There's a traditional opening to the annual High End Show, held at the MOC in Munich: this brass ensemble is on hand to greet visitors on the opening trade day.
And first stop once in the door was the PMC stand, where the company's fact speaker range was being launched. Here's a shot of the fact 8 speakers working in the demonstration room, where I was really taken with the new 'graphite poplar' finish.
Speakers are always a focus of the show, and the KEF Concept Blades weren't the only ones making use of carbon fibre as a cabinet material.
Morel was making a fine sound in its room with these Fat Lady 'statement' speakers, first seen at CES in January, where they picked up an award.
Driven by a complete Naim 500 series system, the Two Fat Ladies sounded remarkably agile and explicit, playing music with good attack and drive, plus a convincing soundstage.
Of course, not all speakers slot into their allotted exhibition space quite so easily.
These JBL Everest floorstanders were still out in the corridor on the second day of the show: no, not waiting for a customer to pick them up, but instead the result of the exhibitor seeming to have run out of space in the room.
Some speaker companies didn't have a whole new range to show off:
More after the break
Tannoy drew on its Scottish heritage to form an alliance with the Glengoyne whisky distillery, and was offering showgoers tasting of the water of life.
I'm told the ten-year-old was particularly special, though I'm not sure that German gentleman looks too comfortable affecting the kilt.
Elsewhere, grabbing the attention was paramount. Elac showed this striking colourscheme on one of its compact floorstanders...
...while local company Silber Sand went even further with this modular monster, designed to show the various drive units it can offer.
The sleeker solution came from French speaker company Jean Marie Reynaud, in the form of this compact wall-mount model.
And if Scotch whisky and French wall-mount speakers weren't enough to convince that this has become a truly international show, these guys were everywhere:
Have audiophilia, will travel: the Oslo Audio Society was here in force, listening to (and photographing) everything they could find.
However, the opening days of the show tend to be dominated by the trade, and no shortage of deals are done, and worlds put to rights, out in the glass atria around which many of the exhibits are located.
It's also the time when new products are presented to the press, and it's always good to find a company whose employees are really passionate about the products they make.