2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17

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Vinnie R.

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Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #20 on: 19 Apr 2016, 04:53 pm »

I want to give a big THANK YOU to Triode Pete for manning Room 314 (I was handling Room 336 on the other side of the 3rd floor).  A lot of people in room 336 told he they were in Room 314 and were just loving the sound in there, and that Pete was keeping them glued to their chair spinning album after album from his collection! 

This is the second time I've done a room with Triode Pete and Volti, and we are 2/2 on getting killer sound showing together and lots of kudos from attendees.  Thanks to everyone for stopping in to listen and for all your feedback!  :notworthy:

Pete's TWL speaker cables not only connected the LIO to the Volti Aluras, but his 75-ohm BNC coax cable connected the CD transport to the LIO dac, and YES - there is an external linear supply for the upcoming LIO DHT PRE (we settled on running a pair of EML 300B's in this room).  The external supply is used for heating the cathodes, and I am also using it to charge the ultracaps in the LIO (replaces the stock power adapter as well). 

Pete's new "Gold Statement" power cord fed his PI Audio UberBUSS, and his Seven Plus power cable fed the LIO DHT PRE's linear supply, and a Ten Plus power cable for the Acoustic Signature's TT power supply. 

Simply put, everything gelled together really well and even with the >98dB sensitive Volti's, we has a super low noise floor (running 300B's in the linestage!) and that room was dishing out a BIG soundstage, speed, and tone - tone - tone.  The Alura's disappeared when sitting in the sweet spot chair.  Pete clearly has his cable recipe down solid!

Thanks again, Pete and Greg - I'm really looking forward to sharing a room with you both again at the Newport Beach, CA show in early June! 


Triode Pete

Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #21 on: 19 Apr 2016, 11:28 pm »
This was one of the only good sounding systems in the show. It wasn't fatiguing, which seemed like a theme of the whole show.

Pete noticed I had a CD and it went in, so I got to evaluate the system better than many at the show. (but I didn't want to with a lot of them)

The horns are very friendly to hear. And it sounds like the DAC in the VIO is good, the volume control was potentially near perfectly transparent - as one would expect - and the amp was decent.

It's hard to comment on Pete's wires. It's not easy to discern it all from a single system so forgive me on that. Given the sound in the room I'm sure they beat many products that cost less and more.

Overall I think the VIO is a great one stop product. If you want to downsize it's a good answer for anyone that needs to have no fatigue listening as a number one concern. The super caps are much better than batteries, but not quite as capable as AC. The problem is that AC is so much more complicated to get to the same low fatigue level.

Did I hear anything better? Yes, but for example the MSB room while better didn't have any single appliance in the room that cost less than the entire room of equipment with the VIO, Triode, and Volti.

The Volti downstairs had bass that sounded too wrong to be considered good at all. It's impossible to imagine who would take that system over the VIO/Triode room; which was one of the best at the show.

Hey Folsom - It was great to meet you (thanks for introducing yourself as an AC member!) and it was a pleasure, as always, to play your CD!

One quick comment on the "Volti downstairs (Dearborn Room)" - The room itself was "Square"; it definitely did not have the "Golden Rule with ideal Rectangular Dimensions". However, we (especially Greg Roberts of Volti) spent considerable time adjusting the Volti Vittora speakers to optimum results plus we had a Stereo pair of Greg's ELF (Extended Low Frequency) units for the lowest bass notes.

I did not spend much time in the Dearborn room since I was "manning" Room 314 most of the time, but when I was there the bass response seemed "excellent" to me. Also, many attendees agreed (see below pic & the comment on the upper LHS)...

Everyone hears things differently and everyone gets used to thinking that what they are hearing is "correct". Did you listen to one song or several songs? It could simply have been one recording you heard... just saying...


Volti Audio

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Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #22 on: 19 Apr 2016, 11:58 pm »
Yes, thank you Pete for your energy and hard work in 314. 

Thank you Vinnie for providing us with the Lio in that room.  2/2 Yup!

Man, it's hard doing two rooms though.  I don't know how many more times I'm up for doing that. 

I had a great time at this show.  I think AX16 was the best show overall that I've been a part of so far. 

Looking forward to Newport. 


Triode Pete

Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #23 on: 20 Apr 2016, 01:10 am »
Killer rooms as always, Pete! 

I'm glad I was able to break away from the chaos for a bit to spend some time hanging in your rooms.  Really fabulous stuff and your products have come a long way.  Awesome!

Also loved those tubes standing majestically on Vinnies' amp.
Congrats Pete.

Thanks, Hugh & Fred! Sorry, I couldn't spend much time in your rooms... Spread too thin & spent most of the time in Room 314...

Warmest regards,

Triode Pete

Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #24 on: 25 Apr 2016, 01:54 pm »
AXPONA coverage from John Stancavage and Scot Hull from PartTimeAudiophile.com,  The whole reviews with plenty of pictures here...https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2016/04/24/axpona-2016-axpona-2016-volti-triode-borderpatrol-produce-high-voltage-sound/

John’s Take
Before I started hanging around with the motley crew that makes up the Part-Time Audiophile staff, I hadn’t heard much about Volti Audio. But it seemed evening conversations at many shows ultimately led to one or another of the team raving about the company’s loudspeakers.

I finally got the chance for an extended demo of my own on the final day of AXPONA 2016. Volti Audio, Triode Wire Labs and BorderPatrol had taken a large room on the lobby level and I wandered in just as the crowd was thinning before closing time.

First of all, know this: If you’re going to go Volti, you’re going to go big. The company’s Vittora speakers are 40 inches tall, 32 inches wide (tapering to 15 inches in the rear) and 27 inches deep. The cabinets are sturdy birch plywood, including the 1-inch-thick curved sides, which owner/builder Greg Roberts makes using a laminating process in a vacuum bag.

The Vittora is a three-way design, with each driver horn-loaded. The entire system actually consists of five pieces, with two bass units, two mid/tweeter top horn cabinets and a separate extended-low-frequency cabinet (essentially a separate, matching subwoofer).

Roberts says the bass horn provides useful output to about 50 hz. The subwoofer picks up there and travels down to 25 hz. The midrange and tweeter are custom-made to offer low distortion and 104 db sensitivity. Power handling is 200 watts.

Driving the Vittoras in Chicago was a trio of Border Patrol units: the 18-watt S20 EXD+EXS dual-mono amplifier ($27,500), EXT1 preamplifier ($12,250) and DAC2 ($9,750). TWL cables included American speaker wire ($599 per set), Spirit interconnects ($349 a pair) and Seven Plus power cords ($549 each).

When I entered the room, the speakers were playing John Hiatt’s “Feels Like Rain.” The cut featured a driving rhythm section and Hiatt’s patented howl, the latter of which can be a bit edgy on some systems. But with the Voltis, Hiatt sounded better than I’ve ever heard him, including on several live concert PA systems, and each instrument in the mix had good tone and separation.

I followed up with my Japanese import CD of the first Dire Straits album. I asked for “In the Gallery,” which features some of guitarist Mark Knopfler’s longest workouts. Like Hiatt, Knopfler’s voice can grate when he pushes it too hard, but on the Voltis he sounded great throughout his three-note range, The Voltis also proved to have wonderful pace and timing, as the closing exchange between Knopfler and underappreciated original drummer Pick Withers was thrilling.
Both songs also showed the Voltis could throw a very wide and deep soundstage. Indeed, the system was almost surround-sound-like in its presentation, but vocals were properly focused in the center of the mix.

The price of the Vittoras is $25,750 a pair, but Roberts says he’d have to charge $45,000 or more if he didn’t sell direct. So, if you have the space — and the pocketbook — give the Voltis a listen. You may decide to go big and go home.

Scot’s Take
Unfortunately tucked away behind a wall, the Volti Crew had a tough job ahead of them. The problem wasn’t the room itself, not per se; the room was actually pretty incredible — tall ceilings, long walls, lots and lots and lots of interior space. Acoustics, liberally attacked at strategic points by room treatments from GIK Acoustics, were stellar — sonically, this was a room to kill for. The equipment, sourced from some of my favorite high-end vendors currently operating, was — at least in theory — adequate to the task. Assuming things like power and ambient noises, this should have been the best slate upon which to draw a majestic, world-shaking, symphony. The fact that this team actually over-accomplished their tasks, however, did not entail devastating audio-show victory. Sadly. No, instead, they fell victim to the hotel.

The problem, at least as far as I was able to untangle it without inserting myself, was that there simply wasn’t a clean and straightforward way to rope these straggler-rooms into the rest of AXPONA. This room, and a couple of others besides (including those unfortunates over by the auditorium), were out-of-the-way, sacrificed (if you will) to the packed tower. Attendees, perhaps naturally, took one look at the book that JD Events was handing out, and perhaps wisely, decided to tackle their time at the show strategically. Which meant “top-down”. Which meant that — without big, neon signs and a better sense of flow to the layout of the show — certain rooms were invariably and inevitably … lost.

The Volti-BorderPatrol-TWL room fell into this latter category. That, my friends, was a crime.

While I find it hard to blame anyone — aside from the hotel, who were apparently very persnickity about what signage could be hung where — someone really ought to wake up and realize that hotels absolutely suck for audio shows. Given that the High End Society show coming up next month in Munich is projected to draw about five times (or near enough, going by numbers from last year) the foot traffic that we saw in Chicago, making total mockery of what the US-based shows are currently doing, I am at a loss as to why no one is seriously attempting to shake up how shows in the US are done. At the very least, we can do better mapping out trajectories through the shows so that gems like this room run by Gary Dews (BorderPatrol), Greg Roberts (Volti Audio), Pete Grzybowski (Triode Wire Labs), don’t get lost.

Rant aside, I will also offer that while one of the very best sounding rooms at the show was not mobbed, that also meant that I had almost zero issues snagging that sweet spot whenever I damn well pleased. So I did.

What struck me particularly about this room may seem odd. But. Well — lemme put it this way. We audio press folks seem to wax paroxysmic to the notion of the ‘width’ and most especially the ‘depth’ of the soundstage being constructed, but we rarely if ever mention that other dimension: height. Part of this is due to the fact that when height gets mentioned, it’s usually a bad thing — we’re talking about s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g — think 10′ tall guitars, for an example. Big panels tend to err this way. By contrast, vintage speakers (especially those designed for theater-use, and not of the “home” variety), do this much better than modern ones, where the trick was to not bring the singer into your room, but instead, to insert you into the concert. You know, with the stage “up there”, up where Mick Jagger and crew are cavorting around like gods. You know. Like the live performance. When this is done well, this is insane stuff, and I can’t get enough.

Which brings me to the Volti-BorderPatrol-TWL room.

These speakers, as John mentions, are 40″ tall. That’s not even 4 feet tall. My kids, at 9, are taller than these. Lemme re-emphasize the fact that they’re not tall. Okay? Cool. But that image that they threw was definitely not 40″ tall!

The Vittoras are wide, however (32″), so they do take up a little room. But they are also horns — so think: dynamic-as-all-hell. And yes, there were two monster subs in that room — so think: cannon-shot percussiveness.

I heard quite a lot of random stuff in that room over the weekend. Morcheeba, classical music, Cassandra Wilson. What always caught my attention is that, almost no matter where I was in the room, that front part of the room was not really there. It was just somewhere “out there”. And “out there”, there was music. It was as if I was on some viewing platform, gazing out into the Grand Canyon of Sound. Whoa. Insert images of me with a big, round, white-around-the-eyes look of semi-startled terror. Gary Dews, the man behind the tube amplifier driving this experience, is a bit droll, and generally manages to have this look on his face as if to say, “What, you don’t have this at home?”

Well, oddly enough, I do. I have his S10 amplifier (the non-paralleled version of the S20 driving this room), and I’ve heard a similar sonic tapestry expansion using that amplifier (even on my non-Volti speakers — but some day, I will own a set of those Vittoras!), so I’m pretty sure that this stunning trick is due in no small part to his gear. And when I say expansion, let me assure you — it’s not because the guitars were 10′ tall. No, all the images were life-sized, but again — believe me when I tell you — that while the room was large, cramming an entire orchestra in there was no mean trick. That was a holy-crap kind of experience. Whoa whoa whoa!

TWL’s “Triode Pete” has offered to lend me a complete set of his nifty new value-priced cables in the near future, so expect to hear more from me on that front. I’m psyched because I’ve been using Pete’s power cords for years now, and I think they’re incredible. The sound, when lashed to my BorderPatrol amp (as a completely random example) also tends to go like tossing fresh red meat to a lion at the Zoo — but without all the leaping, gnashing, and mauling of bystanders. I don’t really like to talk about it, but I will admit that many fancy cables tend to go all wrong attempting to fix problems that they themselves introduce, but Pete’s just don’t. No restrictions, no hesitations; just good clean, effortless fun.

All in all, a fantastic sounding room from some of my favorite audio conspirators, and easily one of the very best sounds at AXPONA this year. Again.


Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #25 on: 26 Apr 2016, 01:06 pm »
 :thumb: :thumb: Way to go Pete!

Don  P.

Triode Pete

Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #26 on: 27 Apr 2016, 04:39 pm »
A Video Review of the Volti, BP & TWL room @ AXPONA...


Triode Pete

Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #27 on: 23 May 2016, 10:49 pm »
A video review of the Vinnie Rossi, Volti & TWL room at last month's AXPONA show...



Triode Pete

Best of Show for AXPONA 2016
« Reply #28 on: 30 May 2016, 02:02 pm »

$100,000 to $150,000 system: Volti with BorderPatrol front end (Volti/Triode Wire Labs room). Addictive, near-holographic, highly musical.

See the entire post here... https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2016/05/30/axpona-2016-john-stancavages-best-of-show/


Ern Dog

Re: 2016 AXPONA Show, April 15 - 17
« Reply #29 on: 30 May 2016, 03:17 pm »
A video review of the Vinnie Rossi, Volti & TWL room at last month's AXPONA show...



Thanks for posting Pete.  It gives me a little taste of the sound.  Sounds excellent.

Triode Pete

2016 AXPONA Show - Best in Show...
« Reply #30 on: 31 May 2016, 11:54 am »
...from Scot Hull, chief bottle washer at Part Time Audiophile...


Best Room: Volti/BorderPatrol/TWL

"This isn’t the first time I’ve been molecularly disassembled by this particular combination, but here at AXPONA, one of the most exciting rooms was also one of the least traveled. But this year’s Volti Audio demo, backed by BorderPatrol and Triode Wire Labs, was just devastatingly effective. This was a big room, well set up, and filled with shocking great sound. For me, no other room even came close.

What killed me was the wall-of-sound effect. Writers — and readers — get wrapped around the axle when it comes to soundstage. Specifically, around depth. That’s cool, for sure. We hear/write less about width, but it’s a crucial aspect to reproduction, especially with big venues. But then there’s height. Not every recording is an intimate setting with a solo singer, singing a capella. Picture an orchestra, for example. Or a Grateful Dead concert. Those imply size. And seeing that soundstage lift — where appropriate — is awesome. When you find it, when you hear it, it’s all the difference between “the performers, live in my room” and “you, live at the performance”.

This room was a stunner. Again."