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Capital Audiofest 2019 Vids 1

Acora Acoustics SRC 1 Loudspeakers, Esoteric, Audio Research Referrence 750, TW Acustic

Audionet Humboldt Amplifier World Premier, GTT Audio and video, YG Acoustics, Kubala Sosna, Kronos

Classic Audio Loudspeakers New T9 Speaker, Purist Audio Design, Tri Planar, Atma Sphere

ESD Acoustics Crane Loudspeakers, United Home Audio Ultima 4 Reel to Reel Deck, Synergistic Research

Gingko Audio Sextet Modular Speaker System, Pure Audio amp, Lampizator, VPI, Dana Cable

High Fidelity Cables, Backert Labs Rhythm 1.3, Soundstage Racks and Platforms, Rosso Fiorentino

MC Audiotech Forty 10 2 way loudspeaker, Pass Amplifier, Wolf Audio Server, VPI, PA Audio

Raven Audio CeLest Tower Audiophile Loudspeakers, Nighthawk MK3 amplifier

Robyatt Audio, Electrostatic Solutions, Butler, Miyajima, Schroder, VPI, CU 180 Mat, Finley Audio

The Audio Company, VAC, Von Schweikert, Critical Mass, Kronos, Esoteric, MasterBuilt Cables

Well Pleased AV, QLN Prestige Three SE, Innuos Statement, Vinnie Rosie L2i SE, Gigawatt, Triode Wire

Capital Audiofest 2019 Awards & Show Report

Reviewers View, The Capital Audiofest 2019

Acora Acoustics:
Playing a track from Bruce Springsteen’s “Western Stars” album in the Acora Acoustics room gave us a deep, three-dimensional sound. The palpable grittiness and growl of Bruce’s voice was encapsulating as the solid granite Acora SRC1 loudspeakers pressurized the room. The bass was effortlessly natural with a deep soundstage. Bruce’s voice was articulate without sacrificing any of the warmth. Associated equipment were the Esoteric and Audio Research electronics.

Backert Labs, Soundstage Audio:
Andy Tebbe of Backert Labs waxes so enthusiastically when describing products in his exhibit room, I couldn’t wait to take a listen. Well, listen we did to David Bowie’s LP track, “Lazarus” and the sound was realistic and full of information in a non-fatiguing way. Truly, one of the very best sounding rooms at The Capital Audiofest 2020. Andy also talks in the AVshowrooms’ video about his room’s improvement thanks to Rick Shultz’s High Fidelity Cables’ loom and power strip. Andy also describes in the video his very own Backert Labs’ preamplifier with Teflon capacitors in the power supply and more. The speakers were from Rosso Fiorentino, the turntable was Acoustic Signature and the power amplifier, also from High Fidelity Cables, was the M1. Platforms and stands from Soundstage Audio.

Black Ice Audio by Jolida:
One of the biggest surprises at Capital Audiofest 2019 was the Black Ice headphone amplifier incorporating Jim Fosgate’s technology. You could adjust everything from the surround sound to the EQ; the bass and sub-bass. Peter B. listened to a track from Kraftwerk, and by his expression alone, I could tell he was extremely impressed. He said that he was getting concert level sound that he had never experienced before with a pair of headphones.

ESD Acoustics with United Home Audio:
David Dai of ESD Acoustics and Greg Beron of United Home Audio give a detailed walk-through touching on each component in the room. The ESD “Crane” carbon fiber, horn loudspeakers were driven by Aesthetix electronics and the front end was the United Home Audio Ultima 4 tape deck with the outboard power supply. We played a beautiful recording by Ed Pong featuring violin and piano and the sound was natural, effortless, detailed and, most importantly, emotionally involving. As good as it gets. The cables were Synergistic Research and Greg explains in the AVShowrooms’ video why he favors SR.

GT Audioworks/Sound Insight:
GT Audioworks continues to get some of the best sound, year after year. This year at Capital Audiofest 2019, we opted to spin the Dead Can Dance lp Spiritchaser; specifically, the track “Song of the Stars” on the Basis Audio turntable with the Basis Audio tonearm. The lateral imaging was off the charts, the sound was detailed with impact, dynamics and low-end slam. Of course, the Pass lab monoblocks driving the speakers had a lot to do with the overall presentation. Included in the room was the Mosart Cabinet, Esoteric and the Innuous server. All wiring was by Triode Wire Labs.

GTT Audio:
The Audionet Humboldt Integrated amplifier made its world premiere in Bill Parish’s GTT Audio room at the Capital Audiofest 2019. We played the track “Song of the Stars” from the LP, “Spiritchaser” with the YG Acoustics’ Carmel 2 loudspeakers delivering, in my experience of this much played track, an unprecedented amount of information with lots of spatiality, spot-on phase delivery and an enormous soundstage. Of course, every component in the room makes for an exceptional sounding room. The turntable was the Kronos Sparta with the new power supply, the DAC was the Mola Mola Tambaqui and all cables were Kubala-Sosna.

Odyssey Audio:
Klaus Bunge, proprietor, continues to impress with his affordable audio. However, this year at Capital Audiofest 2019, he has raised the bar to equal and exceed the sound of rooms with equipment costing 10 to 20 times more. We played “Song of the Stars” on the VPI turntable and the system delivered a layered bass, huge soundstage and brilliant image density. Cabling by Magnan Cables.

Robyatt Audio:
What’s old is new again. The restored Quad 57 loudspeakers driven by Butler amplifiers gave us music without any artifacts. Anne Bisson/Vincent Belanger’s “Fly Away” from the album “Conversations” never sounded this good to me and its an album I play over and over. Anne’s voice was in the middle of the room and the entire sound wrapped itself around me as if an embrace. Perfect transient response and outstanding dynamic range, Robyatt Audio was my takeaway room at the show.

Spatial Audio, Linear Tube Audio and Lampizator.
Clayton Shaw of Spatial Audio debuts the M3 Sapphire loudspeaker and talks in detail about his new product in the AVShowrooms’ video. Also, Fred Ainsley, describes the new Lampizator Amber 3 DAC that includes technology from its pricier siblings. Mark Schneider, founder of Linear Tube Audio, impresses us with the Integrated Z10 amplifier that includes a David Berning-designed preamplifier. This entire system is just under $10,000 and punches way beyond that price point and I mean way beyond. This is one of the best systems I’ve heard at a show this year. We played a track from Musica Nuda and the bass was perfectly natural and perfectly integrated with the rest of the frequency response. Lightning-fast transient response delivered a natural and emotionally engaging sound. Audience Audio supplied the power conditioner and cabling was by Anticable. Innuos was the server.

The Audio Company, VAC/VonSchweikert:
The Capital Audiofest might be just another show without the spectacle The Audio Company brings to the festival. This year, Kevin Hayes of Valve Amplification Company (VAC) debuts his Statement 452 Musicbloc amplifiers continuing on with his vertical format design. Kevin explains in detail, in the AVShowrooms’ video, his design and design philosophy. It was apparent to this listener that the overall sound in the room was elevated by a giant leap the first time I stepped into the room because of the amplification.

Another bonus in the video is Leif Swanson and Damon Von Schweikert of Von Schweikert Audio describing every aspect of the design of the Ultra 11 loudspeakers. The racks and platforms are by Critical Mass, the turntable was the Kronos Pro with the SCPS, the electronics, including a newly redeveloped transport, Esoteric and the cables were Masterbuilt. We played a live track from Michel Jonasz on Sunday and the soundstage filled the room. As always, The Audio Company delivered a holographic, realistic, detailed presentation as if we were at the concert.

RMAF 2019 Vids Series 3

Audio Research, Sonus Faber Olympica Nova V, Aurender, Shunyata

Auralic, Cardas Cables, Ayre Electronics, Dali Loudspeakers

Gated HiFi, Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics, New Borresen Acoustics Speaker, NAIM

Kimber Kable, WBT Connectors Plasma Coating Process, EMM Labs, Meitner, Focal, SME

PS Audio AN3 Louspeakers, Stellar Phono Preamp, BHK Signature

Tweak Studio, Maglev Turntable, Stein Audio, Stillpoints, Reed Turntable, Music Hall

YG Acoustics Sonya 2.3, VTL Siegfrieds, VTL TP 6.5 Phone Stage, Nordost Odin 2 Cables, VPI

Zu Audio Druids, Pass Labs XA25, Pass Labs XP 12 preamplifier, Pass Labs XP 17 phono stage,

RMAF 2019 Vids Series 2

Dana Cable, Lazuli Nirvana Headpone Cables, Sparkos Labs, Inc Headphone amps

Gated HiFi, Kudos Titan 505, NAIM Electronics, Ansuz DTC, Rega turntable

High End by OZ, Vitus Audio SIA 030, United Home Audio, Audio Solutions Loudspeakers

Lu Kang Audio, COS Engineering, MusiChi, VAC, Sanctus Cable

NVS Sound, Stenheim Alumine 5 Loudspeakers, CH Precision

Wavelength Audio, Gordon Rankin, DuKane Plasma loudspeakers, Vaughn, MJ Acoustic, AudioQuest

Xact Audio, CH Precision, Nordost, Rockport Technologies Atria II Loudspeakers, Steve Dobbins

Aaudio imports Company Tour

The Showcase Tour Begins

Aaudio Imports Company Tour, Pt. 1, Listening Room Equipment and Listening Session

Aaudio Imports Company Tour, Pt. 2, Wilson Benesch Eminence Speakers, Hartvig, Ypsilon amps

Aaudio Imports, Wilson Benesch Resolution, Ypsilon Electronics, Stage III, Aurender, HB Cable Design

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

RMAF 2019 Vids Series 1

Acora Loudspeakers, SRC 2, SRB Bookshelf Loudspeakers, Esoteric Electronics, Cardas, Audio Research

Alta Audio World Premier, Alec Loudspeakers, Krell, VPI, ZenSati

Bending Wave USA, Goebel High End Divin Noblesse, CH Precision, Kronos Pro, Goebel Cables

Innuos Phoenix USB Re clocker, AB test, Ayre DAC, Boulder amp, YG Acoustics Vantage speakers

Next Level HiFi, Borresen 01 Loudspeakers, Aavik Acoustics U 380, Ansuz Acoustics, Show Winner

Raidho TD 2 2 Loudspeakers, VPI Turntable, Simaudio Moon, Nordost Cables, Show Winner!

Sigma Acoustics MAAT VECTOR XAC Loudspeakers with AGD VIVACE GAN Tube Amplifiers

Sonare Music Servers, Small Green Computer, Simple Design LLC, Bricasti M25, M21, Cardas, Vivid

Synergistic Research UEF Cable Riser AB Tests, Magico M2, Gryphon electronics, Acoustic Signature

Tekton Design Audio, $4,500 Moab Loudspeakers, Parasound Electronics

Troy Audio Hellena II Statement Loudspeakers, Thrax Electronics, Schroder Tonearm, Zonotone Cables

Well Pleased Audio Vida, Vinnie Rossi L2i SE Amplifier, QLN Speakers, Innuos, SGR, Swiss Cables

RMAF 2019 Awards & Show Report

RMAF 2019 Reviewers View

Bending Wave USA:
This system was like liquid gold. We played a live Michel Jonasz track and the sound was delicate, detailed and organic with information in the lower frequencies I’ve not heard on this piece of music before. The loudspeakers were the Goebel High End “Divin Noblesse”, the electronics were by CH Precision and the source was the Kronos Pro turntable with the Super Capacitor Power Supply. Cabling also by Goebel High End.

Innuos:
The debut of the Phoenix USB Reclocker was a resounding success as Nuno Vitorino did an A/B test with the Phoenix connected to the Innuos Zenith Mk3, then removed. You’ll get to listen to the comparison on the upcoming AVShowrooms’ video. An organic and emotionally involving Lisa Gerrard’s “Wind that Shakes the Barley” was hauntingly beautiful without engaging the PhoenixUSB Reclocker; however, there were very noticeable sonic improvements when the reclocker was connected. The soundstage opened up, Lisa’s voice had more space and air around it with added dimension. The loudspeakers were the YG Acoustics “Vantage” with Boulder and Ayre Acoustics amplification. My take-home fantasy, for sure.

Next Level HiFi:
Tyler Mueller, proprietor of Next Level HiFi along with Lars Kristensen of Aavik/Ansuz delivered one of the best sounding exhibit rooms, I had the pleasure visiting at RMAF 2019. Debuting, was the U380 Aavik integrated amplifier that includes 2 DACS and a phonostage. The amplifier was significantly more organic sounding than the U300 without sacrificing any of the detail. The loudspeakers, the Borresen .01 standmounts, the smallest LS in the Borresen lineup was set up in the largest exhibit room at the show. This brave and aggressive experiment was a resounding success. Tyler proved that these little guys could fill a big room with concert level sound, effortlessly. We played two female vocal tracks, “All about You” and “Liberty”; the voices were hanging in space in the center of the room and the sound was enhanced by the large space.

Raidho Acoustics:
Benno and Ronnie of Raidho Acoustics debuted the new TD2.2 loudspeaker with new, in-house made drivers. Benno’s goal to create a small floorstander with the sound of a speaker twice the size was achieved and the result far exceeded my expectation. We played the track “Human” by Vanessa Fernandez on a VPI turntable and the sound was dynamic, fast and organic with a huge soundstage. Electronics were the Sim Audio “Moon” line and cabling was by Nordost.

Synergistic Research:
Chief Designer, Ted Denney, introduced several new SR products including his new UEF Cable Risers with incorporated HFT technology. In the upcoming AVShowrooms’ video Ted performs an A/B test with the cable risers in and with them out. We played and track from a Vanessa Fernandez album and clearly, when the cables were not utilized, the soundstage collapsed and the transients disappeared. The equipment in the room included the Magico M2 loudspeakers, United Home Audio Tape Deck, Gryphon electronics and an Acoustic Signature turntable.

Tekton Design:
Cream rises to the top, once again, thanks to the Tekton team. Eric Alexander introduced his new MOAB loudspeaker that delivered sound over 10 times its price point. Combined with Parasound electronics, including the new “New Classic 200” integrated talked about by Phil Jackson of Parasound, the track from “Dead Can Dance” gave us sound that was natural, detailed, non-fatiguing with outstanding bass response. Don’t miss the AVShowrooms’ video where an unsolicited third-party waxes poetically about his listening experience.

Troy Audio:
The team from Troy Audio proudly exhibited with the majestic Hellena MKII loudspeakers with their outboard crossover. Great Plains Audio makes the alnico coaxial driver and the alnico horn super tweeter. When spinning the track “I Want You” by Vanessa Fernandez from the Groove Note label, the speakers delivered deep bass, good image density and a broad soundstage. We also listened to a drum track with very good transient attack. Associated equipment was the T.G Shroeder turntable, Thrax amplification and Zonotone cables from Japan. The Hellena IIs are Peter Breuninger’s favorite high efficiency speakers.

Well Pleased A/V:
Once again, Mark Sossa, proprietor of Well Please A/V had one of the best sounding rooms at a show. No small feat as there were many very good sounding rooms in the North Tower of the Gaylord Rockies. Also, no surprise that the new Vinnie Rossi L2i-SE integrated amplifer was magical and, as usual with Vinnie’s electronics, dead quiet. Vinnie explains in the AVShowrooms’ video the cornucopia of features in his new design including Stillpoints technology.

Also, contributing to great sound were the Qln Prestige Three loudspeakers from Sweden with a drop-dead gorgeous burl walnut finish and the Innuos Statement Music Server. We played a track called “Liberty” by Anette Askvik and the sound was detailed, effortless and so emotionally involving that I lost myself, for the duration of the song, into the music. A shout-out to the associated equipment including Swisscables, GigaWatt power conditioning, and an SGR equipment rack.

High End Munich 2019 Vids 3

Elrog Vacumm Tubes, Thomas Mayer VinylSavor Amplifiers, Pure Audio Project, Hanss Acoustics, Excel Digital

Gauder Acoustics, The new Western Electric amplifiers

Living Voice Vox Palladian, Vox Basso, Kondo elctronics

Silbatone Acoustics, Western Electric Horns, Schroder Tonearms

Stein Music Topline Bob XL Loudspeakers $290,000! Amazing Sound!

Stenheim Alumine 3 Loudspeakers, Merging Technologies, Nimbus Audio Tube Amps

TechDAS Air Force Zero, meet the designer Hideaki Nishikawa

The Thorens Reel to Reel Tape Deck, transport by Ballfinger

Verity Audio Sarastro IIS, Bibacord, Engström Sound, CAD

High End Munich 2019 Vids 2

Borresen Acoustics 01 Loudspeakers, Ansuz Acoustics, Aavik Acoustics

BREU Revolution One LP ultrasonic LP record cleaning machin

Cube Audio Nenufar, Tectron Tube amplifiers

Magico M2 Loudspeakers, Soulution, Kronos, Aurender, MSB, Kubala Sosna, Critical Mass

Nagra Audio, HD Dac, HD Preamp, HD Amp, YG Acousitcs, Sonja XV Junior, InVincible

Odeon Audio Carnegie Horn Loudspeakers, High End Munich 2019

Once Custom Sound from Turkey, High End Munich 2019

Purist Audio Design, Verity Audio, Zesto, Tri Planer, Merrill Williams, Stillpoints

Raidho Acoustics TD 3.8 Loudspeakers, GamuT, Chord Electronics, The Source Pear Audio Blue turntable

YAR Audio, y-der loudspeakers, B-yond integrated amplifier

HiFi Deluxe 2019 Vids 3

Audio Exklusiv, Lumiks, Audio Signal Projects

Audioplan, Jadis Amplifiers, Musicable, Sicomin, Norma, Tsakiridis

Distresso Audio, Marco Serri Design Venezia, Angstrom Audiolab, Ariamateria Technology, Cableless

Fein Audio V3 Linear 3 way, Fully active, 750 Watts RMS, Der Konzertlautsprecher

Knif Rauman No1 Loudspeakers, 845 Amplifers

Q tron Audio Sweden Tube Amplifiers, Horn Kultur Corneo Loudspeakers

Rohm Semiconductor DAC, MBL Amplifers and Loudspeakers

Sotto Voce Audio Stereo 3 High performance, 3 way active home audio loudspeakers

TotalDAC, Holton Audio, Camerton Audio Binom 1 Loudspeakers, HiFi Deluxe 2019

HiFi Deluxe 2019 Vids 2

432 EVO Master Music Server, Roon Labs, Logitech Media Server, Vitus Audio, Conquistar, Metrum

Audio Note AN E SEC HE Speakers, ONGAKU amp, CDT 6 Transport, MaSC Dac, TT 3 turntable, M9 Phono

Diesis Audio, Open Baffle Horn Loudspeakers, Ariamateria, Lucxar Turntable, Kondo Amplifiers

FM Acoustics, Vertere Acoustics, FM 108 mini amplifiers driving an XS IIIB system

GaNtube Amplifiers, AGD Productions, Sigma Acoustics Orchestra loudspeakers, Extreme Audio, Holbo

Grandinote Mach 9 Loudspeakers, Shinai Amp, Funk Firm Turntable, Modulum Platforms, Luna Cables

Kroma Audio Elektra Loudspeakers, VAC Amplifiers, Artesania Audio, MasterBuilt Cables, TechDAS

La Rosita Loudspeakers and Electronics, Zardoz Tube Amplifiers

Magico M6 Loudspeakers, Totaldac Streamer, DAC, Amp 1 Power Amp, Echole Cables, Shunyata

High End Munich 2019 Vids 1

Acoustique Quality Passion Loudspeakers, KR VA200 Amplifiers, Pro ject Signature Turntable

Aries Cerat Achilles Legend amplifier, Symphonia speakers, Kasssandra DAC, Rui Borges Pendulum 2

Audio Solutions Virtuoso, Vitus Audio Amplifiers, Genuin Audio, High End Munich 2019

Audionet Humboldt Integrated Amplifier World Premier! Dynaudio Loudspeakers, High End Munich 2019

Critical Mass Audio Platforms, Soulution Amplifiers, Magico M6 Loudspeakers, De Baer Tuntable

Goebel High End Divin Noblesse, Kronos Analogue Solution, Engstrom Monica Pre, Eric Monos

Great Plains Audio, Troy Audio Hellena II, Thrax, EnKlein, Seismographic, Zonotone, Schroder

Kharma International EV2 Veyron Loudspeakers, Visonair One Equipment Console, dCS, Kharma Audio

Live Act Loudspeakers, MFE Technology electronics, Loudspeakers that sound like the live event

The Rui Borges Pendulum II Refernce Turntable, distributed by Klangloft in Germany

Troy Audio Hellena II, Great Plains Audio, Thrax, EnKlein, High End Munich 2019

VAC 450i IQ, Von Schweikert Ultra 9s, Esoteric, MasterBuilt Cables, Artesania, Acoustic Signature

Vitus Audio SIA 030 Integrated Amplifier, Rockport Avior Loudspeakers, Thrax Turntable, Schroder

Zellaton Loudspeakers, Schnerzinger Cables, YS Sound Amplifiers, Reed Turntable, NEM DAC

High End Munich 2019 Awards and Show Report

Reviewers View

Audio Solutions:
Audio Solutions featured its Virtuosso loudspeakers driven by Vitus Audio electronics. We both were so taken, once again, with the sound that the Audio Solutions’ speakers deliver, we played three tracks instead of the usual one. First, Kraftwerk – a great deal of impact and imaging. The second track was “Agnus Dei” from the Chasing the Dragon CD. The soprano’s voice was suspended in air between the speakers and you could hear the mechanics of the organ. Utterly captivating. And, the third was a drum track that rendered so realistic, it was as if the performance was live. Excellent on every level.

Audionet:
The new CEO, Stefan Schwehr, introduced the world debut of the Humboldt, integrated amplifier which contains all of the superb technology of the Heisenberg monoblock amplifiers and the Stern preamplifier. Truly a state of the art piece of machinery bringing us the music with that signature Audionet sound. Playing Kraftwerk’s “Radioactivity”, the room was filled with holographic imaging, delivered effortlessly, unravelling the layers in the track with ease. The sound was musical with excellent tone and detail. The pinnacle of solid state amplification. Loudspeakers were Dynaudio.

Borresen, Aavik, Ansuz:
Listening to the 01 Borresen loudspeaker further drives home the ability of the highly talented designer, Michael Borresen. We played Kraftwerk’s “We are the Robots” and the bass on these little speakers was deep and powerful. The sound filled the cabin with layers and textures. Electronics were Aavik and the cabling, Ansuz.

Critical Mass Systems, Soulution with Magico:
Cyril from Soulution introduced the system and Joe from Critical Mass gave us detailed product overview for the AVShowrooms’ video. The Magico loudspeakers were the M6. We played a track from a Michel Jonasz LP on the De Baer “Saphir” turntable from Switzerland and the sound was pure liquid gold. Spot-on micro detail and deep reaching bass.

Goebel High End:
Oliver showcased the Divin Noblesse loudspeakers and explains in the AVShowrooms’ video, the differences and similarities to the Divin Majestic. Again, this year, The Analogue Solution from Kronos was the front end and we played the track “I Want You” from Groove Notes’ new Vanessa Fernandez album and the room was dead quiet allowing for every bit of information to be extracted from the LP. A world class system and the best Goebel exhibit room we’ve heard at the High End. Outstanding. Amplification was Angstrom Amps, 70 watts per channel.

Kharma:
The exotic room within a room was on display at the Kharma exhibit complete with a credenza to house your electronics and turntable! The eye candy is full-on via the AVShowrooms’ video, but the real achievement is in the sound. We played “I Want You” from the new Vanessa Fernandez album and the singer’s voice was suspended in space between the speakers. The sound was holographic, with brilliant dynamics and pin-point imaging. The acoustical treatment transformed an exhibit space with the usual problems to a venue allowing for a live concert sound. Treatments matter, folks, and the proof was in the Kharma room at the High End 2019.

Magico:
This was the European introduction of the new M2 loudspeakers, the smallest in the M series. Take a look at the AVShowrooms’ video where Alon Wolf explains the technology. We played the track “I Want You” from the Groove Note LP of the same name and the sound was layered with a big soundstage and excellent transient response along with holographic imaging that we’ve come to expect from a Magico loudspeaker. Excellent. The room’s electronics were Soulution on Critical Mass racks. The source was the Kronos Analogue Solution.

Nagra:
The suite of Nagra electronics paired with YG Acoustics Sonja XV Jr., four tower system and the big YG sub woofer, InVincible™, delivered a delicate and detailed presentation on the Chasing the Dragon’s “Agnus Dei” CD. The believable organ and vocal were rich with imaging, tonality, tonal quality and a natural transient attack. The soprano was in the room with us as was the organ!

Raidho:
Benno Meldgaard, Chief Designer, walks us through all of the improvements to the Raidho design including a new motor system for better bass control and more (see the AVShowrooms’ video for the interesting details and philosophy). The result is the new loudspeaker, the TD3.8’s delivering an organic, musical sound, with excellent bass reach, dynamics and tone. We played Vanessa Fernandez’s “I Want You” and the sound was holographic and effortless. One of the best sounding rooms at The High End 2019. Electronics from Chord; cables, Gamut Reference; source, the new Pear turntable with two arms, “The Source”.

VAC, Valve Amplification Company/Von Schweikert Audio:
Featuring the Von Schweikert Ultra 9 loudspeaker from the flagship line and the VAC 450i iQ integrated amplifier, this system delivered a not unexpected concert sound which was truly one of the best sounds we heard at the MOC this year. We played the cut “I Want You”, from Groove Note’s new Vanessa Fernandez album and the sound was holographic with brilliant tonal quality, tonality and detail. All cabling was by MasterBuilt; the analogue front end, Acoustic Signature’s Invictus Jr. turntable with an Airtight Opus cartridge. The system also included Esoteric electronics and Artensania Racks.

Vitus Audio:
Hans-Ole Vitus explains to the camera his new SIA 030 integrated amplifier that so effortlessly drove a pair of Rockport loudspeakers. We played one of our reference recordings “I Want you” by Vanessa Fernandez. Beautiful, musical and detailed sound filled the room. The decay left me emotionally charged and the quiet and speed of the system was extremely impressive.

Zellaton:
Featuring the Zellaton Reference MKII loudspeakers, Michael Schwab walks us through the system which includes the exotic and excellent YS Sound monoblock amplifiers along with Schnerzinger protectors and cables. We played “I Want You”, Ying Tan’s new Vanessa Fernandez recording on the Reed Muse 1C turntable. The speakers are truly works of superior refinement. A relaxed natural and realistic sound; layered, fast and musical these speakers give you everything.

HiFi Deluxe 2019 Vids 1

Acapella Audio Arts Apollon Horn Loudspeaker, Lamusika, The Beast, HiFi Deluxe 2019

Alsyvox CARAVAGGIO Planar Loudspeakers, Omega Audio Concepts, Stunning Sound, HiFi Deluxe 2019

Aretai Contra high end loudspeaker, AMAZING NEW DESIGN, HiFi Deluxe 2019

Audionet, SeaWave Acoustics Plotinus Horn Loudspeakers, Show Award Winner! HiFi Deluxe 2019

BAYZ Audio, The Counterpoint Reference Loudspeaker, Amazing Listening Session, Best Sound of Show

FYNE Audio of Scottland, F700 Series Loudspeakers, Cary Audio, Beautiful Engaging Sound, HiFi Deluxe

JMF Audio from France, featuring the HPM500 Loudspeakers, Phono Stage Debut, 2 Listening Sessions

Klimo Amplifiers, Klimo Turntables, Broadmann Acoustics 175 Loudspeakers, HiFi Deluxe 2019

Kroma Audio Stella Loudspeakers, Bricasti Electronices, ZenSati Cables, Artesania Audio

MalValve, MalStat Four electrostatic magnetostatic loudspeaker, Power Amp3, HiFi Deluxe 2019

Martion BullFrog loudspeakers, Rike Audio electronics, tonearm by Tonmechanik, HiFi Deluxe 2019

Synergistic Research Galileo Power Cell SX, new SRX Power Cable, Kharma, Thrax, Artesania

THE ASKJA ABSOLUTE SYSTEM from France, Absolute Vector Origin, HiFi Deluxe 2019

VIVA Audio Allegro 3 Way Loudspeakers, Aurora Monoblock Amplifiers, Linea Preamp, Numerico DAC, HiFi

HiFi Deluxe 2019 Awards and Show Report

Reviewers View

Alsyvox/Omega Concepts:
One of the top two at hifideluxe, 2019. The Alsyvox Caravaggio four panel, 5-way ribbons driven by a new Omega Concepts integrated amplifier; 200 watts per channel with 11 powers supplies for each channel! We easily transitioned from classical music to Kraftwerk’s German beat. Huge staging, perfect imaging and dynamics with a deep bass flawlessly integrated with the mids and the highs. To my ears, perhaps one of the best of the best sounds in all of Munich, this year. If I only had the room.

Aretai:
A new 4-way, passive loudspeaker from Latvia, the Aretai Contra high-end, debuted with stunning sonic success. A track from Kraftwerk showed off the impressive dynamics and the deep and punchy bass. A hands-down winner for the AVShowrooms’ Gold Show Award for sound, this year, at hifideluxe. Pay attention to these guys and check out our video.

Audio Note:
Lots of slam and space, Audio Note UK gave us everything we’d want in a system. Detailed, musical and engaging. The AN-E SEC Signature loudspeakers turned the room into a concert hall. The Kraftwerk track “Musique Non Stop” was stunning in it’s realism.

Audionet and SeaWave Acoustics:
Featuring the Plotinus horn loudspeaker with Audionet electronics, we played the CD track “Agnus Dei” from Mike Valentine’s Chasing The Dragon. The voice was suspended in space and the bass pedal was spooky-realistic. A perfect handshake between these horn speakers and Audionet amplification.

Bayz Audio:
“…perhaps the perfect loudspeaker…” Peter Breuninger. The debut of the Bayz “Counterpoint” flagship loudspeakers left us nothing less than astounded. A member of the design team, Zolton Bay, inventor and patent holder from Hungary played the jazz trio track “Three Blind Mice”. The sound was natural with impeccable decay and spot-on transients along with perfectly accurate tone and top to bottom micro and macro dynamics. The AVShowrooms’ video is not to be missed.

Fyne Audio:
A live version of a Michel Jonasz track filled the room with a big warm, emotionally engaging sound. Fyne Audio was playing their F700 Series loudspeakers, driven effortlessly by a Cary Audio integrated amplifier. Jonasz’ voice grabbed this listener and kept her very interested.

Kroma/Bricasti:
The little Stella loudspeakers from Kroma delivered a big performance with chest punching bass and super-fast transients due in no small part to the synergy with Bricasti electronics, the M28 monoblocks, 200 watts per channel, and the Bricasti flagship streamer The speakers include tailor-made drivers from Scan Speak and use no metal parts in their construction.

Synergistic Research: This room was the “smooth operator” of the show. The Kharma Elegance dB9s were driven by Thrax electronics. Synergistic introduced the new Galileo Powercell 12 and the new Atmosphere X Series Power Cables. The sound was detailed but oh so smooth and believable, I wanted to stay there all day.

Viva:
A complete Viva system including the Allegro loudspeakers and the Aurora monoblock amplifiers gave us a sublime sonic presentation when playing Anette Askvik’s “Liberty”. The sound in the Viva room was musical and warm, and at the same time detailed and realistic. I picked up on new information on a track that I’ve heard many times at audio shows. Sophisticated and emotionally involving.

AXPONA 2019 Vids 3

Bayz Audio, The Counterpoint Loudspeaker, Synergistic Research, CH Precision Integrated Amp

Black Ice Audio F360 Sound Stage Expander, Jim Fosgate, LSA 20 Statement Loudspeakers

FONICA International Magnetic Static loudspeakers AXPONA 2019

Gated HiFi Distribution, Borresen 01 loudspeakers, Aavik U300, Ansuz Acoustics DTC

Legacy Audio, V System, Focus SE, Aeris speakers, Power Block amplifiers, Wavelet Preamp and DAC

Modwright KWH 225i Integrated amp, PH9 0 Phono stage, Pioneer LX500 CD player mod, F2 Studio

Odyssey Audio, Magnan Cables, Kismet speakers, Khartago Mono amps, AXPONA 2019

PS Audio, Great Listening Session, AN3 Loudspeakers, Statement DAC, AXPONA

Raidho TD 1 2 Loudspeakers, Jadis Monoblocks, Gamut Cables, Pear Audio Blue Turntable, Audio Skies

Refined Audio, Cube Nenuphar single driver speakers, Pass Labs First Watt SIT 3, AXPONA 2019

VAC, Von Schweikert Ultra 9, The Audio Company, Critical Mass, Esoteric, Master Built Cables, Graham

AXPONA 2019 Vids 2

Acoustic Quality Passion Loudspeakers, amazing sound $20,000

Bricasti Design M3 DAC, Amazing Performace at a Great Price! M21, M28, M12, Tidal Loudspeakers

Destination Audio Nika loudspeakers, Modwright Ambrose 845 DS monoblocks

Gryphon Audio introduces the ETHOS DAC and CD Player

Laufer Teknik, World Premier of Mark Porzilli THE NOTE Line Source Loudspeaker, Absolare

NAGRA HD Preamp, 2xHD Audiophile Collection, 4s Tape Deck, Classic Amps, Kharma Elegance speakers

Pass Labs, First Watt Amplifiers, Nelson Pass designs, AXPONA

Raidho TD 4.2 Loudspeakers, Chord Electonics, VPI Turntable, Gamut Cables

Sadurni Acoustics Stacatto GT beautiful horn loudspeakers, Stillpoints, Wolf Audio, LTA

Spatial Audio X3 X5 Loudspeakers, LTA Ultra Linear, Micro ZOTL, Aqua DAC, Innuos ZenMini, Anti Cable

Stenheim Alumine Five speakers, VTL S400 amplifier, Nordost Cables

Stillpoints, Rockport Loudspeakers, Madison Audio Labs Cables, Telos Audio, Viola Labs, Acoustic Art

Verity Audio Lakme loudspeakers, Verity DAC Preamp, Verity Amp 45

AXPONA 2019 Vids 1

Audio Note AN E Loudspeakers, TT Three Turntable

Boressen Acoustics 05 Loudspeakers, Next Level AV, Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics

Gingko Audio, Dana Cable, 3 systems test, Clarissa LE speakers, Cyrus Audio One HD, Triode Corp

GT Audio Works, Sound Insight, Zanden Audio Systems

GTT Audio and Video, Audionet Amps, Mola Mola DAC, Kronos

High Fidelity Cables, Bafflex Loudspeakers, MA70 Amplifier, Pro Series Cables

LSA 20 Statement and LSA 10 Loudspeakers, Emerald Physics, Core Power Tech, Pure Audio

Raven Audio Loudspeakers and Tube Amplifiers

Synergistic Research Galileo Powercell 12, Listening Session Tests

Troy Audio, Great Plains Audio, Achilles Loudspeakers, Thrax Audio, Altec Lansing

VAC, Von Schweikert, The Audio Company, Critical Mass, Esoteric, Master Built Cables, Graham TechDAS

Well Pleased Audio, Rethm Maargra Loudspeakers, Qualiton, Innuos, Aqua Acoustic Quality, Gigawatt

Wolf Audio Systems Alpha 3 XS Server, Stillpoints, Linear Tube Audio, David Berning, Sadurni

AXPONA 2019 Awards & Show Report

Reviewers View AXPONA 2019

Audio Note UK:
Vincent Belanger, Audio Note, UK Ambassador walked us through one of the best Audio Note audio show exhibit rooms I’ve heard to date. The new turntable, the Audio Note TT3, was spinning and the sound in the room was effortless and natural while playing a track from the album “Pure Cello” from Audio Note Music. Loudspeakers were the AN-E/SPeHE’s.

Gryphon Audio
Wow! I got slammed, musically that is. The Gryphon room featured the Trident II Loudspeakers driven by the mighty Mephisto stereo amplifier with the new Ethos CD Player/DAC. Cables were Gryphon’s own VIP line. I was spellbound by the impact this system had. The system produced extensive image layering but the real take away was the emotion impact this amazing system produced. The dynamic range was simply off the charts! It was if I was at a live Kraftwerk concert!

GT Audioworks/Sound Insight:
Bravo to Steve Rabitz of Sound Insight and Greg Takesh, loudspeaker designer, GT Audioworks along with Eric Pheils, North American Distributor for Zanden. We played a track from “Chasing the Dragon” that filled the small hotel exhibit room with deep, rich music along with perfect tonality and tonal quality in both the female vocal and the organ. The GTA 3.1r Planar Magnetic full range loudspeaker along with Sound Insight’s open baffle subwoofers delivered seamlessly integrated bass as the panels pressurized the room. The Zanden tube amplifier Model 8120 drove the loudspeakers effortlessly, something I’ve come to expect from one of the best tube amplifiers being produced today (see AVShowrooms’video review of the 8120). . With pleasure I report that this year’s exhibit in a small room proved how well the loudspeakers work within a limited space. Included in the room: all cabling from Zanden, Richard Grey isolation transformer and power conditioner, Esoteric K01XS CD Player and the Kronos Sparta turntable.

High Fidelity Cables:
At the end of the hall, at the Schaumberg Convention Center, Rick Schultz of High Fidelity Cables was presenting us with a concert. There was so much energy in this space that it seemed to completely obliterate everything else that was going on at the other exhibits.
Included were the Bafflex loudspeakers, open baffle with adjustable side panels. The LS has 4, 12” drivers with a ribbon tweeter and is 102 db efficient. Driving these giants was the MA70 amplifier complete with magnetically assisted transistors. The High Fidelity Cables magnetic based Pro Series cables and Pro Elite cables along with the Pro Elite power conditioner were part of this wonderful spectacle of a system.
We played Kraftwerk’s “Radioactivity” a very appropriate track to show off the huge dynamic range, giving us slam and multiple layering.

LSA/Emerald Physics/Core Power Tech A/V:
This year’s AVShowrooms’ Video will feature a listening session with the new LSA-20 Statement floorstanding loudspeakers. We then move on to two listening sessions with the LSA 10 Signature Monitors; one session with the room correction on and one with it off. The room correction feature is included in the preamp and DAC, the DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core driving the monitors. The floorstanders brought Kate Bush into the room with us, front and center. The LSA-20’s threw a huge soundstage with great spatiality and bass. The speakers were driven by the Emerald Physics EP200.2SE hybrid dual mono amplifiers with 200 watts per channel. The DAC/preamp was the new Pure Audio Lotus and power conditioning was the Core Power Technologies Equi=Core 1800.

Especially compelling, and others in the room agreed, was the comparison of the same track on the monitors with the room correction in and the room correction out. With the correction in, noticeably the soundstage expanded, Kate’s voice was very close to what the floorstanders produced (without any room correction), the bass and the separation of instruments was about 85% of what the floorstanders delivered. You don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get great sound.

Nagra:
The Nagra exhibit room at AXPONA 2019 – easily one of the best sounds at the show. The electronics, of course, were all Nagra including the world-class Nagra HD preamp and Rene Laflamme walks us through the system on the AVShowrooms’ video. Along with effortless, delicately revealing sound and brilliant tonality, we were treated to an emotionally involving track from Rene’s recording of “Audiophile Analog Collection Vol. 1” titled “Greek Tycoon Bouzouki Music”. Several cuts on the album were recorded on the 4S Nagra tape deck. Outstanding! The loudspeakers were the Kharma Elegance S7’s and the cabling was by Organic Reference from Denmark.

Next Level HiFi/Borresen 5 Loudspeakers:
Truly, the star of the show was the United States debut of the Borresen 5 flagship loudspeakers. The Next Level HiFi exhibit room was dead quiet with the blackest of black background; the information I’ve not heard before in the Norwegian vocal cut “Liberty” was astounding. Another track, a jazz instrumental put the musicians in the room with us, you could hear the sax player breathing and connecting with his instrument. Michael Borresen explains in an interview on the AVShowrooms’ video, his revolutionary driver design. Driving the Borresen’s were the Aavik monoblock Class A 300 watts per channel (Michael talks about these beauties) along with the “Danish Army Knife”, the C300 preamplifier with a DSD DAC, PCM DAC and phonostage. Cables were Ansuz.

Odyssey Audio:
This year at AXPONA 2019, the Odyssey Audio exhibit room, with the newly upgraded Magnan Cables, gave the listeners one of the best soundstage experiences at the show comfortably competing with systems 10X the price. The layering, detail, beautifully integrated sound with the magnificent imaging is what keeps so many reviewers from various publications visiting the Odyssey/Magnan Room at the audio shows.

Equipment included the Kismet loudspeakers; Candela preamplifier and the Khartago mono blocks.
The Magnan cables were the Magnan Signature speaker cables and the Magnan signature interconnects, the upgrade (you’ll hear about it in the AVShowrooms’s video) is about replacing the woven jacketing with cotton cloth. I think this gave the overall sound a deeper texture with more image density. Definitely an improvement. I noticed a more profound emotional connection when playing a Kate Bush track. Next track was the Eagles’ “Hotel California”. I’ve heard this track in the Odyssey Audio room at shows before and nobody denies that the recording is bright. That brightness was toned down without losing any of the punchy, big, but detailed presentation.

Raidho with Audio Skies:
The Raidho TD4.2 loudspeakers pressurized the room to deliver both a musical and accurate sound. I consider the TD4.2 LS to be a hybrid composed of the TD4.1 and the organic signature that Benno Baun Meldgaard, Raidho’s chief engineer brings to the new design, a best of both worlds. Benno explains his design philosophy in the AVShowrooms’ video along with Michael Vamos, the Raidho Sales Director for the U.S. market. Michael talks about the new ribbon tweeter; higher efficiency (tube friendly), lower distortion and increased resolution. A track from the Kraftwerk album presented a full detailed, dynamic sound with a rich and emotionally stirring midrange that harkens back to the GamuT LS designs by Benno.

Synergistic Research:
Everything in the system at the Synergistic Research exhibit room was running through the Powercell 12 SE power conditioner and we played the track “Radioactivity” from the Kraftwerk album “The Mix”.
Simply, when the power conditioner was turned on the soundstage opened up, the sound was more layered and images appeared in space around the room. The room included the Magico loudspeakers; Gryphon amplification and the United Home Audio tape deck.

VAC/Von Schweikert/The Audio Company:
The Flagship Ultra 11’s with the Valve Amplification Company’s Signature 450 iq’s are the must-have uber speakers and amplifiers if you want that live concert sound. When playing the track “Radioactivity” from Kraftwerk on the LP “The Mix”, the Ultra 11’s threw a huge soundstage with multiple layering, and an almost tactile imaging with earth-shifting dynamics.

Of course, the careful attention to choosing the right associated equipment, such as the Critical Mass racks and stands and MasterBuilt Cables is essential to achieve the end result.
The analogue source was the Tech Das One; The CD player was from Esoteric; the streamer from Aurender. Other associated equipment included a mass array of Esoteric electronics and the VAC Statement phono stage and linestage.

Well Pleased A/V:
The sound delivered through the new redesign of the Rethm Maarga v2 loudpeakers left this listener absolutely sure she could live with this speaker for the rest of her days. Jacob George, the designer, has made such monumental improvements delivering more warmth in the mids without sacrificing any of the detail, and in fact, bringing the musical experience closer to me with more overall dynamics. Simply, Anne Bisson’s “Le vent soufflé encore” from the album Conversations, a track I’ve heard hundreds of times over the years, delivered new information that was astonishing. Anne’s vocal mix in the beginning was profoundly more apparent as was her daughter’s at the end of the song. In addition to being in my top three best sounding rooms at AXPONA 2019, the speakers are a value at under 10,000 U.S. dollars (no price increase) and can compete with any speaker five to ten times the price. No exaggeration. A room with this kind of sound reminds me why I do what I do.

Associated equipment in the room, brought to us by Well Pleased A/V’s proprietor, Mark Sossa, include the Qualiton A20i SE Amplifier; Aqua Formula xHD D/A, GigaWatt PC-r Power Conditioner, Swisscables Diamond/Reference Plus and the SGR HiFi Racks Symphony Model 5/3. The source was the excellent Innuos Zenith MKIII Music Server.

Florida Audio Expo 2019 Vids 3

a la carte productions, $10,000 System, Luminous Audio, Ortofon

Anthem, Paradigm, Maximum, Tributaries, Clarus, Pro-ject Audio Systems

Backert Labs, RJS Acoustics, Pass Labs XA25, Roksan Turntable

CYRUS Audio ONE HD Integrated Amplifier

Deja Vu Audio South, Western Electric 124 amplifiers, Thorens TD 124

Dynamic Sound Associates, Luminous Audio, VPI, Vienna Acoustics

Hegel C5 Series, Dynaudio, Listening Session

Luxman, Harbeth, Melco, Great Listening Session

Martin Logan Neolith, Parasound, Integrity Sound, Aurender

Resolution Acoustics, Avantgarde Acoustic Trio, David Berning OTL