AXPONA 2017 Show Report --
Audio Expo North America
10 Systems That Impressed At AXPONA 2017
AXPONA Show Report By Dave Hanson
mbl 101 E MKII Radialstrahler Loudspeakers
Liquidity, transparency and staging, oh my! The folks at mbl always impress and this year was no exception. Their showcase system was built around their mbl 101 E MKII Radialstrahler loudspeakers ($70,500), bi-amped with four mbl N15 Mono Power Amplifiers ($17,800/each). I'm going to go ahead and say this mega-hi-end system was my favorite setup of the show.
The sound emitted from this system was absolutely holographic, and in my opinion the very definition of transparency. Frequency balance was neutral, natural and true to life. Imaging was very likely the best in show, with the sounds layered with pinpoint accuracy in every direction. Soundscape width, depth and height all came across as very realistic, and one could very easily close his or her eyes and imagine the performers right there on the stage in front of them. It all comes at a steep price, but in my opinion, this system puts you in the performance space better than anything else I heard at the show. Bravo!
Of course this list is only scratching the surface of all the sonic goodness at AXPONA 2017. I was floored by several other setups including those headlined by the Legacy Focus SE, Gamut RSi7, Tidal Audio Akira and more. To say there's something for every enthusiast would be a massive understatement, and I didn't even touch all the good stuff in the Ear Gear Expo.
The bottom line is, this show is a heck of a lot of fun. The only real bummer is looking at the list of all the expensive toys I want to buy now! While ignorance may be bliss for some, I personally wouldn't trade a weekend of listening to good tunes on a buffet of killer setups for the world.
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