2020 FLORIDA AUDIO EXPO WHICH ROOMS would YOU VISIT?


Hello everyone,
OK. You made the trip and or really wanted to, are ready to see everything on your short list.

HERE’S THE LIST OF WHO’S WHO IN WHICH ROOM.
https://floridaaudioexpo.com/exhibitors-2020/

aside from those who will or want to do it all, what rooms would you put on your short list to check out foremost?

last year I had few preffs on what to see. I wanted to see it all going in but that changed given logistics, waiting times, and then locating the particular gear to check out. this year I’ll use a different approach and check out just those items I’m really interested in, and if time permits, see some other rooms

so, what is your standard Audio Show plan?
BTW, I got the bit on wearing comfy shoes!

or, what is it in this show you defintely want to hear?

I missed a couple of the big room heavy hitters  last year like MBsL and VAC/VSA. and interestingly enough stumbled into the MurAudio/Merrill Audio demo simply was sheer audio Heaven as was the Classic Audio/Atmas/PAD in the big room called the Pavillion.
  
hopefully there will be another unexpected setup that has the same hair rasing effect on the senses this year. I wonder who it will be?

thanks

blindjim
I'm curious what Add Pwr will be bringing to the party. Interesting products.

@yoby
well I( gotaa hand you a really big THANK YOU for that insight. reading only a bit from tweak geek who is representing at the 2020 FAE from:
https://www.tweekgeek.com/add-powr-1/

my interest is peaked and room 513 is added to my short list.

again, THX!!

it took several in house auditions of various makers PLC active and passive to get me to believe this facet one of value in assembling a upper end audio rig. this room should be very interesting.

mostly I’m leaning to rooms with DA I’ve never heard first hand but heard here which have large followings… Bench, Lampy, etc., and new tech in horn speakers, Classic, Voltee, etc.

Are you attending?
Visit the Raven Audio room.   
Well, I was smitten by the Muraudio electostats at last years show, so want to revisit them again as a possible prelude to purchase.  Also interested in the Lampi Amber dac as well as the various streamers that’ll be on display.  Surprisingly good show last year, hope for more!

willgolf > Visit the Raven Audio room.  

@willgolf>
Raven? If these are High Sense speakers then I likely will. Thank you

butler > Well, I was smitten by the Muraudio electostats at last years show, so want to revisit them again as a possible prelude to purchase.  Also interested in the Lampi Amber dac as well as the various streamers that’ll be on display.  Surprisingly good show last year, hope for more!

@Butler>
as I said above the Muraudio room was unforgettable. although EMM Labs and the associated power train aided that adventure greatly.

sanders will be there too so I’d take a peak at what his demo will be, JIC.

agreed on checkign out the Streamer hardware too. I’m liking the Wolf approach lately.

Exaosound as well has a significant combo which should be on hand for demo too and seems a viable alternative.

It will be an interesting affair and given last years 40 or so entries and this year’s more than 65 things should be hopping!

I know I’ll be there this weekend at least one day, but am hoping to be there for both Saturday and Sunday.

Anyone who attends should visit room 605 and check out Clayton's new M3 Sapphires.

Oz




@ozzy62 Good call! given the you tube vids and especially the one from aVS with Linear Tube & Lampy, a complete ready rolled rig for <$10K? well, that is very cool

Thanks much

now that the 2020 Florida audio Expo is in the books, I wanted to recap a bit and once again submit my thanks for the posters which provided a few head’s up on some very interesting gear which I had no thoughts of investigating what so ever.

I did check out several though not every suggestion and am grateful for them. thank you all.

the notes below are all taken from memory so if I’m off a bit here or there my apologies are here in advance.

in the 2020 Expo glass power prevailed or so it seems but that likely is the result of my ambitions for checking out the show. . OTL units from Linear and Atmaspherre were in abundance as well as a few SET amps by Doshi and Avec, Linear tube, Raven, etc,   and , Ultralinears from VAC, Raven, Bob Carver, and VTL.

essentially if you were looking for tube power, or tube source devices it was hard not to find them.

for the sand freaks Pass Labs proliferated the event and showed their new INT, Luxman as well was easy to find pushing someone’s loudspeakers.

Vitas brand new 030 Integrated was up and running and a must see demo.

in no particular order…

The raven room was especially intriguing . and as with a couple other exhibits reinforced or underlined the notion one does not have to drop enormous sums into a stereo for it to check all the audio nervosa boxes, although if you do have the budget to acquire a higher state of affairs in the audio arts, any of the brands on hand would certainly accommodate your desires. Quickly.

using either a Brooklyn or Manhattan DAC, raven touted a 20wpc INT amp which fueled a pair of monitors and their presentation was shockingly good given the out the door price. Raven also supplies their own cabling at exceptionally modest costs. I forget the INT cost and their monitors came in at a retail of $3495. they also showed more amps and another pr of tower speakers which go off at $11K.

to date I’ve not been as awe struck by a 20wpc & speaker combo that dug as deeply into the bottom octaves as did the Raven setup. it was as well room filling bass reproduction. stunning and impressive and at an ‘out the door’ cost of $7K. , all in.

Raven offers a great deal in terms of value and performance and as I recall, all is made in house, predominately and curtailed or customized to suit the buyer.

Raven also incorporates NOS tubes as opptions for their power choices as inventories permit.

Raven’s towers and 125wpc amps really set the bar for a setup dwhich presents high value an excellent musical recreation.

Engrossing   was the watchword for the various raven exhibitions.

MC Audio Tech presenting their 4010 line source amalgamation will set you back 35 large for a pair of their tour de force conduits to audio nirvana. Naturally this includes delivery and set up.

the presentation at the expo was striking, esthetically and sonically. i was enammored by the fact they were driven by about 60 watts in all as the bottom and top ends were bi amped. I forget the exact size of the amps but seem to recall the top end had a 40wpc amp. their imagery and tonal purity were provocotive.

Spatial’s M3 Sapphire loudspeakers in 605 were proving beyond doubt great to outstanding levels of audio recreation can readily be had without hi jacking an armoured car. again, the sapphire’s were pushed by modestly armed tube amps. At $4995 retail, one would not go far wrong if at all picking up these over achievers. those who must have a presentation with copious bass will surely dig the latest Saphires.

sticking on the loudspeaker tact, Daedalus Audio designer Lou Hinkley was on hand displaying a pair of Apollo’s ($18K) in a suprisingly well appointed exhibition supported by a Lampy Pacifica DAC, Mr. Hayes latest one box solution VAC Statement INT amp, and Wye Wires handled the fully balanced connections between components.

the pair of apollos on display were noted by my friend Evvie as breathtaking, or gorgeous, or some other startelingly positive adjective remarking as she regaled how exceptional was their presence. and how they demanded your attention audibly and visually. . She did go on about the Apollos finish for some time so I’m convinced these were quite special on two fronts and briefly regreted not having the capacity to enjoy the ‘eye candy’ on display.

However, all was not lost as my ears informed me the honesty level on hand was paramount and the demo was utterly absorbing.

i very much wantded to see how the Apollos ran with far less muscle than the VAC Statement power plant was serving up, but it is what it was, and it was, on the whole, fascinating and fun.

Bottom line? Nothing about the VAC, Lampy, and Daedalus Audio room even hinted at disappointment except the total price tag necessary to carry the contents of that room down to the curb and load it all into your SUV or U- Haul.

were I able to pick a room to keep… this one would be almost impossible to pass up.

exaSound Audio Design, Gershman acoustics, and yet more VAC power was definitely representing on the tenth floor. exaSound was doing the digital to analog conversion feeding the VAC Statement preamp and Statement 450 amps pushing along the 2.5 way towers to a lovely rendering of music despite the genre being requested. in fact this roomn possessed enough audible refinement and integrity it ought to satisfy many regardless how critical or varied their musical preffs might be. this was a room that was incredibly difficult to leave.

the Pavillion all analog presentation supplied by Classic Audio T3s, Atmasphere power, P.A.D. cabling provided an utterly sublime intewrlude with Louis Armstrong, and later, The allman Brothers.

Classic Audio’s John Wolff and Atmasphere’s Ralph Karsten were equally engaging though I probably asked too many questions on too many topics. But to their credit, both were paitient, gracious, and illuminating.

ralph informed me the amps in use at that moment were the MP 1, although his Nova Chron’s were on hand as well. last year I heard the Novas and CA T1s incombo and had thoughts of larceny to secure the funds needed to acquire it all. lol

despite the enormity of the room the setup was configured in at the moment, John told me the t3s worked in much smaller environs and only the listening position from them would be the user’s preff, though ten feet or more was the norm for best results.

asking about setup difficulties, John remarked ’No Problem there at all. a modest distance off the front wall, and some slight bit off the side walls, then toe in to suit”. easy peasey.

sitting in the sS for some time I must agree. even getting up and walking about later on demonstrated these transducers yeild a depiction that allows for a good deal of freedom in latitude for listeners and eliminates the head in a vice issue other speakers may demand.

the ensemble created involvement and elicited an emotive response which one could easily argue being magical. to date only the CA T1s and Atmas Nova amps combo clearly rose above the T3s & Atmas MP1s in terms of actual captivation factor.

i missed several rooms this year while concentrating on more specific things of personal concern. however the same atmosphere of graciousness and friendlyness was plainly evident throughout the hotel and from all of the vendors, demonstrators, and designers.

in short, laid back, candid, friendly, and informative would be my watch words to paint both the social and technical side of the affair.

perhaps all shows are as affable as the Florida Audio Expo, but with temps of 70F, a veritable warehouse of audio trinkets and SOTA audio gear, and a myriad of ancillary events and attractions near by, where else would one want to be in February for a week or so?

in just one year the Florida Expo grew about 50% in terms of things to see and hear. while increasing attendance too.

given two shows are now in the books, and the obvious growth in vendors and public interest I can not wait until next year and the 3rd annual Florida Audio Expo!

a huge serving of gratitude must go out to my friends Bart a. and others for birthing the concept and of an Audio show back to Florida not to mention all the hard work that goes into it. bravo!

lastly an immense debt of gratitude goes to Yevette B. for her paitience and incredible navigational abilities during the busiest day of the show helping me find and subsequently irritate the reps distributors, designers, and exhibitors.   great job Evie!

Sam Spade remarked in the classic film The Maltese Falcon, “The Maltese Falcon is the stuff that dreams are made of”.

Sam never heard any of the rooms at the 2020 florida Audio Expo or that iconic phrase may have been whispered quite differently.

as for the show experience itself, I will draw on another quintessential film made a dozen years later adding, ”Play it again Sam”.
Glad you were able to get to the Raven room.  Dave Thomson makes a fantastic tube amp as I can attest to having the Reflection MK2 amp.  I hope you had time to talk to Dave.  A class individual. 

@willgolf


I did have a short convo with Dave. Dave made several comments on the speakers and about NOS tubes and his amps. 

as I said above, the Raven room was more than worth the time to invest and hear some of raven offerings. Seriously. what I took away from it was raven is a personable and available company whose interests still have the public desires  in mind as wellas presnting value and performance for the majority of audio devotees, and not merely a niche of that demographic.  vewry down to earth folks IMO.

there was a lot of that going on with most all of the people I met. on Saturday
.

the coolest part was seeing what is being done today in the entry level gear arenas of the audio world at large. the perfomrance levels seemingly have all been quite elevated and I'm extremely glad to find that out.
thanks again.
jim
Although it's impossible to separate out the sound of one component from a system, would anyone care to hazard a description of the overall sonic presentation of the Corvus Tower?

in a nut shell:
the corvos lower end could not be overlooked. the room/setup combo seemed to be adding to its bloom or presence. mids and aboe were seemingly on point. nothing inordinate or annoying there. overall a tuneful, pleasant, insightful and detailed sans any descernable harshness or too much leading edge on the notes. very nice.

true. only how well the sound is being reproduced or speaker performance can be the take away from hearing a system for the first time.


that said, the raven Corvos towers do a fine job. indeed with but 125wpc of glass powered monos. 


incidentally, another pr of similarly priced loudsepakers,  the Gershman towers 2.5 way units had a  more involving, natural rendering with a cleaner more organic top end which possessed more sparkle.


the question then is would the Corvos emmulate the Gershmans were they in the VAC setup?


or would the Gershmans out run the Corvos .if raven sillouette were pushing them?


most of the time I spent in the Raven demo was getting to know what and who raven is, and their ideas on doing business, practicality, support, options, etc.


the larger towers were running as we entered. as the discussion grew the reference products were muted then the entry level affair lit up.


first impressions of the Corvos? Very nice. I’d like to say inpressive but I had just left a room displaying speakers costing three times as much and regretably though quite honestly, the Corvos presentation lacked by contrast in image specificity and tonal clarity.


that said as time passed the former room’s impact waning the Corvos towers became more interesting. I noted the price was comparible to another room just visited by myself and my friend Eevie, Gershman acoustics fueled by   VAC statement pre and a pr of VAC statement 450s monos which in all could not be an apples to apples comp given the costs of the power train alone.


my point here being, given just the impressions of sonics alone, the raven room Corvos and Sillouette power line up were very very close across the bandwidth with the VAC & Gershman coming out on top with more clarity and top end distinction, but weaker in the lower octaves.


on the bottom end the Corvos were as expected tighter and maybe even more tuneful and certainly more robust in impact. the rooms of all three demos were very close in cuvic ft. size


the corvos system made me feel comfortatble with its lower registers and I do dig an outfit with great bass.


above the bottom end, I felt here was a speaker system worth its asking price unquestionably.


for the money I felt the Raven room Corvos and Sillouettes power train was where the value or bang for the buck lived. i told my friend eevie I could live with that setup very easily, though I’d give more thought to the source device being replaced or not in the  equation at all. although I could find no fault with the MYDAc unit I feel stepping up the ladder there would be where the performance would be more easily improved.. that’s all.


the Cellest and raven’s 20wpc INT was where I became stunned. knowing nothing of what that outfit was using and knowing only a shift to a lesser cost speaker was in play, hearing the smaller sibling was one of my first big smiles at the show. hearing what all was in play the smile grew. in fact I said to my friend that outfit is a keeper for $7K (show price). no question about it. very impressive.


VAC & Gershman was triple the price or more in power train but about the same in speaker costs. 


so it could come down to a choice in esthetics or avilability between the Ger’ and Cors.  

if Raven offers in home demos, tthat might be worth the cost  to secure. regardless the outcome.


I left that show with Raven now on my radar as it was never previously on it. so yeah, I feel its worth further investigation if speakers under 14K are the target and the power train pushing them is not in the lots o’ watts or six figures camp which is a real attraction for me…


good luck. hope that adds to the confusion. lol


for another viewpoint check out this link:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/raven-audio-celest-and-corvus-speakers-osprey-mk3-integrated-amplifier-and-silhouette-mk2


 
Had a chance to listen to the Corvus towers for a few moments... smooth but detailed, nice low end, big soundstage.  +1 overall and a “bargain” by show standards. 

one after thought....the Corvos is a two piece affair. as I undestood it, a Cellest on top of a powered bass unit. if this is correct one could simply get the cellest and later on add a pr ofr the powered bass cabinets as a way to defray the initial expense.
 

as Ozzy62 said, "Anyone who attends should visit room 605 and check out Clayton's new M3 Sapphires 
Ozzy is onto something. especially if esthetics are not a big deal for you. at $5K retail, these were alarmingly nice sounding units. albeit I did feel a bit bass heavy or oriented, but they came awfully close to the Corvos in overall performance .

I regret not taking a bit more time to check out the Pure Audio's latest itteration coming in at $9K retail. I think they were running with Pass. can't recall exactly. sorry.

also Voltee's recent upgrade of the rivals could have been just as interesting but at double the cost or $18K.

Lou Hinkley's Apollo's on display with top tier VAC INT  were also $18K and I was informed took top billing and a blue ribbon for esthetics with contrasting woods and inlays! 
Actually....I think it was the CeLest I heard at the show priced at $4k...which does not have a subwoofer...and they sounded good and looked good...the switch to the Corvus system with the sub just made the sound bigger with a deeper low end...but tonally unchanged

+1 on the Celeste. both models were set up in the living room section of the suite facing away from the opening to it. this made things quite intimate. roughly a 12 x 12 section give or take some either way.

given how they ran off a reputed 20wpc $2K or so hollow state INT amp… these came off as a no brainer selection as mains for various rigs… secondary rig, office, bedroom and as the ‘go to’ system if a stricter budget prevails.

i saw at Raven’s website where they afford a 30 day trial, so there’s that.

I regret not spending more time there.
BlindJim....just call Dave at Raven.  You already heard the speakers and saw his amps.  I have first hand experience with both.  Dave can get you the best set-up possible for your budget.  Trust me....Trust Dave.  

thanks for the heads up and offer to assist.

I’m not in a position to make a purchasing decision just yet.

I am glad I’ve seen what I’ve seen recently however via the fla expo. also, I’m still torn between going with Horns or cones.

as well, I’m awaiting culmination of some legal action which appears favorable but whose time line is beyond my control.

again, thanks for the offer but I’d never obligate anyone to anything by way of auditions if I did not have the funds to pay for it before hand.

sadly, I just gotta wait a while longer. be well. .
Blindjim...I had Sonus Faber Amati Tradition Homage speakers that I thought were fantastic.  I sold my home and the buyers demanded my whole two channel system.  The good news is I got to start over.  I went on a speaker hunt this past summer.  I never in a million years thought I would be interested in Horn speakers.  Then, i listened to a pair of Avantgarde speakers and I became intrigued.  From there on I was on a horn mission.  I love the sound of horn speakers and i decided on Viking Acoustic Grande Voix speakers.  

Heck of a story;. Glad things worked out for ya in discovering new worlds. going where you had not ventured before!

My first few rigs ended up sounding quite similar though with bvaried SS pieces.

then half and half HS & SS.

then came the ‘all in’ idea on a 100% hollow state power train and my world changed utterly. in a very positive way.

suddenly, life happend as it tends to do. crack heads. home invasion attempts. then downturns in orthopedic health. it al made what was on hand vanish, almost entirely and all for security’s sake..

a few more episodes in health and senseless delays in due process.

then in that period I got to see what several other’s in my area had erected for themselves, here and there.

it all has been educational, and eye opening on numerous fronts.

the tube amps alone set up the notion ffor using other tube amp topologies than ultralinnear or sET EL34s and then came my AG Unos, AG D
Duos, and later, other horns.

the 2019 FLA show aided and added to my horn education. aG showed later ver of aG Uno w/powered bass unit, and its trios. I was not enamored and lent it towards the particular setup or musiccal choices in play for whatever reason.

Classic Audio horns of them all grrabbed me most. a friend owns original Klipschorns and they are interesting in spite of being 30 years old.

the unsettling aspect for me is knowing there are untold ways and means to get a piece of audio heaven in your listening room but feel to date tubes are the mile markers for me to follow on the high way to fun in audio land.

the particular ingredients freemain to be seen, and I supppose that is where the intrigue and interst which compells me is imbedded.

guess its true as Kipling said, life is not a riddle to be puzzled out, but a mystery to be lived.
THX
JIM

actually Play it again Sam… was implied. not truly spoken/requested by ngrid Bergman of Sam, (Arthur ‘Dooley’ Wilson).

Elsa only looked at sam and said, ‘play it once Sam’, Sam said he coudn’t remember it, and Elsa said, “Play it Sam. Play As Time Goes By”.

It pays to be accurate and that had bugged me since I so hastily posted it. sorry.

as for those rooms which reached out and grabbed me, here are a few, though not all of them, Enjoy the Music, & AV Showrooms posted these videos and or accounts for a few of them and many more:

spacial audio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9c99s1wvgw&feature=em-uploademail

VAC, Daedalus, Lampizator, Wywires, Great Sounding Room
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAKET0dVjBI&feature=em-uploademail

Raven Audio FLAX 2020
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/Florida_Audio_Expo_2020/Rochlin/Raven_Audio_Soniquil.htm

yet again I missed MBL & vac/vsa. merely from the overall price tags hearing something I can not afford simply makes little sense to me. Usually.

routinely   rooms had far more $$$ in front of the speakers doing the hauling than the other way around.
FMM, Gershman, Daedalus, Raven, and Spacial had the goods in loud speaker values.

Pure audio project and Volte also had splendid offerings as did Joeseph Audio newest revamped Graphine tower driven yet again by Doshi Audio Electronics and cardas Clear cabling.
I’m hard pressed to think how any of these setups would not satisfy most card carrying audionuts for quite some time.
Dear Santa, I doubt I’ll end up being a good enough human being to qualify for the VSA/VAC or MB> demos shown this year at fLAX so how about something a bit more humble such as the Daedalus, Raven, Spacial, Volte, or Pure Audio Project room setup ending up near my tree later this year?

I’ll trust your judgement. Merry …
The PureAudioProject trio horns were one of my semifinalists.  They are definitely the most affordable.  
What about Classic Audio Speakers? I am especially interested if the Hartsfield were there. 

I missed the PAP latest itteration and am sorry I did.

AV showrooms however did a video on it/them.

RE Classic Audio
sorry. no Heartsfield, just the T1 & 3s.  although Atmas did show the MP1s along with the Novachrome line of elite powered OTL amps, with the analog only source & PAD loom.

the CA T1s w/Atmas Nova power train is liikely the best sounding outfit i've heard to date. given the price tags for many other as adept sounding rigs at this show the Classic & Atmas room was on par in terms of costs, though atop the list in performance of those demos I did entertain.

I should have bigt the bullet and went back on Sunday sans escort to see the rest of the ones interesting me. 

oil well. 
 
@blindjim     The MP-1 is a preamplifier (as in music preamplifier one) and the MA-1 is an amplifier (as in music amplifier one). So no such beast as an MP-1 amp. To my knowledge, Ralph typically shows the M60s or the Novacrons when pairing with Classic Audio.

sorry 'bout the assignements on the MA1 & MP1 items.

these were on hand anbd playing when I entered the room as they were driving the T3s while I spoke with Ralph for a bit.

apparently the two systems were aimed at differing demographics or budgets, albeitr my assuption was the source  was identical and the cabling  duplicated, but that last bit on wires for the T3 rig is purely guess work

the  presentation from the T1s array and that of the T3 arrangement reproved tor easily justified he cost differences between them. with the T1 outfit holding the better hand of the cards being dealt that saturday.  .
I just bought a set of these. I had been looking for speakers for a while and listened to a lot of them. I was going with a set of the Tekton mini-Ulfs but before they were available I had to get off the list. I ended up liking these even more.
The Corvus towers are not a Celeste with a bottom woofer though. The Celeste is a one piece ported speaker and the upper part of the Corvus id a non ported enclosure. I know the tweeter is a different driver - I am not sure on the mid range drivers.
Some of the cleanest sound I have heard. I can't wait to get them and glad to stop shopping for speakers!

Congrats!  The Raven room did impress... across the board.