Presenting the Beatnik Bongos Awards for the California Audio Show 2017

I don’t know if the rooms were acoustically better or what the difference was from the LA Audio Show, but I felt there were at least five rooms and one recording that deserved “Bongo Awards.” One of them is the exact same system that won the award for the best system over $100,000 at the LA show, and one winner used the same speakers but different electronics.

I know I will catch flack about the cost of the first two systems that I am recognizing with “Bongo” awards, and no, I can’t afford them and they would not fit in my listening room. But, I have to admit that I sure am glad I got to hear them. I’ve already written about these systems, so here are the pictures and the awards.


The Beatnik Bongo Award for Best Room – Cost No Object goes to the VAC/Von Schweikert room. Pictured are Kevin Hayes and Lyn Stanley just before playing the lacquer of her newest LP. Find out more about this room here.


The Beatnik Bongo for the Best Room Under Half a Million goes to the Audio Federation room. You can get more information on this room from my Show Report One.

The Beatnik Bongo Award for Best Room Under $100,000 goes to the Audio Note UK room. It was hosted by Nick Gowan of True Sound in Campbell. The vinyl-only version of this system cost $38,200. Find out more about this room in my Show Report Two.


The Beatnik Bongo Award for Best Room Under $50,000 goes to the Volti Audio room. Even with the wonderful Border Patrol electronics, this room was under $30,000. More information on this room is in Show Report Two.

The Beatnik Bongo Award for the Best Room Under $10,000 goes to the Pass Labs room. You can read more about this room in Show Report Two.

The Beatnik Bongo Award for the Best New Recording goes to Lyn Stanley for her “one-step album,” The Moonlight Sessions Volume Two. This album will be out later this month. Not only is it a great performance, but the music was even better! Lyn, thank you so much for caring about how great music sounds. I’ll be reviewing this album soon.

Additional Coverage on the California Audio Show: