Ken Micallef  |  Feb 22, 2024  |  0 comments

High End by Oz's Ozan Turan was showing beautiful equipment in the Kennedy Room, including an Esoteric X-05 CD/SACD Player ($12,000), Thrax Audio Maximinus Silver DAC ($38,500), Viva Audio Solista MK II class A 22Wpc integrated amplifier ($29,500), and Lansche Audio Model 5.2 speakers in white ($57,000/pair). Hifistay Mythology racks ($6,500) held the gear and Albedo provided their Silver signal and power cables ($6,000–$23,000) and a S.I.N. Audio PSD Unlimited Power Distributor ($23,500).

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 22, 2024  |  2 comments

Suncoast Audio, a Sarasota-based dealership, was new to me, and boy, did it deliver: Four rooms, and each had serious buzz. Michael Bovaird, proprietor of Suncoast Audio and a cofounder of the Florida Audio Expo, put together rooms that played music that kept the room full, with knowledgeable support personnel (including Nordost's Seth Snyder) to answer questions.

Alex Halberstadt  |  Feb 21, 2024  |  30 comments
In 1976, a Soviet fighter pilot named Viktor Belenko made an emergency landing in Hokkaido, Japan. He was flying a MiG-25 supersonic interceptor jet and, upon touching down, requested political asylum. This proved to be a stroke of brilliant luck for the Americans. The MiG-25 remains one of the fastest and highest-flying aircraft ever produced, and Belenko's defection allowed them to have a tantalizing look at the technology inside.

Among the top-secret loot found inside the Soviet jet was a large, heavy triode vacuum tube used as a regulator in the power supply of the MiG's radio. It was known as the 6C33C. (The enormous electromagnetic pulse caused by a nuclear explosion would fry a transistor. Tubes were used in military equipment with such an eventuality in mind.)

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  3 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  |  7 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  |  4 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  |  4 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  |  1 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.