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Sound decisions

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Purchased an iPod and now you're itching to hear the music how it ought to sound, how it was intended to be heard by the original artist and producer? Are you moved emotionally by a live musical performance and respond to the actual tonality of an instrument (or note) but can't figure out how to get that sound and feeling in your home? Are you sick of the condescending, know-it-all attitudes affected by so many high-end audio dealers? Are you keen to bring true hi-fi into you living room without having to hawk the house?

Enter AKFest '07, a gathering in Southfield that plays host to home-audio pros, hobbyists and novices from around the country and as far away as Japan. It's a two-day event (think of it as a mini Consumer Electronics Show) designed for music lovers, audiophiles and audio manufacturers, one crammed with true audio geeks, vinyl and CD fetishists, exhibits and a whopping 31 listening rooms, each outfitted with different audio systems.

"It's like the CES, but not really," says fest founder David "Grumpy" Goldstein. "You can't approach those guys at CES. My buddy coined the phrase 'all audio, no attitude' for this fest."

Now in its fourth year, AKFest promises a more "community" atmo, even for those seeking only to look and listen to cool shit. The genesis of the AKFest is its sister Web site and forum, audiokarma.org, whose worldwide membership now exceeds 20,000. Goldstein, who also owns said site, says there's "something for everyone to see and hear at the fest. I mean, you can hear a set of $20,000 speakers and in the next room a pair of vintage speakers worth maybe $300."

Ace manufacturers, including McIntosh, Marantz, Blue Circle, Sota Turntables, Rega and many others will be represented as well as Michigan's own Craig Otsby of NOS valves and such local dealers as Audio Dimensions, David Michael Audio, Superior Sight and Sound, Windsor's Audio Two and others. Twenty bucks gets you in for the two days.

 

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24,; and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 25. At the Plaza Hotel, 16400 J.L. Hudson Dr., Southfield; 248-552-8833. For more info, call 248-200-9074 or visit audiokarma.org/ak2007.

Brian Smith is the features editor of Metro Times. Send comments to bsmith@metrotimes.com.

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