Southwest Audio Fest 2024

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Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments
VAC and Acora were a compelling combo at SWAF 2024. In this demo, a pair of granite-bodied Acora SCR-2 loudspeakers ($48,000/pair) sounded rock-solid powered by a pair of VAC Essence amplifiers ($9900/each).
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments
At the Southwest Audio Fest in Dallas, Børresen Acoustics took a room and outfitted it with two killer systems. The cost-no-object system featured the flagship M6 speakers; the other showed the capabilities of the more affordable but similarly imposing X6 towers.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments
This superb high-end audio system, featured at the Southwest Audio Fest in Dallas, included Estelon Forza speakers ($170,000/pair) in dark silver liquid gloss powered by MSB M500 mono amplifiers ($75,000 each).
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 19, 2024  |  1 comments
Some fresh, high quality products making their U.S. show debuts—not to mention the excellent sound quality that was achieved—made this system a fun one to audition.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 15, 2024  |  10 comments
An audio show is born: the inaugural Southwest Audio Fest (SWAF), taking place on March 15-17 in Dallas, Texas, at the Hilton Anatole hotel.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments

Now, before we return to Montreal, here's more from the Southwest Audio Fest.

You won't mistake an MBL speaker for any other. No matter what size MBL speakers you buy, you will get the same unique 360-degree dispersion driver technology. The company's smallest and most affordable entry point into its line of speakers is the Radialstrahler 120 ($26,500/pair), which was demoed in Dallas.

Mark Henninger  |  Mar 19, 2024  |  First Published: Mar 18, 2024  |  0 comments
With the consumer version of the Planet Venus Spectral Coherence Control Essential plugin ($189), adventurous audiophiles can experiment with removing distortion inherent to a recording, independent of the playback system.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 19, 2024  |  11 comments
Ken Songer of Songer Audio must be on to something because his demo led me to experience a heart rate of 141 while listening to "Sharkey's Day" from Laurie Anderson's Mister Heartbreak.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments
Sound Lab is an electrostatic speaker specialist. The company's G745-3C ($20,000/pair) debuted at the first Southwest Audio Fest. These speakers aren't small, but they are suitable for relatively compact spaces, thanks to the panels' modest 20" width.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments
This powerful yet precise system was tasked with filling a small ballroom with sound; in the process, it delivered a captivating performance. A pair of Stenheim Alumine 5 SE speakers ($72,000/pair) did the heavy lifting.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 19, 2024  |  First Published: Mar 18, 2024  |  1 comments
Ted Denney used a top-tier stereo system to demonstrate Synergistic Research's latest product, the Voodoo Streaming Server ($14,995), at the inaugural Southwest Audio Fest. The demo also included the Vibratron SX ($3995), a passive resonator design from the company's early days.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 19, 2024  |  First Published: Mar 18, 2024  |  6 comments
The Van Zyl Audio Alpine mid-horn speaker ($12,000/pair) is designed to cover a frequency range of 125Hz up to 20kHz. It uses a horn-loaded 8" Tang Band full-range driver that connects to the amplifier directly, free of crossover componentry. The design adds a physically time-aligned AMT tweeter—implemented as a super tweeter—to extend the highs with a simple first-order crossover applied.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 20, 2024  |  1 comments
Von Schweikert Ultra 55 speakers ($120,000 in Porsche Oslo Blue) are the company's smallest flagship-level offering, but still reference-level in capability with a response specification of 20Hz-40kHz. In practice, they delivered a completely enveloping and absorbing musical presentation.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments

Southwest Audio Fest v1.0 in Dallas, Texas, was the site of the North American debut of the YG Acoustics Sonja 3.2 loudspeaker.