Mark Henninger  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  0 comments
At audio shows, an exceptional room can linger in your memory, much like a catchy song that you can't shake off. Perhaps the room's acoustics perfectly complement the speakers, or maybe the chosen demo tracks strike a chord with you.
Ken Micallef  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  6 comments

Acora Acoustics' Valerio Cora, VAC's Kevin Hayes, and VPI's Mat Weisfeld are big dudes. They make big equipment. It makes big sound. Their assemblage at FLAX produced music that was more than big; it was overwhelming.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  1 comments

A simple, well-tuned system can outperform a megabuck system that's poorly set-up. That's easy to notice at a hi-fi show, where you frequently walk straight out of one room and into another. Do that enough times and you gain a powerful appreciation for the importance of effective setup and system tuning.

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  1 comments
At the Florida International Audio Expo 2024, the Focal and Naim suite presented an opportunity to experience two stereo systems that merge Focal speakers with Naim electronics in one of House of Stereo's numerous outstanding rooms at the show.

Robert Baird  |  Feb 19, 2024  |  2 comments
Given his seemingly endless stream of ideas, virtuoso instrumentalism, and considerable wealth of recordings, Keith Jarrett is a creative universe unto himself. He began his recording career on Atlantic Records and recorded for several labels, including Impulse!, along the way, but it was on Manfred Eicher's label ECM that he first broke through to worldwide fame in 1973, with the 3-LP set Keith Jarrett, Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne. Considering its landmark status, it's fitting that the album is among the first releases in ECM's new Luminessence vinyl series, reissued in its original triple-vinyl form.
Mark Henninger  |  Feb 19, 2024  |  3 comments

Showing in the US for the first time in years, Metaxas & Sins by Kostas Metaxas offers audio gear that straddles the line between technology and art. The company refers to its components, justifiably, as "high-end audio sculptures." The aesthetic is unique.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  0 comments

In the room shared by Gary Dews's BorderPatrol Audio, Greg Roberts's Volti Audio, and Peter Grzybowski's Triode Wire Labs, music flowed, immense of stage, fast of delivery, with heart-arresting texture, visceral verisimilitude, and dynamic fireworks.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  0 comments

In House of Stereo's Room 716, T+A's Chief Executive Office of North America, David Nauber, played the brand new, barely off the airship, T+A R 2500 R Integrated Multi Source Receiver ($18,880). A VPI Avenger Direct Turntable with FatBoy Gimbal tonearm ($36,000), DS Audio Grand Master EX System cart ($22,500) and phono stage ($45,000), T+A PSD 3100 HV DAC/PRE ($22,000), T+A A 3000 HV Power Amplifier ($24,275), T+A PS 3000 HV Power Supply ($16,695), and T+A Solitaire S430 speakers ($29,900) completed the setup. Cabling by WireWorld.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  2 comments

Jacksonville, Florida, dealership House of Stereo occupied eight (!) rooms at FLAX. Room 709 debuted Steinheim's 2.5 Alumine Two.Five loudspeakers ($23,500/pair), accompanied by a bevy of refined products that kept the room packed to overflowing. Several were from Germany's T+A ("Engineering emotion"), including the SD 3100 HV Reference Streaming DAC ($32,387).

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  0 comments

Japan's TAD had two rooms at FLAX, including the large Bayshore ballroom, which itself contained two systems, each with two pairs of speakers. Both systems wowed me.