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Tips attending a show - HiFi Show Leiden 2016 (Netherlands)


New member
Oct 15, 2016
Dear forum members,

I will attend my first hifi show this weekend. My goal is to listen to components i can afford.

Elac (Debut) and hopefully the new digital Elac Amp, Quad (Vena), Cyrus (One), Audiolab, Dynaudio (M10), Cambridge CXA60, and Monitor Audio, Q Acoustics, Yamaha (active speakers i hope).

There will also be brands i can't afford: Naim, Accuphase, Primare, Roksan,

Do frequent show visitors have any tips when attending a hifi show? Like, what to focus on? audition inexpensive first and move up in price?

Finally, are there any Dutch forum members attending this show?



Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
I can't imagine a worse situation in which to audition components for a potential new system.

I went to my first (and last) show around 1985. Dreadful experience. My fiance and I gave up after an hour or so (we got the giggles and physically couldn't remain in the building without creating a bit of a scene) and spent the rest of the day on the beach instead (this was Brighton).

We were - excepting the hotel bar staff - the youngest people in the building (about 22) and it was a bit like a zombie movie with lots of beige 'cardies', shiny polyester and slip-on plastic shoes.

More than thirty years on and I still think we'd be the youngest people at the hi-fi show.


New member
Oct 15, 2016
It will be my first attendance, so i am not familiair what to espect and what kind of visitors will come, and frankly i find the latter irrelevant. I'm there for my goal, to get wiser and to hear and make up my mind what i like.

Currently i'm in an orientation fase and at this moment a show does not feel like i'm wasting dealers time.

if someone has some tips please share them, thank you.

Chebby, why did you feel like you felt and why did you make a scene?


Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
A few thoughts...

1. Check as soon as you arrive if any rooms you wish to visit are issuing ticketed demonstrations. If so, get tickets, even if you don't need them (though polite to return them or pass to a fellow visitor). Bear in mind dems can overrun so back to back can cause difficulties.

2. Find the ones you most want to hear at the start and end of the day, as they should be quieter then.

3. Expect some rooms to be full of people talking or ignoring you. Come back later, or interrupt them if you are serious.

4. Take a disc or USB but don't expect the get much chance to hear it.

5. Bring your own lunch/drink unless you are lucky or rich. Hotels often overcharge for sandwiches and soft drinks.

6. Ask others what they've enjoyed.

7. Swap seats in a room if you are disappointed with your seat.

8. Avoid rooms with deafening volumes. It will spoil your hearing for the next room.

9. Try to get a few breaks, outside if possible. It can be tiring, and fresh air is in short supply.

10. Enjoy, and make sure you wear something comfortable. It is likely to be too warm!


New member
Oct 15, 2016
Wow, thnx, nopiano, this is very helpfull indeed,

I thought of piont 2, I will be there directly at the start and made my shortlist. All your other points are very welcome.

I'll share my experience afterwards.



New member
Dec 10, 2012
I can understand you wanting to have a short-list, but for me in the past this hasn't worked too well. You tend to find that each manufacturer will be demonstrating whatever is the most recent release in their product line-up. If the item you're interested in was released before this, you've little chance of hearing it.

Try to keep as open a mind as possible. Some of the best components I've heard at hifi shows are ones I really wasn't expecting. Others that had rave reviews sounded truly ear-splittingly awful. There was an amp I remember really looking forward to hearing and spending less than 10 seconds in the room because it was just an assault on the ears. Another amp/speaker combo that was revered by press and this forum, that I thought souned forced, unnatural and artificial.

Yes, Hifi shows are certainly not the best place to demo systems due to the poor room acoustics, but some manage to make a success of it. It does help feed you a healthy skepticism of equipment reviews in future an helps you create a shortlist that's often very different to one formed on the basis of reviews.



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