Audio Doctor goes to Axpona observations so far

For the first time went to Axpona, one heck of a show more audio then we have ever seen, the old New York audio shows were like this.

Anyway walked most of the show and most of the systems heard were just bad, common problems no room tuning, rooms that were too big for the gear or too small.  Even some of the really expensive stuff was dissapointing.

There were a few room that were good.

So far winners for us that were very good not in any particular order:

1: Big Horns from Germany forgot the name really famous one,
2: Muiraudio $15k electrostatic hybrid 
3: Alta Audio cheapie $5k speakers sounded great
4: Vimburg
5: Paradigm Persona 3F

(not a great setup,  but the sound comming out of them for a $10k speaker was very impressive. excellent, midrange soundstage was impressive  image floated nicely, even though the speakers were way too close together and the bass response was excellent.  Would have been way better with a few substitions.

6: T+A $75k floorstanders were impressive for such a small size reference speaker, don't know if they are worth that kind of money, the electrostatic tweeter coupled to a line array with buillt in subs was very musical in a way too small room. Would have liked them to be taller

Decent but not up to the hype the new PS audio speakers bass was very good for a $12-15k set of speakers filled up a big room ugly, and not the ultimate wow that PS was billing them as.

The Scaena line array  when we had them setup in our show and at some of the older New York Audio Shows were mind blowing this setup didn't gel which was sad.

Today to hear the Gryphon room, Golden Ear and a few others.

Scott Markwall gave a great demo of the Furutech NCF products which are really cool.

Innous gave a great demo of the Statement vs the Zenith, and wow what a difference in soundstaging and clarity.  

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Paradigm, T+A, Persona dealers.


Showing 6 responses by audiotroy

Vandy 9 not good.

Best sounds today

Wilson Daw Arc system spectacular.

Vimberg-Karan also sounded spectacular.

Surprise new Golden Ear Triton R fantastic at $6k

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Huge room with speakers very far apart.

Personally not Vandy fans even CT tweeter sounds soft. 

Very few giant rooms have adequate bass. 

Lots of cool things very few amazing rooms especially for the money.

Rs 507, there were quite a number of people who talked very favorably about this room.

There is no way the 3F sounded like a $2,500.00 speaker if you heard a $2,500 speaker which sounds this good please tell us which one, because in our shop there is no $2,500 speaker that touches them, the 3F's compete with $20k speakers. 

The sound in the room was good there were a couple of flaws, the speakers were too close together, and they needed a bit of rake angle to bring up the soundstage, also AQ cables tend to spotlight the top end, so thouse should have been changed to a wamer yet transparent interconnect and speaker cable such as Wireworld, lastly the Aurender server was good, the Innous Zenith allows for upconversion which would have allowed the Anthem STR to output DSD to the Anthem STR which gives you a big boost in system liquidity.

Also considering the speakers and amp was a $14k setup the room sounded very good for gear in that price range.

Please let us know which rooms you liked which will calibrate our understanding of what you like and your biases.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Paradigm dealers

Mountainsong, we heard the Piegas at this show and the CAP show and they sounded good but not that good to us. 

They do seem interesting, however for $25k I think based on what we heard with them we would go Paradigm Persona, or Vimberg which are a bit more expensive, but maybe a possible squeeze for some people.

The Kef Blades throw a bigger soundstage, with much greater bass especially the Blades vs the Blade 2, so in the case of the Piega it will all depend on where did your friend hear each speaker and what were each speaker being driven by? Did your friend hear both speakers played on the same system at the same dealers? 

Obviously it comes down to personal taste as well. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Kef dealer
Jab so sorry didn’t feel like we had to look up the product, to remember the name. Two biggest horns Accapella and Avante Garde, Accapella wasn’t there, so felt most people would know which room we were talking about sorry for not having instant recall.

Jab there were many setups that were exceptional sounding and were affordable.

The Paradigm Persona 3 on the Anthem STR sounded really good $10k for speakers $4.5k amp okay add in streamer and cables and it is going to be around $20k but that is still a system someone could move into over time.

The Vu Audio room sounded very good $3k speakers $4k amp? the entire system was around $10k including source.

Another somewhat affordable setup the Alta Audio $5k speakers on the Krell integrated which has the built in streamer that system was $13k other than cabling and it was very musical.

What is interesting about these shows is that you can hear sometimes the same manufactuer setup with different gear and that can help to illustrate two things, one that a product can sound similar no matter what they are being setup with and still manage to sound a bit different.

So far heard Magico S3 Mk II in a few rooms never failed to find them anything other than  boring and the gigantic uber setup in the mezzanine sounded flat and artificial compared to some of the other heavy hitters, the sound was big, and had excellent scale is it us or do the Magico’s just sound too flat in the midrange?

The Spatial’s sounded very good, excellent midrange, good bass, ugly as sin but a good sound for the money.

Other stand outs the Focal Grande Utopias looked magnificent and sounded incredible, played one of our favorite demo tracks the Doors Riders on the Storm and it was etherial, with amazing clarity and a magnificent sense of presense.

The Big Gryphon rig captured the sound and scope of a symphony beautifully.

Less enamored by the big Bortoseen rig, speakers too far apart and the room had uneven bass, howerver, first time heard a Rahido or similar such speaker that the detail was finally not too much. System did somethings very well, but would take the Naim/Grande Utopias over this setup anyday.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Pwinson, we couldn’t agree with you more, very astute commentary!

One common issue was rooms with gigantic speakers that were too small and gigantic rooms with speakers that are too small!

In a few rooms that were a bit small there was still good sound. These tended to be speakers with good low frequency response but not crazy deep bass response.

Rooms that sounded really good which matched speaker output to room size:

1: Paradigm Person 3F sounded fantastic and was a compelling demonstration of the power of room correction. The bass was tight and powerful and worked well in the room.

2: Muriaudio, the panels are fantastic and they produced enough bass to work in the room and program material and not too much to overload the room.

3: T+A Compact Metal speakers bass was impressive for the room size and they sounded very good, T+A electronics are amazing.

There were tons of other rooms these were a few of the standouts

4: Vimberg great sound and even though the room was a bit big the speakers sounded fantastic.

Rooms which didn’t work:

1: All Von Schweikert demos, rooms were way too big no room lock.

When you get deep bass to pressurize the room you feel it, even the $300k Von Schweikerts don’t have enough bass for such a huge room.

2: Vandersteen’s way too far apart, not enough bass for such a big room not a great showing.

There were a lot of good sounding rooms but very few standouts.

The Borretson setup was very interesting the image was poor way too spread out, and the bass response in the room was very uneven, the clarity was awesome and the system was setup weird, $90k worth of Avik electronics with a Naim CD player?

Also why does their class D amplifiers have the right to cost $100k? Class D generally costs a lot less to produce than linear amplification.

First time heard a Rahido variation that wasn’t too artificial in the top end.

Stunning looking speakers their pricing is obscene for the lower models $30k for a two way monitor.

Surprising was how good the Wilsons were sounding in a few setups mostly the big rooms. The combo of ARC with Sasha DW was very impressive, way better than the Dagastino setups.

The Magicos were universally just boring and lifeless.

The giant F1 step did capture scale beautifully except there was no magic in the midrange and the sound was uninvolving.

Dave and Troy

Audio Doctor NJ Paradigm, T+A dealers