Midwest Audio Fest Returns to Springboro
By Kevin Kryston
Like it or not, audio and audio technology is likely a huge part of your life. We all use audio technology. It’s in our speakers, headphones, amps, and so much more. The Midwest Audio Festival in Springboro, however, takes a love of all things audible to the next level.
The annual event calls all “audio heads” to unite at Parts Express, a warehouse audio store with an unfathomable variety of audio and video technology selection, ranging from countless adapters to top-of-the-line speakers, and more. There, the goal is simple: create a whole day of audio tech paradise so visitors can fully immerse themselves in audio heaven. The event is part exposition, part swap meet, and part competition, so event-goers get an opportunity to not only sample, show off, and buy some of the best “audio tech” in the world, but they can also get pro tips from other audio enthusiasts, or, alternatively, prove to their peers that their own audio rigs are the best in the area.
If you’re not an “audio nut,” don’t let all this tech talk scare you away. This event offers plenty to the general public, even to those who can’t tell a “woofer” from a “tweeter.” Midwest Audio Fest is both a wonderful opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the audio technology you use every day, and is also home to one of Part’s Express’ largest sales of the year. The 7th Annual Warehouse Tent Sale takes place throughout the course of the event, and offers discounts on every item in Parts Express’ retail inventory, additional savings on items with factory imperfections, vendor displays with samples of new, exciting products, and free food, too. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to an “audio technology convention” in the area, so if you need to upgrade your speakers or even just buy new headphones, Midwest Audio Fest is the time to do it.
The event also offers an Audio Swap Meet, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provides a perfect chance to swap outdated and unused audio gear for more recent models or different materials with both fellow swappers and Part’s Express inventory. This “used technology store-esque” event is only offered by Parts Express during Midwest Audio Fest.
It’s not all smiles and hugs, though. Those with competitive fire for their sound rigs will feel right at home at the Audio Sound Challenge and the Speaker Design Contest. The Audio Sound Challenge is simple: bring your car’s sound system to the festival and let everybody hear how great it is. If it’s proven to be one of the best three in the competition by the audience and judges, who consist of local experts in the audio technology community, winners walk away with prizes and trophies, with first place winning $250 in prize money from Parts Express.
If you feel you’ve constructed a specific speaker system you’re particularly proud of, then enter the Speaker Design Contest, which will be a new event at Midwest Audio Fest and was formerly called Dayton DIY. Unlike the rest of the events, because of the sheer size and interest in this event, which has grown in recent years, this contest will be held at Pontecorvo’s, which is next door to Part’s Express, located at 20 Commercial Way in Springboro. There, contestants who’ve built speakers will compete to see which one has the best looking and best sounding speaker system, with past contestants coming from as far away as Japan. With a variety of categories for competition, including one for speakers constructed for under $200, one for speakers over $200, and an open competition for all speakers, there’s plenty of opportunities to prove your building prowess and win some great prizes courtesy of Dayton Audio and Parts Express. Creativity is also part of the judging, so audience members will get a chance to see extremely innovative speakers which are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the ear. Contestants will expo and explain their entries, and then be judged on a non-sanctioned basis – which essentially means that judging criteria are not rigidly structured. An informative talk from a guest speaker will also be featured before the winners are announced around 4 p.m.
“It’s all about people who are enthused about audio getting together. It’s just a great way to support the audio technology hobby.” said Rich Taylor, Marketing Manager for Midwest Audio Fest and Part’s Express, “We’ve had great turnout in the past, and we’re hoping that this year will be the biggest Audio Fest yet.”
Midwest Audio Fest 2012 starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., rain or shine, at Part’s Express in Springboro, located at 725 Pleasant Valley Drive, just off I-75. Registration for the Speaker Design Competition is between 7 and 8 a.m. or any time before that online, and competition lasts throughout the day. Registration for the Audio Swap Meet and Audio Sound Challenge occur before the event begins, starting at 7 a.m. Log on to midwestaudiofest.com for further details.
Reach DCP intern and freelance writer Kevin Kryston at KevinKryston@daytoncitypaper.com