AXPONA 2019 Official Show Report

Discussion in 'AV Expos and Get Togethers (GTG)' started by AudiocRaver, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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    An interesting combination that works very well, Technics, digital and analog, and Harbeth. Well, it did until 3 different conversations at once began once I got a seat in the sweet spot chair. Shazam was unable to identify the vinyl or SACD tracks, but they sure did sound good.

    4 convos going, now. Moving on...

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  2. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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  3. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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  4. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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  5. AudiocRaver

    AudiocRaver Senior Admin
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    Magico speakers have always impressed me with their clarity and balanced sound.

    Magico M6
    $172,000 pr



     
  6. AudiocRaver

    AudiocRaver Senior Admin
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    This VPI turntable's platter weighs 90 pounds and is accelerated to full speed in 1 second at startup by its direct drive motor. That is not a misprint. Ninety pounds, direct drive, one second startup.

    The demo included the rep pressing against the side of the platter while playing vinyl, with NO change in tone/speed.

    VPI HW40
    $15,000 with arm



     
    #31 AudiocRaver, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  7. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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    My friend, @TitaniumTroy, arranged for us a demo of a new Magnepan. The Little Ribbon Speaker is a mere $650 and a giant-killer at that price, the cost of admission, admitted by the manufacturer, meant to give one a taste and bring them to move up the line into the larger, floor-to-ceiling Maggies that give the full line source effect. Yes, there is more to be had, as Maggie fans already know.

    Starting off with orchestral music, "Paths of Glory on Patrol", the scale was large nonetheless and of note to me was that I was not seated perfectly dead center but the imaging still was. No head-in-the-vice seating needed, here!

    Moving on to "These Bones", the lead vocals are extremely chesty on the recording and this quality is conveyed by the Maggies, but without any undue heaviness. A job well done.

    On to female vocals with "When I Dream", this nailed it for me. I didn't get a chance to listen to any rock or jazz with the LRS, but I will, as soon as I have room to accommodate the placement requirements in a future, upcoming listening room.


    Also pictured is a Magnepan prototype amp, 300 watts @ 4 ohms. Exciting stuff!

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  8. AudiocRaver

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    The YG Acoustics Sonia 2.2 speakers, in the AURILiC room. Nice imaging and a pretty nice high end, although the test tracks did not give them a chance to show their stuff.

    YG Acoustics Sonia 2.2
    $74,000 /pr


     
  9. AudiocRaver

    AudiocRaver Senior Admin
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    Every time I peeked into the Ear Gear hall, I wished for an extra day to cover it. Quite overwhelming. I hoped to get back down here to check out some cans, but it just is not going to happen. :frown:

    Maybe next year.


     
  10. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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    Piano is a great acid test for an audio system and the Angel City Audio/Triangle Art system passed with flying colors. Add a recording with a strong male vocal presence, the shatp attack of trap set, the subtleties of a muted horn solo and you have the foundation for an eminently musical machine. I sat and listened through the Johnny Adam's album and well into Andrea Bocelli.

    A jazz musician friend of mine from back home and now in the Chicago-area found and surprised me mid-demo. Spying Brubeck, I requested that be spun and oh what a sound. Two happy musician/audiophiles in the house, grinning ear-to-ear

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  11. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
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    There is something about open baffle speakers that just grabs me. Make them out of GR Research Neo 3 and BG Neo 10 planars, GR Research 12" Servo drivers, Rythmik sub Servo amps, dspNexus pre/active crossover, Math Audio Room EQ correction, Class D amps, all dialed in with Room EQ Wizard and you'll have a recipe to write home (or here!) about, a DIY kit called "The Monoliths".

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    #36 tesseract, Apr 14, 2019
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  12. AudiocRaver

    AudiocRaver Senior Admin
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    Emotiva has long impressed me with as an audio company that knows how to create and produce a value product that does not sound or look like a value product. Their products easily compete with many products that sell for 2x, 3x, or more price-wise. And just when you think they can squeeze no more capability into their design, they come up with a model or line or concept that only pushes the limits of the value equation even farther.

    More to come....
     
  13. AudiocRaver

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    GIK was there with an array of their room treatment products. More top come....
     
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  14. AudiocRaver

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    JTR SPEAKERS was at AXPONA with a beast of a cinema room that could alternately crush bone with action movie impact and sooth the soul with sweet two channel delicacy.

    The JTR room was equipped with a 4K HDR cinema with surround sound setup which included:

    3 x Noesis 212RT three-way reference tower with two 12-inch woofers and a horn-loaded two-way coaxial compression driver
    4 x Single 8HT-LP three-way surround speaker with coaxial 1” compression driver
    8 x Slanted 8HT three-way overhead speaker with coaxial 1” compression driver
    8 x Captivator 2400 bass reflex subwoofer with an 18” driver and a 2400 watt amplifier

    Amplification by Digital Amplifier Company, Tommy O'Brien owner and designer.
    Cherry MEGAschino MONO
    Cherry MEGAschino Stereo
    Cherry Maraschino 60V
    5-CHerry

    HT PC with JRiver Media Center v25
    StormAudio ISP 3D.20 Elite Audio Processor

    JVC DLA-RS4500K laser projector

    Screen by Seymour Screens

    Michael Boeker of High Impact AV LLC provided Audio and Video calibration.

    My assessment: I watched the demo movie snippets several times through the weekend, and, as one might expect from such an ensemble of capability, the system rocked with impact, providing thunderous impact through the low and LFE frequencies with dialogue and music clarity galore. A “friends of JTR” showing of the movie Ready Player One was a real treat, a visual tour de force with a fun music soundtrack. Peaks near 130 dB were reached effortlessly, painlessly. Breathtaking.

    I was very interested in hearing music on that system. A brief early listen - before audio calibration - was a little muddy from the strong lows, but the fully calibrated system - PEQ, not room correction - was completely free of that effect.

    My Test Tracks:

    Radiohead - Burn The Witch
    The strings are very present and tactile. Vocals are located well in front of the screen.

    King Crimson - Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
    Vocals sound like from a center channel speaker, that clear.
    Cymbals are so clear, a beautiful sound.
    Imaging is superb.
    Belew’s guitar solo is in front of the screen.

    Wailin Jennys - One voice
    A strong, full sound with no loss of vocal delicacy.
    The middle guitar always gets me with its sweet clarity.

    Olivier Messiaen - Quartet For The End Of Time
    Good separation of instruments.
    Violin nice tone.

    Tower Of Power - You Know It
    The horns and saxes are so much fun, they have IMPACT on this system.

    Beethoven - 7th Symphony, second movement
    A very delicate beginning and a nice buildup.
    Clear L & R string sections on duet between violins.
    NO stridence.
    Full volume for the crescendo, very full, no loss of fidelity.

    B-52’s - Revolution Earth
    Lots of detail, even details I swear I have not heard before, even having heard this song probably a couple of hundred times on various systems and headphones.
    GREAT imaging, GREAT soundstage.
    Delicate and strong and full and balanced and accurate and revealing and impact-crunchy when called for.

    King Crimson - Level Five
    I love the cymbals and triggered percussion, all very clear and true.
    Loud doesn’t seem loud when it is so SMOOTH and CLEAN!
    Two guitars, strong imaging and separation, no loss of clarity when strong bass comes in.
    No ear fatigue.
    Diving bass line reveals no FR peaks, no mush.

    Scott Davie - Lilacs
    The beautiful piano tone is faithfully preserved, all of its inner delicacy is there.

    Porcupine Tree- Arriving Somewhere Not Here in 5.1 Surround
    I preferred the front row for most of these tracks, but this surround mix sounded better in the 2nd row.
    It is so fascinating to hear mix details that I have missed before, very clear.
    Acoustic guitar has its own place in space, great tone.
    Bass and kick are strong and present but not tromping on other sounds, NO MUSH.

    The JTR system with the superbly clean drive support of the wonderful Cherry amps are simply very difficult to compare to for their ability to handle anything you can throw at them. Gunshots and car crashes, violins and piano, screaming jets and rockets, screaming guitars, delicate female vocals, rock, classical, bluegrass, you name it. Symphony goers who complain that a two-channel system cannot deliver the full dynamic range of a symphony on stage in a grand concert hall, JTR is your speaker company. Come and get it!

    ========

    Additional JTR experience number ONE:
    An after-show arranged visit to the home of Jeff Permanian, JTR owner and designer, allowed us to hear the Noesis 215RT three-way reference tower with two 15-inch woofers and the same horn-loaded two-way coaxial compression driver that graces Jeff’s other designs. Horns with compression drivers have been around for a long time, but I have not thought of them as being capable of handling delicate music passages with the accuracy and cleanliness of a reference music system. Much has been learned about horns and compression drivers in recent years, and the JTR systems join a very short list of speakers I have encountered as being able to perform with that level of music-ready quality. I heard excellent imaging, a soundstage that completely freed itself from the speakers, and such clean deliver that one easily forgets that speakers are involved. The cymbal sounds on the King Crimson tracks and the piano and strings all revealed extremely low distortion. The Wailin Jenny vocals tugged at my heart with their delicacy.

    Additional JTR experience number TWO:
    A few days later I sat in front of a pair of Noesis 210RT speakers with two 10” drivers complementing the horn, set up in the listening room of fellow AV NIRVANA reviewer Dennis Young. Dennis will be first to tell you that the room presents challenges for many speakers. One of the big advantages of a properly designed horn-type speaker is its ability to minimize room effects. The Matte Black lacquer paint cabinets had their position dialed in by Dennis's experienced ear.

    I did not expect this session to be my peak JTR experience of the week, but that is what it turned into. Boston’s More Than A Feeling was the first track I heard. I love a pair of speakers that makes you feel like you have been sonically transported into the control room of the studio peering through the glass at the creation of a historic and timeless piece of modern music like that track. The Boston sound was super-clean, super-clear, imaged with stunning clarity, a soundstage that filled the room free of the speakers, and a fun liveliness that had me exclaiming that “This is how music is supposed to sound!” Not just loud - it was - but CLEAN, SMOOTH loud, the best kind of loud, with no sonic roughness or shortcomings, with the dynamic capability to play an action movie at sustained home theater volume - movie theaters rarely come close with this kind of accuracy - and then play vocals like the Wailin Jennys, not a bit of nuance left out.

    The 10-inch drivers had no trouble with LFE bass when we threw it at them as a test.

    We watched the movie Hanna, at a fun volume that had me worrying that the neighbors might choose to involve the authorities. The Noesis 210RT speakers can do it all, like their bigger brothers in the JTR product line.

    ========

    JTR speakers have been on my radar screen for several years since they first started showing up with 2-channel systems at audio shows. They no longer just show up. They have arrived.












     
  15. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    The Muraudio speakers were another unique speaker design. Their take on a wide dispersion electrostatic speaker pairs an array of panels around an arc with four midbass drivers arranged in a similar arc. This is said to widen the dispersion. Most electrostatic or panel speakers have very narrow dispersion, this seems like a creative solution. Sound was fine...I know not a glowing review. It was hard to tell from the music I heard. Jazz and classical that tends to sound good on any speaker. What I can say is the soundstage was good, but clearly not that pinpoint imaging you hear from the best panel speakers. 3B8BCD41-F76A-4A33-A391-9FD684344C92.jpeg

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  16. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    I’ve long wanted to hear the new Bob Carver line arrays. I’d love to tell you I walked away impressed, but my experience was soured by way too much bass. The compact flat subwoofer they used out our impressive amounts of bass, easily pressurizing the room, but the overall balance was beyond awful. Piece of advice to the Carver team, you need to tone it down a lot! I saw a lot of people complaining and making faces.

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