Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  0 comments
Fidelity Imports' second room showed on passive display the latest speaker from Perlisten, the three-way S5t tower, a smaller sibling to the Perlisten S7t in the active setup (and that Kal Rubinson reviewed in December 2021, bottom photo). A (forthcoming) new Aurender A15 music server/streamer with DAC (top photo) decoding full MQA served as the source.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  3 comments
Toronto-based American Sound of Canada, with Angie Lisi at the helm, had a striking showing at AXPONA: Huge horns. If you saw and heard them, you'd remember them. It was a popular room, so I made an early first stop on Sunday when it wasn't crowded.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  2 comments
American Sound presented a second demo in the suite's smaller room: Avantgarde Acoustics' Uno XDs, a smaller model soon to be upgraded to G3 status, driven by Japan's Phasemation amplification.
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  2 comments
When I heard Usher's "Yeah!" being blasted out from the, uh, Serenity Room, I wondered whether to go in or hang back from the crunk. Not hating on the song, but it was awfully early in the day for this. (It turns out there was someone shooting a video in there.) But the real surprise was that the bumping, club-worthy music wasn't coming from outsized tower speakers, but from a pair of stand-mounted two-ways with some innovative porting.
Fred Kaplan  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  6 comments
Do we need yet another unearthed recording of the Bill Evans trio? I count 22 albums or boxed sets—a total of 49 polycarbonate or vinyl discs—of posthumously released sessions, many of them in just the last few years. But this latest discovery, recorded in Buenos Aires in September 1979, is a stunner. So, to answer the question above: Yes, we do need this recording.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  2 comments
Some would call it a tease; others would call it sheer torture. That's how I, who fell in love with the sound of Stereophile's 2021 Amplification Component of the Year, Gryphon's Essence monoblock power amplifier, felt seeing a static display in place of hearing the new, humongous Gryphon Apex power amplifier ($99,000/chassis).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  5 comments
Strange as it may seem, this huge air-walled exhibit room's sponsor, AudioQuest with Abt Electronics of Chicago, was the mostly invisible partner that enabled Rotel's Michi P5 preamplifier with phonostage ($4299.99—follow-up coming in our August issue) and Michi S5 stereo power amplifiers ($7499/each—reviewing coming in our July issue) to sing through Klipsch Jubilee loudspeakers ($35,000/pair including outboard electronic crossover).
Julie Mullins  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  2 comments
It's a good sign that at least some AXPONA exhibitors showed systems that were more budget-friendly than most. On the door to room 666 (perfect, right?) was a piece of paper affixed with blue painter's tape. Handwritten in all-capital letters, it read: "WARNING! DO NOT ENTER IF YOU WANT TO SPEND A FORTUNE ON YOUR HIFI."

Behind that door I encountered a simple but really good-sounding system that didn't call for apologists to stumble over themselves 'splaining.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
The Rega room was one of two rooms the Sound Organisation, a distributor of several brands from the UK, had at the show. Their other exhibit in room 662 consisted of some recent gear from Chord Electronics, such as stacked racks of the Chord Qutest DAC, Huei phono preamplifier, etc. on static display. The active system was rather old-meets-new: It had BBC School Spendor Classic 2/3 speakers ($6100/pair, just over $7000/pair with stands) and a 180Wpc Chord Ultima 6 ($9200) stereo power amplifier.