Kudos to vendors/distributors for greatly improving the overall sound at AXPONA from last year to this. Most vendors brought sanely-sized products that fit into the (small) spaces a lot better, both aesthetically and aurally.
Standouts for me included:
- Gershman Acoustics (with Belles gear) who have a new speaker out. Lovely, almost petite form factor and beautiful, relaxing sound.
- AudioKinesis: Duke LeJeune has designed a real winner of a speaker in the new Zepherin 46. Great sound and terrifically balanced
- AudioNote: I don't always love these at shows, but they sounded quite nice today.
- Acoustic Zen Crescendos: heard some beguiling Sinatra and some Beatles track from a master tape. There are more bombastic speakers, but these are very musical.
- Golden Ears Triton: never heard these before but was impressed. Well integrated, cohesive sound.
- ATC: I'm more of a high-efficiency speaker guy, but I can see what ATC proponents are talking about.
- And the biggest surprise of the show for me: if you're going to AXPONA Sat/Sun, go into the basement and visit Napa Acoustics. They have a package deal on a Bluetooth-enabled DAC/integrated hybrid amp about as big as a lunch box and two small speakers about the size of a shoebox. The sound was STOOOOOPID good and my friend nearly fell out of his chair when the owner told us the combo was $599. This system was not the best sound of show, but for sub-$600 it was remarkably, memorably above its price-point. This is a killer deal for a small office or, say someone sending a kid off to college.
Lest anyone think I am just easily pleased, I want to give the KEF LS50 special mention. Would someone please
explain to me what's so great about these? This is the third time I have heard these and they do next-to-nothing for me. Sins of commission are what I hear from these "reviewers darlings". Apologies in advance if I offend anyone on AC who owns these.
-dB (who had a very
enjoyable day today at AXPONA)