Florida Audio Expo 2024

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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 28, 2024  |  0 comments

Just Audio's Lenny Florentine presented two rooms at the show, one jammed with components at all price points (including Luxman, inspiring that company's VP of Sales John Pravel and myself to reminisce about 1970s hi-fi sales), the second with more affordable but no less listenable alternatives. Room 806 offered two systems in one.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 28, 2024  |  0 comments

The room of Tampa-area dealer, UniQue Home Audio was hosted by Michael Swek and offered unique gear and interesting sounds. Their products included the MoFi Ultradeck turntable ($2499) with an Ultragold MC cartridge ($1495) feeding a Coda 06X FET phono preamplifier ($6000). Digital audio was handled with a HiFi Rose RS-130 Network Transport ($5195).

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.

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 25, 2024  |  13 comments

When some folks think of Audio Note, they picture of low fog over English lakes, Earl Grey tea, The House of Commons, and Big Ben. Tubes for sure. Likely, Classical music. Well hold on to your remote control, 'cause this latest sighting of Audio Note, at the Florida Audio Expo, was more drum'n'bass than Dvorák, more techno wampum than Die Walkure.

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 23, 2024  |  0 comments

Steve Jain's Fidelity Imports held fort in six rooms at FLAX, crisscrossing lines that included Perlisten, Primare, Michell, Unison Research, Diptyque, Opera, Soulnote, Gold Note, Q Acoustics, and more. Room 1016 was co-hosted by Chestertown, Maryland, dealership The Listening 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  |  2 comments

Suncoast Audio, a Sarasota-based dealership, was new to me, and boy, did it deliver: Four rooms, and each had serious buzz. Michael Bovaird, proprietor of Suncoast Audio and a cofounder of the Florida Audio Expo, put together rooms that played music that kept the room full, with knowledgeable support personnel (including Nordost's Seth Snyder) to answer questions.

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 25, 2024  |  First Published: Feb 22, 2024  |  3 comments

There are always a few truly eccentric rooms at audio shows; I hope there always will be. At FLAX 2024, the Davina Loudspeaker commanded one.

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.

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).

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.