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  • AXPONA 2016 - Chicago : 15 Apr 2016 - 17 Apr 2016

AXPONA 2016 April 15-17

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roscoeiii

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #60 on: 17 Apr 2016, 02:18 pm »
Those ELAC speakers aren't surprises due  to the Andrew Jones hype surrounding them. But damn they sound good. Those new monitors at $500 are killer, as are the B4 ($179!?!?) and the B6 (on the less crowded Peachtree room).

LeHave had a grew single driver sound and killer vinyl setup. I left them one of my LPs (Serge Gainsbourg "History...") because it sounded so good there. 

goskers

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #61 on: 17 Apr 2016, 02:51 pm »
I was able to spend most of Friday and a couple hours on Saturday at the show.  Here are some rooms which stuck out to me in no particular order of preference.

1) Duke of Audio Kinesis.  Great soundstage which didn't completely collapse when moving off center.  Not important to all but a benefit of waveguide usage.
2) Volti/Rossi LIO.  The smaller setup upstairs sounded terrific. 
3) ELAC UniFi.  I first heard these at CES.  Remarkable what is being done for 500 a pair.  I would encourage everyone in the industry to stop in for a listen.  These guys are setting the bar for value. 
4) MBL.  They had the best looking room of the show.  If anything, the engineering involved is very impressive.    Worth a visit just to see the setup.
5) Spatial M3.  These sounded very good.  For someone looking to get into the high end game these should be on the short list.

My .02

S1NN3R

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #62 on: 17 Apr 2016, 08:07 pm »
Shout-out to Axpona rm322. Thank you for letting me sit in after hours. Amazing group of people, great sound. Keep rockin' guys ;^)

Afterimage

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #63 on: 17 Apr 2016, 08:28 pm »
A lot of the rooms sounded bright/hard to me.  I know show conditions are tough on these guys, but a lot of stuff I would never want to own based on what I heard at the show.  As for the best rooms.   Rossi's with the Harbeth was the best for me.  Very smooth sound.  Salk and Revel also sounded pretty good.   

dminches

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #64 on: 17 Apr 2016, 08:37 pm »
More so than in prior years I found that there were very few bad sounding rooms.  There are always a bunch of ear piercing setups but I thought this year had a ton of great sounding rooms including:

1 - Paragon audio with Doshi and Wilson
2 - Both Modwright rooms with Ryan speakers and another brand I can't remember
3 - MBL
4 - Salk room on LL
5 - Scenium (sp) with ARC amps
6 - Rossi and Harbeth
7 - Rossi and Volti

I am sure there are more.  Really good show this year.

Art_Chicago

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #65 on: 17 Apr 2016, 09:01 pm »
More so than in prior years I found that there were very few bad sounding rooms.  There are always a bunch of ear piercing setups but I thought this year had a ton of great sounding rooms including:


I am sure there are more.  Really good show this year.

Agree-- I attended Axpona in 2013,2015 and now, and this one is noticeably better in average, imho.

roscoeiii

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #66 on: 17 Apr 2016, 10:20 pm »
If I could have found Jim Salk before the show ended and I needed to leave, there was a good chance I'd have left with those new  $3k. Wow. Those and Elac were steals of the show.

Tomy2Tone

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #67 on: 17 Apr 2016, 11:23 pm »
If I could have found Jim Salk before the show ended and I needed to leave, there was a good chance I'd have left with those new  $3k. Wow. Those and Elac were steals of the show.

Wow, that good huh Roscoe?  Do they compare to any of Jim's other speakers?

Factorz

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #68 on: 18 Apr 2016, 12:19 am »
Great day at the show today. My third year going and I only had 1 day to explore so I tried to be a little more organized and selective to what rooms I wanted to hit. Still wish there was a little more diversity with the music played and more rooms encouraged visitors to make requests. I can only take so many classical or slow jazz tracks, but I might be alone on this thought. My favorite rooms

Vapor Audio/Lampizator: I know I'm bias since I own a pair of Cirrus, but the room sounded great and it was good catching up with Ryan. Also nice to meet Gopher in person.

Salk: The Salk 3 were really impressive and this is a room I wish I could have played a request.

Elac: Unreal the performance you get with these. 

Sony: Both rooms sounded really good to me. Love the bass on these.

Odyssey: As always a great sounding room. Wish I could have spent more time in there, but it was packed each time I tried.
 
Hopefully it was a good show for all the vendors. Does anyone know if Tyler Acoustics were there? I always enjoy his room, but could not find him listed anywhere.

Don_S

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #69 on: 18 Apr 2016, 12:37 am »

5 - Scenium (sp) with ARC amps

I am sure there are more.  Really good show this year.


5 = Scaena with two Audio Research Reference 75s.  I am not sure if they are the newest (SE) version but knowing Alan, I am sure they had KT-150s in them.

http://scaena.com/speakers.html

Afterimage

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #70 on: 18 Apr 2016, 12:38 am »
Great day at the show today. My third year going and I only had 1 day to explore so I tried to be a little more organized and selective to what rooms I wanted to hit. Still wish there was a little more diversity with the music played and more rooms encouraged visitors to make requests. I can only take so many classical or slow jazz tracks, but I might be alone on this thought. My favorite rooms

Vapor Audio/Lampizator: I know I'm bias since I own a pair of Cirrus, but the room sounded great and it was good catching up with Ryan. Also nice to meet Gopher in person.

Salk: The Salk 3 were really impressive and this is a room I wish I could have played a request.

Elac: Unreal the performance you get with these. 

Sony: Both rooms sounded really good to me. Love the bass on these.

Odyssey: As always a great sounding room. Wish I could have spent more time in there, but it was packed each time I tried.
 
Hopefully it was a good show for all the vendors. Does anyone know if Tyler Acoustics were there? I always enjoy his room, but could not find him listed anywhere.
As for the music, yes a lot of classical and jazz.  They tend to play it safe with only good recordings.   I would like to hear how a lot of these systems sound with pop/rock.   

roscoeiii

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #71 on: 18 Apr 2016, 12:48 am »
Wow, that good huh Roscoe?  Do they compare to any of Jim's other speakers?

That good. Some Salk had been a bit hot or miss with me. I could appreciate them but not what I was looking for. I'm the other hand, I've loved the Exotica 3 and these new speakers!

ragnar01

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #72 on: 18 Apr 2016, 05:52 am »
Just got home from Chicago after a 7 hr drive, lots of time to discuss and debrief on AXPONA2016.

2nd year in Chicago for the full 3 days. Lots of fun and lots of stuff to think about.

Highlights:
For us, the best of the big boys seemed to be the big Legacies with a couple of rooms playing the larger YG Acoustics speakers in 2nd place and possible the GamuT room in 3rd. Most of the other big ticket, nose bleed systems were....nice..but not drop dead outstanding.

We were very impressed by the Spatial M3Turbos, the Sonists (again), both of the Volti rooms (again for the big units) and the Salk rooms. The basement Salks (powered mini monitor) and the Exotica3 (?) were very pleasing but the upstairs room with the $2500 slim tower in purple veneer was very tempting - very nice sound and a beautiful look. Salk weren't really on my radar before but now I will have to pay more attention. VinnieRossi/small Harbeth was smooth and very easy to listen to...also tempting. Andrew Jones' new mini 3ways ....there are no words - if the $1000 mini towers perform as expected compared to the mini monitors....wow. Another interesting room was the mini monitors with the add on electrostatic supertweeters stuck on top - interesting sound that needs more investigation.

Biggest smile was again from the Sanders room - how do they hide the musicians behind that birch pattern drapery. Second year running that this room had the best sound...if and only if your head was in exactly the right spot while sitting in the 2nd chair.  Another smile inducing room was Exasound playing multichannel DSotM through 5 Maggies - sublime.

Biggest disappointments - new MartinLogan panels - way too loud and not sure if it was the choice of music or just me, but to me there were bits in the high end that were actually painful - other people didn't seem to flinch and were praising the detail but after being a ML person for 30 years, I was extremely disappointed. MBL room was also way too loud and their choice of music (live rock played at concert+ levels) was offputting. Just because you can play at concert levels and still present all of the details in the recording doesn't meean that you should.

WTF? - aircleaner guys from Ukraine - hope they have better luck next time, never a good thing to see a technician sitting cross legged on the floor trying to feed new wiring through the side of the case with a soldering iron smoking on the floor beside...sigh. Went back Sunday morning and they had one speaker sort of working - nothing to write home about and definitely not ready for prime time....but, they were enthusiastic so hopefully we will see more in the future. WTFx2 - Synergistic Research with their resonance controlling buttons and mini rf sensitive resonators??? - I think I could hear a difference but what is going on here - presentation and subsequent sales pitch seemed pretty snakeoilish to me.

General comments - despite a previous poster, we thought there was a much greater diversity of music this year and many more rooms had the ability to play requests (mainly through larger Jriver libraries or Tidal connections) I had to Shazam way more tracks this year and most of the familiar tracks were requested by room visitors. There were a few rooms where the selection was (too) limited - usually if the system was vinyl or CD only and these rooms are starting to feel ...dated...! Best marketing room - CambridgeAudio - free sparkly wine or beer with refills offered for the road(hallway)! Regardless of anything else we heard, CambridgeAudio retains mindshare! All other manufacturers should take note and copy this techniquefor 2017! :-)

Overall, it was worth the weekend trip and we are already looking forward to next year.

Ragnar the Latvian

Afterimage

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #73 on: 18 Apr 2016, 12:03 pm »
^^^ I was the one of the ones that commented on the limited types of music they were playing.  I was only there for 4 hours, so that is just a snapshot and more than likely coincidental on the type of music I heard, which was only audiophile jazz and classical type recordings.   You spent a lot more time there so your take on the show music is a way bigger sample size for sure and more accurate than mine. 

dminches

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #74 on: 18 Apr 2016, 01:22 pm »
I didn't think the music was narrowly focused at all.  There were some rooms that weren't really playing "music"  just stuff that they think makes their equipment sound good.

In one room the play list was:

Metallica
Miles Davis
Neil young
Lou Reed
Hank Mobley
Rickie Lee Jones
Pink Floyd
Oscar Peterson

And they played that on reel to reel, vinyl and digital files.


Factorz

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #75 on: 18 Apr 2016, 01:48 pm »
I agree that only having 1 day might have skewed my view, but I did not experience the musically diversity others did. Has anyone seen anything on attendance being up or down? The vendors I talked with said Saturday was packed, but Sunday was very slow.

dminches

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #76 on: 18 Apr 2016, 01:52 pm »
Given the volume of people that attend on Saturday it is the day that the vendors are the least flexible with respect to music selection.  Friday and Sunday are always better for that.

JLM

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #77 on: 18 Apr 2016, 01:56 pm »
Attended Sunday this year (Saturday last year).  So only some rooms were crowded, but it seemed that the number of vendors was down from 2015.  Our strategy this year was to limit the number of rooms to those that we had interest in (which worked much better).  This allowed us more time to chat with exhibitors.  Unfortunately the Salk Power Monitors weren't being played when we were there. 


My practice for shows is to hope to simply get an impression.  So my notes are very sparse:

Poor sound - Tannoy (bass thumps, midrange thick in places), LX mini (Fostex room/thin sounding)

Meh - ATC, AVA/Salk room, Peachtree, ProAC

Good sound (with conditions) - JBL Everest (needed moderate levels in large room to open up)

Good sound (no conditions) - Emerald Physics (nice sounding but expensive), MidWest Audio Club (Mandolin/cheap kit), AudioKinesis (good dynamics), Sonus Faber (only OK with lots of McIntosh), PSB (with MQA), KEF Blade

Impressive Sound - Endeavor Audio Engineering, Salk Song 3, JansZen, Joseph Audio (smooth), Spatial M3 Turbo S (dynamic, good imaging), MBL (best of show), ELAC (Unifi/best value of the show)

jtwrace

Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #78 on: 18 Apr 2016, 02:02 pm »
In no order my favs were:

ELAC - No matter what the cost is these really make me wonder why I spend so much money on this stuff.

AudioKinesis - Fully balanced sound the way it should be. 

Spatial M3 Turbo after hours using the Vinnie Rossi LIO.  This was incredible!  Thanks for attending Vinnie and thanks to TomS for bringing his LIO!   :thumb:  Oh, should also thank Clayton Shaw for letting us take over his room for a bit and crank it.   :green:  These speakers really are the shizz. 

rklein

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Re: AXPONA 2016 April 15-17
« Reply #79 on: 18 Apr 2016, 02:11 pm »
In no order my favs were:

ELAC - No matter what the cost is these really make me wonder why I spend so much money on this stuff.

AudioKinesis - Fully balanced sound the way it should be. 

Spatial M3 Turbo after hours using the Vinnie Rossi LIO.  This was incredible!  Thanks for attending Vinnie and thanks to TomS for bringing his LIO!   :thumb:  Oh, should also thank Clayton Shaw for letting us take over his room for a bit and crank it.   :green:  These speakers really are the shizz.

What was the LIO configuration that Tom brought?  Which amps were used?

Thanks,

Randy