Jason Victor Serinus

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Across the hallway, Paragon Sight and Sound set up a more "modest," albeit hardly chump-change, system that included Wilson Alexia 2 speakers ($59,900 with this special red finish), brand-new tubed Rogers KWM 88 Corona integrated amplifier ($14,000) plus PA2 phono stage ($7300), dCS Bartok DAC ($13,500), Clearaudio Ovation turntable with 9" arm and custom finish ($11,000) and Clearaudio Jubilee cartridge, Transparent Reference and Reference XL cabling, a Transparent Reference Power Isolator ($5995), and Harmonic Resolution System RXR 4V with R3x base audio rack ($9330).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  3 comments
Given that I had recently gushed over the pairing, at one of Definitive Audio of Seattle's Music Matters events, of Wilson Audio's Alexx speakers ($109,000/pair), Sub Sonic Subwoofers (two, at $37,500/each), and Watch Controllers (two, at $4000/each); D'Agostino Relentless monoblocks ($250,000/pair) and Progression monoblocks ($38,000/pair), plus Momentum phono stage ($28,000); a dCS and Clearaudio front end; and lots and lots of Transparent Reference XL cabling plus an HRS VXR-19213V-80 rack with two M3x base audio stands ($57,960 total), I didn't know if I would hear much of a difference from the AXPONA system put together by Michigan retailer Paragon Sight and Sound. If anything, I expected the level of sonic excellence to drop somewhat, because we were moving from a purpose-built, carefully treated store showroom to a far more challenging convention hall space.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  0 comments
It was hard to get a good photo of the Aavik/Børresen/Ansuz system from Next Level HiFi of Wayne, IL, distributed by Gated HiFi, because the premiere Børresen 05 loudspeakers with D-TC Resonance Control ($120,000/pair) were spaced so far apart. But that spacing certainly didn't stop the system from wowing listeners with its extremely strong bass, which on genuinely danceable party music was vibrating in my gut and propelling the 05s' drivers back and forth. The exhibitors in the conference room underneath may have been cringing, but I ate up my opportunity to receive my first sonic massage of the day.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  1 comments
"OMG, it's music" is the first thing I wrote down in this room. "So much of what I've missed at this show is here." On master recordist Peter McGrath's live 24/88.2 MQA recording of pianist Benjamin Grosvenor playing the Sarabande from Bach's French Suite No.5, I heard the natural ring of his piano's top notes resounding and decaying in an uncannily realistic depiction of a large, open venue. Given that plans to attend Grosvenor's performance at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night were scrapped due to the musician's strike, this was certainly the next best thing.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  1 comments
Saturday is always the most crowded and intense day of any show . . .
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  0 comments
Canada's Wynn Audio sure mixed it up, to good effect, in a system that included two premieres: Crystal Cable's Future Dream 15th Anniversary limited-edition series, which combines proprietary monocrystal silver and silver-gold alloy in a four-coaxial-conductor construction insulated by Dupont Kapton and Teflon, and the Entreq Silver Tellus Infinity ground box ($2400 each), a passive device that, using a different technology to Nordost's QKore grounding units, claims to remove ground noise from components.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  1 comments
Vandersteen lovers, of which there are many, may stare in disbelief at these words, but AXPONA 2019 marks the first time that I truly got why so many people rave about Vandersteen's sound. At least I think I did. Even if I didn't fully get what other people get, I got enough to say, "Oh yeah, uh huh, that Vandersteen midrange is surely something worth writing home about." In fact, based on what I heard, I see why some people would prefer to cart up the whole thing and let it do the speaking.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 12, 2019  |  5 comments
Spying the Scaena (pronounced Sane-a) room, I was happy to hear their fabulous sounding speakers once again. This time it was the Scaena Model 3 ($90,000 pair including the two big subwoofers), driven by a High Fidelity Cables MA-1 amplifier ($30,000), fed by a four-stack dCS Vivaldi system ($114,996 total) and connected by High Fidelity cables.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 12, 2019  |  3 comments
Despite the challenging acoustics of air-walled conference rooms, retailer Audio Video Interiors produced extremely satisfying sound. True to McIntosh Laboratory's sonic signature, the company's C-1100 preamp ($14,000), relatively new 600Wpc MC-611 monoblocks ($15,000/pair), and MPC-1500 line filter ($5500) produced a beautiful, strong midrange and mellow top.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 12, 2019  |  4 comments
Disorder was the order of the day as everyone and their father ogled and chatted about the VAC Statement 450i iQ integrated amplifier ($150,000). During my relatively brief visit to this free-for-all space, in which demonstrations alternated between two systems, there were up to six people standing in front of the one I tried to hear. At one point, someone blocked the speaker on one side while a company rep chatted it up with someone on the other.

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