AXISS Bold as Air-Tight (& Franco Serblin)

It's a rare occurrence when this hi-fi reporter experiences sonic serendipity, so when it strikes, I'm all in from the downbeat. Such was my good fortune with my first AXPONA assignment of the day, covering the hallowed sound room presented by Nashville's AXISS Audio.

Featuring component debuts from Japan's Air-Tight, with senior Air-Tight representatives in attendance, AXISS Audio's lineup included the Reed Muse 1C turntable ($14,000 for standard finish, $15,500 for birch), Reed 5T Laser Tracking tonearm ($21,500), with Air-Tight Opus One MC cartridge ($17,500), into the Air-Tight ATE-3011 phonostage ($35,300), joined to the new Air-Tight ATC-7 line control preamp ($34,800), which delivered signal to the new Air-Tight ATM-2211 SET monoblocks ($42,100/pair). The Franco Serblin Ktema loudspeakers ($40,000/pair) were new to me and proved thoroughly engaging.

The German-made Beaudioful's RACK Studio Multiplex comes in various options based on shelving ($7200 for rack shown). Cabling was provided by Zensati, their Zorro line.

Air-Tight Managing Director Yutaka "Jack" Miura manned the Reed Muse 1C turntable; when he placed Linda Rondstadt's classic What's New on the platter and lowered the Air-Tight cart, the music gave me chills and considerable thrills. Rondstadt's vocal soared above the room, free from the loudspeakers, the entire system at her service in a startling display of micro and macro dynamics. Ray Brown's Soular Energy was equally pleasurable, from the serious grip of his acoustic bass to Gene Harris' delicate piano. Superb sounds all around.