Best Experience at Axpona?

"If you've ever wondered what the future of recorded music is going to sound (and look) like, you should be sure to check out the AIX Records demonstration in the Port Ballroom," said the AIX/ ad in the Axpona show guide. I started my Show itinerary by visiting this room, and in some ways, nothing I subsequently heard at Axpona matched it. Mark Waldrep was demonstrating his surround recordings in full 24/96 resolution from Blu-ray, played on an Oppo player, with five Thiel CS3.7 speakers and two Thiel subs driven by Boulder preamps and amps via DH Labs cabling. The AIX recordings I auditioned ranged from solo guitar and piano to full big band, and all were enveloping in a manner I have never experienced on even the best two-channel system. Adding to the experience was true High-Definition (1080p) video projection using a very bright, sharp projector from Wolf (distributed in the US by Sumiko). Mark always shoots HD video at his sessions, and he also provides a unique choice in that the listener can choose between audience and stage perpectives. I had assumed that most people would prefer the audience perspective, with the ambience at the rear as at a concert hall, rather than the stage perspective, where the listener is surrounded by the musicians. Mark corrected me: the feedback he gets back from AIX customers indicates that the full immersive experience is what people prefer.

rvance's picture

My AIX DVD-A's in 24/96/192 are spectacular recordings. I imagine the Blu-Ray are even moreso!

Gabe's picture

I commend, admire and congratulate Mr. Waldrep for his outstanding work and advocacy of advancement in an industry/hobby all too often dragging its feet and looking to the past for answers instead of forward.I have to respectfully disagree though, with his in-between-the-musicians perspective preference for surround sound and, again, respectfully, doubt that most people prefer that sound vantage point. As I expressed to him personally at the show, when they offer me tickets for the orchestra at the choral risers (for free), I prefer to pay for my seat elsewhere so I can hear a balance as the composers intended.He does include both perspectives in most of his recordings though. Kudos Mr. Walderp!Gabe

Mark  Waldrep's picture

Gabe,What I told John and have reported to others is true. The feedback that I receive is overwhelmingly in favor of the "stage" perspective. This may not hold true for individuals attending concerts where you never have the option of getting that POV, but it is valid in a personal listening space at home. My model is not to bring you to the venue but to have the musicians set up in your living room.I be interested in getting others feedback...the poll that I did some years ago definitely favored the in the middle of the sound mix.

James Lee's picture

The AIX Sampler (Blu-ray) disc is great. It came from my OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray player.

JimA.'s picture

I respect and admire AIX, and what they are doing. I just disagree on where I like to sit. I prefer to sit in front of the stage and not on it. Let the performers be on the stage, thank-you very much.