This isn’t much of an overview of the 2017 Taves event (Toronto Consumer Electronics Show) as I only went as a last-minute decision and had limited time – I just focused on things that interested me so didn’t give a lot of the show a fair shot. Since my audio and electronics world has an increasingly narrower focus as I grow older, this is more of a niche audio guy’s random thoughts on a show that (hopefully) appeals to a much broader audience than me; a big dose of FWIW here. This year the show was moved to the Toronto Congress Centre which is one of the reasons I almost didn’t go – this place is a huge multi-event shared warehouse type space near the airport that I didn’t think would bode well for an audio show – the last show I attended there was a massive open hall machinery and manufacturing show. Even though I was greeted by extremely loud jets taking off close overhead, I was pleasantly surprised by the layout once inside; a mix of static open-air displays, very nice large demo spaces for the big $$ systems and these weird garden-shed rooms where I sometimes found some nice sound. These booths appeared to be made from 2x4 wood framing, drywall outside and plywood inside with heavy black drapes and what appeared to be quilted moving blankets on the walls. Acoustics seemed better than expected (but certainly leaning ‘dead’) with a little noise bleed-through, especially around the thin hollow-core doors. I guess I’d call them ‘uncomfortably’ intimate – dark, hot and humid, especially when there were big tube amps or crowds in there. I quickly visited several very expensive system rooms that sometimes had nice sound to my ear, sometimes bad, but were mostly just forgettable. To be honest, my days of being impressed by gold/chrome/massive Rube Goldberg turntable creations that cost like a luxury car in systems that cost like a large Toronto home are way past me, so I tended to quickly look, listen a little, smile and exit. Following are few that made an impression for one reason or another; These big JBL K2s were very pretty and sounded incredibly good on some material with huge dynamics, ease and presence, then slid into thin, aggressive, cardboard cut-out like presentation with a simple change of the cut being played. I found this very weird and I don’t know how to explain it other than good recording/bad recording (all digital that I heard). I think I really like them but I also really didn’t like them – some serious Jekyll and Hyde stuff here and since the price of this system (the JBLs are about $80k and the Levinson amp/pre about $70k) is nothing I’d ever consider anyway, I just noted it as ‘odd’ and moved on.