Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  0 comments
In its mid-priced room, Sound United mated Definitive Technology Demand D17 floorstanding speakers ($3498/pair) with the Marantz SACD 30n CD/SACD/file player ($2999), Marantz TT-15S1 belt-drive turntable with cartridge ($1799, and the new Marantz Model 40n integrated stereo amplifier with built-in streaming ($2499). Of great interest was Marantz's new component design, which brings a fresh and attractive look to a classic product.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  0 comments
Warm, coherent, magical—all those descriptors came to mind as I listened to a system that, for me, defined the essence of the high-end experience. In the first of Kyomi Audio of Chicago's two stellar-sounding rooms, MBL's Jeremy Bryan ensured that MBL's imposing 101 E MKII full-range Radiastrahler omnidirectional loudspeaker system ($84,500/pair) would perform their fabled disappearing act.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  4 comments
The midrange stole the show in Philip O'Hanlon's On a Higher Note room as platter after platter delivered analog magic. Thanks to Graham Audio's LS8/1 speakers ($9700/pair with stands and spikes), the Moonriver 404 Reference integrated amplifier ($4995) with optional internal MM/MC phono stage ($550)-see my review here- Bergmann Audio's Modi air bearing turntable and Modi air-bearing linear-tracking tonearm ($17,000) with Hana ML cartridge ($1200) and Krion turntable platform ($4850), an Artesania Audio Exoteryc 3-level rack ($7300), and Cardas Audio Clear cabling, award-winning soprano Fatma Said's soft high notes floated wonderfully.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  3 comments
Much of the explanation zoomed by far too fast for one not trained in shorthand to record, but the surprisingly huge soundstage and impressive bass of a system variously introduced as "Everyman's Stereo" and "The Audiophile's Training Wheel System" made their mark. Streamed in 16/44.1 from Spotify, Joe Bonamassa's ""High Water Everywhere" sounded quite fine. Nor was this system shy when it came to delivering the edgy nastiness of Alice Cooper's "Welcome to my Nightmare."
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  1 comments
Industry veteran P.J. Zornosa and Vancouver, BC turntable designer John Stratton brought a compact system that made sublime sounds to one of Axpona's smaller rooms.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  1 comments
I've been a fan of European Audio Team electronics since I reviewed the fantastic E.A.T. E-Glo I integrated amplifier in the December 2020 issue of Stereophile. Unfortunately, that mighty tube treat wasn't present at AXPONA, but Vana Ltd. importer, CTO Roy Feldstein, told me to chill. He had more E.A.T tricks up his sleeve.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 26, 2022  |  9 comments
If you're like me, when attending audio shows you have your go-to joints, those rooms where the presentation will be engaging, the conversation interesting, and the good vibes effortless. Consistency frames the visit, like a homecoming where nothing has changed, where friends (and their hi-fis) welcome you. At the risk of sounding like a hawker, Credo Audio Switzerland—at Axpona's Nirvana B ballroom—has become one of my go-to joints.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Discovering new products from new companies is one of the best parts about audio shows. As much as we enjoy seeing familiar industry faces and brands, it's also great to meet new ones.

Aretai was founded in 2018 by Janis Irbe, the technical designer, and Edgars Zvirgzdiņš, the product designer, who hail from Latvia. At AXPONA Aretai presented the 100S entry model from their inaugural Contra collection of loudspeakers.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 25, 2022  |  1 comments

It took until Saturday for the Dynaudio crew to find the right position for the Dynaudio Confidence 60 loudspeakers ($50,000/pair), but once they did, the towering and far-from-lightweight Octave Jubilee Mono SE tube amplifiers ($80,000/pair), paired with Octave's Jubilee preamp ($32,000) with stepped-attenuator volume control, ensured that this system would sing with captivating beauty.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 25, 2022  |  1 comments
As MoFi Distribution is based in the Chicagoland area, it's no surprise they go all out at their hometown AXPONA. They packed the house with exhibits in four rooms featuring plenty of debuts, so I'll divvy my coverage into a couple of parts.

But first, some big news. Illustrious loudspeaker designer Andrew Jones, known for his work for Pioneer, ELAC, and other companies, has joined with MoFi Distribution. Word is, Andrew will be designing a speaker to round out MoFi's own system lineup.