All posts by AV-Admin

High End 2018 Vids 3

Absolare hybrid monoblocks, Kronos, Rockport

Arcadian Audio, AER Loudspeakers, Charlin, Crystal Cable, RoboliDesign

ATOHM Loudspeakers and Electronics, GREAT SOUND

Avantgarde Acoustic

Avid Hifi Loudspeakers, Electronics and Turntables

ELROG Tubes, Azzolina Audio, Vinylsavor, Deutsche Elektronenrohren Manufaktur


McIntosh Audio, Blue Meters, MAC Amplifiers, McIntosh Group

Transrotor turntables and tonearms, SME turntables and tonearms

Verity Audio, Audia Flight, Cardas Audio Quadraspire

Western Electric and Silbatone Acoustics

YG Acoustics, Sonya 2 2, Nagra HD Amplfiers

Kharma International

Kharma International, Enigma Veyron Loudspeakers, Veyron Amplifiers, Veyron Cables and Audio Racks

Kharma International, Charles Van Oosterum shows speakers, amplifiers, cables

Kharma Midi Grand Exquisite loudspeakers, Lamm Industries

Kharma Enigma Veyron EV2

Kharma, Lamm Industires

Kharma International Audio products, new EV 2 speakers

Kharma Exquisite Classique

Kharma Exquisite Midi Grand

Kharma Exquisite Midi Grand

Kharma, Elegance Line Loudspeakers

Kharma Audio, worlds best audio equipment.. a top ten

Kharma Audio, Kharma Loudspeakers, Kharma Elegance, Charles van Oosterum

Aaudio imports Company Tour

The Showcase Tour Begins

Aaudio Imports, Wilson Benesch speakers, Ypsilon Amplifiers, Thales, Stage III, RMAF 2017

Aaudio Imports, Wilson Benesch, HB Cable Design, Stage III cables, Ypsilon amplifiers, Thales LAAS

Aaudio Imports, Wilson Benesch Discovery II speakers, Thales, Ypsilon, Stage III, HB Cable Designs

Wilson Benesch Joins Aaudio Imports

New products from Audio Imports

Legacy Products

Three State-of-the-art Listening Studios:Listening Studio Number One

Listening Studio Number Two

Listening Studio Number Three

Ypsilon Electronics

Ypsilon SET 100 Ultimate

Ypsilon Aelius Amplifier

Ypsilon PST 100 MKII

Ypsilon DAC 100 Stereo Valve DtoA Converter

Ypsilon CDT 100 CD Transport, CD Player

Ypsilon VPS 100 Phono Stage

HB Cable Designs

Power Distribution Systems:HB Cable Design PowerStar Horizon

HB Cable Design PowerSlave Acrylic

HB Cable Design PowerSlave Marble

High End 2018 Vids 2

Apurna, $200,000 amplifiers from France, the Worlds Most Beautiful Amplifiers, Focal

Audio Hungary, Qualiton Q40s, Loudspeakers, A50i Integrated Amp

Focal Loudspeakers, Grande Utopia EM EVO, Naim Audio

Gauder Akustik DARC Speakers, Western Electric, Vicoustic, Westend Audio Systems

Gold Note Turntables from Italy, the Italian Music Experience

Grandinote, Amplifiers and Mach Loudspeakers, Luna Cables

Metaxas Audio Systems, Kostas Metaxas

MSB Technology, SGR Audio, Synergistic Research, with Frank Vermeylen

Nagra Museum, The History Of Nagra Audio

Odeon Audio, NAT Audio, Schnerzinger Cables, Reed Turntables

Thrax Lyra and Basus Speakers, Thrax Ares, EnKlein Cables, Dohmann Helix Turntable, Schröder Tonearm

Vitus Audio, Marten Mingus 20, Dohmann Helix 2, Schröder Tonearm, Purist Audio Design

YG Acoustics, Playback Designs, Nagra, Kubala Sosna

High End 2018 Vids 1

Audionet Stern, Heisenberg, Planck, Dynaudio Evidence Temptation Platinum, Award Winner

Dynaudio, Highend Munich

Goebel Highend Divin Majestic, Kronos Complete Analogue Solution Turntable, CH Precision

Innuos, Zenmini, ZEN, Zenith, Zenith SE, Zenith Statement, Kii Three BXT

Kharma International, Enigma Veyron Loudspeakers, Veyron Amplifiers, Veyron Cables and Audio Racks

Nagra, New HD DSD DAC, Wilson Alexia 2 Speakers, Kronos Turntable, Modulum Platforms, Kubala Sosna

Octave Audio, Transrotor Tourbillon Turntable, B&W Loudspeakers

Purist Audio Design, Goebel Epoque Aeon Reference, Vitus Audio GIANT AMP

Raidho Acoustics, new TD 4 8 Loudspeaker, Chord Electronics, Nordost Cables, Award Winner

Stein Music Top Line Loudspeakers, Amplifiers, Tonearms, Phono Cartridges

Valve Amplification Company, Von Schweikert, Acoustic Signature Invictus, Masterbuilt Cables, Esoteric

Voxativ Loudspeakers, Voxativ Ampeggio X, 9 87 System, Zeth, Ampeggio Due, Ampeggio Preamp and Amps

Zellaton Loudspeakers, Schnerzinger Cables & Protectors, Reed Turntable, YS Sound, Artesania, DS Audio

High End 2018 Awards and Show Report

Reviewers View

I looked forward to going into the Audionet room for listening fully aware that the Audionet Stern, preamp and Heisenberg power amplifiers were in place. No surprise, the sound delivered in the room was that big and effortless sound I now come to expect from these top-of-the-line electronics. We played a track from a “Yello” CD and a track from our Michel Jonasz CD. The music wrapped itself around the listener and the bass on both tracks was deep and well integrated. I don’t know of a finer solid state line. The source was the Audionet Planck with the Art G3 D/A Converter. The outstanding Dynaudio Evidence Temptation Platinum speakers were a perfect match for the Heisenbergs.

Goebel/Kronos/Ch Precision:
This year, Oliver Goebel surprised many of us with a completely new line of loudspeakers called the “Divin Series”. The Divin Series “Majestic”, the largest loudspeaker in the line, debuted at the High End 2018. The new line is offered to the most discerning listener who is looking for high efficiency in a large space. Tube lovers take note! Although the new series is seemingly more of a conventional design, Oliver mentions in the AVShowrooms video that his bending wave circuit technology is applied to the Devin series.

The source, again this year, is the Kronos Pro turntable with the SCPS and the Kronos phonostage and power supply. There has been an evolution with The Kronos Analogue Solution and the phonostage is now a suspended unit using the SCPS as the base. Louis Dejardins explains in the AVShowrooms’ video what he strived for and what he has achieved; that is, a more realistic and larger soundstage with more stability. The tonearm was the Black Beauty.

Having listened to a number of tracks in this room over the weekend, I can say with conviction this was one of the best sounds at the High End 2018. The Sound was big, warm and enveloping. It was multi-layered and what I would call a romantic sound. Cabling was the Goebel Lacorde Statement Series and electronics were by CH Precision.

This year at the MOC, Nuno Vitorino, Director at Innuos walks us through a static display of the new Zen MK.III music servers. The display includes the ZENMINI MK.III with more storage options than the MK.II version and an optional linear power supply, the ZEN which now benefits from a double linear power supply, and the ZENITH. Nuno explains in detail the upgrades and improvements developed for the MK.III series.

Also in the video, is the listening session and an in depth description of the new ZENITH STATEMENT with a separate box for A/C to D/C conversion. Innuos’ unique approach to design for optimal sound is what I found most interesting in this presentation and I encourage viewers to check out the AVShowrooms’ video to learn what I have about the new ZENITH STATEMENT.

In conjunction with the new KII Three BXT System, the sound produced, on a track from the Michel Jonasz CD, was extremely fast, quiet, clean and accurate, and at the same time, musical and emotionally involving. Truly, the best sounding Cabin I visited at the MOC and one of the best sounding rooms at High End Munich 2018.

The iconic Kharma brand brought its usual big, majestic and concert-like sound to their exhibit room at the MOC. What immediately struck me was how quiet the room was relative to every other room I’d visited. This, of course, is attributed to the acoustic treatment the “Second Wave” and the wall fabrics. Charles van Oosterum, founder of Kharma International, talks about these treatments in the AVShowrooms’ video along with the equipment in the room.

Kharma was exhibiting with the new Enigma Vyron EV 4D loudspeakers with diamond tweeter and midrange. The monoblock amplifiers were also from the Vyron line as were the cables. I’ll add that the new cables are very impressive; the outside is a leather jacket with the Kharma pattern contributing to the overall beauty of the room. Electronics were also Kharma and we played track “Song of the Stars” from the LP “Spirit Chaser” on the Clearaudio Statement turntable.

The sound and beauty of the Kharma room was so immersive, I wanted to hang around for the rest of the day! Timbre and fine detail were on point along with natural decay.

This year at High End Munich, Rene Laflamme introduces the new Nagra DSD 4 HD DAC. Another beautiful looking piece in the Nagra lineup. We played a track by Holly Cole and were impressed with the very quiet analogue-like sound. Holly’s voice was clear and the spatiality of the instruments were spot-on. No doubt, another great sounding room assembled by the Nagra team. Don’t miss the upcoming AVShowrooms’ video with Rene explaining the new DAC in detail followed by a walk around the Nagra Museum.

The loudspeakers were the Wilson Alexia 2’s with the Nagra HD amplifiers and pre-amp and the Nagra T tapedeck. On the front end the DSD4 and the Kronos Pro turntable with power supply, Black Beauty tonearm and an EMT 75 cartridge. Cabling by Kubala-Sosna.

Purist Audio Design:
One of the audio industry’s luminaries, Jim Aud of Purist Audio Design talked about the new USB Diamond Revision, a new AC box with six outlets and for MAC users a USB C to A. A Vitus amplifier requiring 3 AC power chords, dominated the center of the room and the loudspeakers were the Goebel Epoque Aeon Reference. “Song of the Stars”, one of our reference recordings at the shows, this year, was sounding detailed without any harshness, perfectly integrated and most importantly, emotionally engaging. All cabling was the top-of-the-line from Purist, of course.

Showing at the High End 2018 were the new TD-4.8 loudspeakers with the Raidho Tantalum-Diamond cone. The new technology is a thin overlay of the heavy alloy, tantalum, applied to the ceramic cones before the diamond layer. We played a track from the “Frederic Alarie Trio” CD and the system produced a natural, realistic sound with zero distortion. And, wasn’t there a touch of that gamuT-sound in the mids? Whatever the case, the new technology was evident combining accuracy with emotionally engaging musicality.

One of the best sounding rooms at the MOC, this year. The sound was three dimensional and hauntingly beautiful. All electronics were Chord and the cabling was the Nordost Vahalla 2 line.

VAC/Von Schweikert/Acoustic Signature:
Kevin Hayes of Valve Amplification Company (VAC), Leif Swanson of Von Schweikert and Gordon Waters of The Audio Company walked us through the exhibit room and, as you will see on the upcoming video, there is a great deal to show, explain and discuss. Leif talks about the redesign and re-engineering of the Ultra 11 flagship loudspeakers bringing the already incomparable to another level. Kevin proudly shows us the brilliant VAC Statement 450 iQ monoblocks, bi-amped for optimal performance. There is so much to know about the VAC Statement series and we’ve captured it on video.

Again using our reference LP, “Dead Can Dance” album Spiritchaser we played “Song of the Stars”. The instruments and voices were layered in the room giving us the best frequency response from top to bottom we’d experienced at the show. Realistic and spatial with both macro and micro dynamics, it’s difficult to believe that what we heard at The Capital Audiofest and AXPONA could be improved upon, but it was. All flourish aside, a cost-no-object system like no other I’ve heard, ever, anywhere. I left the room recharged with reaffirmation as to why I do what I do.

The turntable was the Acoustic Signature Invictus with a VAC phonostage; digital source, Esoteric. The cables were the MasterBuilt Ultra line. Artesenia racks from Spain combined beauty with function, as Gordon and Kevin detail on camera.

It was a very exciting time for us and the Voxativ team this year at High End Munich. Voxativ was celebrating its 10 years with the new Ampeggio X loudspeaker powered with a field coil driver and a power supply with 10 rectifier tubes fully adjustable from 10 to 20 volts. The new integrated amplifier introduced was the T805, single-ended with 30 watts per channel. The AVShowrooms’ video shows Holger Adler, owner and designer, explaining his new products, including a new rack system, in detail.

Of course, the sound is what matters most and Voxativ is a hands-down AVShowrooms’ Gold Show Award winner. We played a beautiful track introduced to us by Holger and we’ll share that listening session with our viewers. The sound was very realistic and pure with breathtaking impact. We look forward to listening to these loudspeakers in our home environment this year.

YG Acoustics/Playback Design/Nagra/Kubala-Sosna:
Tucked away in one of the cabins at the High End Munich 2018 were the YG Hailey’s with Nagra HD amplifiers. The source was Playback Design’s MPS 8 Player, Streamer with a PD DAC. We played our Michel Jonasz CD and the sound was believable, realistic and without any bass overhang. This was a combination that really worked well together and prevailed over the noise in the Halles at the Munich Order Center. Cabling by Kubala-Sosna.

The Zellaton 3-way loudspeaker delivered “Song of the Stars” effortlessly, filling the room with one of the best playbacks at the Munich High End 2018. The lateral imaging, with pinpoint precision, was everywhere in the room with instruments and vocals properly placed and separated. The YS Sound amplifiers and preamplifier were such a perfect pairing with the Zellaton’s I’d probably look no further than this room of exceptional components if I was in the market to purchase these extraordinary speakers.

The turntable was a Reed Muse 3C with the new Reed 5 T tonearm, cabling was from Schnerzinger and the beautiful and functional racks from Artesania. Pure music for the most discerning listener

HiFi Deluxe 2018 Vids 2

Audiogears, Vintage, Resto Mods, Carbon Fiber Turntable, Stunning Equipment

Bayz Audio, Bay Radial Loudspeaker, Revolutionary “Curante” Full Range Speaker

FM Acoustics and Vertere Acoustics RG 1 Turntable

Fyne Audio, Beautiful Loudspeakers with exceptional Sound

JMF Audio, Electronics and Horn Loudspeakers by Laurent and Arnaud Fusilier

John Watkinson Loudspeaker, 432EVO, Antelope Audio

Kii Audio, Kii Three BXT System, new bass modules, hifideluxe

Klimo Amplifiers, TAFELRUNDE Turntable

M8Audio Loudspeakers, Sweet Maxwell, Mal Valve, hifideluxe

ROHM Semiconductors, MBL Loudspeakers and Amplifiers, Tellurium Q Cables

Spirit Soundesign, Headphones Made in Italy, hifideluxe

TAD Audio Vertrieb, Rega Turntables, Unison Research, Ruark Audio, Opera, Tannoy, Geneva Lab

Totaldac, Holton Precision Audio, Soulsonic, Tellurium Q

HiFi Deluxe 2018 Vids 1

Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics

Acapella Audio Arts horn loudspeakers, Campanile 2, Lamusika, The Beast

AER Loudspeakers, Single driver horns, Excenter BD4, Jazz, bbx WINDOW, transparent Lucy

Alsyvox Botticelli Planar Loudspeakers, Omega Audio Concepts, Timeless Electronics

Audionote, Audio Note Music, AN E Speakers, TT-3 Turntable, MEISHU Phono Silver

Audioplan, Jadis, Musicable, Sicomin, Norma, Tsakiridis, Lovan, ATL, ZYX

Cube Audio Loudspeakers, The Nenuphar, Tektron Electronics

Diesis Audio, Open Baffle Horn Loudspeakers, Edal, Vyger Turntable, Kondo Amplifiers

Kroma Audio, VAC Amplifiers, Artesania Audio, Danish Audio Design

Mal Valve, Amplifiers and Loudspeakers, By Dieter Mallach, Award Winner

ppfff, Adelaida, Pandora Loudspeakers, EERA, Grandinote, Absolute Creations

Stark Audio, Jane Loudspeaker, hifideluxe

Tannoy, Unison Research, Prestige Series, Outstanding Loudspeakers, Autograph Mini

Viva Audio, Huge Horn Loudspeakers, Wonderful Sound

HiFi Deluxe 2018 Awards and Show Report

Reviewers View

Aavik Acoustics Ansuz Acoustics:
Michael Borrenson, chief engineer and designer of the Aavik electronics and Ansuz cables introduces two new products at hifideluxe, this year. First, Michael explains in detail the new Mainz8 D2 power distributor that utilizes the D-TC technology to eliminate noise in the main system. The AVShowrooms’ video gives Michael the floor to elaborate on the new product for those who are interested in the line and for the already fans of these cutting edge brands.

The second product is an equipment rack with an aluminum sub-frame and titanium uprights, again explained in full by MB, himself. The system set-up in the room included the U-150 integrated amplifier with phonostage and DAC, the D2 cables introduced this year, the Mainz8 D-TC power distributor and the, cult-favorite, 2-way standmount speakers, the Raidho D1.1’s. Listening to Fink’s “Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet” the sound was lightning-fast, dead quiet and emotionally involving – racks do make a difference.

Alysvox, Omega Audio Concepts:
The room featured the Alsyvox SL planar loudspeakers and Timeless electronics. Not only do I think this was the very best sound at hifdeluxe 2018, it was the most beautifully designed exhibit room thanks to Daniel Cohen of Alsyvox’s talented wife. The CD transport, DAC and power supply brought to mind a cauldron (don’t miss the AVShowrooms’ video!). The cabling is Omega Audio Concepts very own patented design shown in a fire engine red taking center stage arranged in a creative sculpture.

The Alsyvox Botticelli loudspeaker, the midsize of the line, is a 3-way, full ribbon speaker featuring a unique woofer concept with push-pull magnets. The CD we chose for the listening session is the track “Terre” from the Michel Jonasz Trio. An articulate sound that was enveloping and warm with no sacrifice to detail. Organic and full.

Audio Note UK:
Featured in the Audio Note UK room at hifideluxe 2018, were the AN-E/SPe loudspeakers in an attractive slate veneer, the Meishu Phono Silver 300B Single Ended Phono Integrated Amplifier and the new TT-3 turntable with the external power supply, now in production. Mario Binner guided us through the system and Vincent Belanger, the Audio Note Music brand ambassador introduced us to the remaster of the album “La”, now on vinyl, originally recorded by Fidelio in 2011. One of the tracks we played from “La” was track one on Side B called “Scene 1 de l’opera Nelligan (A Gagnon).

The Audio Note system beautifully reproduced this melancholic piece pulling at my road-weary heartstrings. The sound in the Audio Note room, sponsored annually by the AN distributor, Germany, Alexander Voigt, was room-filling; detailed, yet warm and my uber-emotional response to the system was my usual to that signature Audio Note sound.

Audioplan, a German dealer/distributor of Jadis electronics and turntables showcased their Concert III 2- way loudspeaker, Jadis amplification and a new Jadis turntable described by the room operator as the “little sister” of the Thalie with an Ultimate Omega cartridge, for the source. Watch the AVShowrooms’ video and check out how you change speeds on little sister! Spinning up “Nublado” from the album “Sera Una Noche” was proof again that the Audioplan room and its fine products produced one of the best sounding rooms at hifideluxe 2018. The sound was musical, detailed with a marked separation of instruments and not a smidge of compression.

Cube Audio/Tektron:
The representative of Cube Audio, Grzergorz Rulka, walked us through the Cube Audio/Tektron room. Cube Audio, located in Poland, manufactures full range drivers and loudspeakers. The Cube Nenphar loudspeaker which translates to Cube Water Lilly in English debuted at hifideluxe 2018 with the new 10 inch Cube driver, the F10 neo. Grzergorz talks about the flower design of the drivers, with four cones, on the AVShowrooms Video. The speakers, driven by the Tektron tube electronics, went way down and deep on a track from the Fidelio recording, “Les Sept Paroles Du Christ”. The sound was big, bold, fast and accurate.

Diesis Audio:
Giuseppe Gabbarini walked us through his exhibit which included the Diesis horn open-baffle loudspeakers the Number One Limited Edition, a model designed to work with Kondo triode amplification. Giuseppe played a Flamenco recording on the Vyger turntable that shook the room, then moved on to “Nublado” from the album “Sera Una Noche” recorded by MA Recordings. The sound was realistic with transient speed expected from a world class horn loudspeaker. One of the best sounds at the show.

Dieter Mallach’s room is consistently one of the best sounding rooms at the hifideluxe. Featured with Malvalve’s usual large array of electronics was the MalStat Four loudspeaker with a magneticstatic midrange and woofer and an electrostatic tweeter. The power amplifier driving the system includes the control unit, power supply and the unique outboard, output transformer. Dieter also showcased his new Head Amp Five that can also drive loudspeakers. There’s lots to show in the Malvalve room and we’ll walk you through everything on the AVShowrooms’ video.

We played a track from the Michel Jonasz CD “Où Vont Les Rêves” and the singer’s voice rolled forward in the room. The sound was detailed and musical with the Malvalve signature organic quality.

All the rooms had great sound, these rooms just stood out!

Terry Eringi, Sr. Editor

Legacy Audio Showcase

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, Legacy Audio VALOR Speaker System, Award Winner

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, The Audio Doctor, New York Audio Show 2017

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, Legacy Stereo Unfold Technology Demo

Legacy Audio loudspeakers, Raven Audio amplifiers, Legacy Audio Wavelet, Métronome

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, Metronome Technologie, THE Show Newport 2016

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, Bill Dudleston, Wavelet processor, Capital Audiofest 2016

Legacy Audio, Bill Dudleston show us the line, beautiful looking and sounding speakers and amps

Legacy Audio, The V, Aeris, Focus SE, Studio HD, loudspeakers, RMAF

Legacy Audio, Bill Dudleson and the famous Legacy ‘V’ System speaker listening session

Legacy Audio Bill Dudleston, The Legacy V loudspeaker, RMAF 2014

Legacy Audio introduces the Silhouette, hear it for yourself

Legacy Audio and CODA Technologies, Home Entertainment Show

Legacy Audio, Bill Dudleston talks about the future and DSP

The legacy of Legacy Audio with Bill Dudleston

Legacy Audio Test CD demonstration and listening session, Bill Dudleston

Legacy Audio, T.H.E. Show, Aris Loudspeakers

Legacy Audio Bill Dudleston, High End Munich

Legacy Audio Listening Session with Bill Dudleston, High End Munich

Legacy Audio Focus Loudspeaker, AXPONA 2013

Legacy Audio, Bill Dudleston

Legacy Audio XDs Axpona 2012

AXPONA 2018 Vids 3

Adirondack Audio & Video LLC, Luxman, Triangle Speakers, Soulines Turntables

Ace Computers Media Server, The Audiophile Zone

Audience Audio, how does it work- what does AC noise sound like? Power conditioners, cables

Audio Skies, Gamut Audio, Pneuance Audio, Pneupods, Pear Audio Blue, Bricasti, Aurender Streamer

High End by OZ, MBL Loudspeakers, Vitus Amplifiers, Ansuz Cables

High Fidelity Cables, Tesla Coil live demo, Luminance Audio, Professional Series Cables

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, Legacy Audio VALOR Speaker System

Pass Labs, new products for 2018, The XP line with the soul of the Xs

Raidho Acoustics D4 1, Chord Electronics, Nordost, SME, Ortofon

Sadurni Acoustics, Stillpoints, Audience Audio, Wolf Audio Systems, BAT amps

Snake River Audio, Sonist Audio, Ace Computer, VAC Sigma 170 i iQ integreted, Playback Designs

The Audio Company, VAC, Von Schweikert, Esoteric, Critical Mass, Kronos, Masterbuilt Audio

AXPONA 2018 Vids 2

Audio Skies, Larsen Audio Loudspeakers, Pear Audio Blue turntables and electronics, Levin Record Brush

Doshi Audio, Paragon Sight and Sound, Wilson Audio Sasha 2, Transparent Audio, HRS

Einstein Audio

Focal speakers, Anne Bisson Live, XLO Cables, NAIM, Audio Plus Services

Gingko Audio, Danacable, Triode Corp of Japan, Denafrips Terminator, Salk Server, Wells Audio

Listen to Jimi Hendrix’s actual Uni Vibe, The Jimi Hendrix sound, 1952 Les Paul, Strad, Schroeder

ModWright Instruments, Daedalus Audio, WyWires, VPI

Musical Artisans, NAGRA HD amplifiers, Kharma loudspeakers, Argento Cables

Odyssey Audio, VPI, Magnan Cables, Mapleshade, GIK, Symphonic Line

Paragon Sight and Sound, Wilson Audio Alexandria XLF, Transparent Audio, Dan D’Agostino Momentum

Tape vs LP, Classic Audio Loudspeakers, Atma Sphere, Purist Audio Design, Tri Planar, UHA Deck

AXPONA 2018 Vids 1

Acapella Audio Arts, Audio Note Level 5, Audio Federation, La Musika

Bending Wave USA, Göbel High End, Epoque Aeon Fine loudspeakers, CH Precision

Black Ice Audio, Jolida, Foz SSX, FOZ XT R, Fusion F360 Preamp, Fusion F159 Phono Stage, Jim Fosgate

Bricasti Design, new Platinum Series, new M21 DAC with direct DSD

David Michael Audio, NAGRA, Modulum, Dohmann, Schröder, Graham, Kubala Sosna

Eikon Audio by Gayle Sanders, The Image One, Amazing Sound

Emerald Physics Audio, Living Sounds Audio, LSA, Core Power, Emerald 24 Open Baffle Subwoofer

GTT Audio, YG Acoustics XV JRs, Audionet Heisenberg and Stern, Kubala Sosna, Kronos

Innuos team, Innuos Music and Media servers, Well Pleased AV, ANTICABLES, Rethm, Audio Hungary

Kyomi Audio, Gryphon Audio Mojo S, Diablo 120 amplifier, On a Higher Note, Pear Audio Blue

Music Direct, JBL 100 reissue, the JBL L100 Classic, amazing classic loudspeakers, Marantz

Next Level HiFi, Meet the Team, Great components from Aavik, Ansuz Mainz8 DTc, Raidho

Synergistic Research, Atmosphere X Series Introduction and Wide Angle HFT Live Demonstration

The Voice That Is, Tidal Loudspeakers and Electronics, Stillpoints, TW Acustic

AXPONA 2018 Awards & Show Report

Audio Federation:
Hermann Winters talks to AVShowrooms about his elegant looking and beautiful sounding horn loudspeakers, the High Cellini’s. I remain a fan of Acapella speakers with their detailed and delicate sound along with a midrange that could well be the agent for a romantic interlude. The sound of these beauties truly stir my emotions.
Next, Neli Davis of AF takes the floor to tell us about the Level Five Audio Note CDT5 Transport, the Fifth Element DAC with the Fifth Force power supply. Cold, out of the box, the signature of Audio Note was apparent. There was that deep and layered heartbeat of a sound that can make even a mediocre Redbook CD engaging. We decided on a track from the well recorded Michel Jonasz CD, Où Vont Les Rêves and the artist’s voice filled the room. The integrated amp in the system was by La Musica.

David Michael Audio Room:
The Dohmann turntable with the Frank Schroeder arm played “Nublado” from the album Sera Una Noche recorded by MA Recordings as Peter B. videoed the David Michael Audio exhibit room. Included in the room were the Nagra electronics driving the British made BBC licensed Graham 5.8 loudspeakers with ease. Cabling by Kubala-Sosna. Like my experience at home with Nagra, the sound was organic, delicate and detailed.

Eikon – Gayle Sander’s Eikon:
Gayle’s back to introduce his new loudspeaker, the Image1. The full system, all digital loudspeakers, uses DSP throughout for time alignment, crossover alignment, individually driven drivers and monoblocks inside the cabinets. Gayle had two rooms and we listened in the second room. The sound was clean, clear and emotionally involving when listening to Celestial Echo. This system proves that DSP and active loudspeakers can compete with the big boys. Stunning sound.

GTT Audio & Video:
It comes as no surprise to me that the GTT Audio & Video room was a star at the show. However, I was surprised that such harmonious and finely detailed sonics could be had in an untreated hotel room. The loudspeakers were the YG Acoustics’ XV Jr.’s, a four-way system. Simply, the Jr.’s are the XV speakers less the bottom woofer on each tower. The woofer unit is identical to the YG Acoustic’s XV Flagship Loudspeaker from 65 hertz and above. Driving the loudspeakers were the majestic and incomparable solid state amplifiers, the Heisenbergs, brought to us from Audionet. And, Audionet’s pre-amplifier, The Stern, a pure analog preamp combined with modern technology as so eloquently explained and introduced to our viewers and the consumers at the AXPONA 2018 by Audionet’s Managing Partner, Robert Hagemann. German engineering at its finest.
Cabling by Kubala-Sosna, the “Realization” is their top-of-line and, no exaggeration guys, a major contributor to the high-quality sound in the room. The “Realization” cables are not bigger and better, they are a breakthrough. This latest innovation by Kubala-Sosna demands attention from those who have the interest and the funds to qualify for an audition. Truly, a peer to all other components in the system.

I conclude with the source, the Kronos Pro turntable with the SCPS (super capacitor power supply) with carbon fiber armboard, the Black Beauty tonearm and Opus 1 cartridge. The Kronos effortlessly delivered music engaging the listener, viscerally. We spun the track “Song of the Stars” from Dead Can Dance; the layering of instruments and vocals filled the space.
Sound in the GTT Audio & Video room was big, revealing, musical and emotionally involving. Peter B. and I agreed that it was the best sounding GTT exhibit room we’ve heard at any of the audio shows over the years.

High Fidelity Cables:
Anyone who is a lifelong true grit audiophile attending an audio show where Rick Schultz has an exhibit should put the High Fidelity Cables rooms on their must-attend list. Also, don’t miss the upcoming video, this is going to be probably Rick’s best work. Three rooms, one I call the mad scientist room which includes a demo with a Tesla coil! The second room was wine and refreshments attended by two lovely ladies with products displayed throughout the room. The third room was the listening. Rick’s speakers are now coming to market and that’s an important piece of information as Peter B. and I have been raving about Rick’s sound and design for years. To say the room was challenging is an understatement, but the sound reproduced was stupendous. A big wide enveloping sound with detail I’ve not heard before on Anne Bisson and Vincent Belanger’s CD track, “Le vent souffle encore (The Wind Still Blows)” from the album Conversations. A sleeper exhibit? Maybe for the usual show attendees, but the three rooms were packed when we arrived for video shooting on Sunday proving to me High Fidelity Cables has earned a sizeable fan base and for good reason.

Legacy Audio:
Bill Dudleston, owner of Legacy Audio gives us a walk-through of his room chock full of loudspeakers and electronics. This year the Valor loudspeakers driven by the impressive Raven tube electronics (watch the upcoming video when Bill talks about the amazing driver technology), produced an unabashed, commanding ambience when playing a track from the Michel Jonasz CD. One of the best sounding systems at the show.

Next Level Audio & Video:
Stop complaining about no women or young people interested in high-performance audio when you have Dana and Tyler Mueller, owners of Next Level Audio & Video. Passionate, knowledgeable and focused entrepeneurs with top-brand audio products, these guys put together a system at AXPONA 2018 giving us one of the best sounding rooms I heard at the show. Lars Kristensen of Ansuz/Aavik products manufactured in Denmark along with Tyler walked us through the system that included the Mainz8 DTC power Distribution Bar employing their new technology called “Ditter” to reduce noise. Also, the new and scalable Aavik U150 integrated amplifier, the DTC Power Box and Ansuz D-2 cabling and a NAIM CDX2 used only as a transport in this particular installation. Loudspeakers were Raidho D1.1, 2-way standmounts that threw a soundstage that should not be possible with a 4 ½ driver and ribbon tweeter. The sound on two tracks, a Norwegian female vocalist and male vocalist, Michel Jonasz was enormous and gripping with bass so natural, apparent and well-integrated it defies logic. I love a two-way loudspeaker and the Raidho D1.1’s are at the top of the food chain.

Rune Skov, Ambassador Extraordinaire, for Dantax Radio of Pandrup, Demark, talks into the camera about the Raidho D4.1 concept and design in detail. Again, we listened to the Michel Jonasz track “Terre” and the sound was room-filling and accurate with perfectly integrated bass and midrange. Aside from being probably one of the best loudspeakers I’ve heard and experienced in my home, Rune and Peter B. talk about the versatility of the Raidho’s and the ability to use a wide variety of amplification with great success. Components in the room included the SME turntable and tonearm with a Chord phonostage and the Chord Blu MKII Scaler Technology transport with the Chord Dave DAC. The amplifier was the Chord CPM 3350 Integrated. Cabling by Nordost.

Synergistic Research:
Again, Ted Denney, Chief Designer and owner of Synergistic Research delivers one of the best sounds at an audio show. This time Ted introduces SR’s new Atmosphere X Series interconnects and speaker cables and the new Wide Angle HFT. The video shows Ted playing the All-Star Orchestra’s Intermezzo from Carmen, from his server, with the Wide Angle HFT’s placed strategically around the room to compare to the sound when they are removed. This beautiful piece of music was reduced to ashes when the HFT’s were not in the system. The soundstage collapsed and what rendered so beautifully in the mid to high frequencies became scratchy sounding and downright annoying. Conversely, when the Wide Angle HFT technology was applied the soundstage exploded with pinpoint imaging. Accurate and musical at the same time. The loudspeakers were Magico S5 MII and amplification was Constelation Audio. Analog source in the room was the United Home Audio tape deck.

The Audio Company:
Leda Schubert’s “The Ballet of the Elephants” comes to mind whenever I enter The Audio Company’s room. I wish I could include an image of this because the Von Schweikert Ultra 11 flagship loudspeakers driven by four VAC Statement 450 IQ power amplifiers in all of its physical size and mass delivers music with effortless grace and athletic virtuosity. The sound owned the room. No matter how much equipment was present, how many chairs or how many people were roaming about, the sonics prevailed.
These guys from The Audio Company, along with Damon Von Schweikert, Leif Swanson and VAC’s Kevin Hayes have brought these already iconic brands to a new level. The reproduced concert experience and sound has never been closer to the real thing. I did not do the amount of listening I would have liked, but even when sitting off to the side, the sound was the best I’d heard at the show. Listening to “Song of the Stars” from the Dead Can Dance album “Spiritchaser” caught everyone’s attention. The scale and the scope of the music – every instrument was in its proper place in the room, the sound around me was multi-layered, kaleidoscopic and my mind’s eye visualized colors.
The source for our vinyl spin was the Kronos Pro turntable with the SCPS, VAC Statement phono preamplifier and the VAC Statement Line Stage. I don’t know of another front end combo that excels to meet the level of excellence this room commands.
Equipment racks were the Critical Mass Maxxum racks. The cabling was MasterBuilt Audio. Also, in the room were Esoteric, Aurender and ASC tube traps.

The Voice That Is:
Doug White, owner/proprietor of The Voice That Is walked us through one of the best sounding systems at the show. AVShowrooms’ Kemper Holt declared it his “take home” system at our “Reviewers View” wrap-up at the end of the show. We played the track “Nublado” from the LP Sera Una Noche and the music filled the room with a fast, articulate sound with just enough warmth and layering to render it organic and emotionally involving. Included in the room were the Tidal Piano G2 loudspeakers with the TIDAL Preos-D Reference Phono / Line Level Preamplifier with Integrated DAC and the TIDAL Impulse LPX Reference Dual Mono amplifier. For the source, the digital was the Antipodes DX3 server and for analog, a TW Acustics Raven AC1 with a TW Acustics Raven 10.5 tonearm. The cartridge was the transfiguration Proteus. Cabling by Tidal and Dynamic Design.

United Home Audio UHA Reel to Reel Deck

Company Visit!

Mike Malinowski Reviews the United Home Audio UHA Ultima2 The new written review is below the videos!

Peter Breuninger Reviews the Phase 11
Introduction to the Phase 11

Listening to Reel-to-Reel Tape

Reviewer Thoughts and Conclusions

Meet the Designer and Purchasing Tapes, Greg Beron

Mike Malinowski Reviews the United Home Audio UHA Ultima2

As a lifelong audiophile and long-term reviewer I’ve had the opportunity to listen to some of the world’s greatest audio components. Having meandered through the various formats, I always returned to vinyl. For years, I have been firmly ensconced in the vinyl world, fortunately, reaching a point at or near the state-of-the-art. That was until I met Greg Beron.

Although a diverse group, audiophiles often inexorably strive for that next small, incremental improvement. While leapfrog watershed component improvements have occurred, unfortunately, they usually occur in the ultra-high price strata. I believed that long-gone are the days of inserting a reasonably priced source component into a state-of-the-art system resulting in dramatic improvements. Therefore, part of the fun of our hobby is looking for that 3%, 4%, or 5% gain. I believed in this paradigm until I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Beron and his UHA Ultima2 deck. This is a game changer which has upended my beliefs as to what is possible.

While I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing the design, Greg’s radial remanufacturing and modification of the Tascam BR-20 is utterly stunning in every respect. Visually you can customize this deck from an understated but elegant basic black, to an over-the-top paisley design with enough bling to command attention in any system. I opted for the somewhat conservative silver with a touch of red in the screws and VU meters. The top silver paint has a slight iridescence providing an elegant sparkle. Yet a beautiful chassis and distinctive look does not guarantee great design or sound. Underneath the hood, Greg did not just meet the current state-of-the-art, he blew past it. Stripped of its previous electronics, Greg re-engineered and replaced every element and every critical component of the deck with the highest quality audiophile circuitry. For example, the outboard power supply has the size and weight of an amplifier and provides pure DC to the entire tape deck – no AC anywhere means no AC hum. Actually, the outboard power supply is really two independent supplies: one for the drive motors, the other for the electronics. Greg has done a far better job than I could in describing the technical aspects of the deck. I urge anyone who might be interested in the technical side to explore the UHA, a website for detailed information.

Although beautiful and elegant, the ultimate question is the sound, both in an absolute sense and compared to my current state-of-the-art source components. Over many years, I’ve been very fortunate to assemble a superior listening room – Wilson Alexandria, Tenor electronics, Walker turntable, Clearaudio Statement cartridge, tweaks galore, all sitting in a custom ASC designed room. At this level there is no right or wrong, just as there’s no right or wrong luxury car. Ultimately it comes down to your specific taste.

My room reflects my tastes in listening: high-energy, emotional, revealing, with an immersive sound stage. It is the antithesis of polite and laid-back. The room is intensely resolving without being analytical, offering the ability to discern the details and differences between components.

On my audio journey, I’ve auditioned and/or owned hundreds of audio components and I really thought I had a good handle on my sonic expectations. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for the arrival of the Ultima2.

The deck, now several months old, is fully broken-in. Let’s not kid ourselves. Every component imposes a unique sonic character on the sound. To get a handle on the Ultima2, I’ve listened to a large variety of tape sources and can draw some specific conclusions as to the overall sound quality of the Ultima2. Tapes in my collection include reissues from Acoustic Sounds, Groove Note, spectacular new tapes from Ed Pong, the Tape Project, Yarlung, and others. Fortunately, I was also able to listen to copies of master tapes from some of the great classic pop and rock artists, sourced from the internet and collectors around the world.

So, in general, what does Greg’s Ultima2 “sound like”? In a word – Stunning! It is utterly involving, which to me is one of the highest compliments attributable to a component. It has the ability to pull you in directly to the heart and soul of the music and at times allows you to forget that the music is being mechanically reproduced. It allows you to focus solely on the essence of the music. On the best recordings, there is an inner sense of purity and detail, which exceeds the best that I’ve heard from vinyl or digital.

The Ultima2 projects a seamlessness that is almost hard to describe. From top to bottom, music flows with a natural continuity. It makes even the best analog and digital sound slightly “discrete.” It’s also dead quiet. Turn the volume up, put your ear two inches in front of the speaker, and you hear absolutely nothing. Although cliché, music leaps from a deep black background, with heretofore unheard low-level cues, and details clearly emerge.

When it comes to soundstaging, the Ultima2 removes the walls and scales proportionally to the music source. With the right recording, in a darkened room, you can actually see the music spread across a 100 foot stage or tightly focused in an intimate nightclub. With my Proscenium Black Diamond turntable, I have heard instances where the speakers simply disappear and the music just “exists” in the room. To me, this is the ultimate compliment of the system. The Ultima2 ups the ante. At times, and with the right tapes, the speakers, the walls, and the rooms literally ceased to exist.

Over the years I bought and sold dozens of copies of very specific records that I love, in search for that ultimate set of vinyl recordings. These are my benchmarks. Over the past few months I’ve been fortunate to be able to compare some of these treasured recordings against analog tape using the Ultima2. I am able to draw some interesting and relatively consistent observations. Compared to my vinyl, the Ultima2’s tonal response is fuller, and more powerful, while vinyl is tilted to the top-end. Let me be clear, this does not mean that the Ultima2 adds a warm, slow, or euphonic glaze to the sound; far from it. It does mean that the low-end is explosive and dynamic. With other media, the low-end can be a vague background image; with the Ultima2 the low-end is deep, rich, detailed, and fully integrated into the sonic signature. Music via the UHA had more body and more “meat on the bone.” As to the top-end, I initially wondered if vinyl had more high-end energy than the tape, “and was it real?” While the records were in some cases brighter, they didn’t appear to have any additional high-end information. After significant comparative listening, I’ve concluded that tape has all of the top-end information compared to vinyl, and sometimes much more. The key difference appears to be that tape has lower distortion and presents a far smoother top-end. However, the Ultima2 has variable equalization which can be used as a pseudo tone control without the inherent messiness that typical tone controls bring to the signal. If the tape is slightly dull or bright, you can make some subtle adjustments to suit your taste.

While taking listening notes over the past few months, the word “more” kept appearing. In short, take every relevant audiophile buzzword that we banter about, and just add the word “more.” More realism, more depth, more soundstage, and more information. Simply put, the Ultima2 allows the user to become more engaged in the musical presentation. Here the Ultima2 is off the charts, and in my humble opinion, it is a quantum leap forward.

There is a sense of limitless dynamic energy, authority and musical density with an effortless presentation. To my ears, the best tape makes other medium sound slightly compressed or limited. When you combine this with the lack of surface noise, pops, or ticks, it just adds to the realism.

Conclusions? As the proud owner of arguably one of the world’s top vinyl front end systems, the question most often asked is how does the Ultima2 compare to your Walker and which is better? Certainly the comparison is not apples-to-apple. On one hand, the retail value of my vinyl front and is more than five times that of Greg’s Ultima2. On the other hand, tapes cost approximately five to ten times more than a new high-end vinyl record. Life is full of trade-offs. After living with the Ultima2, will I be selling my Walker Proscenium Black Diamond turntable? Never… They will have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

While you can find specific tracks where both the tape and vinyl are equally satisfying, generally, the Ultima2 was clearly and unambiguously superior, not just to my vinyl system, but to any system that I’ve ever heard. When the Ultima2 was better, which was often, the level of realism and emotional involvement was a substantial leap above what I thought was possible.

Reviewers are prone to hyperbole. However, I can say without fear of exaggeration, the Ultima2 is one of the signature landmark source components in a generation. If you love music, if you love sound, and are invested in a high-end system, get one of Greg’s Ultima2s. I assure you that will fall in love with it just as I have.

Synergistic Research

Synergistic Research Visits $1,000,000 Worlds Greatest Audio System, Galileo, HFT, SR25 install

Synergistic Research Visits AVShowrooms, 25th Anniversary SR25 Power Cord Review

Synergistic Research Visits Mike UEF Install Listening Test, Magico S7, McIntosh MC1.25KW Monster

Synergistic Research UEF Technology Active Device Demo

Synergistic Research 25th Anniversary SR25 Power Cord and Power Cell 12 UEF

Synergistic Research, UEF Active Ground Block, Atmosphere XL4

Synergistic Research PowerCell 12 UEF SE, listening tests

Peter Breuninger Reviews The Power Cell 12 SE, Atmosphere cables and more!

Ted Denney, Synergistic Research Pt. 1, Atmosphere XL, Black Box, UEFs at Peter Breuninger’s

Ted Denney, Synergistic Research Pt. 2, Atmosphere XL, Black Box, UEF Panels at Bob Grossman’s

Synergistic Research Atmosphere

Synergistic Research Atmosphere, pt. 2, how it works, behind the scenes

Synergistic Research ECT Install and Listening Observations

Synergistic Research HFT, FEQ Install 1

Synergistic Research HFT, FEQ Install 2

CES 2018 Awards & Videos

High Fidelity Cables, CES 2018 Best Sound Award Winner

Increcable, EgglestonWorks, VPI Turntable, VPI Phono Stage

Lamm Industires, Kharma, Aqua Acoustic, TechDAS, Tchernov Cables, Sanus, SRA

Maestro Genesis Loudspeakers, Viola Audio Labs, VPI Industries


NAGRA Listening Session, Modulum Platforms, Kronos, Kubala Sosna, YG Acoustics

Raidho Acoustics, Scansonic, Chord, Nordost

Totem Acoustics, Transparent Audio, VPI, Simaudio Moon

Triangle Art Turntables and Amplifiers, EgglestonWorks Speakers

Vandersteen Quatro, HRS, Audioquest, Audio Research, dCS

RMAF 2017 Vids Series 3

Ana Mighty Sound, Altec 604, J Trillo, Schroder, Silent Audio, Troy Audio, Twin Audio

Davone Audio loudspeakers, Rogers High Fidelity amps, Wax Stacks

Gingko Audio, Dana Cables

Innovation Room, 3D sound, Merkel Acoustic RnD, Signal to Noise Media Labs

LampizatOr Pacific DAC and amplifiers, Salk Sound loudspeakers

Levin Design LP record cleaning brushes, Audio Skies

ModWright Instruments, Daedalus Audio, WyWires, VPI

Serious Stereo Single Ended amplifiers and loudspeakers

Tekton Design, $3,000 loudspeakers that sound like $10,000

XACT Audio, Stillpoints, Schröder tonearms, VAC, CH Precision, van den Hul

NY Audio Show 2017 Awards & Videos

Adirondack Audio, Luxman, Triangle Speakers, Modulum Platforms

Alta Audio Titanium Hestia, Krell Industries, Soulution, Anti Cables, VPI

Audio Note

Cambridge Audio

Legacy Audio, Raven Audio, The Audio Doctor

Margules Audio

Triangle Art, Eggleston Works loudspeakers

Tweak Studio, featuring Stillpoints, Wire World, SOTA Turntables

VPI, Pure Audio Project, Voxativ Drivers, Pass Labs