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AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

 

Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles
Rick's 7th Floor Exploration At AXPONA 2022.
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

  First a disclaimer. I've reviewed all of the AGD products in some form or another. See Enjoy the Music.com's gear review archives. The Audion Mk II monoblocks ($7500 - $8400, depending on finish) are my solid state reference amps, easily driving my Kharma speakers in my large dedicated listening room. I've also spoken very highly of the AGD rooms at AXPONA and Rocky Mountain shows in the past. This year was no different, save for the addition of the new Tempo di GaN stereo amp ($5500 to $6300 depending on finish) that is a more affordable version of The Audion Mk II monoblocks, and the upgraded Gran Vivace flagship monoblocks ($18.5k). Featuring Gallium Nitrite based transistors in a Class D topology, these amps have a vanishing low noise floor and a very fast rise time resulting in outstanding transparency, resolution, and dynamics. That Alberto Guerra has presented his amps with loudspeakers from Allan Sides of Ocean Way Audio (and Ocean Way Studios) on several occasions bears special mention.

 

 

These are not your typical studio monitors with relentless resolution at the expense of musical presentation. The Eureka threads the needle incorporating pinpoint imaging, sonic detail, excellent transparency, dynamics that are unusual for a speaker of this size, and musicality.

 

 

The AGD amplifier / Ocean Way Audio loudspeaker combination is a real standout, worthy of yet another Best Rooms recognition. Allen Sides is one of the most respected engineer / producers in the music industry with thousands of recordings to his credit. Let me mention that Dr. John's In a Sentimental Way is one of my reference LPs and was mostly recorded by him.

 

 

And the guy on the floor with the laptop seen here? That's David Solomon, head of Qobuz, selecting a tune to show off this great system.

 

 

At that point, my 32GB SD card told me it was full and I retreated to my room to change chips. I had thoughtfully prepared a new card by cutting most of the way across the dotted line on the vacuum-sealed package, but alas, even that didn't get me close to the chip itself. Fortunately, I had my wood carving knife and was able to slice through the petro-chemical seal to liberate another 32GB. It was a dark and rainy afternoon on Friday.

 

 

 

Mon Acoustic from South Korea made its North American debut with a couple of small stand-mounted monitors featuring aluminum cabinets. The equipment rack featured a Chord CPA 5000 Reference Preamplifier, Chord SPM 1200 Mk II Power Amplifier, and an Aurender A20 music streamer / DAC with full proprietary lossy MQA and headphone amp.

 

 

 

The Sanctus power strip gracing the floor in front of the rack was real eye candy and there was an interesting Sanctus Zeus power distribution block milled from billet aluminum on silent display.

 

 

 

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