KEF and Arcam went home theater and Gladiator while opting for their small, egg-shaped dual-concentric monitors as artillery - Uni-Q in KEF speak.

The point.1 wars in the retail trenches -- 5.1, 7.1, 10.1, the-more-boxes-the-merrier.1 -- have naturally caused much scalp prickling and head scratching among those whose wallets are slim, whose floor space is precious and whose idea of neighborly tolerance sits high on the list of priorities. Where to put all the bloody speakers which the salesmen insist you gotta have to keep of with the Joneses and George Lucases of the world?

Enter the so-called lifestyle arena epitomized by Gallo's tiny spheres and available in endless variations on the basic theme - small boxes with clever wall brackets or skinny stands plus subs. KEF also had the thickest press portfolio cautious journalists don't want to take with 'em. These guys are pros. Which goes for Arcam as well. Their presence here merely underscored the regard by which Adam's event is held in the industry.

Koda was one of the many companies here I'd not heard of before but whose rollout of product suggested anything but a recent emergence.

Magnepan showed with simaudio.

Evidence of the Polish audio market's relative health came by way of the print magazines and their stands.

The Manley Labs, Joseph Audio and Albedo exhibit used some effective room treatments by 4Sound which real people could actually use without complaints. Albedo is a purveyor of silver - as in silver cables. Adam reports they're exceedingly good and I was duly approached for a review. I faked a full schedule - which isn't imaginary by any stretch though miraculous openings do appear routinely, for anything but cables. Cables are simply the least attractive proposition for reviewers though a system without cables is a no go unless we're talking wireless data transmission. I do feel for cables makers, don't get me wrong. But everyone on my staff has long since gotten hip to turning down any solicitations for cable reviews. I don't even ask anymore. And I can't say I blame 'em, either.

Marantz joined B&W's mass showing and evidenced a high component count themselves - including a turntable.

An alley of McIntosh all lit up is an impressive sight, make no mistake.

Monitor Audio and Exposure opted for a UK alliance.