Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020

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Triode Pete

Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« on: 14 Feb 2020, 02:58 pm »
We had a great show in Tampa! Got to love the February weather there...

First up is from Jack Roberts of The Audio Beatnik...https://theaudiobeatnik.com/florida-audio-expo-first-day-attention-getters/

Florida AUDIO EXPO: First Day Attention Getters

Volti Audio, Triode Wire Labs and BorderPatrol



Volti Audio introduced its new 2020 Rival Special Edition ($19,900), which is a fully optioned version of their well-regarded Rival speakers. With curved sides, bubinga veneer, matching external crossovers, Triode Wire Labs internal wiring and other special features that celebrate Volti’s 10th year in business. They sound incredible and are worthy of a future review!

Triode Wire Labs products in this room included:
– “The Obsession NCF” premium audiophile power cords at $1,399 ea.
– “Digital American” audiophile digital power cord (2 at $”499 ea.)
– “American Speaker Cables” starting at $1,099 per set
– “Spirit II” RCA interconnects starting at $399 per pair
– “Freedom” Ethernet cable starting at $249 ea.
– “Discrete” USB cable starting a $249 ea.
– “Split Power & Data” USB cable starting a $329 ea.

BorderPatrol Audio products included:
– Border Patrol P20EXD Power Amplifier $20,650 as shown
– BorderPatrol DAC SE-1 (SPDIF+USB) $995 – $1,850 depending on version
and configuration

The room also contained an Innuos Music Server and an Innuos Phoenix USB reclocker (starting at $1,399 each)


Thanks Jack & Becky!

Cheers,
Pete

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #1 on: 14 Feb 2020, 10:36 pm »
A bit more "positive feedback" from Tom Gibbs... https://positive-feedback.com/show-reports/the-florida-audio-expo-part-3/

Volti Audio/Triode Wire Labs/Border Patrol

Volti Audio is a Tennessee company that got its start building upgrade parts for Klipsch K-Horns and over time transitioned to manufacturing their own loudspeakers. The Florida show introduced their newest loudspeaker, the Rival Special Edition ($19.9K MSRP), which has a really cool laminated, curved exterior with an availability of exotic veneers. I talked with Greg Roberts of Volti Audio extensively about the construction process; they also had amp stands and equipment tables that use the same process. A prospective customer in the room wanted to hear some rock and roll, and Greg obliged with several numbers from ZZ Top's Tres Hombres. Powered by Border Patrol electronics, the sound was impressively dynamic.[/u]





Thanks Tom!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #2 on: 15 Feb 2020, 02:13 pm »
Here's Stereophile's Julie Mullins with her report... https://www.stereophile.com/content/volti-audio-special-edition-rival-loudspeaker-borderpatrol-p20-exd-power-amplifier-and-dac

Volti Audio Special Edition Rival Loudspeaker, BorderPatrol P20 EXD Power Amplifier and DAC SE-i, Innuos Zenith Music Server and Phoenix USB Reclocker, Triode Wire Labs Cables



In celebration of their first 10 years in business, Volti Audio unveiled a newly redesigned version of their Rival SE (Special Edition) speaker ($19,900/pair), seen here in an eye-catchingly exotic bubinga wood veneer (a rosewood option is also available). Although its side-curved form appears quite substantial, the horn-loaded hybrid floorstander can be sonically suitable for larger or smaller spaces. With its horn drivers and a sensitivity spec of 100dB, the Rival SE also makes for an easy to load-perfect for the 300B-powered BorderPatrol P20 EXD amplifier. The three-way Volti also features matching external crossovers that are user-adjustable, and Triode Wire Labs internal wiring.
Regrettably I didn't have much time for listening but at an aural glance I recall hearing the horn-associated traits I appreciate, such as nimble immediacy, effortless smoothness, and fast transient attacks.




The digital front end consisted of an Innuos Zenith music server ($4249 to $5649, depending on amount on onboard storage; 1TB up to 4TB available) and Phoenix USB reclocker ($3149) ahead of a BorderPatrol DAC SEi version (with SPDIF and USB connections) that plays digital files up to 24/96kHz and features a tube/solid-state hybrid power supply with choke input filter. Prices range from $995 to $1850, depending on options for connectivity, SE version power supply, and internal components upgrades. System cabling was provided by Triode Wire Labs.



The highly efficient Volti speakers were driven by a 20Wpc BorderPatrol P20 EXD power amplifier (from $17,750, depending on 300B tube options), with a push-pull design that has interstage phase-splitter/driver transformers and uses no negative feedback. Living Voice 300B tubes are available for an upcharge, as is a volume control option for $500. The amp's sweet SET output and copper and hardwood chassis make it a good match for the Volti Rival SE in every way.

Thanks Julie!!!

RonN5

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #3 on: 15 Feb 2020, 02:27 pm »
This room was different from many of the other rooms in that it was set up width wise resulting in a distance from the speakers to the listening couch of about 9'.  There was a wall behind the couch (so no standing) resulting in the actual listening area being basically large enough for 4-5 people.  The system sounded effortless and very musical.  The woodwork on the speakers was beautiful...but oh, how to actually move them into place...maybe they should have a retractable wheels option??

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #4 on: 15 Feb 2020, 04:51 pm »
This room was different from many of the other rooms in that it was set up width wise resulting in a distance from the speakers to the listening couch of about 9'.  There was a wall behind the couch (so no standing) resulting in the actual listening area being basically large enough for 4-5 people.  The system sounded effortless and very musical.  The woodwork on the speakers was beautiful...but oh, how to actually move them into place...maybe they should have a retractable wheels option??

Hi Ron,
It was our intention to set up our room like someone's home, with a comfy couch and only a couple of chairs... Several show attendees & reviewers immediately "got it"!

Unlike the majority of rooms, our room had plenty of light and we had fun!








Cheers,  :beer:
Pete




mix4fix

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Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #5 on: 15 Feb 2020, 08:50 pm »
Keep the beer away from him. During CAF, he was running around with his shirt off going "alright, alright, alright".

 :o






 :lol:

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #6 on: 16 Feb 2020, 02:56 pm »
More great coverage from Part Time Audiophile's Marc Phillips... https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2020/02/14/volti-audio-borderpatrol-and-triode-wire-labs-flax-2020/

Volti Audio, BorderPatrol and Triode Wire Labs | FLAX 2020



I’ve visited the Volti Audio, BorderPatrol and Triode Wire Labs room at high-end trade shows many times over the last 18 months. I always enjoy the wide, immersive and powerful sound, and I often place this room among my favorites. But there was something different with this room at FLAX 2020. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…



Oh yes, it was the brand new Volti Audio Rival SE loudspeakers ($19,900/pair). This is, of course, a Volti Audio Rival on steroids. It comes with all of the usual options and upgrades that you can order with the regular Rivals, but it comes in a breathtaking bubinga cabinet with curved sides and external crossovers that also come in breathtaking bubinga cabinets with curved sides, only smaller. In addition, you get internal wiring from Triode Wire Labs. The rest of the system was very close to the systems we usually see from these three fascinating companies: BorderPatrol P20EXD 20wpc power amplifier ($20,650), BorderPatrol DAC SE-i ($1850 with all the options), Innuos music server and a whole loom of Triode Wire Labs cables.



My first clue that the Volti Rival SE loudspeakers were doing something different was when I sat down on the comfy couch and faced the system. As usual, everything was set along the long wall of the room with enormous space between the features, almost to the point of qualifying as near-field listening. This usually creates that immersive quality that’s almost a trademark for these guys, but I noticed something different this time, something I can sheepishly describe as a more “conventional” soundstage, one that still captures those mind-blowing dynamics but in a deeper, more focused manner.



I don’t mean that Volti Audio’s Greg Roberts sold out and started making speakers like everyone else. No no no. But suddenly I had a feeling that the Volti Audio Rival SE just jumped up another notch in greatness, a notch I didn’t know existed until I heard it. Suddenly I thought, “Now I completely get THIS!”



By “getting it,” I mean that I suddenly looked around the room and for the first time I understood why these guys set up their room in their distinctive way. It’s not an exhibit room in some random hotel. It’s your listening room, and you’re now the coolest audiophile in town. Everyone comes to your house and hangs out all day because your system is much more exciting and fun than everyone else’s system. Your friends are basically addicted to it. No one wants to leave. You had to buy a dozen sleeping bags and you store them in the hallway closet. Everyone’s mail is starting to come to your house.

https://i1.wp.com/parttimeaudiophile.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/volti1.jpg?resize=940%2C714&ssl=1

I can best describe the Volti Audio, BorderPatrol and Triode Wire Labs system at FLAX 2020 this way: I have just crowned a new “Chocolate Chip Trip” Champion. I have never heard this Tool song sound better. Danny Carey was blazing away on the drums like he was right there, less than ten feet away, and he kept beckoning to come closer, closer. No, Marc, you won’t go deaf. Trust me.

Yeah, you gotta hear this ASAP.









Thanks, Marc!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #7 on: 18 Feb 2020, 12:03 am »
Here's some recent coverage from Soundstage Global... https://www.soundstageglobal.com/index.php/shows-events/florida-audio-expo-2020-tampa-usa/908-fae-2020-speakers-part-1

Florida Audio Expo 2020 - Tampa, USA

Florida’s fabulous wintertime weather was the excuse most of us used last year to justify visiting the first-ever Florida Audio Expo. No one knew what the show would be like, but we all had an inkling that the weather would be much nicer in Tampa in February than where we were coming from. So if the show didn’t pan out, which is a real possibility for any new show, it would still be a nice weekend away. Little did we know that the first Florida Audio Expo would turn out as well as it did.

As a result, the decision to go to Florida Audio Expo 2020 was a different story. Sure, the great Florida February weather still holds true, but it was the surprising success of last year’s show that I think got even more people to this year’s event -- way more. The venue’s still the same -- the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport -- but on the first day here, it’s obvious that there are more exhibitors, attendees, and reporters, including on our team. Whereas it was only me representing SoundStage! in 2019, for 2020 I’m now here with Jeff Fritz doing show coverage, while our business development manager, Mark Aling, is also poking around. As a result, expect a lot more coverage on our site this year, starting with this first installment on loudspeakers. All prices are in US dollars.




Based in Baxter, Tennessee, Volti Audio proudly proclaims on its website that it “designs, builds, and sells high sensitivity horn speakers that have a musical impact rarely found in our industry.” The newest model is the Rival Special Edition (SE), which has an external crossover and sells for $19,900/pair. According to owner and designer Greg Roberts, this new SE version has the same driver complement as the standard Rival Type I and Type II versions, which are priced lower: a 15" woofer, a 2" midrange compression driver that operates within a wooden horn, and a 1" compression-driver tweeter also within its own horn. The large woofer and the drivers in horns help the Rivals achieve a high claimed sensitivity of 100dB (presumably 1W/m, though not stated), as well as a minimum power-amplifier requirement of just 3W.



The biggest difference with the SE is that it has curved cabinet walls, putting it in stark contrast to the flat walls for the two other Rivals. Roberts described the cabinet in an e-mail he sent me before the show: “Standard Rivals are built with 1"-thick Baltic Birch plywood, something that I consider to be a superior material for building speaker cabinets. Not many other speakers can match it for long-term durability, sound quality, and stoutness. The SE has curved sides that are more than 1"-thick Baltic Birch plywood. I’m laminating my own curved panels in a vacuum bag with a permanent (two-part epoxy) glue. I’m pretty sure I could lay one down on my driveway and drive my Yukon front tire up onto one without it crushing.”

I’m not sure that he needs to drive over the cabinet to prove its strength, but in looking at the new Rival SE, it’s obvious that Roberts has his woodworking skills down -- the demo pair looked really good. Plus, they sounded big, bold, and dynamic being driven by a 20Wpc BorderPatrol P20 EXD tube amplifier.


Thanks, Doug

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #8 on: 28 Feb 2020, 10:36 pm »
A wrap-up report from Part Time Audiophile's Marc Phillips...
https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2020/02/28/marcs-florida-audio-expo-wrap-up-flax-2020/

Marc’s Florida Audio Expo Wrap-Up | FLAX 2020



Volti Audio, BorderPatrol, Triode Wire Labs

The arrival of the new Volti Audio Rival SE speakers ($19,950/pair) has transformed this room, which is usually one of my favorites, into something that keeps me up at night thinking about the possibilities of ownership. In my show report I mentioned that this room isn’t your typical show room, but rather a listening room for people who just want to enjoy their music, without constraints, with all of their friends and family.

This immersive and powerful system now sounds less ‘”different” from everyone else than it used to, but perhaps it’s closer to the ultimate truth (or TRVTH, whatever that may be to you.) It’s still just as fun as before, maybe the most fun you can have in high-end audio, but I feel that these three companies (let’s not forget the vital contributions of BorderPatrol and Triode Wire Labs for even a second) have turned a corner and now they’ve gotten more serious about really making a statement about who they are and what they can accomplish. This room was amazing, and perhaps the biggest surprise of the show for me.


Thanks , Marc!!!

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #9 on: 10 Mar 2020, 05:35 pm »
A very nice award from Jack & Becky from The Audio Beatnik...




Thank you, Jack & Becky!!!

Cheers,
Pete

KLH007

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Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #10 on: 10 Mar 2020, 05:49 pm »
Congratulations Pete! TWL has always represented top-shelf performance that's fairly priced.

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #11 on: 10 Mar 2020, 11:53 pm »
Congratulations Pete! TWL has always represented top-shelf performance that's fairly priced.

Thank you, Kemper, for the kind accolades!!! Coming from an esteemed audio reviewer like you means a lot!!!

Cheers,
Pete

Triode Pete

Re: Feedback from the Florida Audio Expo 2020
« Reply #12 on: 15 Mar 2020, 10:56 pm »
More Feedback from Positive Feedback's Maurice Jeffries...https://positive-feedback.com/show-reports/florida-audio-expo-2020-part-2/

Florida Audio Expo 2020: Better the Second Time Around, Part 2



The Volti Audio/Border Patrol/Triode Wire room once again delivered the musical goods, the synergistic system exhibiting great imaging and staging, superb tone and timbre, fine overall transparency, and blinding transient speed. As expected, the horn loaded Volti RIVAL speakers ($19,900) delivered heightened dynamic expressiveness and fine overall cohesion, with, larger-than-life scaling and solid imaging. A BOS contender. Tomasz Stanko's "Domino" and Shirley Horn and company's fine rendition of Buster William's "A Lazy Afternoon" were simply transcendent.

A Border Patrol P20EXD 20W/channel push-pull 300b power amp with dual PSUs ($20,650), Border Patrol DAC SE-I (SPDIF + USB at $1850,) the electronics linked by Triode Wires Obsession power cables ($1399 each), American speaker cables (bi-wired at $1099), and Spirit II interconnects(starting at $399/pair, all hand-made in the U.S.A) sang.


Thank you Maurice!!!

Cheers,
Pete