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Axpona 2017 (Read 19412 times)
Palomino
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Axpona 2017
04/12/17 at 17:06:03
 
Anybody going?  

I intend to spend a few hours there on Saturday.  I haven't worked on my show plan yet but I will likely visit the OB rooms, especially Pure Audio Project to hear the Voxativ drivers.  Vinnie Rossi is a must for me.  Volti.

If anybody has spent more time with the exhibitor list or wants me to check something out, let me know what you think is worth a visit.
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beowulf
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #1 - 04/13/17 at 08:26:16
 
Yes the rooms you mentioned would be great!  See if you can make these rooms as well:

1. Audio Note UK ~ Rm 346/630

2. Horning Hybrid ~ Rm 310

3. Well Pleased Audio Vida ~ Rm 504 (featuring Rethm Bhaava speakers and aqua La Scala MKII Optologic DAC - I've heard a lot of great things about these very efficient single driver speakers and the La Scala DAC)

4. Sanders Sound Systerms ~ Rm 432 (efficient electrostatic speakers)

5. Voxativ ~ Rm 644 (aside from Pure Audio Project, Voxativ has their own room as well)
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #2 - 04/13/17 at 21:17:47
 
Hey, thanks for the suggestions.  I will try to do a little research ahead of time so I know what I am listening to.

I did not realize that Voxativ has their own room.
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beowulf
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #3 - 04/14/17 at 07:06:27
 
Forgot to mention that Spatial Audio (Rm 634) has a new speaker called the M3 Triode Master (indicating it is efficient and good match with tube amps).  They will be sharing the room with LampizatOr (DAC), Linear Tube Audio (David Berning designed OTL amps) and Verrastar (high end cables).

So that room should be really interesting!
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #4 - 04/15/17 at 21:22:52
 
Please stop by Wyred 4 Sound in room 514 and win their new 10th anniversary DAC for me. I really need a new DAC.
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #5 - 04/17/17 at 12:19:52
 
I am attending but have never been before.  Is it reasonable to do most of the show in a day or would 2 days be better?

Mike
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #6 - 04/17/17 at 12:50:29
 
I have not spent more than a day there.  Your first time you might spend the whole day.  My hours spent there seem to drop each year.  I hope to spend 3-4 hours this year.

If you want to attend some of the workshops, spend time listening to headphone amps, do a lot of shopping for records, etc, you may want to spend more time.

Also, I go early so that I can get in and out of the rooms I want to hear first.  The downside is some of the equipment may not be warmed up, but the upside is you can usually get  a sweet spot listening chair without having to wait a long time.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #7 - 04/17/17 at 14:16:01
 
I will once again, live vicariously through you Pal.....for the Axpona story.

However, I am having my own mini-Axpona of sorts. I just purchased Tripwr's DM947's. They are 4 ohm, I'm running 4 ohm Tekton Impact Speaker's right now, off my ZMA 4 ohm Taps....so no big deal. I might prefer the 8 ohm Taps when I try them as well....... . Either way, I'm stoked to get a Pair of Decware Speaker's in here (finally).

Stone's mini-Axpona:

Decware DM947
(With Midrange Option + Soldered (PX) Clarity Caps~I will resist the urge to change caps, until I get a handle on my ears and placement with these)
.....maybe the PX Caps will surprise me? If not, I'll go on a Cap Fest to find the right one(s).
vs.
Tekton Impact
vs.
Modified Acoustic Zen Adagio's.

At least one Pair will go....maybe even two Pair.

PS-I won't hi-jack on this Thread, I will create another about this experience....I just wanted to mention...... . Once again, I look forward to your prose Pal.....of the Axpona experience 2017....and other's if they go!
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #8 - 04/19/17 at 13:27:31
 
Hey Stone.  Sounds like an interesting comparo.  I did upgrade the caps to Mundorf in my DIY 947s (don't have Steves waveguide) and thought it was an improvement.  These were my go to speakers until I got the OB itch.  I'll be interested in your soundstage comparison.

I probably won't have much of a write-up about Axpona now.  Long story, but due to circumstances I also have to drive a few hours south that day to pick up my catamaran and then to a friends for dinner.  So my Axpona time will be short.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #9 - 04/19/17 at 13:42:18
 
Hey, a few hours at Axpona is better than none. Other hobbies are most important too. Get that Hobie back in the water at the cottage!

Thanks for the Mundorf info in your 947's....the Clarity's will have to go.
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #10 - 04/19/17 at 14:05:07
 
I can get you the mundorf I used.  It was a Ziggy recommendation.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #11 - 04/19/17 at 14:13:16
 
Yes, please ~ thanks.
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #12 - 04/20/17 at 12:35:07
 
I was up in your neck of the woods the last couple of days Stone.  Unfortunately all I saw was the airport, a cab and the inside of a hotel.

Still looking for my paperwork on the mundorf.   I remember it starts with ZN.

My boat has its roots in a hobie.  The guy that built it raced Hobie 16s. Now they are built out od ultra light materials and are fitted with a spinnaker.   This one eats hobies for breakfast.  The latest ones foil and go over 30 mph.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #13 - 04/20/17 at 13:13:36
 
Sweet!  Looks like a lot of fun. No hurry on the Mundorf spec's.
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #14 - 04/20/17 at 14:55:05
 
Stone,

I found this on an old thread.  I think it still represents Zygi's most recent thinking:

My favorite cap on the MG's is the Mundorf Supreme cap. The Supreme has a lot of detail, and removes all the edge  from the tweeter. I have also tried and like the Mundorf Tin Foil which give a bit more detail, but doesn't remove all the edginess.


Stone, the Tin Foils are significantly less expensive.  3.3 value.  They weren't called the classic when I got them so maybe they have gone through a revision.  For those tweeters, I would lean towards the Supremes if I had to do it over again.

Keep in mind that my speakers are home made POC and don't have the waveguide which I think opens up the midrange a considerable amount.  Still, I've received some nice compliments from discerning ears.

http://www.mundorf.com/en/?category=hifi&menu=caps_audio&content=mcap_zn...



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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #15 - 04/20/17 at 16:14:24
 
Thanks Pal for the info. I am going to go with Mundorf Mcap Supremes. I am so impressed by them in my Adagio's (two yrs now since I had them gutted and had the mod done) ......I feel my brain is wired for them. If I keep the Tekton Impact, they would need them as well.

It will be good to hear the 947 Monoliths with the stock (let's call it), PX ClarityCaps. Then, order from Madisound the Supremes. Best part is, I can do the 947 Caps myself.

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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #16 - 04/20/17 at 16:45:30
 

I won't be making Axpona unfortunately - I have some family issues I need to deal with, and all plans have been parked for now.

This also means I won't have diffusers on display at Axpona since I've been traveling to visit my Mom instead of working on projects.

Sorry I've not been around much, but this is why.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #17 - 04/21/17 at 16:11:29
 
Understood LR and you know you are missed. Look forward to when you can post more again.

Me? My mom is in stage 4 and 5 of Alzheimer's. My visit (they live in south Texas) in February/stress, my girlfriend thinks, was the trigger for my Shingles outbreak. I have lost the mom I knew..... . Fortunately, my Dad, at 78, is still sharp as a tack and strong as an Ox.....to help/deal with his love/my Mom.

You hang tough, as my parents say: "you bury us....we don't ever want to face burying you".

So, whatever your case may be and obviously, I hope it is not to severe. A lot of us 50+ year olds are burying our parents.

Carpe diem ~ Carpe diem
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #18 - 04/22/17 at 23:04:15
 
Your roving reporter checking in.

I was only able to spend a little over 2 hours at the show today.  I came away pretty impressed with the OB selection.  I could have at least spent a couple of hours there.  I took listening notes and took a few pictures.  Biggest disappointment was the voxativ.  Sorry too intense and analytical for me.  Most pleasant surprise was the Spatial.  

More tomorrow.
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Syd
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #19 - 04/23/17 at 09:53:27
 
Wow, I`ve been drooling over the pics & info on the Voxativ pages, well once or twice. They`ve gone back to the days of the old powered coils on their pricier units, very very pricey. Voxativ-Vitavox the similarity must be intended.
Good to know our man-on-the-ground is in there.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #20 - 04/23/17 at 20:28:12
 
I'm reading about the Spatial Audio Hologram M3 4ohm 94db Sensitivity, right now. Pretty cool. $2795 Turbo S.
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beowulf
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #21 - 04/23/17 at 21:16:45
 
Disappointing to hear about Voxativ, I know that they have gotten best of shows in the past (though I'm not sure if they ever got one at Axpona).  But can't win the all ...

Did you buy chance hear Vinnie Rossi and the Harbeths (lots of chatter about them).  Also Legacy Audio's new DSP room correction stuff.
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #22 - 04/23/17 at 22:21:13
 
Regarding Spatial loudspeakers, Clayton has developed a new "tube friendly designed" M3 Triode Master. They're optimized for low powered SET and OTL designs, so it may interest Decware amp owners.  

Here's a link to an Audio Circle thread for folks that may have an interest:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=149584.0.

They are $3995/pair.

HK
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #23 - 04/23/17 at 23:28:08
 
I recently heard a pair of Spatials alongside some Omega RS5 high output monitors.  Both were fine speakers and presented two different points of view with the Omegas presenting a very clear fast electrostatic-like sound while the Spatials were warmer and more tubey sounding.

Oddly enough, if one were to listen to both blindly and try to guess which one was the box speaker, I bet most would pick the Spatials.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #24 - 04/24/17 at 13:57:16
 
Beo, I hope Pal did get in the Vinnie Rossi Room......... .

Hock, Decware Amps like 8, 4 and 2ohm loads....not 16ohm. Hope your ZMA is running great now.

Seik, good points, so I'm not surprised in the difference of the Omega compared to Spatial. All in what you like and thank goodness for the differences. I have differences between my Adagio's, Monoliths and Tekton's. I'm keeping the Adagio's and Monoliths.
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #25 - 04/24/17 at 15:27:49
 
Here is my report.  Keep in mind I did not have much time in each room so these are little more than first impressions.  I took some notes on my iphone just so I would remember what I thought.   Sorry in advance for the picture quality.





Room 634 – Spatial Triode Master with zotl 45w OTL amps.  Lampi DAC.  I liked this version of the OBs much better than what I heard last year.  It’s basically a coax over a bass driver.  See the picture for the no phase plug approach.  Very smooth mids for a coax, slightly warm.  Bass was tight and tuneful.  Did not hit as hard as bi-amped augies.  Musical though.



Room 644 – Voxativ – In a TL  configuration I think.  Slightly hot mids.  Wide soundstage.  Clear as a bell.  Maybe too clear to the point of being analytical.  Forward sounding.  This was one of their base models though.  Not the mega expensive versions.  Overall, I was expecting less single driver issues for drivers in this price range.  Maybe their high end stuff is better.



Room 506 – Pure Audio.  Unfortunately no Voxativ in this room.  Instead they had a horn in the middle positon.  They had the Voxativ drivers there, but the guy forgot some hardware to mount them.  Anyway, very nice sound overall.  Pretty whopper Xover.  They were driving them with SS.  I think he said 100 watts.  What I went to this room for was the Voxativ, but also to hear their neo version of the Augie.  Very nice, tight bass but it did not hit me like the Augie.  We were able to crank it up on some tunes that I knew including a live track that has killer bass that hits you in the chest.  It wasn’t there.  These are tighter than the augie, but just don’t hit like them.  Keep in mind that I am bi-amping at home with a Crown amp.  I asked the guy if people biamp these speakers and he said “all the time.”



Room 504 – Well pleased Audio Vida.  This was a single driver in a unique horn configuration.  Bottom ported with the base of the speaker underneath angled up to diffuse the output.  Overall, I found the single driver a bit hot on some tracks.  Bass was just very mushy to me.



434 – Emerald Physics
I always go to the Emerald Physics room in hopes of hearing good OB sound and up to this point, come away disappointed.  This year was different.  I guess he has a new version of his design but it didn’t look much different from past designs.  I asked him what was different and he said he had no electronic room correction going on this year.  Whatever it was, I found his room listenable, the bass was authoritative and under control, and for the first time I was impressed with the speakers.  He still tries to quick sell you everything in the room which is annoying, but at least it sounded good this year.  

His approach to the bass speaker seemed novel to me.  Mounted in front of the driver is a carbon fiber molded cone that feeds into a large port tube.  Not sure what this does but it looked like it functions as a focused passive radiator.  The bass did not seem muffled.



432 – Sanders Sound Systems
These were high efficiency electrostatic speakers.  Unfortunately, the designer was not in the room when I was there and the information I got from the guy running the room was dicey.  I think he said that he was running the electrotats with 6 watts and the enclosed subs with 900 watts.  He said something about volts rather than watts, but I don't know this technology well enough to know what he meant.

Talk about a sense of scale.  These cast a huge image, had controlled bass and ample treble.  It was like the whole room was electric.  You could easily sense when people were moving around the room.  I didn’t catch the cost, but they looked pretty expensive and sounded better than a lot of what I heard.  Very impressive.

I did stop by 514, the Wyred 4 Sound room.  Sounded very nice.  It’s hard for me to evaluate a DAC though.  Too many other varialbles.  I also stopped by MarkAudio SOTA room, 522.  I didn’t like the way the speakers sounded.  Poor setup too.  Just a bunch of different speakers lined up with no toe in across the front of the room.

I stopped by the Schitt Audio room, 408.  They were just running a Bifrost multi-bit and one of their tube pre’s.  High end speakers though and it sounded great.  Makes me want to  multi-bit my Bifrost uber.

Unfortunately, I did not make it to the Harbeth room.  I have heard their speakers paired with Vinnie’s amp in the past and it was my best of show pick.  I also stopped by the PS Audio room on my way out.  Paul was not there.

So, I think I covered most of the ground I wanted to cover.  Overall, I have to say that the sound was better this year.   More room treatments for sure.  I came away fairly impressed with most of the OBs I heard.  Sorry if I didn’t have comments on all the rooms suggested.  I did visit them all.  I had one shot at each room and if they were giving a speech or futzing with equipment, I had to move on.



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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #26 - 04/26/17 at 01:22:08
 
Thanks for the report Pal!  I was expecting a little better run for Voxativ and Rethm, but oh well ... I've never heard either of those brands in person yet.  It seems that the ones you heard were both entry level speakers for both of those companies, perhaps they're higher end ones make a big difference?  I know both had good reviews on 6 Moons and Stereophile placed Voxativ's uber expensive ones on the Class A grade.

From your description it would seemed you really enjoyed Sanders Sound Systems ... would you say it was your best of show?
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #27 - 04/26/17 at 02:10:55
 
Yeah but I didn't hear that many systems.  I just like their scale and how they energized the room.  Not that familiar with electrostats but they sure sounded good to me.
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beowulf
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #28 - 05/01/17 at 00:47:01
 
Forgot to ask, but did you make it to the Volti room?  Their entry level speakers had some good feedback over on Audio Circle ...
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Palomino
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #29 - 05/01/17 at 11:58:54
 
Only briefly.  They did seem to be different speakers than I had seen in the past.  The room was crowded so I couldn't get too far into the room.  What I heard I liked but I only heard one song.
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beowulf
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Re: Axpona 2017
Reply #30 - 05/13/17 at 04:42:14
 
@ Pal - looks like the review of the Voxativ room over on Part Time Audio sort of jives with what you said ~ though I think he liked the room significantly more.

That Fern & Roby’s Tredegar turntable in the review is a beast ... I need to hear that!
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