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Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report

Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show In Tampa, Florida.
Report By Steven R. Rochlin


  The Florida Audio Expo was excited to announce their inaugural show for 2019! This show was be held on Friday February 8th through Sunday February 10th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. This new Southeast show gives music lovers the chance to personally audition some of the industry's finest offerings, all taking place in sunny Florida. The show was free to the public too! The exhibitor list grew daily, yet all exhibit space was sold out weeks before the event took place!


Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report

Bonus Pics From Florida Audio Expo
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here are some special bonus photos from Florida Audio Expo 2019.
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Angel City Audio: ACA and Melody Valve HiFi
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Vacuum tube amplification is alive and well here at the Florida Audio Expo 2019. Angel City Audio was showcasing the Melody P2688 preamplifier ($9399) that feed their M845 monoblock amplifier ($8999 per pair). While the DAC was Onix OC103, the speakers were ACA's lovely Seraphim Prime ($25,000 per pair.
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Tortuga Audio And Triode Wire Lab
Setting up on the long wall here at the Florida Audio Expo had challenges. With Tortuga Audio and Triode Wire teaming up, the soundscape was very encompassing. Want to be completely fair, as always, and the sound was perhaps not the most refined system at this show. Something in the upper midrange seemed a bit out-of-phase or ????
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AVM Audio, Radhio, Shyunata, And Stillpoints
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here at the Florida Audio Expo were two rooms by AVM, and i mainly focused on the room with their A8.3 preamp, which is a solid-state unit that offers an optional tone control and plug-in vacuum tube card! AVM's PA8.2 is a modular pre with phono, DAC, and as stated you can get a tone input card plus vacuum tube output card!
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Backert Labs, RJS Acoustics, Sonner Audio, Pass Labs, Roksan, Dynavector, Chord, Sonore, And Luminous Audio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Backert Labs and RJS Acoustics really brought on an truly impressive grouping of high-end audio gear here at Florida Audio Expo 2019. Here's proof that with the properly chosen gear that has synergy, you can create a truly remarkable music listening system.
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LampizatOr, Master Built, VAC, And Von Schweikert
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here at Florida Audio Expo 2019 was great sound coming from a grand combination of gear from leading high-end audio manufacturers. Lampizator has long been known to make truly terrific-sounding DACs. Here in Tampa they were debuting their new LampizatOr Pacific solid-state amplifier.
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BorderPatrol, Triode Wire Labs & Volti Audio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here at the Florida Audio Expo 2019 was a trifecta of great gear by Triode Wire Labs, Volti Audio and BorderPatrol Audio. My notes say there's something glorious about hornspeakers fed by great tube amps.
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Hegel Music Systems And Dynaudio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here at Florida Audio Expo 2019 Hegel had a wonderful system with their H590 integrated amplifier with DAC ($11,000) connected to a pair of Dynaudio Contour 60 loudspeakers ($10,000 per pair). The room was well-organized and had quite the sound!
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Integrity Sound: Aurende, Martin Logan, Parasound And Rega
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Integrity Sound is a retail store in Sarasota, FL, and they had Rega's P6 turntable with Exact 2 phono cartridge mated to Parasound's impressive Halo JC3JR phono preamplifier. For digital duties, an Aurender 10 Music Server provided true lossless Hi-Res Audio music quality from show sponsor Qobuz.
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Mytek Brooklyn Bridge
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Mytek brought their new Brooklyn Bridge ($2995) to Florida Audio Expo 2019, which is basically identical to Brooklyn DAC+ in terms of audio circuits and performance. The addition of a built-in Network Streamer brings the unit to modern standards. This also means the AES/EBU digital input was replaced with an Ethernet network connector plus there's a Wi-Fi antenna and a USB port for external music hard drive.
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MBL, United Home Audio, And Wireworld
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
MBL North America was at Florida Audio Expo with a complete system i've heard many times in various forms. Nothing much has really changed, as you need massive power to drive these speakers, with powered subwoofers needed for true deep bass production.
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Falcon, Primare, Dr. Feickert, MoFi, Cardas, Qobuz And Solidsteel
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Ravishingly retro are the famous LS3/5 speakers, and here at Florida Audio Expo 2019 this incarnation of Falcon LS3/5a loudspeakers did not disappoint. Perhaps one of, if not the most famous small monitor to come out of the legendary BCC, Falcon's LS3/5a two-way small monitor brings back the original designer / engineer for a modern go at this decades old classic.
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Aqua Audio, Cardas, Doshi, Innus, & Joseph Audio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here's another great example of how small speakers can sound far larger than most would expect. Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio has a way with speakers and crossover designs that bring about excellent sound quality. Their room at the Florida Audio Expo 2019 was very impressive, with front-end being either reel-to-reel or digital audio from show sponsor Qobuz.
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Vanatoo: Loudspeaker Technology Serving Art
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
If you're seeking big sound in a small package, or perhaps a modest system for the office, then Vanatooo might be perfect for you. Vanatoo is a lifelong dream for engineers Gary Gesellchen and Rick Kernen, with their love for audio and technology. Their expertise in acoustics and digital electronics, plus product development and manufacturing, is why Vanatoo products are extremely well designed.
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Nola Speakers & Sweet Home Audio
Electrocompaniet, Rogue Audio & Wireworld
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Here was a fun room hosted by loudspeaker manufacturer Nola, plus Sweet Home Audio located in casual 'n' fun Clearwater, Florida. Critically-acclaimed loudspeaker company Nola makes excellent loudspeakers from large floorstanders to small stand-mounted speakers. Here at Florida Audio Expo 2019 their room sounded 'far bigger' than those small monitors would lead one to believe for such a small size. Will cut to the chase right up front as my notes say, "holy crap they sound big... up to a certain volume level".
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à la carte productions
Billy Bags, Bybee, Creek, DSA, Luminous Audio Technology, Ortofon, Spendor, Stein, Tweek Geek, Vienna Acoustics, And VPI.
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
à la carte productions based out of Deland, Florida was being manned by David Sckolnik within their value room. This retail store had two great rooms at Florida Audio Expo 2019. The top-line Dynamic Sounds Associates (DSA) room came fully prepared with Pre I linestage ($16,500) and large DSA Amp I monoblocks ($25,000 per pair) plus much more!
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Raven Audio Tube Amps & Speakers + Mytek Digital
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Raven Audio, widely known for their excellent vacuum tube amplification and cables, always pleases at shows. Here at Florida Audio Expo 2019 they brought their new line of loudspeakers! The front soundscape was lovely and deeeep, with the system being "overall fun to listen to" says my show report notes. Considering I listen to music over eight hours a day, it's crucial that an audio system not just be accurate, it also needs to be comfortably listenable for hour after hour.
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The Audio Company
Airtight, Clearaudio, Critical Mass, Esoteric, Kronos, Masterbuilt, VAC, And Von Schweikert.
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
The Audio Company is a purveyor of hi-end luxury audio equipment, offering a wide range of innovative, high-quality audio equipment including speakers, preamps, turntables and accessories. Their room, located within the second floor, was one of the largest exhibit rooms at the Florida Audio Expo 2019. Having heard the VAC front-end amplification married to Von Schweikert speakers quite a few times at shows, this truly is a properly synergist system time and time again.
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Fidelis AV, Harbeth, Luxman, Melco, And Ton Trager
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
My listening notes have little here, perhaps the music sounded great and was too busy enjoying the music? Whatever the case, my feeble mind thinks the sound was politely British. Note to self, take better notes when you have to cover 40(!) room in a few days.
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Aurender, EMM Labs, GIK, Merrill Audio, And Muraudio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Once again there must be something grat about the hotel's exhibit rooms that bring great sound, of course it is aided by great gear and music too. With Aurender and EMM Labs front-end gear combined with Merrill Audio's always-impressive amplification driving Muraudio's innovative speakers, hopes were high for excellent sound. And this room did not disappoint!
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Deja Vu South In Miami, Florida
Western Electric Tube Amps, Otari Reel-To-Reel, Horn Speakers, Isotek, And Audio Note UK.
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
If you're seeking esoterica within truly ultra-luxury high-fidelity then look no further than retailer Deja Vu South located in Miami, Florida. Rejoice, as those who know, well then you know when i say all vintage parts including chassis. These are truly hand built in Italy desigs by D'Urso Cataldo (Aldo).
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Pro-Ject, Sonus faber, And Sumiko
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
The hits just keep coming here at Florida Expo 2019 show as World Of McIntosh McIntosh Group's room featured Pro-Ject, Sonus faber and Sumiko. As you'd expect the sound was properly airy, smoooooth, and extremely musical. Pro-Ject's 6Perspex turntable had a lovely Sumiko Songbird moving-coil cartridge (only $899 for an MC cartridge!).
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Suncoast Audio
Featuring Magico, Luxman, Lumin, AudioQuest, Critical Mass, Avantgarde Acoustic, Viva, Aurender, AVID, And Shunyata.
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Suncoast Audio is a lovely store located in the heart of Sarasota's ever-growing Lakewood Ranch area. Store owner Michael Bovaird offers a wide variety of gear to this affluent area of Florida, and his exhibit rooms wonderfully reflect that. With two rooms, there was a lot of gear to cover here!
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House Of Stereo / Wolf Audio Systems
Featuring Ayre, VPI, Van Den Hul, Wireworld Cable, Quad, Focal, Bob Carver, Bel Canto, Audience Cables, TAD And KEF.
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.

House Of Stereo is a longstanding retail store located in Jacksonville, Florida, and they had two glorious rooms at Florida Audio Expo 2019. Bob Carver's 350 amplifiers drove the highly musician KEF Blade 2 floorstanding speakers. Adept Response power filtering joined wolf audio system bits.
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Audio Advisors: Audio Research, VPI & Wilson Audio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
Let me get this out of the way right up front. Have never been a big fan of Wilson Audio speakers from years ago due to augmented upper midrange. Sounded good at first, yet ear fatigue set in within a sing or three. Fortunately they have a new ear and Wilson Audio is now sounding extremely impressive!
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Harman's JBL & Mark Levinson Joins Transparent Audio
Florida Audio Expo 2019 show in Tampa, Florida.
My first exhibitor room visit was floor 8 at Florida Audio Expo 2019 where Christopher Trojnar of Harman was showcasing their highly anticipated JBL L100 Classic speakers ($4000 per pair) being driven by Mark Levinson No 5805 ($8500) integrated amplifier, No 519 Media Player ($20,000) and No 515 turntable ($12,500).
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Florida Audio Expo Is A Resounding Success!
Audiophiles enjoy great sounds in comfy 80F climate.
As their inaugural event, the Florida Audio Expo was held on Friday February 8th through Sunday February 10th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. Frankly, was a bit surprised to see so many members of the press in attendance, but then again the 80F and sunny weather in February brought reviewers from all around the USA, those who live in bitter c-c-cold Canada and more!
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Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report


More Info About The Florida Audio Expo 2019
It was just announced that the Florida Audio Expo is sold out of exhibition space. All 40 rooms have been sold, with a month remaining until the event goes live. "Florida hasn't had an audio show in a good number of years. We look forward to bringing our speakers and electronics to this culture-rich area of music enthusiasts," said Bill Dudleston, founder of Legacy Audio. "Our mission for creating the Florida Audio Expo was to bring a strong offering to the Southeast market with a fun atmosphere for enjoying music — we want to celebrate our lifestyle and support the industry in this region," said Bart Andeer, founder of Resolution Acoustics and manager of the Expo's daily operations. "We have been working this idea for a few years, but wanted to find the right venue available at the right time of year, and we believe we have achieved both for the 2019 show. We strongly encourage regional dealers and manufacturers from all over the USA who are looking for a new option."

The Florida Audio Expo provided access to incredible sounds, as well as loads of area attractions to enjoy! Only a five-minute drive from the Tampa International Airport, the Embassy Suites are close to such local attractions as Busch Gardens, and just an hour's drive from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Additional benefits for attendees and exhibitors staying at the Embassy Suites include free airport shuttle, free breakfast, and free happy hour.

The Embassy Suites, originally built as condominiums, offers a luxury feel and the living suites are acoustically isolated — one of the key reasons this venue was selected. The audio rooms, Marketplace, and headphone/personal audio demo suites will all feature display areas that include a separate bedroom and kitchen, offering exhibitors the added benefit of a multi-purpose room as an interesting and affordable space.



Qobuz Official Streaming Service Of Florida Audio Expo
The Florida Audio Expo is thrilled to announce that Qobuz, the world's first certified Hi-Res streaming and download service, was their official streaming service for its inaugural show. Qobuz, which will launch in the US on February 14 (2019), recently announced the open beta testing of its USA service, giving music aficionados looking for a premium audiophile experience a preview of the service in anticipation of the public launch. Showgoers were eligible to enter daily raffles to win Qobuz subscriptions, and while at the Expo can experience the service through some of the audio industry's finest products. "Our mission was to create a show that offers music lovers the opportunity to explore new ways to enjoy their music, and Qobuz fits that structure perfectly — we're thrilled to have them as part of the Expo," said Bart Andeer, founder of Resolution Acoustics and manager of the daily operations for the Florida Audio Expo.


Learn More
You can learn more about this event at Florida Audio Expo's website. 














































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