Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) 2016 Show Report - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Naim Audio/Dynaudio, Streeter room on the Lower Level

Dynaudio Coincidence Evidence Platinum, $85,000 per pair





These blew me away the first time I heard them at AXPONA 2014, and again today. Perfection, was what my ears said then. It is hard to think of a better qualifier.

Radiohead again, hey I like 'em. Morning Mr. Magpie, and Wolf at the Door. Impact, dynamics, full range, flawless delivery. The symmetrical configuration helps eliminate activation of room modes. That helps them feel incredibly quick and complete and accurate.

I could listen to these all day.
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post #12 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 12:46 PM
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Nils Lofgren Band "Bass and Drum Intro" this complex percussion piece was dissected and laid out by the Von Schweikert Audio VR-55 Aktive ($60,000), each instrument retaining it's identity, no one piece overshadowing or speaking over the other.

VAC Signature 200 stereo amps ($14,000 each) were bridged mono for this system. Each amp send the signal onto the towers, but the VR-55 Aktive has a Channel Islands plate amp powering the woofer's, retaining the "flavor" of the VAC amps.

V-12 Shockwave subwoofers ($11,500 each) fill in the back of the room with out of phase sound to help control stand waves, a variable control allowing room specific tailoring.

Old standby demo, Eagles "Hotel California" live showcased the detail this recording is known for, fidelity is through the roof. I would enjoy a system of this caliber in my home very much. Aided by SMT of Sweden room treatments, everything in this room gelled completely.


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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #13 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 02:13 PM
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My System
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ELAC Uni-Fi B5

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ELAC B4 Debut

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A bit more clarity with the first pair, the ELAC Uni-Fi B5, just a more polished sound all around. Bass was uncompressed even though the driver was stroking it's heart out.

The ELAC B4 Debut playing a few minutes of the same Deadmau5 track revealed the same crisp mids and highs with slightly more compression in the bass.

88 Count Basie had a truly surprising width of soundstage, with appropriate sized images placed on that stage. Horns had almost the right amount of bite, just a little light, possibly due to room or recording. Our AVS companion, Mark Henninger, notes "Since we’re talking $180/pair bookshelf speakers, that’s not faint praise."

Showing but not playing was the ELAC Debut DA-101EQ integrated ($599), with brand new B.A.S.H. amp technology and 100 watts per side. With an auto blending feature, nearfield measurements are taken for the sub and then the mains to set crossover FR, then a far field measurement finalizes the steps to EQ the room. Bluetooth enabled, two analog, two optical, one coaxial, one USB synchronous inputs, this is a very versatile integrated amplifier.


Wayne's Comments:

The tiny ELAC speakers defy logic. They sound so much nicer than they deserve to, according to the price, anyway. Their modest appearance can easily fool you, with a sonics to appearance ratio that makes them a steal.
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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #14 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Enigma Acoustics, with an electrostatic top end

Wow, I like the top end from these speakers. In many ways sounds like a panel, only without the panel. Careful integration is key (when is it not?).

Cymbals sound honest and never harsh








Speaker cables as wide as a tire, flat and wide. Do they help? Don't know. As a system, it sounded pretty nice.
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post #15 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 04:00 PM
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The LampizatOr room showcases Vapor Audio's newly improved Derecho, in conjunction with Audio Bunker and Verastarr. Santana track, organ mid song was recessed about 2 ft. back, with a nice, reedy sound. Washboard and stick placed outside to the left and well behind the left speaker. The SS&I properties of this loudspeaker are exceptional, wider than the placement and deeper than the back wall.


Cabinets are the typical bomb shelter type construction one gets with Vapor Audio. The midrange has been modified by cutting slots into the cone and filling it with a doping material, lending a more relaxed sound that better matches the qualities of the RAAL 70-20XR ribbon tweeter. The ported woofers bring up the bottom end, no bloat and overhang here, just a smooth blend with the other transducers, crossover points are indistinguishable, each of the drivers have no voice of their own that speaks over the others.

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Revisiting the Cirrus, I am completely enamoured just as I was the first time. Every track I listened to kept me riveted to my chair, Dead Can Dance, Frank Sinatra, whatever... any genre, any pace, fast or slow, I stayed long after I should have been moving on.


Pictured is Cirrus pair, center is the Arcus, with a proprientary transmission line bass bin on the far right.


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Wayne's Comments:

I enjoyed the Derecho, but the Cirrus was what I wanted to hear, hoping to confirm earlier (last summer) impressions that they are a monstrously engaging speaker. I was not disappointed. To put it simply, the Cirrus is the most engaging, most nearly perfect speaker I have heard yet at under $20,000 or so. They are at the top of my Gotta Have A Pair list.

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #16 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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MartinLogan Renaissance, $25,000 per pair, 15-inch wide panels, dual powered woofers per speaker. I am home. The entire mid- and high-end is so relaxed. Bass, of course, is solid and goes deep. But it is the electrostatic panels that work magic.

We did not have the opportunity, but there is little doubt that the McIntosh powered ML's could rip flesh from bone if needed. They love to play nice, too, and clean, clear, detailed subtleties pour from them. Bells, tambourines, cymbals, all so crystal clean on a Duke Ellington track. The Velvet Underground track provided vocals that were warm and true.



They are really pushing the stronger bass capability of their newer models. In the next year they intend to replace most current models with new ones. Wider & taller panels and dual powered woofers will be the norm.

Nine Inch Nails made the ears perk up and pay attention. Yes, the Renaissance can rip flesh. Lovely, in a Nine-Inch-Nails-MartinLogan kind of way.


Dennis' impressions - The Martin Logan Renaissance really move some air! The McIntosh mono block amplifiers back the ML loudspeakers with ease, just loafing along, marking off around 120 watts of the 4.8 kw meter.

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post #17 of 29 Old 04-16-16, 04:58 PM
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Mark Levinson/JBL

Alan Parsons Test Disc, Track 23, plucked bass was tuneful, but the image was so big it was almost indistinct. A following drum solo track confirmed this phenomenon.

David Runyon "Four Wild Horses" featured the lead singer off to the left, easy to locate but sounding like he was 4 ft. wide. I moved back a row, keeping a centrally located seating position, which improved the SS&I considerably, but never really brought the type of focus that I like to hear. I have heard the Everest a few times before, enough to know that the room was dominating the sound and better can be wrung out of this system.

AVS Senior Writer Mark Henninger also found: "Moving back one row helped a little, at least vocals were rendered in the center of the soundstage but not to proper scale. The third row offered an additional (but slight) improvement in soundstage over the second row, but the system simply would not coalesce the way Iíve heard in the past. Granted these are not nearfield monitors, but Iíve certainly heard them image better in the past."

To their credit, the JBLs did disappear, no sound seemed to come directly out of them, only from in between and behind. A victim of show conditions, I suspect.

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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #18 of 29 Old 04-17-16, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) 2016 Show Report

Klaus Bunge's Odyssey Audio room is always a treat. Klaus often manages to steal the show by showing that great-sounding gear can be very economical.





Odyssey supplies integrated amps and separates, and 2-way floorstanding speakers that sound WAY more expensive than they are. At $2,000 to $3000 per pair, you will think they are many times the price by the way they perform. Klaus uses Beryllium dome tweeters. I am becoming less and less a fan of metal dome tweeters, you seem to almost always be able to hear them "at work," but the right Beryllium dome can be the exception to that rule, in my opinion, and Klaus definitely picks the right one. His designs sound wonderfully transparent.

Klaus also knows how to set up a room at an audio show. This year he gave us the most expansive soundstage, absolutely wall-bursting, with precise imaging, a room I just wanted to stay in and have fun with. Odyssey Audio's room this year is definitely THE SOUNDSTAGE AND IMAGING ROOM OF THE YEAR for AXPONA 2016.


Dennis' impressions - What else can be said about Klaus' room? Likely to be the best bang for the buck at any show he attends. When you are ready to step away from budget brands into the high end, Odyssey Audio shines an affordable light on the upgrade path...

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...even when it is lights out, volume UP.

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post #19 of 29 Old 04-17-16, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Paragon Sight and Sound featured the Wilson Audio Alexx speakers, at $109,000 per pair, a 4-way design, being debuted at the show. A "D'apolito-like" design where the two mids are different sizes, the concept is quite unique. Their ability to provide honest, live-sounding tonality on sax and horns is excellent. Deep bass extension, clear highs, even handling of instruments and voices, they do it all so well.

Vocals from the Beauty And The Beast theme song were accurate and intimately present.

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Roger Waters, from Amused To Death, it's A Miracle, another example of vocals that could not be better presented, very present, almost bigger than life, yet still so honest, with such detail. I got chills on this track, first time at the show.

Beethoven and Dvorgiac tracks were great examples of how well the Wilsons can handle any kind of music with grace, accuracy, and power. all at once. From pianissimo to double forte, they remain truthful and do it all with ease.
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post #20 of 29 Old 04-17-16, 10:15 AM
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KEF Reference 1, Parasound JC1 and JC2, Macbook Pro, JRIVER Media Center software, Chord Electronic MoJo DAC and Straight Wire cabling.

Pat Methane - Long port swap, bass was tight and tuneful. Short port, midbass became more prominent, taking attention away from the lowest frequencies. Definitely preferred the long port with this song, in this room, where I was sitting.

Long port rolls off at a more gentle rate, the short port rolls of more sharply, accentuating the midbass and working better in rooms with lots of room gain down low.. Neither choice is "right", it is purely preference. Ports are slighted canted to prevent any build up of standing waves inside enclosure from exiting, a smart move!

Enough about the bass. Playing the Roxanne Original Mix, the mids and highs tonality stood out, but it was the SS&I that demanded the most attention. The stage was deep, but what really made me sit up and take notice was the width of the stage, extending well beyond the boundaries of the left and right placement of the KEFs.
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"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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