Blog No 9: The Calm Before the Storm

My silence of late is due to too much travel (“Awwwww, poor baby …”) but I should add much of it has to do with the crush of hi-fi shows, clustered in the autumn. And I only managed three.

My choices, whether due to convenience or cost, included the Tokyo and Paris shows, plus the best event in the industry: John Howes’ Audiojumble held twice a year in Tonbridge. It only lasts a day – less actually, as most clear out around 3pm – but its strength is that it is utterly free of “newness” or pressure. People are there to buy and sell old hi-fi equipment, records, accessories and the like. What could be more fun?

John Howes' fair Oct 2015 photo Ken Kessler

I have yet to attend a Howes fair where I didn’t find some super-rarity. Neither have I left without making a purchase. This time, it was a fine Marantz SACD player for £110. As for the treasures, these speak for themselves:

John Howes Fair Radford Tuner pic by Ken Kessler

Radford FM Tuner

JohnHowes fair pic by Ken Kessler

A row of Ferrographs

John Howes Fair pic by Ken Kessler

A JBE awaiting an SME tonearm

These are just a few of the teasers, all with prices that are irresistible. The next fair is 21 February 2016. If you love old gear, don’t miss it.

As for the calm before the storm? Now is the pre-CES lull. Come early January, the madness recommences.

© Ken Kessler 2015