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AXPONA 2023 Luxury Premium Audio And Hi-Fi Stereo Audiophile Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

The AXPONA 2023 Chronicles: Part 8
The fascinating 5th floor of premium audio gear.
Audio Expo North America 2023 Show Report By Rick Becker



Cambridge Audio
Cambridge Audio had a packed room with a lot of people talking at the time. Their framed poster in the room caught my eye. Rumor has it that they will be coming out with matching wallpaper for your dedicated listening room.



On the side table, I spotted their small MXN10 and DACMagic 200M headphone amp encased in a very nice-looking wood chassis, ala Geshelli Labs up on the 12th Floor. Choose black components for a more elegant look with the wood cabinet.



Tien Audio And KECES
KECES Audio comes from Taiwan and it is a new brand to me. They have two tiers of components (Essential and Superior) plus the Pier series of power supplies and the Ultimate series of power conditioners. Presumably, you can upgrade your components by upgrading the linear power supply you choose. Tien Audio, also from Taiwan was familiar with some interesting tonearms and turntables I had seen in the Expo Hall in 2019.



Each series of KECES does not have a complete assortment of components, though there is a phono stage in each series. With the Far East as their main market, their chassis are scaled narrower. Note the full-size power conditioner on the bottom shelf of the Stillpoints rack. This is more the exception than the norm.



The Tien turntable looks to be a black version of the red one seen higher up at the show. The black tower to the left is a DS Audio Vinyl Ionizer ION-001 sitting atop a riser to accommodate the height of the Tien turntable. The dial for L, M and H is for 33, 45 plus 78 rpm perhaps? It was nice to hear some analog playback in this room.



From the top down are the phono stage and its power supply, an Ultra Low Noise Linear Power Supply, and then their largest power conditioner.



The amplifiers for each Magico speaker (from mainland China) were stereo models that put out 130 Wpc in stereo but were used in bridged mode to put out 400 Watts.



If I had more time I would have asked for a demo of this Tien Audio Vacuum Vinyl Flattener that applies uniform pressure and mild heat to flatten warped LPs. The vacuum technology allows for heavy forces (1kg per square centimeter) without touching the grooves of the LP. A microprocessor controls the temperature of thin film heating sheets. The heating mode is done in selectable durations of 1.5, 2, and 2.5 hours. The vinyl is heated to 57 degrees Centigrade for 30 minutes, then allowed to cool slowly for 30 minutes to achieve proper tempering for stable crystallization and retain sound quality.




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