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A couple quick notes from Axpona
A couple quick notes from Axpona
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Old 25th April 2014, 11:05 PM   #1
SY is offline SY  United States
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Default A couple quick notes from Axpona

Fun and interesting day there today.

Coffee table book on the history of high end audio. Special show price of $120. You're f****** kidding me. Kramer?

They guys I saw last year selling $10k power strips were back. I overheard them telling a prospective customer that their strip was so excellent that they had just sold one to a cardiac surgeon.

I was impressed with how good the Lowthers sounded there, driven by First Watt amps. Not my favorite speakers, but it's better than I've ever heard them before. Nelson Pass's slot-loaded bass.

German Physics had a pair of speakers the size of Panzer tanks. Emperor Mk II. Perfect for invading Russia. Costs more than my house. I was not reminded of live music. They were playing a clarinet and string quartet at 100dB sound pressure levels.

The Grimm 3 way was punchy and dynamic. Very narrow sweet spot. Excellent speaker, very rationally designed with built-in amplification. But, oh, the price!

I've heard a lot of Sound Labs ESLs over the years. I've never heard them sound worse than this, though. Abingdon electronics, but I don't know that this was the guilty party.

Soundfield Audio was on the lower end of the price range for this cohort, with their M2 monitor speakers. Some of the best sound at the show.

Matt Weisfeld from VPI is an extraordinarily nice young man. Their latest product is a record player for the masses, with built-in electronics. Could make a fine off-to-college gift.

Polymer MKS-X speakers were $60,000. They claim that the midrange driver alone costs $10k. Maybe it does. Hard as nails, both tactile and sound.

Endeavor speakers with Constellation electronics were astounding. Not in a good way, bright and hard, besides being turned up too loud.

MBL always impresses, but they must have EQed the bass to make it so overpowering and unnatural. And deafening levels.

That really was a common theme for all but one or two rooms- exaggerated bass, way-louder-than-life volume levels, and boomy, gut-shaking bass. It's a pity, but I guess they're going for a demographic that's getting increasingly deaf.
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Old 26th April 2014, 12:01 AM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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A couple quick notes from Axpona
Echoes some of my impressions of rooms at Son et Image recently. Some of the same guilty parties, far too loud in a lot of cases and some of the poorest quality bass I have heard anywhere.
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Old 26th April 2014, 12:52 AM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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I should also add that the Audio Note speakers showed odd tonality, but impressive imaging and a nice ability to "disappear" as sources. Very easy to listen to. Surprising given the driver complement and baffle geometry, but I guess that's why there's no hard rules.
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Old 26th April 2014, 04:11 AM   #4
cradeldorf is offline cradeldorf  United States
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Nice write up Sy. Thanks.
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Old 26th April 2014, 06:19 AM   #5
audioari is offline audioari  United States
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Default What?

Strange comments SY. How could you have even heard any of these products and made this post yesterday if AXPONA only started today at 10am???
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Old 26th April 2014, 06:34 AM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Gee audiari - SY's post was time stamped on my machine at after 4:00PM April 25th - the first day

and having been to a couple of shows myself, 4-6hrs is certainly enough for even a neophyte to get an initial impression of what sounds good or not

when enough rooms sound similarly unmusical, sometimes 4hrs is way too much, and the cheesy band playing in the lounge after dinner is a relief - of course a few cocktails or bottle of nice Cabernet or Pinot Noir, depending on your mood, can be a great equalizer
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Old 26th April 2014, 07:09 AM   #7
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Europe
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Interesting write up.

"I've heard a lot of Sound Labs ESLs over the years. I've never heard them sound worse than this, though. Abingdon electronics, but I don't know that this was the guilty party."


Probably was my all time favorite ******* TL.
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Old 26th April 2014, 09:47 AM   #8
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioari View Post
Strange comments SY. How could you have even heard any of these products and made this post yesterday if AXPONA only started today at 10am???
You can see photos on my Twitter feed.
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Old 26th April 2014, 08:16 PM   #9
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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The levels and eq are probably because the people setting it up, and now two generations, are half-deaf from car subs and ear buds. Our generation only had Who concerts to destroy our hearing, and most of us were too poor to do so.

Investment tip: Hearing aid companies. Gen X and Millennials will all need them before us boomers die.
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Old 26th April 2014, 09:45 PM   #10
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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A couple quick notes from Axpona
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioari View Post
Strange comments SY. How could you have even heard any of these products and made this post yesterday if AXPONA only started today at 10am???
Trade and press day..
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