Florida Audio Expo 2024

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Ken Micallef  |  Feb 24, 2024  |  6 comments

As Stereophile managing editor Mark Henninger and I scurried up and down the Hilton halls, fulfilling our tasks as intrepid reporters, we had little time to compare notes. But we agreed on one room, Axiss Audio. In a room filled with exceptional gear, Axiss's Cliff Duffey and TJ Goldsby had set up a fantastic rig, well beyond the norm, which overachieved and set my ears afire. (Not literally.)

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 24, 2024  |  2 comments

Angie Lisi and Matthew Legere of American Sound of Richmond Hill, Ontario, played vinyl records, after my heart.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  0 comments

In House of Stereo's Room 716, T+A's Chief Executive Office of North America, David Nauber, played the brand new, barely off the airship, T+A R 2500 R Integrated Multi Source Receiver ($18,880). A VPI Avenger Direct Turntable with FatBoy Gimbal tonearm ($36,000), DS Audio Grand Master EX System cart ($22,500) and phono stage ($45,000), T+A PSD 3100 HV DAC/PRE ($22,000), T+A A 3000 HV Power Amplifier ($24,275), T+A PS 3000 HV Power Supply ($16,695), and T+A Solitaire S430 speakers ($29,900) completed the setup. Cabling by WireWorld.

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 23, 2024  |  First Published: Feb 22, 2024  |  1 comments

There's something about Black Ice Audio (formerly Jolida) that puts me in the frame of mind to enjoy some great tunes. It could be CEO Jerred Dunkerson's welcoming demeanor, or it could be the way the company's tube-centric gear renders smooth, eminently listenable sound without costing a fortune.

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  3 comments
At audio shows, an exceptional room can linger in your memory, much like a catchy song that you can't shake off. Perhaps the room's acoustics perfectly complement the speakers, or maybe the chosen demo tracks strike a chord with you.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 01, 2024  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2024  |  2 comments

The French two-way Diptyque DP140 MKII loudspeaker ($17,000/pair) challenges the preconception that planar magnetic speakers struggle to put out deep bass: It's specified to reach down to 35Hz. Its 87dB/W/m sensitivity is merely average—it will benefit from some power—but its 6 ohm nominal impedance means it's not too heavy a load.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  4 comments

A simple, well-tuned system can outperform a megabuck system that's poorly set-up. That's easy to notice at a hi-fi show, where you frequently walk straight out of one room and into another. Do that enough times and you gain a powerful appreciation for the importance of effective setup and system tuning.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 27, 2024  |  0 comments

In the usual preshow rush to coax product lists out of exhibitors, I asked Jeff for his list, and make it fast! One day passed, then another. Finally, Jeff acquiesced, writing "Ken, we just got the room!"

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 23, 2024  |  1 comments

Shunyata Research’s Richard Rogers showed me one of my favorite rooms of the show, a smallish rig that made very biggish sounds.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 22, 2024  |  0 comments

High End by Oz's Ozan Turan was showing beautiful equipment in the Kennedy Room, including an Esoteric X-05 CD/SACD Player ($12,000), Thrax Audio Maximinus Silver DAC ($38,500), Viva Audio Solista MK II class A 22Wpc integrated amplifier ($29,500), and Lansche Audio Model 5.2 speakers in white ($57,000/pair). Hifistay Mythology racks ($6,500) held the gear and Albedo provided their Silver signal and power cables ($6,000–$23,000) and a S.I.N. Audio PSD Unlimited Power Distributor ($23,500).

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  3 comments

Jacksonville, Florida, dealership House of Stereo occupied eight (!) rooms at FLAX. Room 709 debuted Steinheim's 2.5 Alumine Two.Five loudspeakers ($23,500/pair), accompanied by a bevy of refined products that kept the room packed to overflowing. Several were from Germany's T+A ("Engineering emotion"), including the SD 3100 HV Reference Streaming DAC ($32,387).

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 20, 2024  |  1 comments
At the Florida International Audio Expo 2024, the Focal and Naim suite presented an opportunity to experience two stereo systems that merge Focal speakers with Naim electronics in one of House of Stereo's numerous outstanding rooms at the show.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  0 comments

Japan's TAD had two rooms at FLAX, including the large Bayshore ballroom, which itself contained two systems, each with two pairs of speakers. Both systems wowed me.

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 19, 2024  |  4 comments

Showing in the US for the first time in years, Metaxas & Sins by Kostas Metaxas offers audio gear that straddles the line between technology and art. The company refers to its components, justifiably, as "high-end audio sculptures." The aesthetic is unique.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 27, 2024  |  0 comments

Another heavy hitter, showing in five rooms with multiple product lines, was Rob Standley’s Playback Distribution, featuring equipment from TEAC, the new-to-me company Advance Paris, PMC, Amphion, Vienna Acoustics, and a heaping helping of Esoteric.