Ken Micallef

Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Upscale Distribution's Kevin Deal brought his posse to AXPONA (left–right: Randy Bingham, Kevin Deal, Craig Hoffman, Alex Brinkman). Though Deal's room was static, he also sponsored legacy French brand, Cabasse, in an adjacent room, where Cabasse representative Jean-Michel Polit demoed the thrilling flagship Pearl Pelegrina loudspeakers ($20,999/pair).
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Presented in the Nirvana A Ballroom with Val Acora's Acora Acoustics granite SRC-2 loudspeakers ($37,000/pair), Valve Amplification Company (VAC) electronics sounded crisp, lively, and human.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  3 comments
Valve Amplification Company electronics also appeared in the Euphoria room, hosted by The Audio Company, where I believe Von Schweikert's Damon Von Schweikert and Leif Swanson were in attendance.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Some audio equipment makes its presence felt simply by its elegance. With its Versailles-like appeal, the colossal Burmester rig in the Schaumberg A room was magnificent to behold, virtually an audio treatise in luxury. A legacy German brand that manufactures everything from nuts and bolts to speaker cabinets and drivers, Burmester, represented at AXPONA by its US distributor Rutherford Audio, brought some of their classiest, biggest, and boldest equipment—all the listener need do was indulge the senses.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Peter Mackay of Magico Loudspeakers (pictured above) and Jeffrey Sigmund and John Pravel of Luxman America brought a fantastic-sounding system to the Prosperity room. Exceptional scale, resolution, depth, dynamics, precision, and juicy tone could all be heard—audio prosperity of the highest order.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 21, 2022  |  11 comments
Oswalds Mill Audio's products espouse a sort of steam-punk-meets-modern visual style, but the company's philosophies are straight from hi-fi's '50s and '60s glory days, an era when idler-drive turntables, low-power tube amps, and horn-loaded loudspeakers were the norm. That history and hi-fi's future fascinate and inspire Jonathan Weiss, OMA's proprietor.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 14, 2022  |  27 comments
Celebrated New York City–based jazz drummer Billy Drummond recalls his first visit, with the group OTB ("Out of The Blue"), to the Mount Fuji Jazz Festival in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. It was 1988. The Festival's elite drummers ranged in age from 69 (Art Blakey) to 26 (Ralph Peterson). In between were Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Clifford Barbaro, Victor Lewis, Lewis Nash, Kenny Washington, Cindy Blackman—"and me," Drummond told me, by phone.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 08, 2022  |  16 comments
In the 1990s, I was a globetrotter, interviewing musicians in diverse locales for several publications. My habit when arriving in London was to hit the duty-free shops for Cuban Montecristo cigars, move on to the newsagent for the latest issues of Hi-Fi News and Hi-Fi Choice, then take a leisurely romp through Oranges & Lemons, Richer Sounds, and Sevenoaks Sound & Vision—three major London audio stores.
Ken Micallef  |  Mar 06, 2022  |  4 comments

Woo Audio’s Jack Wu was in person to debut his new Woo Audio WA23 Luna amp ($9000), which he paired with Abyss's new semiopen-back Diana TC planar headphones ($4495).

Only minimal information was available on Wu’s new amp, but he revealed the following: The WA23 Luna is an single-ended triode design that can serve as a headphone amp or a preamplifier. Power ratings remain a secret, but Wu said the Luna is a high-gain, point-to-point design. It draws watts from a pair of Electro Harmonix 2A3 power tubes; also on board are two 6C45 driver tubes and a 5U4G rectifier tube. It can drive a variety of headphone designs, Wu said.

Ken Micallef  |  Mar 05, 2022  |  0 comments
As I walked by the Centrance booth, Centrance owner Michael Goodman waved. I waved back, walked over, and listened to his HiFi-M8 V2 Portable Reference DAC/Amp ($749) and Ampersand Balanced Portable Reference Headphone Power Amplifier ($749), connected to a pair of HEDDphone Air Motion Transformer headphones.