Florida Audio Expo 2023

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Rogier van Bakel  |  Feb 21, 2023  |  6 comments
Although TAD is a Japanese brand, there's something dry, almost German about the name, which stands for Technical Audio Devices. It's comparable, in my book, to T+A, one of Germany's leading high-end companies, whose initials mean Theorie + Anwendung—that's Theory + Application. I like this just-the-facts approach, as long as the products leave room for emotion . . . maybe even a spot of sorcery. On that score, no worries about either brand.

After a years-long absence, TAD is back on the US market, represented by Dave Malekpour of Massachusetts' PAD Hifi Distribution (PAD stands for Professional Audio Design. Were these two made for each other or what?)

Rogier van Bakel  |  Feb 20, 2023  |  19 comments
On the third and last day of the Florida Audio Expo, I realized I hadn't listened to Von Schweikert speakers in donkey's years. With only 35 minutes to spare till closing time, I made my way to the third-floor room where, according to the show literature, I should hear a pair of Von Schweikert Endeavor floorstanders ($31,000) being driven by a generous complement of multikilobuck tube components. Sure enough, the candy-apple-red speakers were there, tethered to a VAC Master Signature preamp ($44,000 with a phono stage), and from there to VAC Master 300 monoblocks ($74,000/pair). The $36,000 VPI Avenger Direct turntable was in repose when I arrived, ceding front-end honors to a $28,000 Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference 3.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Feb 26, 2023  |  2 comments
It was bound to happen sometime. The day after my return from the Florida Audio Expo, I tested positive for COVID. I'd worn a facemask on the plane, but not during the three days of pressing the flesh, listening, and reporting. (In fact, no one at the show did.) I suppose I paid for my lack of super-caution with several days of chills, headaches, violent coughing, and brain fog. This also accounts for the delay in getting the final batch of show reports out to you. Apologies!