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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

 

 

  The room hosted by Wolf Audio Systems featured their server in black on the top right shelf, but the room was a smorgasbord of brands including the VPI turntable with Synergistic Research record clamp, Van den Hul The Grail SE phono stage, Synergistic Research PowerCell SX, T+A SDV 3100HV preamp/DAC and A 3000 HV amplifier driving the new TAD Evolution Two speaker. TAD has recently re-entered the North American market and I say "Welcome back!" Along with their speakers, they've brought along a preamp, power amp, disc player, and DAC. A white Synergistic Research Black Box, which is a Broad Spectrum Low-Frequency Resonator Array designed to eliminate bass nodes, clean up low-frequency information and reveal spatial content is seen in the foreground. The cables were by Wireworld. Music coming through the Wolf server here was very enjoyable.

 

 

 

Eli and Ofra Gershman of Gershman Acoustics brought their Grand Avant Garde speaker this time and shuffled the electronics to create a great sounding rig. From the source, it featured a Lampizator server, Lampizator DAC, VAC Master Preamplifier with a separate power supply just below it, and VAC Master 200 Musicbloc. (These were older models.) Cardas Audio cables tied everything together. New at this show was an elegant, finely finished wood grill for the Grand Avant Garde. It is shown on a piano gloss black model on their website that looks exquisite. As good as this room sounded and it did sound very good, it was a bit of a let-down after their spectacular presentation at Montreal a month earlier of a much more expensive system featuring their Posh speaker. Click here and scroll down on that page.

 

 

Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere has built his company and his stellar reputation on OTL (output-transformer-less) tube amplifiers over many decades. It is a complete twist that he delved into Class D amplification using GaNFET transistors. He had presented them earlier this year at the Florida show and I was anxious to hear them, given my experience with AGD amps. The presentation was a little underwhelming with his monoblocks sitting directly on the carpeted floor, driving a stand-mounted monitor with a single, full-range driver. I suspect this amp is capable of much better sound than I heard here. Had the speaker been a Cube Audio Nenuphar this room might have rocked.

 

 

I ran into Gary Yacoubian of SVS in the hall and he gave me a 1.5-minute elevator speech about their new Prime wireless hi-rez system streamed over wi-fi with analog and HDMI connectivity, fiber connectivity, and two active powered speakers (four channels @ 50 Watts) with fully digital electronic crossover, DSP controlled. They also had a wireless, smart Wi-Fi-enabled integrated amplifier that can take any passive speaker and turn them into wireless speakers... I think. The amplifier will be around $600. I've enjoyed numerous Zoom meetings with Gary and his team during Covid and I'm impressed with the high-energy and innovation this company exhibits. I expect his company draws a lot of attention from mid-fi enthusiasts and spins them out into the high-end. There's a lot to be said for that.

I ducked into the room and saw he had an action film on a big-screen TV, which meant a seat was not likely to open up for another hour or so... so I headed on down to the 6th Floor.

 

Join me again in a few days as the AXPONA 2022 Chronicles explore the 6th floor.

 

 

 

---> Back to main AXPONA 2022 Show Report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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