Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Axpona 2019 Wrap Up!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Axpona 2019 Wrap Up!

    Straight up truth about Axpona. The quality of this North American high-end audio show has taken a huge leap since its relocation to the Renaissance Shaumberg. Axpona has taken its place among the world’s premiere audio shows.

    Long gone, however, are the days when one reviewer can hit every exhibit room. Unless you do your best Usain Bolt impersonation and sprint from room-to-room, snap a few choice photos and create a collage of pictures. Forget, though, about any listening or information gathering. So reviewers are left to pick and choose from among the multitude and morass of rooms and equipment and if lucky maybe finding a few new products of interest. Conversely, magazine reviewers might be assigned coverage of specific topics so they never get to see the entire show either. We’re human and will miss some things. Or smaller rooms are packed to the gills with people and we don’t have the time to return to listen. Or something in the system is down just at the moment we come by. And so on!

    So it went at Axpona 2019. Even giving it the old college try I was maybe at best able about to cover 70% of the show. Up every day at the crack of dawn preparing for the day’s events and up until to the wee hours of the morning posting about the show. It’s now humanly impossible to chat with manufacturers, listen to their gear and system, get the pertinent information on the components in the system and/or new product releases and cover every room and booth at the show. They are now mutually exclusive (I hope manufacturers will be understanding too!)

    One person’s misfortune is another person’s fortune. Or what’s a reviewer’s nightmare is an audiophile’s dream come true! Where else can audiophiles see and hear this amount of high-end gear under one roof and get to meet all the representatives from every company? A true blue audio orgy. All for a very reasonable admissions fee! Plus all the amenities, seminars during the day and free music events in the evening not to mention meeting and getting to know other audiophiles over a drink at the hotel bar? Who knows? It might be the start of a lifelong friendship!

    Magazines, too, are having to step up their game and send more staff to cover shows such as Axpona as well as set aside more pages for show reports. Despite some readers abhorring show reports, statistics show the best selling issues are the months with show coverage. Conversely, additional (or more in depth) information will be posted on the magazine’s website where page limitations aren’t a problem.

    That said, this years Axpona—even given Sunday’s Spring snow dump—was the biggest North American show I’ve been to since the days of Stereophile’s ‘90s New York Audio Shows. One Stereophile Show at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel actually drew an incredible 12.5K attendees. Of course, that was in the days where there was only one audio show, alternating coasts, a year.

    2019 marked Axpona’s 10th anniversary and how the show has grown since its early days. Steve Davis (once the owner of Hi-Fi Farm in VA) founded the Axpona show and eventually handed the show off to JD Events who had the know how, staff and resources to bring the show to the next level. 2019 marks the Axpona’s second year at the Rennaissance Shaumberg Hotel and all signs point to this high-end audio show already outgrowing its new digs.

    JD Events seem to have thought of everything and even added a few useful amenities to make the show more attendee friendly. Such as more places in the hotel lobby to grab a quick bite and get right back on the horse! A designated “rest stop” room on alternating show floors so us older types and ladies need not go the hotel lobby to use the bathroom. Well done!

    So without any further ado, the show wrap up and awards!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Best Sound at Show!

    Paragon Sight and Sound (MI-based dealer): Wilson Audio/D’Agostino Master Audio Systems/Clearaudio/Transparent Audio

    GTT Audio (NJ-based dealer): YG Acoustics/Audionet/Kronos Audio/Air Tight/Kubala-Sosna

    Joseph Audio/Jeff Rowland Design/VPI/Doshi Audio/Cardas Cables/Technics (honorary)

    Zesto Audio/Marten Design/Merrill-Williams/Tri-Planar/Cardas

    Jeff Rowland Design/Grand Prix Audio/Tri-Planar/Lyra cartridges/Cardas

    Finest Fidelity Accustic Arts/Magico/van den Hul/Dobbins Audio/Schroeder

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paragon.JPG
Views:	755
Size:	868.4 KB
ID:	114194Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0115.JPG
Views:	716
Size:	2.55 MB
ID:	114195
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Audio Eye Candy

      Air Force 3 turntable (in black)/Graham Phantom Elite (gold)
      Garrard 301 turntable/Dobbins plinth
      Modwright Ambrose 845 DS monoblock SET amplifiers
      VAC Statement phonostage

      Click image for larger version

Name:	VAC product.JPG
Views:	761
Size:	775.4 KB
ID:	114192Click image for larger version

Name:	product select.JPG
Views:	745
Size:	2.50 MB
ID:	114193
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
      -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
      -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        Notable Software Releases

        Premiere Acoustic Sounds UHQR: Jimi Hendrix: Bold as Love
        New 15 ips reel-to-reel tape: Shirley Horn: Softly, 2XHD Fidelio
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
        -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
        -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
        -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          Products Most Often Seen Round the Show

          Cardas Cables
          CH-Precision electronics
          Kubala-Sosna cables
          Magico speakers
          Transparent Audio cables
          Tri-Planar tonearms
          VAC electronics
          VPI turntables

          Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0087.JPG
Views:	792
Size:	2.49 MB
ID:	114191
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
          -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
          -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
          -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • #6
            Notable New Products Releases at Axpona 2019

            Evolution Acoustics Maestoso speakers
            Joseph Audio Perspective Graphene speakers
            Magico M2 speakers
            Verity Audio Lakme speakers
            Vivid Kaya 90 speakers
            YG Acoustics Vantage speakers

            D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Relentless amplifiers
            Jeff Rowland Design Group phonostage
            Western-Electric 91E integrated amplifier
            Verity Audio Amp-45 stereo amplifier

            Clearaudio Jubilee cartridge
            DeBaer Saphir turntable
            DeBaer 9-inch Onyx tonearm
            Durand Tosca tonearm
            Garrard 301 turntable/Dobbins plinth
            Kronos phonostage
            TW-Acustic GT2 turntable
            VPI HW40 direct-drive turntable

            Playback Designs Stream IF streamer update

            Crystal Cables 15th Anniversary Ltd. Edition Future Dream cables

            Click image for larger version

Name:	vivid.JPG
Views:	756
Size:	2.44 MB
ID:	114187Click image for larger version

Name:	vpi.JPG
Views:	715
Size:	682.6 KB
ID:	114188Click image for larger version

Name:	editing.JPG
Views:	717
Size:	302.0 KB
ID:	114189Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0262.JPG
Views:	711
Size:	2.16 MB
ID:	114190
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
            -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
            -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Products Like to Bring Home


              Durand Tosca tonearm
              Jeff Rowland Design phonostage
              Pneuance Footers/platform
              Van den Hul Grail phonostage

              Click image for larger version

Name:	grail.JPG
Views:	746
Size:	86.0 KB
ID:	114185Click image for larger version

Name:	tosca.JPG
Views:	726
Size:	352.6 KB
ID:	114186
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
              -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
              -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #8
                Once again. great coverage, but no mention of the new baby Maggies?

                Comment


                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sorry didn’t hear them.

              • #9
                Many thanks for all your efforts and great coverage of the show. Not tempted to bring home Relentless amps???

                Comment


                • #10
                  Not unless Al can figure out a way to rewrite my apartment.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                  -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
                  -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
                  -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
                  -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    You say you can't be everywhere but Jeez man, it sure seems like you were! Excellent summary and overview. Special commendations for including the divine as well as the stuff mortal men can afford. I may be wrong but I think it's been a while since Jeff Rowland received a few nice mentions from you. Good for Jeff!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Interesting to see VAC were pre-eminent at the show - I've seen a fair amount of Kevin Hayes detailing where and when you could hear VAC products - he's in Munich, now.
                      That's not to say I think it is a bad thing. I had a PA-60 and really enjoyed it. There was a problem with it - age-related - and Kevin was very helpful in providing info so I could get it professionally fixed locally - no need for trans-Atlantic $$$$ freight!

                      I used to run a much smaller show in the UK, and found that even with 50-60 rooms it was all-but impossible to adequately get around them all, and do them justice, in 2 days.

                      Munich is setup and ready to go now. Friends are there and will be doing their (his and her) best to cover as much as possible.
                      DIY TT w/ Transrotor mech, Roksan Tabriz Zi, SAE 1000LT
                      Vacuum State JLTi phono stage, SAS B11a pre-amp, DIY 2A3 monoblocks
                      DIY HD XMOS-based USB->S/PDIF converter, Danish Audio Designs 3-box DAC10
                      DIY 3-way folded line speakers, DIY Open Baffles

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Thanks for the update and the insights. Greatly appreciated.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by gjm View Post
                          Interesting to see VAC were pre-eminent at the show - I've seen a fair amount of Kevin Hayes detailing where and when you could hear VAC products - he's in Munich, now.
                          That's not to say I think it is a bad thing. I had a PA-60 and really enjoyed it. There was a problem with it - age-related - and Kevin was very helpful in providing info so I could get it professionally fixed locally - no need for trans-Atlantic $$$$ freight!

                          I used to run a much smaller show in the UK, and found that even with 50-60 rooms it was all-but impossible to adequately get around them all, and do them justice, in 2 days.

                          Munich is setup and ready to go now. Friends are there and will be doing their (his and her) best to cover as much as possible.
                          Perhaps JD Events will eventually turn Axpona into a four day show.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                          -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
                          -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
                          -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
                          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            It definitely needs to be a 4 day show, with 2 days for setup/prep. I mean, it costs exhibitors quite a bit of money to be there, even with one single small room, so the incremental cost of doing 4 days/2 days prep is minimal, and will likely give us a better, more relaxed (and why not, better sounding!) show.

                            Some rooms in Munich were setting up yesterday (Monday), and the show only opens Thursday! That's the way to go...

                            Disclosure:
                            Alma Music and Audio - La Jolla, CA
                            Aqua Hi-Fi - Audio Research - Audioquest - Audionet - Audiopax - Auralic - Aurender - Bergmann - Brodmann - D'Agostino - darTZeel - Devialet - DEQX - ELAC - Evolution Acoustics - Hegel - iFi - Innuos - IsoTek - Kii Audio - Koetsu - Kronos - Kubala Sosna - Kuzma - Larsen - Linn - MSB Technology - Music Hall - Ortofon - Solid Steel - Technics - Wharfedale - Wilson Audio - YG Acoustics
                            [ http://almaaudio.com ]

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X