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This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show was the largest CES show ever in its 45+ year history with more than 150,00 attendees, and a record two million square feet of exhibit space housing more than 3200 exhibitors (click here for press release)! The Home Entertainment Show, or "T.H.E. Show" for short, held at the Flamingo Hotel (The Home Entertainment Show Las Vegas) concurrently, was also a wild success, thanks to the monumental efforts of Richard Beers, President of T.H.E. Show. Thanks to Richard’s invitation and warm hospitality to T.H.E. Show’s exhibitors, the Magic Bus’ phenomenal exhibit behind the Flamingo Hotel was a music lover’s utopia, especially because Larry Mitchell, Grammy award winning producer and guitar virtuoso, (The Official Website of Grammy Award-winning Producer/Engineer Larry Mitchell), returned again to be a wonderful part of the Magic Bus’ exhibit. And, just as we did at last year’s show, Larry’s live guitar was simultaneously fed through a high-end audio system, provided by Dynaudio North America (Dynaudio - All there is.), and through the Magic Bus’ audio system!

One of the sensational highlights of T.H.E. Show was seeing electric bass virtuoso Dean Peer (Dean Peer Bass Guitar Virtuoso), sponsored by Cardas Audio (Welcome to Cardas Audio), deliver enthralling performances during the lunch buffet and at Tuesday night’s reception. Tuesday night’s reception, featuring both Larry and Dean, was revelatory, thanks, in part, to the ferocious and musically engaging custom sound reinforcement system, built specifically for T.H.E. Show by Peter Noerbaek of PBN Audio, Inc. (PBN Audio, Montana Speakers, Sound Systems - High-end Audio Gear). This amazing system allowed Larry and Dean to deliver a scorching set at rock concert levels! Although Dean and Larry had never met, the musical connection they instantly developed was riveting! Here’s a video of Dean and Larry playing together for the first time, unrehearsed, with no sheet music, sharing a moment of spontaneous creation with guest artists Caroline St-Louis and Stephan Ritch from the band, Give (

PBN Audio’s amazing loudspeakers and amplifiers, designed and built specifically for T.H.E. Show Las Vegas, rendered the performances with stunning fidelity and power (left-to-right: Larry Mitchell, Stephan Ritch, Caroline St-Louis, and Dean Peer).

Larry’s outdoor performances each day by the Magic Bus were equally enthralling. Outside the Magic Bus, we fed the output of Larry’s state-of-the-art Fractal Audio (Fractal Audio Systems - Axe-Fx II Guitar Processor, Preamp, Effects Processor - MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller) guitar processor into a mixer, which subsequently split the audio signal into two playback paths. One path went into the WiFi transmitter for Dynaudio’s Xeo5 wireless loudspeakers. The other signal path went into Steve McCormack’s ( Flex-Connect (for purposes of converting the balanced signal to unbalanced and ground isolation) and then into the auxiliary audio inputs of the Magic Bus’ audio system. Configured as described, listeners could choose between the fabulous outdoor listening experience through the Xeo5’s, and the unprecedented listening experience inside the Magic Bus!

As a special surprise, Larry’s dear friends, Chris Cicchino (guitarist) and Dan Grennes (bassist), currently performing in the Rock of Ages musical at the Venetian (Rock of Ages | Now Playing on Broadway and in Las Vegas | Official Site | Home), dropped by our exhibit on Friday to see Larry perform. They enjoyed hearing Larry Mitchell’s guitar rendered by the Magic Bus’ audio system, and, afterwards, they autographed the Magic Bus. Dean Peer joined in the fun while Brad Cohen, Producer, of Buzztv (Flash Intro Page) recorded the wildly spontaneous concert at the Magic Bus, as the pictures below illustrate:

Musicians from the Rock of Ages show at the Venetian, bassist Dan Grennes, and guitarist Chris Cicchino, listening to Larry Mitchell's guitar rendered inside the Magic Bus.

Larry Mitchell and Chris Cicchino having fun at the Magic Bus.

Fans enjoying Larry Mitchell’s performance at the Magic Bus on Friday afternoon, while Brad Cohen of Buzztv films the concert.

Chris Cicchino, and other attendees, were mesmerized by the musical synergy between Larry Mitchell and Dean Peer.

Brad Cohen also conducted a video tour of the Magic Bus and chatted Larry Mitchell and Dean Peer about their latest albums and upcoming appearances:

I was especially honored to share the Magic Bus with some of mobile audio’s greatest fabrication gurus, including John Tanaka (JT Audio & Accessories, Anaheim, CA, JT Audio & Accessories), Joey Knapp and Bing Xu (Simplicity in Sound, Milpitas, CA, SIS - Simplicity in Sound), and Russ Balazs (Octave Audio, Orlando, FL, Russ published an enthusiastic review of the Magic Bus on a prominent mobile audio forum. Below are a few excerpts from Russ’ review (for the entire review, please visit*tons-pics*.html

… I would like to say thank you to Jon for building the Magic Bus because he brought into the world something truly special … . I would have to say this is #1 on my list of vehicles I've listened to and it is by a decent margin.

… this is one experience that was just awesome and I will remember for the rest of my life. The Magic Bus is a reference….PERIOD.

… Jon and the Magic Bus are the real deal, if you get a chance to hear and experience the Bus do it and leave your ego aside.

Other VIPs and industry veterans, such as Karl Yamashita, Melissa and Chris Owen, Miguel Ayala, Mayra Hernandez, and many more too numerous to mention, also experienced the Magic Bus. Frank Martin graciously shared with us his listening impression of the Magic Bus’s audio system:

Renowned industry consultant, Todd Ramsey, kindly featured the Magic Bus in Dealerscope’s show coverage:

Todd Ramsey, 2014 CES Wrap-Up, Dealerscope, Feb 2014, Vol. 56 No. 2, p. 49. (visit Dealerscope February 2014).

It was also noteworthy that First Edition, numbered, copies of The Illustrated History of High-End Audio were debuted at T.H.E. Show Las Vegas. Robert Harley, and the editors of the abso!ute sound®, were available to sign copies. This debut Volume is a 320-page, lavishly illustrated, hardbound book abound with rare archival-quality photos of company founders ( I bought number 2086 of 2500, and was honored to receive this special message from Robert Harley:

As I’ve read this extraordinary book, it was particularly rewarding to know that I’ve had the good fortune to meet several of the loudspeaker designers featured in the book. Notably, Andrew Jones (Technical Audio Devices) recently autographed the Magic Bus. In years past, Richard Vandersteen (Vandersteen Audio) and Wilfried Ehrenholz (Dynaudio) listened to, and autographed, the Magic Bus!

These extraordinary experiences would not have been possible without the visionary ideals and gracious support of Richard Beers, Dynaudio (Dynaudio - All there is.), Kimber Kable (, Genesis Car Audio (, Cascade Audio Engineering (, Bosch Rexroth (, Bilstein (Home), and all my other sponsors, Larry Mitchell, Dean Peer, Steve McCormack, Jim Merod (BluePort Jazz | Hosted by Jim Merod ), and all of you who visited and supported the Magic Bus, true aficionados of music and high-end audio. Together, let’s keep forging frontiers in audio. I hope to see you at the next show!

Warmest regards,
Jon Whitledge
April 19, 2014
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