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AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

AXPONA 2022 Show Report
The Fabulous 4th Floor At The Audio Expo North America 2022 Show.
Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

  George and Carolyn Counnas of Zesto Audio had several new components to present, including the Andros Tessera Reference phono stage ($19.9k) and the Bia 200 Select Stereo power amp ($15,900) with a bias select switch to allow you to use everything from a KT88 up to KT170 tube. Putting out 100 Wpc in Class A, this amp should be able to drive a wide variety of speakers. The Leto Ultra II preamplifier ($11,900) has not been seen by many people since it was introduced just before Covid hit in 2019. It features six inputs, three gain levels, and a Presence control that rolls off the top end in various stages.

 

 

 

 

I heard it in 2019 when I was very impressed with it. The Tannoy Kensington GR speakers ($18k) used this year were not my cup of tea, though they certainly were dynamic and I loved the gorgeous furniture grade cabinets. Other people may have loved the sound here. On the top shelf of the Stillpoints rack ($12.6) was a Dr. Feickert Blackbird turntable ($8,635) with two Tri-Planar Precision tonearms ($6,900 each) fitted with an Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge ($2879) on one and a Benz Micro Gullwing cartridge ($3600) on the other. Cables were by Cardas Audio, including a two-meter Clear Beyond speaker ($9,220), 1m Beyond  IC ($4250, 1.5m Beyond XL power cord ($2750), 1m Clear Beyond Dual Phono ($4600), and Nautilus power strip ($1500).

 

 

 

Massimiliano Magri (Max) has been steadily evolving his line-array speakers during Covid. The tall, Kevlar speakers I saw here in 2019 have given way to improved construction and better acoustic with wood. From a visual standpoint, he can offer a much more luxurious finish in wood veneers than the greenish Kevlar that looked like it should have a camouflage grill cloth. The Mach 4 model (from €13.200 to €14.400) shown this year will also fit a lot more rooms and budgets than the Mach 9 (from €20.100 to €21.900) shown in 2019. At 95dB/W/m sensitivity and 8 Ohm impedance, it is voiced with his Grandinote solid-state amplifiers that have a very tube-like sound, given the proprietary Magnetosolid Technology he developed from tube amplifiers.

 

 

The Silva power amp with 37 Wpc in full-dual mono configuration (€11,400) shown here with the Proemio line stage (€8,700) with both balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs, sounded very much like the Shinai integrated amp (€11,400) that I have heard so often at Montreal. The Volta on the top shelf is their Streamer-DAC (€8,700) and they also have a phono stage. The speakers have a minimal crossover with the woofers running direct and only a capacitor on the tweeters, which yields a very transparent and dynamic sound. I expect the speakers would play very well with tube amplifiers as well. Given the deep shape of the components, Max also has dedicated stands (not shown) that exhibit the kind of artistic creativity you expect from Italy. The cabling was Nordost Odin 2. I really appreciate Max wearing a mask at the show, but I should have asked him to drop it for the photo. Next time I will do better, Max.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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