The AXPONA 2023 Chronicles: Part
American Audio And Video
A Dual CS 618 ($1300) sat atop a Pangea Audio Vulcan Five-Shelf rack at a very reasonable $250. This is a handsome rack for those in the early stages of their audio journey. Below the turntable was an Audiolab CD player, a 9000A integrated amplifier ($3k), and a DC Block 6 direct current blocker (power conditioner?). The Audiolab 9000 series is available in silver or black. The speakers were Mission M770 ($5k, including stands).
On the side wall was a smaller series of Audiolab gear, probably the 7000 series, along with Mission M700 two-way speakers.
Speaker Physics USA
Not being into streaming or serious headphone listening, this was a quick stop for me. They had another room next door that did interest me, but first....
Crux Audio, CALLAS, And SOtM
The only semblance of an equipment rack was a delightfully elegant aluminum and Plexiglas rack perfectly sized for the silver sDP-1000EX SOtM streamer and the matching sPA-1000 stereo Class D power amp below it. To the left of the silver components was a stack of black SOtM gear including the sPQ-100 phono equalizer with support for various EQ graphs. Beneath the silver components was a large black component from Silverstone.
The CALLAS speakers sounded very good with an airy female vocal recording. The cabinet appeared to be made from horizontally laid plywood, but the front baffles were not continuous with the sides, indicating that it was a separate piece. The four-way floorstanding Nostlagia Jr. model was priced at $26,990 and included 9-inch and 5.5" Accuton drivers and 2" and 1" Morel drivers. The crossover was a 32dB/octave fifth-order design — not something you find every day.
The two-way Moon II speaker was $5,490 with a 7" Scanspeak 8531 driver and an AMT ribbon tweeter. Here again, was a 5th order crossover.
On a table off to the side on the far left was a stack labeled sNH-10g, an audio-grade network switch. Continuing to the right was an sPS-500 DC power supply, an sCLK-OCX10 10Mhz clock signal generator, a tX-USBultra USB audio signal generator with two USB ports, an sMS-200ultra Mini network streamer with sCLK-EX super clock that is Roon Ready, DLNA among other things, a DAC/amp with silver faceplate, and finally, an sMS-200 Mini network streamer that is Roon Ready, DLNA, etc. with Wi-Fi support. My good audio buddy who is into streaming has a number of these affordable SOtM products and is quite happy with them.
The rest of the rig was all very high quality and well-respected brands, too. Magico A5 speakers ($26,800) were driven by a Vinnie Rossi Brama integrated amp used as a power amp ($39k), fed from an MSB Technology Premier DAC ($27,500). A PS Audio PS15 power regenerator ($8k) regulated the power and Kimber Kable made all the connections. A Quadraspire SV2T rack ($3,300) supported the equipment.
The conversation was involved here, and the components had all been heard before in fine-sounding rigs elsewhere at this and other shows, so I moved on.