Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo

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Triode Pete

Just got back from the Florida International Audio Expo early this morning!

Here's some feedback from the show... a GREAT review from Stereophile's Ken Micallef... https://www.stereophile.com/content/room-403-innuos-volti-audio-triode-wire-labs-borderpatrol-audio

Room 403: Innuos, Volti Audio, Triode Wire Labs, BorderPatrol Audio



In the room shared by Gary Dews's BorderPatrol Audio, Greg Roberts's Volti Audio, and Peter Grzybowski's Triode Wire Labs, music flowed, immense of stage, fast of delivery, with heart-arresting texture, visceral verisimilitude, and dynamic fireworks.

I've reviewed Dews's BorderPatrol amps and two models of Greg Roberts's speakers, but this was a fresh, unexpected, mind- and ear-freeing experience.

The assembled system's front end encompassed an Innuos ZENith Mk3 Music Server ($6299–9099 depending on storage options), Innuos Phoenix USB re-clocker ($4349), and a BorderPatrol DAC SE-i DAC, which ranges in price from $1650 to $2125 depending on the input options chosen.

BorderPatrol's S20EXD power amplifier (from $22,500 excluding 300B tubes; optional volume control $500; Western Electric 300B tubes $1495/pr., price as shown: $25,990) drove the all new Volti Audio Lucera loudspeakers, a three-way hybrid horn/bass-reflex design with a 15" high sensitivity woofer, 2"-outlet midrange compression driver mated to a midrange horn with a 2" throat, and a 1" tweeter compression driver mated to 1"-throated tweeter horn (34Hz–18kHz; 99dB/W/m sensitivity; nominal impedance 8 ohms; weighs 110lb each; 40" tall), its cabinet built from 1" Baltic Birch ply. The Lucera's crossover is hand-built on wooden boards with 12ga air-coil and Litz-wound inductors, Jantzen caps, Lynk resistors. The crossover can be tuned (as can Roberts's Razz and Rival models). The Lucera sells for $11,750/pair.

Triode Wire Labs's cabling included the Spirit II RCA interconnects (starting at $399/pair); "Passion" USB cable ($329/each); "Freedom" Ethernet cable (starting at $249). Speaker cables were Triode Labs' American, terminated with premium Cardas CAB bananas (starting at $699/pair). Power cords were the American II–series digital (starting at $549) and the Obsession, from the Statement series ($1499), both of which use Furutech F1-50 NCF connectors.

This was one of the finest systems I heard at FLAX. It played with utter, see-through transparency to the source natural and entirely musical and artifact free. I listened spellbound and brain-stunned, whether Pete G (manning the iPad) played Corrine Bailey Rae, Arlo Parks, Shelley Manne, Buddy Holly, or Tool's "Chocolate Chip Trip" (heard for the second time this day).

The latter track starts with synth tones, soon overcome by drummer Danny Carey's stereo-panning convulsions. I felt every thwack in this madly dynamic piece, whether in the couch I was sitting on, or the wall I was leaning on. A gong slam resonated, enveloping the room. The speakers vanished, the drums' weight and speed creating manic intensity and flow. Music filled the whole space with insanely extended treble, clear mids, and a deep, round, ultraclean, tight low-end.

Near the end of the track, a well-known tube-amp manufacturer, who had spent hours listening to this system earlier in the day, pulled Greg Roberts out of the room—perhaps a deal to be struck. Everyone in room 403 was in total agreement about the quality of the musical experience. See and hear Mark Henninger's video below. A reminder: If you listen with good headphones, you can get just a taste of the system's real character (despite some quiet talk).


https://youtu.be/aMGAXVla880

Thanks, Ken!!!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #1 on: 21 Feb 2024, 09:32 pm »
Another Great Review from EnjoyThe Music.com Founder Steve Rochlin... https://www.enjoythemusic.com/Florida_International_Audio_Expo_2024/Rochlin/Triode_Wire_Labs_Volti_Audio_BorderPatrol_Audio.htm


Triode Wire Labs, Volti Audio, And BorderPatrol Audio At FIAE 2024
Sensational system synergy wins again!
Florida International Audio Expo 2024 Show Report By Steven R. Rochlin




Year after year, show after show, this terrific trio comes together at high-performance audio events, and the Florida International Audio Expo 2024 is no exception. As usual, after taking photos I ask for a gear list. If there's one thing we can say, it is that they are very thorough at listing every bit of kit they had here at the Tampa show. Their Obsession premium audiophile power cords feature Furutech's FI-50 NCF connectors, used on the PI Audio Group UberBUSS power conditioner as well as the BorderPatrol S20 EXD Amplifier power supplies ($1499).



Their Digital American II digital power cords are used on the BorderPatrol DAC, Innuos ZENith Music Server, and Innuos Phoenix Reclocker (starting at $549). There are also their American Speaker Cables, which are terminated with premium Cardas CAB bananas (starting at $699 per set). Other cabling bits include the Spirit II RCA interconnects utilizing Ohno Continuous Cast 7N Copper (starting at $399 per pair), Passion USB cable (starting at $329), and Freedom Ethernet cable (starting at $249). All Triode Wire Labs products are proudly and meticulously hand-crafted within the USA.



During the FIAE 2024, it brought joy to see the new Volti Audio Lucera three-way hybrid horn / bass reflex speaker. It uses a highly efficient 15" woofer, plus a 2" outlet midrange compression driver mated to a 2" throat midrange horn. For the highs this loudspeaker uses a 1" tweeter compression driver mated to a 1" throat tweeter horn. Crossovers are completely hand-built on special wooden boards with 12 gauge air-coil inductors, Litz-wound inductors, Jantzen capacitors, and Lynk resistors. So as you can see, this is a serious piece of loudspeaker engineering.

The Lucera, like all Volti speakers, has adjustable crossovers for balancing the system. The cabinets are built to the usual Volti standards, with 1" thick Baltic Birch plywood, sturdy internal bracing of the same, high-quality internal damping materials and polyurethane adhesives. Cabinet size is 14.25" x 18.175" x 40" and are available in many fine wood veneers with a beautiful satin lacquer finish. Shown during the Florida International Audio Expo 2024 is their dark Rosewood veneer with light beige cloth ($11,750 per pair). Specs are 34Hz to 18kHz with a sensitivity of a very high 99dB/W/m @ 8 Ohm (nominal).




BorderPatrol's S20EXD stereo power amplifier is a dual mono 16-watt/channel unit that utilizes parallel 300B single-ended triode tubes. Featuring an all-triode vacuum tube circuit, inter-stage driver transformers, point-to-point hard wiring, no negative feedback, copper and wood chassis, plus twin external tube rectified, choke input filter PSUs.... Wow, wow, and yes again wow!!! According to BorderPatrol, both the amp and PSU have undergone extensive cryogenic treatments. And yes, seen here with a quad of Western Electric 300B tubes (price as pictured $25,990). BorderPatrol S20EXD starts at $22,500 excluding 300B tubes, with optional volume control adding $500, plus you opt for Western Electric 300B tubes at $1495 per pair.



BorderPatrol DAC SE-i digital to analog converter is a non-oversampling, no digital filtering, resistor ladder (R-2R) DAC with a sophisticated tube/solid-state hybrid choke input filter power supply and copper casework. Plays files up to 24-bit/96kHz and pricing is as follows: SE-i USB $1650, E-i SPDIF (coax) $1650, SE-i SPDIF x 2 $1750, and SE-i USB + SPDIF (coax) $2125.



Innuos Music ZENith Mk3 Music Server is a high-performance music server featuring a Triple Linear PSU with Mundorf capacitors and ultra-low noise regulators, plus 8GB of RAM, custom-treated SSD, Quad-core Intel CPU, and dual Ethernet ports for LAN and streamer. Can be used as a Roon Core and is available in either Black or Silver case. Hard drive size: 1TB $6,299, 2TB $6,699, 4TB $7,499, and 8TB $9,099. Lastly, the Phoenix USB re-clocker is a high-performance USB re-clocker with Linear PSU with Mundorf capacitors and ultra-low noise regulators. $4349.

With all those specs, descriptions, and pricing out of the way, let's get to what truly matters, the music! Super-duper fast transients were only matched by the outstanding dynamic ease. While I wish the demo room was a bit bigger, you could easily hear them working their hornspeaker magic. While it sounded very, very dynamic and full, if I were a betting man, a bigger room and a bit more distance would achieve the best from this very impressive stereo sound system.


Thanks, Steve!
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2024, 01:28 am by Triode Pete »

Randy

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #2 on: 22 Feb 2024, 02:45 am »
Terrific, Pete.

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #3 on: 24 Feb 2024, 12:22 am »
Terrific, Pete.

Thanks, Randy!!!

A quick blurb from Part Time Audiophile on Saturday's highlights... https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2024/02/18/2024-flax-saturday-highlights-flax-2024/



Volti Audio/Border Patrol/Triode Wire Labs

I always love the sound from “The Three Amigos,” but at FLAX 2024 Greg Robert debuted his new $11,750/pair Luceras. Slotted between the Razz and the Rival models, the Lucera is a three-way hybrid horn speaker that looks like a slightly larger Razz, but sounds closer to the Rival. While the usual fun and exciting Volti Audio sound was still present, it was accompanied by a new level of refinement that easily wound up as a 2024 FLAX Saturday highlight.


Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #4 on: 24 Feb 2024, 03:28 pm »
Some additional feedback from Part Time Audiophile's Marc Phillips... https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2024/02/24/volti-lucera-flax-2024/

Volti Lucera | FLAX 2024



Volti Audio debuted the new Volti Lucera loudspeaker at the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo, and while it looks like a slightly larger version of the RAZZ, I heard new levels of refinement added to the high-end audio industry’s designated “Have Fun!” speaker. The Lucera is a three-way hybrid horn/bass reflex tranducer that uses a 15″ high-sensitivity woofer, a 2″ midrange compression driver with a 2″ throat midrange horn, and a 1″ compression tweeter. The Volti Lucera has a frequency response of 34 Hz-18 kHz, with a sensitivity of 99dB (!), and prices start at $11,750/pair. I know, that last part is cribbed from the product list available in the room. You probably know that this was a system from the “Three Amigos”–Greg Roberts of Volti, Gary Dews of BorderPatrol and Pete Grzybowski of Triode Wire Labs. These gentlemen always bring a variation of this system, which also includes the BorderPatrol S20EXD power amplifier with Western Electric 300Bs and the optional volume control for a total of $25,990, a BorderPatrol DAC SE-i (starting at $1,650) and a full loom of Triode Wire Labs cabling. The Three Amigos also use the Innuos ZENith Mk3 music server (starting at $6,299) and the Innuos USB re-clocker ($4,349).



This is usually a familiar yet totally satisfying system at most audio shows, but I think that the Volti Lucera brings a slightly new flavor to the mix. I said it’s more refined than ever before, but that might be misleading. I associate the Three Amigos with fun, as I mentioned–it’s a big, gutsy system that can play loud without inducing listener fatigue. But there’s something about the Volti Lucera that I find slightly more civilized. The first time I heard Volti Audio speakers, I knew I was listening to something that sounded different than most, but I feel this new speaker is more transparent and revealing and–dare I say–neutral than ever before.

I think the Volti Lucera is going to be a big hit for Greg Roberts.








Thanks, Marc!

dpatters

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #5 on: 24 Feb 2024, 03:31 pm »
Another great show Pete!  Congrats!

Don P

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #6 on: 6 Mar 2024, 05:12 pm »
Another great show Pete!  Congrats!

Don P

Thanks, Don!!!

Another late show report from Hi-Fi Pig's Joseph Greenham... https://www.hifipig.com/florida-international-audio-expo-2024-report/

VOLTI / BP / TWL

At first glance, one would be forgiven for mistaking these towers for something from another horn loaded driver speaker brand.

However, with a keen ear, the character and quality of the Voliti New Lucera speakers ($11,750pr USD) becomes clear – very clear. I enjoyed their dynamic capability with a moderate forward presentation. Powered by BorderPatrol Audio Electronics S20 EXD EXS, BP DAC, and Innuos Music Server and Triode Wire labs through out. An enjoyable smooth musical presentation.











Thanks Joseph!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #7 on: 7 Mar 2024, 07:10 pm »
Here's Ken Redmond's Top Ten Best Rooms at FLAX 2024... https://trackingangle.com/features/ten-rooms-that-got-my-attention-at-the-2024-florida-audio-expo

Ten Attention Getting Rooms at the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo

BORDER PATROL ELECTRONICS – VOLTI SPEAKERS -TRIODE WIRE LABS CABLES



I can’t think of another group of products/companies that is as consistent in offering great sound at an audio show as these guys. Gary Dews's excellent tube-based Border Patrol electronics and Greg Roberts's horn-based Volti speakers, connected with Pete Grzybowski’s reasonably priced Triode Wire Lab cabling, repeatedly knock it out of the park.

This year's show was no exception, and between the smiles I saw on attendees' faces and the applause that I witnessed, the “Three Amigos” had it going on in their room. Don’t miss checking out this room if you get to a show.



Thanks, Ken!!!

Cheers,
Pete

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #8 on: 14 Mar 2024, 10:48 pm »
A nice blurb from CHISTO... https://chisto.com/triode-wire-labs-volti-audio-and-borderpatrol-audio-at-fiae-2024/

Triode Wire Labs, Volti Audio, And BorderPatrol Audio At FIAE 2024



Year after yr, present after present, this terrific trio comes collectively at high-performance audio occasions, and the Florida International Audio Expo 2024 is not any exception. As typical, after taking photographs I ask for a gear listing. If there’s one factor we are able to say, it’s that they’re very thorough at itemizing each little bit of equipment that they had right here on the Tampa present. Their Obsession premium audiophile energy cords function Furutech’s FI-50 NCF connectors, used on the PI Audio Group UberBUSS energy conditioner in addition to the BorderPatrol S20 EXD Amplifier energy provides ($1499).


Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the 2024 Florida International Audio Expo
« Reply #9 on: 19 Mar 2024, 02:42 pm »
Some fantastic feedback from Maurice Jeffries from EnjoyTheMusic.com... https://www.enjoythemusic.com/Florida_International_Audio_Expo_2024/Jeffries/page7.htm

The Best-Sounding FIAE To Date!
Florida International Audio Expo 2024 high-performance audio show coverage.
SWAF 2024 Show Report By Maurice Jeffries




On the 4th floor, the Border Patrol electronics / Volti Audio speaker partnership captivated with some of the smoothest, sweetest sounds of the show. An utterly noiseless tube-powered, Innous digital source-fronted setup (Innuos ZENith Mk3 Music Server at $9,099 and Phoenix USB re-clocker at $4,349) bested systems costing multiple times more on sheer naturalness grounds. Coherent, with laser-sharp timbre and tone, this high-efficiency partnership knocked me for a musical loop on a wide selection of pop and blues gems. Amazingly, not a turntable in sight. Border Patrol's celebrated but imminently affordable DAC-SE-I R-2R DAC ($2,125) delivered the Innuos-sourced signal to the power amp directly.

The all-triode circuited BP S20EXD power amplifier, featuring point-to-point wiring, choke-filtered power supplies, Western Electric 300B tubes, and optional volume control ($25,990 as shown configured) drove the brand new 99db efficient Volti Lucera speakers ($11,750 the pair) beautifully. The Lucera employs a 15" high-sensitivity woofer, a 2" compression midrange driver, and a 1" compression tweeter in a traditional-looking but contemporary-sounding floor-standing 110 lbs enclosure.




Sinne Eeg's pensive The Writing on the Wall knocked me out with its relaxed naturalness, expressive tone, and lightning-quick micro-dynamics, the system capturing the Dane's airy vocals to perfection. I told Border Patrol's Gary Dews that in my view, this showing was perhaps the strongest I have heard to date from the BP / Volti partnership. Linking everything together, a complete Triode Wire Labs cable loom ran the affordable price ladder, from a beer keg accessible $249 for the Passion USB digital interconnects to a still reasonable $1,499 for "The Obsession" power cables.



Thanks, Maurice!