Ken Micallef  |  Apr 20, 2023  |  2 comments
Robert Schryer reviewed the KLH Model Three ($1799/pair) in December 2022; I reviewed the KLH Model Five ($1998/pair) in September 2021—we each loved our respective pairs.

There's something honest and immediate about the revived KLH lineup; it feels right, looks right—"mid-century modern!" says Don Draper—and most importantly, sounds right. These are no-nonsense transducers that make exceptional music with most upstream components.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 20, 2023  |  0 comments
As I continue work on a follow-up review of the Next-Gen Power Supply Upgrade to the Innuos Statement music server and streamer ($21,700), Innuos has released its new Pulsar Network music player + USB reclocker ($6899). A stripped-down version of the flagship Statement, the Pulsar lacks both a ripper and internal storage. What it boasts instead is over 130,000µF of Mundorf capacitors, a large high-end inductor, and an audio-grade, 300VA toroidal transformer. The Pulsar favors its optimized USB output with reclocking over its non-dedicated USB, and lacks S/PDIF and AES/EBU outputs.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 20, 2023  |  1 comments
Several surprises awaited in the AXPONA room sponsored by Gary Leeds's Hear This, North American distributor of WestminsterLab, and Von Schweikert Audio in association with Lampizator, NA and Small Green Computer. (Bonus points if you can read that out loud on one breath.) First was the "hard launch" of equipment from WestminsterLab: the Rei monoblock ($32,900/pair), which despite the title is not recommended for summer hikes in Yosemite, and Quest balanced preamplifier with full carbon-fiber component shielding upgrade ($25,100, or $22,900 in basic configuration). Next were the speakers—not the usual behemoths usually transported to shows by Von Schweikert Audio, but rather their smaller Endeavor SE ($27,000/pair plus eight Critical Mass Systems footers that cost $650 each).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  0 comments
Halfway through Day 1 of AXPONA 2023, it became clear once again that JDEvents has the staff and expertise to mount a large show with ease. While I'm sure there were a few rough patches, none of which I encountered, Deanna Tursellino's smiling face at one of several "Help" tables scattered throughout the show reflected the seeming ease with which the Fairfield, CT-based company's team of 15 assisted exhibitors and visitors alike.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  0 comments
Last summer, when I went shopping for a pair of standmount speakers for a bedroom, I settled on Monitor Audio Bronze 100s. They ticked the boxes: musical to a T, natural-sounding, not too incisive or fatiguing, and a pretty damn good value at around $700/pair. I dug 'em, and still do.

At AXPONA, the British company demonstrated what happened when it gave its designers license to develop a top-of-the-line floorstander. Fifty years of both incremental improvements and great leaps forward have culminated in the $13,900/pair Monitor Audio 200 3G.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  1 comments
In the Ocean Audio room in which Finley Audio, Les Davis Audio, Small Green Computer, Serhan Swift loudspeakers, and Boulder Audio joined forces, my attention was first drawn to Serhan Swift of Sydney, Australia. In 2013, after nearly four decades of producing loudspeakers, Brad Serhan teamed up with Morris Swift of Oneaudio. As a follow-up to their active DSP Active loudspeaker, the men have created the mu2 Mk II passive loudspeaker ($7950/pair).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  12 comments
If you wanted to hear an admirably smooth, solid, all-of-one-piece system with a huge soundstage and extremely fast and firm bass, Ed DeVito's Audio-Ultra exhibit was one of the best to visit. It was also the only room where you could hear CH Precision gear with the latest upgrades and the diminutive Magico A1 standmount loudspeakers ($9400/pair in silver finish).
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  11 comments
While audiophiles kvetch over the future of this thing we love, rest assured, young audiophiles are growing in number, evidenced by AXPONA halls streaming with under-30 types. Upscale Audio's Kevin Deal, one of the savviest of distributors, introduced me to his young Analog Manager, Kat Ourlian, who discussed specs and brought two terrific-sounding LPs to play on a tricked-out PrimaLuna/Tannoy system.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  6 comments
With the assumption of audiophile Cliff Duffey (above) as President of AXISS Audio USA (aka AXISS Distribution Inc.), and the addition of T.J. Goldsby as Vice President of Sales and Dealer relations, the company has added more lines than can comfortably fit into a headline.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 19, 2023  |  1 comments
Børresen has sprung a welcome surprise on audiophiles. Long known for its expensive loudspeakers, Michael Børresen's Danish speaker company has launched the X3 loudspeaker ($11,000/pair). Exhibited by Next Level HiFi, which sells products from Audio Group Denmark, the speaker excelled in a snappy yet pleasing three-dimensional presentation, highlighted by the company's fabled huge soundstage.