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Florida International Audio Expo 2023 Show Report

FLAX 2023: My First Show In Decades!
My wife and I enjoy our fun Florida International Audio Expo 2023 adventure.
Show Report By Rufus Smith


Acora Acoustics, Valve Amplification Company (VAC), And Cardas Audio At FLAX 2023


Acora Acoustics, Valve Amplification Company (VAC), And Cardas Audio
The huge Westshore Ballroom featured products from Acora Acoustics and Valve Amplification Company. As noted, I have been a fan of VAC's gear for over 20 years. Acora Acoustics is a Canadian Company founded in 2018 by Valerio Cora. The company is creating waves in the audio world by using granite in its speaker cabinets. According to Cora, granite is most likely the best material for a speaker cabinet, given its lack of resonances at audible frequencies and its sheer mass. The granite's rigidity also allows Acora to forgo reflection-inducing internal bracing. Rapping on one of Acora's speakers results in a dull rap and sore knuckles.



Acora's exhibit showcased the world premiere of its flagship loudspeaker, the VRC-1. Weighing in at a gut-busting 400 pounds, the VRC-1s are the first true three-way from Acora. The driver complement consists of a 34mm Beryllium tweeter between two 127mm midrange units with two 308mm woofers at the bottom of the substantial cabinet. Given the weight of the speakers, a prospective buyer must seriously consider their location, particularly in terms of the ability of your floor to support them.

The VAC lineup featured the remarkable Statement Preamplifier, Statement Phono Preamplifier, and a pair of 452 IQ Amplifiers operating in mono. The digital front end consisted of the Aurender N30SA Reference Digital Source, the Aurender MC20 Rubidium Master Clock, LampizatOr Horizon DAC, and the Oracle CD 2000 Mk IV Digital Transport. The vinyl front end consisted of the Oracle Reference Turntable with the Turbo Mk 2 Power Supply, the Reed 1H 9.5" Tonearm, and a Lyra Atlas Lambda Cartridge.



The VRC-1 is quite possibly the best speaker I have ever heard. On orchestral pieces, the speakers filled the large room with music that was grand in scale but, at the same time, tonally balanced throughout the frequency spectrum. Imaging was first rate as instruments were placed precisely where you would expect them within the huge soundstage. The VRC-1s were also delicate when the music called for them. One thing that caught my attention was that the speaker did not lose anything, whether they were played softly or at high volume levels.



During one of my listening sessions, I told Val that the only weakness I could ascertain with the speakers was their weight. I don't believe I could haul them up to my second-floor listening room. He said that was not my problem, as that one belonged to my nearest dealer. Now that we have solved that problem, how will I get this past my wife? Unfortunately, Val said he could not help with that one.




This room also allowed me to sit down and spend time with the Statement products from VAC. The Statement series are the best tube electronics I have ever listened to at any price. They just do everything right. The Statements just might be the finest electronics available, period.



All weekend the most common description for the room was just plain "wow." My description is simply "Best Of FLAX 2023" at the show.




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