe a big CES at, say, the NEC Birmingham every couple of years may at least keep consumers wanting for more, but I fear that, outside of computer based audio (and associated NAS units, media streamers, DAC's and active loudspeakers) that the very well organised Bristol show may well be missing a number of big Naims - pun well intended. not through lack of interest but because they will no longer exist.

I wonder if anybody will look back fondly over the past couple of decades of green marker pens, cd's in freezers, concrete slabs in the living room, amps on bricks, whole houses being rewired - there is still a company out there selling 6 way extension leads for over £300 and 1.8m mains leads for over £100 a pop! Me thinks not.

At least a very good deal struck with those very nice people at Atacama more than covered the £20. At least that was one rip off I was able to negate.

R.I.P.ÿ

ÿ

ÿ
 

clearer_audio

New member
Oct 20, 2007
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PJPro:Went to a Clearer Audio demo. A fancy rig with freebie power cable and interconnect was played. The power cable and interconnect were exchanged for their products and replayed. OK, there was a difference......but I suspect it was more about the interconnect than the power cable. Had to laugh when their bottom of the range kettle lead was being described. Apparently they use torque wrenches when tightening up the connectors on the plug. All made by hand too! The guy doing the demo again apologised for the noise pollution from the rest of the show.....and this stand was the furthest away from the worst offenders.

Hi PJPro,

Thanks for coming to see us. There was a lot of interest in our demo and we also did power cable and interconnects in isolation for people who were interested. If you see us again at a show then we will gladly do a simple power cable demo for you.

I will be feeding back comments to the show organisers about various issues including how we can improve conditions for demonstrations.

Kind regards,

Darren
 

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