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Lone Star Audiofest May 3-5 this year, HTS to sponsor

2417 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  skakas
Starting in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2005 and 2006 as the Great Plains Audiofest (GPAF), and moving to Dallas, Texas starting in 2007, the Lone Star Audiofest (LSAF) is hosting another 3-day event this year from May 3rd until May 5th, and Home Theater Shack is an official sponsor of the show. Sonnie (HTS founder) and several other HTS staff members will be in attendance. Lone Star, billed as "the Woodstock of high-end audio shows," does things a bit differently than your typical audio-fest, with their book a room with the hotel to exhibit your audio equipment approach of putting on a show, and going on their 8th year, proves that this approach has certainly been embraced by fans.

Deciding to do things differently, and make it more affordable for the start-up and do-it-yourself audio folks, or those that simply don't want to pay the high fees to show their wares, Wayne Parham of Pi Speakers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, started the idea of a no-cost audio show. Rather than the room cost being on top of the exhibition cost, it is the only cost.

"Several small manufacturers and audio enthusiasts expressed an interest in a gathering like the Midwest Audiofest that was held in Lima Ohio in 2002 and 2003. That event was organized by Mike Baker and its main unique feature was its low entry cost. Exhibitors and attendees alike paid $10.00 for entry. This was in stark contrast with other commercial shows. In a sense, it was an overgrown audio club meeting, but had the look and feel of a larger audio show without the cost," said Wayne Parham, founder of GPAF/LSAF, and owner of Pi Speakers. "After the MAF in 2002 and 2003, several other shows sprung up but all were fairly costly and obviously promoted by an organizer with profit motive. Not that that's bad, but we wanted to carry on the original intent, which is more open to new upstarts in the niche market of high-end audio. This was especially important for kit makers, although companies of all types show up at LSAF every year."

Parham continues: "It allows more new upstarts to attend. Besides, it is my feeling that there is no purpose in having a large fee - the exhibitors gain nothing from it. This is a show done to allow all manufacturers - regardless of size - to be able to reach their market, and for potential customers to be able to demo gear and meet the people involved in the companies they're interested in. It truly is a show for the people that exhibit and attend, with no other motive. There is no organizer that needs profit from the show, itself. We're 'self-organized' and the benefit we all gain is exposure."

Like last year the festival will take place at the Embassy Suites Dallas Park Central hotel in Texas. Group rates are available. And again, like last year, exhibitors and audio enthusiasts simply rent a room and setup their equipment for display. No attendees (including exhibitors and manufacturers) pay for the event. Private showings are later in the evening, between 6:00pm and 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday, with public showings of exhibitors setups from 3:00pm until 6:00pm (or later up until 8:00pm) on Friday, and from 10:00am until 6:00pm (or later up until 8:00pm) on Saturday. Optionally, exhibitors may stick around on Sunday for a final presentation.

In terms of who can be an "exhibitor," Parham explains that "anyone can be an exhibitor, whether business or DIY, individual or company. We always have a couple pure DIYers, enthusiasts that just want to show their gear. But these are usually very motivated hobbyists that build a lot of gear, so their rooms are usually pretty interesting. Still, there are many more companies represented than DIYers, which makes sense because even without an entry fee, there is still the cost of the room and that plus the labor involved in setting up probably deters most DIYers from exhibiting just for the fun of it."

The reason for moving the event from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas was because Dallas "is a larger market, more recognizable to people several states away." Besides location, and more recognition, there is no other distinguishable differences between the GPAF and LSAF events.

In terms of amp building seminars, cabentry/carpentry talks, Parham's "Crossover Electronics 101" seminar, and others such as the measurement seminar by Keith Larson of Smith and Larson, Parham said "there are no seminars planned for this year," and subsequently "there will not be any organized streams/recordings online" either. With that said, I do think it would be fun to build a dynamic Lone Star Audiofest Instagram photo album using the #lonestaraudiofest hash tag, and perhaps contributing to a Twitter conversation about the event using the same tag, but again, nothing formal is in place.

On a first come first serve basis, attendees will receive a free copy AudioExpress magazine, to be handed out by the exhibitors. Only 150 copies will be available so they are expected to go fast. It is estimated they will be gone by noon on Saturday.

Expect to see audio merchandise from GR Research (an HTS Sponsor), Advanced Home Theater, Apex HiFi, Audible Improvements, Audio Kinesis, Black Cat, Brines Acoustics, BuildAnAmp.com, Manzanita Audio Systems (John Busch), Colleen Cardas Imports (who is also a 2-room exhibitor at AXPONA 2013 in Chicago), Crescendo Systems, Dodd Audio, and many others on display at LSAF for 2013.

StereoClarity is happy to be bringing along a "new version of the OneSource media server and new revised set of the line array speakers made out of solid walnut," plus some other new items this year. Naturally, Wayne Parham of Pi Speakers will be there to show his company's creations as well.

HTS hopes to see you there!
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