Author Topic: AXPONA 2011  (Read 28564 times)

Offline richidoo

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2011, 08:27:56 AM »
I had a great time at the show. Great fun with friends and even a few rooms of audio that I liked. 
Overall the show was good, but small compared to RMAF. The attendance was pretty thin all three days.

My favorite room was that of GA dealer Sound Image http://soundimageatl.com/ They had Linn electronics (Klimax DS and preamp, Akurate amp, and LP12 TT) playing on Tannoy DC8T. Extremely resolving digital but it sounded almost exactly like analog, I say almost because it was better. In fact I heard a back to back comparison of Allison Kraus a-capella tune on vinyl (LP12) then on digital. They sounded almost identical except for the digital allowed to hear the inner voices more clearly. A slight bit of darkening and thickening in the lower mids from the TT, a better cart would probably make up the difference. But the DAC (Klimax Digital Streamer) is excellent. They were quite proud of it too. The Tannoys are one of the things still stuck in my mind. They played nearly full range, looked nice, coax driver sounded smooth and natural compared to most other systems with more aggressive treble (voiced to sell.) List price for these incredible speakers is only 5600. The electronics that made them sound so incredible are significantly more...  :rofl:

Another great sounding room was that of DaVinci DAC. http://www.stereophile.com/content/davinci-usb-dac-does-384khz John Atkinson was holding court in there on Friday night taking notes. It was very crowded, people (me) were crawling around on the floor to try to get down into the decent spot to taste the goodness. I think the DAC had a lot to do with the success, but the Sophia 3 speakers powered by Pass XA60.5 did not hurt one bit. We tried to go hear it again, but each time we walked past the room on Saturday and Sunday there was a sign stuck on the door saying "On break." Cruelly, the music was left playing loudly inside. On Sunday we finally saw the door open, but the assistant was sticking a new sign on the door announcing a new break. I think they saw the stereophile blog post and realized they accomplished their goal and didn't have to endure anymore smelly nosy audiophiles. One smart audiophile posed the more likely theory that they sold as many discounted DACs as they wanted to and couldn't afford to sell any more of them at the show price. But it sounded good the little bit I did hear, as it should considering the supporting equipment and 384kHz source tracks.

I visited the Legacy exhibit several times. It was great to finally meet Bill and Doug with whom I have exchanged emails for a few years. I finally heard Whisper XD, and again heard Focus SE. They are very impressive. The whisper had superbly clear and powerful bass, even in the huge untreated room. The Focus SE was brand new with no break in time, so the bass was not as strong as it was when i heard it at my friend's house in Feb. But it still made me well up when it was playing Dizzy Gillespie's "November Afternoon," but the treble was too sharp for Dizzy's high notes and forced a few fingers in ears until the track was over. I talked to the designer Bill Duddleston about my preference for less low treble so on Sunday he got a digital processor from the truck which is normally used with Whisper XD system and programmed it with a simple notch filter to demonstrate what it would sound like with a simple resistor tweak to the passive crossover. The best part was chatting with him while he was setting up the processor, but he was able to make it play Julia Fischer's Prokofiev concerto much more gracefully. I wish it was voiced that way as standard, but he made it possible to hear the custom tweak. I don't understand why it is not voiced like that as standard, but that would require his customers to hear and listen like me. No denying his formula is extremely successful over many years. After the visit I realized that he has great ears, is capable of making it sound however he wants and fully understands the voicing / marketing choices and there are no accidents in his designs. Soon after that I heard the Tannoy for the first time and the smoothness and naturalness of the treble was incredible. But they could not command the room like the Focus.

Our own Selah Audio was at the show with a new pair of floorstanders called MA-1, designed with input from Moon Audio. They were a perfect size for the hotel room, and sounded excellent with 3 of Cary's supposedly "all new" 2 channel amplifiers, Drew's newest DEQX active crossover, and SLR Acoustics room treatment. The speakers looked especially beautiful in a satin dark figured wood veneer.

Avatar Audio had a nice sounding room. Me and RobS had fun sitting up front on Sat night, Mike Fremer joined us on the front couch. Mike brought a test pressing (Harry Chapin?) which confirmed the best sounding TT rig of the show. No slow tubby lower mids like on almost every other TT except for the strain gage. It was a Lyra cartridge fwiw. I enjoyed chatting with Mike. His test pressing was made by the old crew from Wakefield MFG getting back together to fill the demand for vinyl. They pressed my records back in the 80s. Mike encouraged me in his own way to start playing again. He has a great passion for his art which makes me want to feel that again too. He is a powerful do-er. Not many of those left in this world.

Carnegie Acoustics got a lot of buzz. They featured speakers designed by Danny Richie. The biggest speakers were demonstrated with VAC tube electronics. They are kinda line arrays with tweeter in the middle with 4-5 mid woofers above and below. They were good on music, kind of intense stimulating energy even with the tube amps. Impressive bass was solid and clear, even on a show-off track with 18Hz synth tones. Great acoustic treatment in there made the low frequency fireworks especially impressive. But they couldn't do anything about the rattling ductwork in the ceiling.  8)   These were among the most stimulating speakers at the show, falling short only to...

MBL was there with the their top line demo with the mighty 101 speakers. When they played real music it was a delight to be in there. The omni speakers just made their room a little pocket of heaven. But at least half of the times I walked past the room it was the usual drums-only showoff test track. On Sunday me and Steve were sitting outside by the pool and we could hear the huge drum whacks from a couple hundred feet away, with excellent tonal texture, I could hear the drum head vibrate. But I was glad I was at a safe distance. Dynamics are strong spice and should be used with discretion. Nothing is more dynamic than MBLs but they just overdo it at these shows. After hearing them at RMAF I always wished to hear them play some real music but never got the chance in 3 years there. But this weekend we caught them in a rare moment of weakness playing an incredible jazz trio recording in there on Friday night, probably the best sonic and musical experience of the show for me. The ghost of the bassist was standing right there in front of me, breathing, finger sounds, full huge bass filling the room. That's what realistic dynamics are for!

An up and coming rock star, Jessie Monroe (real name?) was helping to demonstrate the demo of Vincent, Pangea, Thorens importer.  The sound was closed in, flat and veiled with grit on the very revealing Thiel coax bookshelfs (all sold at Audio Advisor,) but Jessie made sure that nobody noticed that. In addition to the visual fireworks, she was warm, friendly and talkative. On Sunday afternoon the room was empty so she took the opportunity to learn some new tunes on her guitar. Our gang enjoyed her singing a Dylan tune for us which was a cherry on top of a great weekend of fun. She has a few records out and busy recording now in Atl and Nashville. I can't find her on the web, does somebody have a link?

Dinners were fun. The first night we ate at Ted's Montana Grill, and the owner and 'King of Atlanta' Ted Turner was dining up front in the window booth. He walked past our table presumably to visit the loo, smiling at everyone. RobS was blessed with a brush of Ted's coattails and called out "Ted" but he was ignored in favor of the table next to us with 5 beautiful happy prom couples. For me he will always be a great hero for defending America's Cup in 77.

We missed the Friday night music entertainment at AXPONA show, and the main act on Saturday night too, but on Sat we got there in time to hear a jam session with a few Stereophile writers. They had a couple interesting moments and the atmosphere was nice with live jazz simmering. All of these audio shows need to have live jazz jam sessions after hours. Many audiophiles are musicians, almost all are jazz fans to some degree. Seems like a natural.

Thanks to Steve for the great company on the long drive, for the CDs, and the human GPS tour guide service through the rat maze that is Sheraton Atlanta. But especially for his experienced advice helping me quickly and constructively evaluate the sounds I heard. Also it was great fun to meet Robs friends Bob and Dave from WV. I hope to see them on my next WV pilgrimage.
Rich

Offline Carlman

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2011, 12:30:39 PM »
Wow, that sounds like a really great adventure.  Congratulations for pulling it off!  Sounds like you all learned a lot, confirmed some things, and had good company to boot.  Only thing missing was me. :(
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline stereofool

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2011, 02:23:09 PM »
Only thing missing was me. :(


I'll second that...we would have loved to have you along with us  8)!
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

opnly bafld

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2011, 03:51:18 PM »

Offline richidoo

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 04:08:28 PM »
Great! Thanks Lin.   from there I found her own site. http://jessimonroe.com/
I was misspelling. It is Jessi, but her promo posters said Jessie, iirc...

Offline Triode Pete

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Re: AXPONA 2011 - New York City
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2011, 12:56:48 PM »
Who's going tomorrow?

I'll see you there!

Pete
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evan1

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2011, 02:18:18 PM »
Who's going tomorrow?

I'll see you there!

Pete

I'll be there Saturday

Offline Hugh

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2011, 02:51:08 PM »
Rich,

How would you compare the show to others?

Is there lots of people and exhibitors?

If it looks promising, we just might be there next year.
Hugh Nguyen
Angel City Audio
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Offline richidoo

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2011, 03:10:19 PM »
Rich,

How would you compare the show to others?

Is there lots of people and exhibitors?

If it looks promising, we just might be there next year.

Hi Hugh,
AXPONA Atlanta was a good show with quality vendors and some excellent demos, with a few oddball exotics thrown in for amusement. There was probably 1/3 of the exhibitors as RMAF and the attendance on Saturday was up and down, slower in the afternoon while Sunday by noon was pretty dead. The rooms have an empty buffer room between them so leakage was not a problem. I really enjoyed it for the dozen or so excellent exhibits, and hanging out with friends. The people running the show were very helpful. The hotel was a little confusing to navigate, fortunately Steve was my guide.

RMAF 07 was the best show I've been to yet. Slower in 08, but still bigger and better than AXPONA ATL. I would go to RMAF again before ATL, but it was a cheap trip for me compared to RMAF. And there were some local SE-USA exhibitors and friends in ATL that I could not see in RMAF. So it was a good trip overall.

Are they planning to do it again next year? If so it would be a good way to show in the south. I would have to say that overall the show was a success.

evan1

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2011, 03:15:06 PM »
I just looked at the exhibitor list and it doesn't look promising but i'll go anyway. Maybe they'll have some good music to buy.

Offline StereoNut

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Re: AXPONA 2011 - New York City
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2011, 05:30:02 PM »
Who's going tomorrow?  I'll see you there!  Pete

I'll be there tomorrow and possibly for part of Saturday.  See you there!  :thumb:
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TomM

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2011, 06:51:12 PM »
I will be there saturday.





 TomM

Offline Carlman

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2011, 07:18:16 PM »
Looking forward to hearing some reports this weekend... Wish I could go... but I'm in school.. and in another state.. and blah blah blah... ;) 
Have fun!
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline goldlizsts

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2011, 01:14:19 PM »
I just looked at the exhibitor list and it doesn't look promising but i'll go anyway. Maybe they'll have some good music to buy.

Did same early this morning...... wondering if prepaying for 2 days was worth it.

So, we got there on the money, entered the show 1:00 p.m., all pumped.

The one thing I think I'd like to report is that we were impressed, as usual, with the MBL room.  The 3-dimensionality of the soundstage was amazing.  The sound put out by those speakers was just wonderful.

Other than that, really, there's not much to write home about, IMHO (so there'd be no finger-pointing!).  The Legacy speakers we heard next actually.  It was good, but..... The room was small, and yet they blasted the sound, overpowering everything.  

There was another huge German (?) speaker setup we liked after the MBL, but forgot.  The sound was quite good except for the bass, and again, musicality.  Seems that most of the rest were driven by SS equipment, so may be my bias set in.  There was mostly a lack of musicality in most of the setups we heard.

The one disappointment I think I'd like to register is the equipment exhibited.  Most are solid state.  Somehow, they failed to impress too much.  Whether the sounds we heard were attributable to the speakers or the other electronics one can hardly tell under such circumstances.  I'm speaking plainly from an overall sound perception basis.

We left the show around 2:30 p.m.........  Again, this is a "personal" observation, to note.  [-o<

Mr. Evan1, even the software counters have few to pick.  The whole event does not compare with RMAF in any sense.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 05:43:08 PM by goldlizsts »

evan1

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Re: AXPONA 2011
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2011, 01:46:13 PM »
I just looked at the exhibitor list and it doesn't look promising but i'll go anyway. Maybe they'll have some good music to buy.

Did same early this morning...... wondering if prepaying for 2 days was worth it.

So, we got there on the money, entered the show 1:00 p.m., all pumped.

The one thing I think I'd like to report is that we were impresed, as usual, with the MBL room.  The 3-dimensionality of the soundstage was amazing.  The sound put out by those speakers was just wonderful.

Other than that, really, there's not much to write home about, IMHO (so there'd be no finger-pointing!).  The Legacy speakers we heard next actually.  It was good, but..... The room was small, and yet they blasted the sound, overpowering everything.  

There was another huge German (?) speaker setup we liked after the MBL, but forgot.  The sound was quite good except for the bass, and again, musicality.  Seems that most of the rest were driven by SS equipment, so may be my bias set in.  

The one disappointment I think I'd like to register is the equipment exhibited.  Most are solid state.  Somehow, they failed to impress too much.  Whether the sounds we heard were attributable to the speakers or the other electronics one can hardly tell under such circumstances.  I'm speaking plainly from an overall sound perception basis.

We left the show around 2:30 p.m.........  Again, this is a "personal" observation, to note.  [-o<

Mr. Evan1, even the software counters have few to pick.  The whole event does not compare with RMAF in any sense.

I guess I should stay home  ?