LATEST ADDITIONS

John Atkinson  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  0 comments
The Larson 9 speakers ($14,995/pair) in this room were set up firing across the room width, meaning that the one row of listeners had to sit relatively close. Even so, this system, which used Gamut M250i monoblocks ($25,990/pair) and a Gamut D3i dual-mono preamplifier ($8390), all hooked up with Gamut cables, was definitely "room friendly," producing a comfortable sound from an LP cut of Chet Atkins and Mark Knopler playing "There'll be Some Changes Made."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  3 comments
Once again I experienced the mellow core of the Jeff Rowland sound. This time, it was in the room he shared with Joseph Audio and Cardas Audio, where the big news was the premiere of the Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene speaker ($14,999/pair). When I entered, a track from a recording I know very well, Rosa Passos and Ron Carter's Entre Amigos, was sounding far more mellow and toned down than on my system. This setup also brought out the mellow core of a sweet violin in the Bruch Scottish Fantasy.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  3 comments
As soon as I entered the second Kyomi Audio room and heard a track from Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders' great recording Journey in Satchidananda, I realized that it had been far too long since I'd had the pleasure of listening to Dan Meinwald's eclectic and thankfully outside-the-norm music selections. Meinwald, a longtime member of our industry who has spent a considerable time working for EAR USA, had paired the EAR Acute Classic CD player ($6795), V12 integrated amplifier ($9795), and, in a world premiere, the company's new Phono Box phono preamp ($1895 in black) with a Merrill-Williams 101.3 turntable ($8995) with Helius Omega Standard tonearm ($3695) and Koetsu Rosewood cartridge ($3495). Speakers were Marten Django L ($10,000/pair) and cabling Magnan Silver and Signature.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  0 comments
Retailer, concert pianist, and pedagogue George Vatchnadze, whose shop Kyomi Audio contributed products to at least five rooms at AXPONA, assembled an impressive system distinguished by a wonderful, warm midrange and excellent bass tonality. On vinyl, which is all I heard, the system's strengths came to the fore in the classic RCA Living Stereo recording by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije suite, where the depiction of depth and space was superb. "Soundstaging for days," I wrote in my notes, while also praising the system's midrange. I also loved the warm, smiling midrange core and the ability to hear artificially added reverb on Ella Fitzgerald's recording of "Cry Me a River" from Let No Man Write my Epitaph, and the excellent bass tonality on "Use Me" from the MoFi reissue of Bill Withers' Greatest Hits.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  1 comments
MoFi Distribution's Jonathan Derda was demming the Wharfedale Linton, 3-way stand-mounted speakers ($1498/pair with stands) using a neat little Quad Artera Solus integrated amplifier ($1999), both products making their US debuts at AXPONA. He played me "Sympathy for the Devil" from the Stones' Beggars Banquet album on a MoFi StudioDeck+U player ($1499 with MoFi UltraTracker MM cartridge) and a Tim de Paravicini-designed MoFi StudioPhono preamp ($299) and this relatively inexpensive system had this old geezer rocking.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  1 comments
I was greeted by a familiar sound from shows past when I went into the first MoFi Distribution room on the Renaissance's third floor: a track from the All Star Percussion Ensemble LP that showed off the superb imaging and terrific transient reproduction of the Manger P2 speakers ($18,995/pair; $21,995/pair in the Rio Palisander veneer being demmed). Using a bending-wave transducer to cover everything from the lower midrange upward, supported below 340Hz by an 8" woofer with a carbon-fiber cone, the P2s sounded perhaps a bit too sweet in the top octaves when the percussion cut was followed by Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  0 comments
What a difference a change of venue and cabling makes. In the Nagra room at CES, the sound was silvery, glistening, open, and mesmerizing. Here, with smaller Kharma Elegance S7 loudspeakers ($18,000) and mid-priced copper-based Organic Reference cabling that uses a fiber dielectric, the sound was more toned down but no less compelling
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  1 comments
An usually synergistic equipment match ruled the 16th floor room sponsored jointly by Jeff Rowland Design Group, Cardas Audio, Grand Prix Audio, and Vivid Audio. Frankly, I don't think I've ever heard Jeff Rowland's equipment produce such mellow and beautiful sound.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  2 comments
The North American debut of the DeBaer Saphir turntable with Reference power supply ($57,000) and DeBaer 9" Onyx tonearm with VTA adjustment ($7000) and equally pricey Top Wing Suzaku (Red Sparrow) cartridge ($16,500) was the big news in a room that paired Rockport Technologies Cygnus loudspeakers ($62,500) and high-end Argento Audio FMR silver cabling with a full line of CH Precision electronics. Focusing solely on vinyl reproduction during my time in the room, we began with one of the most overplayed audiophile classical demo tracks, the Reference Recordings version of Rimsky-Korsakov's unquestionably exciting but ultimately tedious Dance of the Tumblers. At least it was only the first time I'd heard it at AXPONA.
Jim Austin  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  13 comments
If you're after an elegant classic look and a compact form factor, you'd be hard-pressed to do much better than the Luxman NeoClassic series, including the SQ-N150 integrated amplifier ($2795) and the D-N150 CD player ($2595). Both are new, and both are now shipping.

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