T.H.E Show Newport 2015: Blackbird Audio Gallery

Steve Guttenberg will be happy to confirm, boutique audio dealers are slow to embrace headphones. So it was with great surprise that I entered the Blackbird Audio Gallery room to find it filled with headphones. When asked about the approach, store owner Dan Muzquiz (pronounced moose-keys) said he just wanted to change things up a bit. They had a more traditional room at the show as well, but he felt he wanted to take the opportunity to provide show-goers the opportunity to experience headphones as cost effective playback for high-end audio enthusiasts.

Dan's initial forays into the world of headphones lead him to Head-Fi, and from there to Heed Audio's Canamp ($480)—a headphone amp that's been around for about 10 years now and which has garnered much praise from headphone enthusiasts. The response from customers was surprisingly good, and he found himself propelled along the path of an ever increasing presence of headphones in his store.

Dan showed headphone electronics from Heed Audio and Viva Audi in the room, most of the headphones present were from HiFiMAN.

Of particular interest to me was the new Heed Elixer 35W/channel integrated amplifier ($1195) with a class-A headphone amp built in. The Elixer features four unbalanced inputs; moving magnet phono stage; pre-amp output; and speaker/headphone output selection switch.

If you're in the SoCal area you can visit Blackbird Audio Gallery in Santee near San Diego. To request an appointment contact Dan at info@blackbirdaudio.com or call 619-449-2787.

Here's Dan to tell you about his store and all the gear in the room.

Click here if you can't see the video.

ls35a's picture

I find the Heed electronics to be nicely made and sound very musical. I have one of their integrateds - it's really a bargain at its price point.

I've done a lot of business with Dan, he's a great guy. This is one of the more interested show videos I can recall seeing - the headphone room on the main floor was a great idea.