Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  0 comments
Tucked away in a corner of the 6th floor were two Fidelity Imports rooms showing a few new gems. Fidelity Imports focused one (room 604) on its imports from the UK.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  0 comments
Fidelity Imports' second room showed on passive display the latest speaker from Perlisten, the three-way S5t tower, a smaller sibling to the Perlisten S7t in the active setup (and that Kal Rubinson reviewed in December 2021, bottom photo). A (forthcoming) new Aurender A15 music server/streamer with DAC (top photo) decoding full MQA served as the source.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  3 comments
Toronto-based American Sound of Canada, with Angie Lisi at the helm, had a striking showing at AXPONA: Huge horns. If you saw and heard them, you'd remember them. It was a popular room, so I made an early first stop on Sunday when it wasn't crowded.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  2 comments
American Sound presented a second demo in the suite's smaller room: Avantgarde Acoustics' Uno XDs, a smaller model soon to be upgraded to G3 status, driven by Japan's Phasemation amplification.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  2 comments
When I heard Usher's "Yeah!" being blasted out from the, uh, Serenity Room, I wondered whether to go in or hang back from the crunk. Not hating on the song, but it was awfully early in the day for this. (It turns out there was someone shooting a video in there.) But the real surprise was that the bumping, club-worthy music wasn't coming from outsized tower speakers, but from a pair of stand-mounted two-ways with some innovative porting.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  2 comments
Some would call it a tease; others would call it sheer torture. That's how I, who fell in love with the sound of Stereophile's 2021 Amplification Component of the Year, Gryphon's Essence monoblock power amplifier, felt seeing a static display in place of hearing the new, humongous Gryphon Apex power amplifier ($99,000/chassis).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  5 comments
Strange as it may seem, this huge air-walled exhibit room's sponsor, AudioQuest with Abt Electronics of Chicago, was the mostly invisible partner that enabled Rotel's Michi P5 preamplifier with phonostage ($4299.99—follow-up coming in our August issue) and Michi S5 stereo power amplifiers ($7499/each—reviewing coming in our July issue) to sing through Klipsch Jubilee loudspeakers ($35,000/pair including outboard electronic crossover).
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  2 comments
It's a good sign that at least some AXPONA exhibitors showed systems that were more budget-friendly than most. On the door to room 666 (perfect, right?) was a piece of paper affixed with blue painter's tape. Handwritten in all-capital letters, it read: "WARNING! DO NOT ENTER IF YOU WANT TO SPEND A FORTUNE ON YOUR HIFI."

Behind that door I encountered a simple but really good-sounding system that didn't call for apologists to stumble over themselves 'splaining.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
The Rega room was one of two rooms the Sound Organisation, a distributor of several brands from the UK, had at the show. Their other exhibit in room 662 consisted of some recent gear from Chord Electronics, such as stacked racks of the Chord Qutest DAC, Huei phono preamplifier, etc. on static display. The active system was rather old-meets-new: It had BBC School Spendor Classic 2/3 speakers ($6100/pair, just over $7000/pair with stands) and a 180Wpc Chord Ultima 6 ($9200) stereo power amplifier.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
A newcomer from Denver, Colorado, Erwin Jesudason's Sadhan Audio made its debut at AXPONA, presenting its new preamplifier, cables, and loudspeakers. Though humble and homey-looking, this minimalist system was sweetly transparent, its largish floorstanding speakers imaged beautifully and practically vanished, casting a wide, deep soundstage. Some more expensive systems lack the Sadhan Audio system's effortless reproduction and natural tone, which made a CD by Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, and Mike Marshall a toe-tapping wonder. (The late Art Dudley often said if a system got you bumping and dancing, it's onto something good). I could have plopped myself down in this room and never moved.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
I wasn't the only reviewer who sought Nirvana in the large 16th floor Aster Presidential Suite jointly sponsored by retailer Kyomi Audio of Chicago, Audio Skies distribution, and Stealth Audio Cables. On Sunday morning, less than eight hours after many members of the press hung out in the room until 2AM, several returned for yet another fix.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
Huge, colorful, and highly engaging sound highlighted my time in the room sponsored by Mark Gurvey's Source Systems distribution of San Clemente. Deserving applause for some of the best signage at AXPONA, Gurvey used Lumin's proprietary playback app to output files stored on I-O Data Device of Japan's solid-state fidata 2TB server/renderer/ripper/tagger/CD player ($1600) to the Lumin X1 flagship streamer with external dual mono linear power supply (LPS) ($13,990). From there, the system output the streaming signal to the brand new Lumin P1 streamer/renderer/DAC/AV hub/preamplifier with internal dual-mono LPS ($10,000) that John Atkinson reviewed in our April 2022 issue.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
Upstate New York manufacturer Alta Audio debuted its new The Adam floorstanding speaker ($17,000/pair in piano black, $18,000/pair in rosewood or beech) at Axpona, in two separate rooms.

The Adam features a 5.75" neodymium magnet ribbon tweeter, 6" midrange driver, and an 8.75" woofer "whose tuning parameters are coupled to the unique cabinet design for its infrasonic (floor-moving) bass and for refined cohesion between The Adam's XTL (Extended Line Transmission) and its pure aluminum ribbon tweeter," stated the company's website. That's potentially copious bass created from a transmission-line approach.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  1 comments
MoFi Distribution showed some classic hi-fi gear—tube amps and classic speakers—in two of their four rooms, suites 330, which I cover here, and 346 (report to come). A few products debuted, including tubed amplification from Mastersound, an Italian company with a rather un-Italian name. MoFi Distribution's VP of Sales & Marketing Jon Derda told me that Mastersound winds their own transformers in-house. The brand is new to MoFi's roster—and new to me.