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Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Presented in the Nirvana A Ballroom with Val Acora's Acora Acoustics granite SRC-2 loudspeakers ($37,000/pair), Valve Amplification Company (VAC) electronics sounded crisp, lively, and human.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  0 comments
Upstate New York manufacturer Alta Audio debuted its new The Adam floorstanding speaker ($17,000/pair in piano black, $18,000/pair in rosewood or beech) at Axpona, in two separate rooms.

The Adam features a 5.75" neodymium magnet ribbon tweeter, 6" midrange driver, and an 8.75" woofer "whose tuning parameters are coupled to the unique cabinet design for its infrasonic (floor-moving) bass and for refined cohesion between The Adam's XTL (Extended Line Transmission) and its pure aluminum ribbon tweeter," stated the company's website. That's potentially copious bass created from a transmission-line approach.

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 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 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).
Jim Austin  |  May 01, 2022  |  9 comments

Audio shows are great for hearing new components and systems—of course they are. But they can also be good for encountering new ideas. Over two days at AXPONA, I encountered the same curious idea from two manufacturers.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  1 comments
As early as 9AM on Friday, April 22, early registrants began wandering the halls of Chicago's Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. By 9:30AM, the first semi-crazed rush for vinyl old and new had begun in The Record Fair. And by 10AM, music was resounding in all its glory in the 138 exhibit rooms and 10 floors that comprise AXPONA 2022.
Jim Austin  |  May 01, 2022  |  4 comments

T+A elektroakustik GmbH & Co. brought the A-team to the 2022 AXPONA, including American rep Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations David Schultz, Chief Operations Officer (and heir apparent) Conradin Amft, and Founder and CEO Siegfried Amft. During a light Saturday breakfast in the big T+A room, the elder Amft briefed the Stereophile team on T+A's status and plans; expect some big announcements at High End Munich later this month.

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.
Julie Mullins  |  May 01, 2022  |  6 comments

A large, almost loft-style suite on the 16th floor housed a big, all-out system presented by Bending Wave USA, the Florida-based distributor/dealer for Germany's Göbel Audio (among other brands); their name nods to Göbel Audio's bending wave drivers.

Ken Micallef  |  Apr 27, 2022  |  4 comments
If you're a regular attendee to audio shows you'll notice one constant, and that's a lack of consistency. At one show, Acme Turntables represents with Manny, Moe, & Jack's speakers. The next show, Acme has taken up with Beverly's speakers, and MM&J is now with Mr. Big's turntables. It's downright incestuous.

Into this audio polygamy come the good men of Volti Audio (Greg Roberts), BorderPatrol DACs and amplification (Gary Dews), and Triode Wire Labs cabling (Pete Grzybowski). These gentlemen have been hosting hi-fi rooms as a single organism since 2005!

Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Some audio equipment makes its presence felt simply by its elegance. With its Versailles-like appeal, the colossal Burmester rig in the Schaumberg A room was magnificent to behold, virtually an audio treatise in luxury. A legacy German brand that manufactures everything from nuts and bolts to speaker cabinets and drivers, Burmester, represented at AXPONA by its US distributor Rutherford Audio, brought some of their classiest, biggest, and boldest equipment—all the listener need do was indulge the senses.
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.