Welcome to Florida International Audio Expo 2024

In the photo above, worker bees Megan Bovaird and Matt Bochicchio welcome you to the sixth annual Florida International Audio Expo (FLAX), held this year and all non-COVID years at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, in Tampa, Florida.

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Bovaird and Bochichio aren’t the only ones working to ensure a good time for show attendees. It takes a village to raise an audio show, or at least an enthusiastic team. That team is headed by chief organizer Bart Andeer and three cofounders: Ammar (AJ) Jadusingh, an engineer for the city of Tampa and owner of Soundfield Audio; Mike Bovaird, who owns Suncoast Audio owner; and Sarasota physician Dr. John Chait. The four met through the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

“We are friends and successful business partners united by our love of music,” Andeer told me over email. “With the help of our amazing support team, Sue Toscano of Toscano Communications & Denise Herninko of d-Vision Creative, we have strived to slowly grow the show in a manageable and responsible manor, bringing world-class equipment at all price points to the media and the general public. We are grateful for all returning exhibitors and excited to add new brands that contribute to our growth. We have been sold out of exhibit rooms since November.”

The new brands added include Pass Labs, Charney Audio, Davina Loudspeakers, Subdrum Industries, Metaxas & Sins, Western Electric, Perfect 8, Tonnen, Swan Song Audio, Grandinote, Sparko Labs, Woo Audio, Stax Japan, and ELAC. There are more new products here than you can shake a remote at, from Accuphase, Advance Paris, Amphion, Audio Note (UK), Cambridge Audio, Esoteric, ELAC, Falcon Acoustics, MBL, PMC, Pro-Ject, Primare, Sonus Faber, Stenheim, Synergistic Research, Volti Audio, and more. Whew!

The show may be modest in size, but it’s robust and full of energy. By noon of the first day—a workday—attendees were swarming all eight floors. What separates the Tampa show from other audiophile shows across the US? “Florida in February!” Andeer wrote, the email adorned with laughing emojis. That’s just for starters. “We are dedicated to this being a family show, thus ensuring the stereo business continues for years to come. Our vibe is just different than any other show. I’m not saying it’s better; it’s just our stamp. It’s fun and friendly for music lovers, and music brings out the best in us all.”

Andeer took the opportunity to promote his friends and partners. “AJ and John will be across the hall from each other. AJ [of Soundfield Audio] has been manufacturing speakers for many years and has had some super reviews. John is an avid DIYer and has been for a very long time. John has built a pair of speakers for the fun of it, named them after his daughter Davina. These speakers are not for sale.” They are however making music, in Room 418; Soundfield Audio is in 415.” John is simply interested in sharing his passion with attendees and receiving feedback for his creation,” Andeer continued. “There will be plenty of good natured teasing—the audiophile groups will be having plenty to say. The camaraderie of our hobby is just the best!”

“I’m looking forward to seeing people I’ve come to know both within the industry and those in attendance,” Andeer said. “So many friends, and more to make! And the music! Friends, Family, and Music—that is what it’s all about.”

I share that sentiment. Apart from hearing some new gear, what I’m most looking forward to is and seeing old friends, and also to feeling some sun on my skin, basking in sun and Florida breezes as NYC freezes. When I’m not doing that, I look forward to bringing you the most concise, informative, and entertaining coverage of FLAX online, with Mark Henninger, Stereophile‘s new managing editor, with video and written reports, so check back often.

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