Some Axpona thoughts

Went on Friday. Always try to find great sounding speakers that are not TOO expensive. Ones that impressed me- Vapor Cirrus Black(4K),Kef Ls50($1500), Rega RS5($1500),Joseph Pulsar(not cheap at 7K but a special speaker),Sonus Faber Veneer 3.0(bargain at $3500), Legacy Aeris(12k), Acoustic Zen Crescendo(16K) and lots more. Two others intrigued me. 1)Newform Research line array.(10K) 84" Tall with about 12 drivers and about 3 feet of ribbons drivers mounted directly in front of the other drivers. It looks odd and you wouldn't think it would work,but it sounded totally transparent and with 4 subs and a cross-over thrown into the package- it wasn't a bad deal. The star of the show had to be the Tad Reference One. It was worth the price of admission alone. At 70K, totally unaffordable for me, but what a treat to listen to. They played a Master Tape on a reel-to-reel of a jazz recording. It was literally like the sax player was inside the speaker. The most accurate reproduction of an instrument and music I've ever heard. That's what cool about these shows. I would like to hear other people thoughts if they were there-especially on the Newform Research(am I crazy?) and the TAD(I can't be crazy).
I agree on the Newform but the TAD chased me from the room on Friday. The AZ Cresendo was a favorite. The line array which surprised and was very enjoyable was the tall DIY in the Parts Express room which included a sub. So many only sounded decent in a sweet spot. The best soundstage I heard was in the YG Acoustics (small) room. Most enjoyable in a large room was Orion-4. Best panel-Leonardo. Another interesting sound came from the unique Lowther. Lots of fun sounds in many rooms. The show started out in a terrific manner with a cartridge seminar by Soundsmith's Peter Lederman. Highly entertaining and informative. I've tried to share a few opinions on a couple of threads, both, here and on AA.
Rega RS-5 is a very good speaker for the classical music lover, the RS-3 is even better in a small to medium room.
Favorite speakers over Friday & Saturday

1. Acoustic Zen-could have sat there all day. It just sounded like music.
2. Orion 4-Amazing transient response and range played well in big room.
3. Sony speakers-great sounds and fabulous construction.
4. Kef LS50-everything the reviews say is true.

Surprise speaker-Bogdan (not the cable company) Single driver in well made cabinet for $2000/pr. that sounded amazing.

Overall a great show and I can't wait until next year!
To me, perhaps the greatest challenge of an audio system, is trying to emulate the level of musical effortlessness and complete lack of strain one enjoys at a live event. In that regard, I was very impressed by the Volti Audio Vittora. This is a speaker I could listen to in extended sessions.
Phaelon, I agree with your description of these, very intimate for such large boxes.
It was my first audio show, and I had a fantastic time. A lot of beautiful sounding and gorgeous looking systems. Here's a photo record I made of the event for anyone interested on Flickr:
Three questions concerning the Volti
How's the tonality?
It's a large speaker, do they disappear or is the speaker location obvious?
What amplifier was driving it?
After reading all the reviews on the YG Carmel’s, I expected to be blown away by them at the Chicago show. I wasn’t which really disappoints me because based on the reviews, the Carmel’s were on my short list for new speakers.

The Absolute Sound’s show coverage on the Carmel’s said “wonderful tone color, seemingly unrestricted dynamics (which wasn’t always the case with smaller YGs), super resolution (a house specialty), a thoroughgoing disappearing act, and an impression of deep-going bass that belied their size and form factor”... and Mt10425 (above) says “The best soundstage I heard was in the YG Acoustics (small) room.” Looking at the Enjoy the Music’s show coverage I was surprised to find that their picture of the GTT room showed a silver pair of Carmel’s versus the black pair that were in the room on Friday when I was there.

Is it possible that there was something wrong with the black pair?
The detail and speed on those YG's I heard (the silver pair) was incredible. But I worried that they might be a bit fatiguing to listen to for long stretches of time. Technically amazing, but also quite in your face when I listened to them. They demand your attention.
Raks, maybe they were not broken in. I remember listening to the silver pair saturday an loving it. Not as enjoyable Friday but still liked them. Take my memory with a grain of salt. I do not remember the speaker color Friday, probably black. I also loved the Crescendos as well. It was fun that Robert Lee rountinely asked the audience if they liked the them. That room's sound may have benefited from him being there to place the speakers. Dynaudio C2s sounded good, but there was too much room resonance.

I stuck around the Volti room as they're dynamic sound was a nice contrast to other rooms, and the best horns I heard at the show. A little shouty, still.
Hi Charles, sorry for the late reply. I didn’t spend enough time in the Volti room to give your questions the type of answers they deserve. I was only at the show for one day and was determined to pop into every room. That said, I can’t imagine anyone actually using these speakers in a room like the one where they were being exhibited. Still, I thought that they did a creditable job of soundstaging without being a too obvious source. I had no issue with their tone. I don’t recall what amp they were using. I know you’re looking for more and I wish I could oblige. Maybe the best thing I can tell you is that these are the kind of speakers that can make you forget why you walked in the room. It was that much fun listening to the music.
There were quite a few rooms with good sound in them. I liked both of the Volti rooms. The Sony's were very good. All of the MBL's sounded great. I heard a demo of the large ones with a master reel to reel tape and it was absolutely stunning. I've never heard anything like it. As usual, Audio Note sounded good. Others included in no particular order, but not limited to, Scaena, YG Carmel, Dynaudio C1, Joseph Audio Pulsar, the new model from Tyler (I liked them better than any of his previous speakers I've heard/owned), Vapor Audio Cirrus and Stiff Breeze (Stiff Breeze are an awesome speaker at <$1900 a pair), everything I heard in the Selah and Salk rooms, and the speakers from Waterfall Audio. The Seaton Sound room was good as well and are a fine value considering that they are triamped using onboard amps.

I have to disagree about the Legacy Aeris. I have owned probably ten pairs of Legacy speakers over the years and still own a set. I went to that room on four different occasions expecting to be wowed and was disappointed every time. The tweeters were hot and there was a resonance in the lower midrange. Those issues should have been able to be resolved with the room correction processor they use. I wanted very much to like them and quite honestly, didn't. Also, they are 17k, not 12k.

I am not a huge fan of panel speakers, but thought the King Sound King (12k)were outstanding, amongst the very best of the show irrespective of price. I am sure there are others I have missed, but overall most of the sound was pretty decent considering the circumstances.
I also thought the King Sound room was pretty impressive with the depth of the sound stage being on one of the runways at O’Hare. I also felt the SoundSmith Dragonfly speakers were pretty amazing for the price.
My favorite room at the show was Legacy, there were some other good ones as well- the TADS did indeed sound good. So did the Sonus Faber with dual stacked subs with Audio Research electronics.

Whisper XD had the best imaging at the show with King Sound a close second. Neither system left any sign that the sound was coming from a speaker. A lot of other rooms sounded kind of diminutive by comparison. I still haven't found a speaker that out images the Whisper XD.

The Legacy Aeris was really dynamic and open with lots of punch. I would like to have heard them with the Ayon player they used on the Whispers. The Coda amps they used are a real bargain IMHO. Funny you don't read much about Coda.

All in all, a great show, I hope they do it again.
CSMgolf are you sure having owned ten sets of Legacy speakers isn't a slight exaggeration !:-)
I spoke to Doug Brown from Legacy and they can't figure out what you were listening to unless you entered during Bill's little seminar/demos on how versatile the processor is with regard to room correction.
They were doing these throughout the show.
During demos Legacy may go from end of the spectrum to the other to demonstrate this versatility and yes without the room correction it might sound off.
I spent three days with the Aeris in Vegas and I didn't experience anything remotely close to what you described.
The four incidents were they a duck and dash?
I thought the Kings were good also but not that much better than the Aeris if at all.
What speaker were they showing for 12K?
I would urge you to talk to the guys at the next show and they'll welcome the opportunity to set you straight on the Aeris.
Tobb, here is my list.

1. Original Focus
2. Silverscreen II
3. Mist
4. Original Whisper
5. Original Marquis
6. LF Xtreme
7. Original Studio
8. Mini monitor (still have)
9. Victoria LE
10. Gallery
11. Escort
12. Classic HD
13. Focus SE
14. Empire (still own)

Looks like ten was an underestimation! :-) The number in my first post was just a guess without really taking the time to count them all.

My trips to there room were not flash and dash. I really, really wanted to be blown away and was not. I am just stating what I heard. To my ears, the Whisper XD was much better. Believe me, I don't want to bash them as they have been nothing but great to me over the years. My impression was very good, but not the game changer I've come to expect from them.

I am not sure which 12k comment you are talking about. The OP quoted the price of the Aeris as 12k when they are actually 17k. My original post may have been confusing in this regard. The Kingsound King 3 list at 12k. Those were the 12k speakers I was referring to.
I responded to this a day and a half ago and the post never showed up for whatever reason, so here it goes again. Tobb, here is the list of Legacy speakers I have owned over the years:

1. Original Focus
2. Silverscreen II
3. Mist
4. Original Whisper
5. Original Marquis
6. Gallery
7. Escort (Still own- in my work shop)
8. Original Studio
9. LF Xtreme
10. Victoria LE
11. Mini monitor (still own)
12. Classic HD
13. Focus SE
14. Empire (still own)

The number 10 was just a guess without really counting all I've owned. I guess it was an underestimation. :-)
I am not here to bash Legacy, they have treated me great and I have really enjoyed their products. My trips to their room were not duck and dash. I spent more time in that room than any other over the weekend. I never said they sounded bad, in fact they did many things very well. I was however expecting to be blown away and was not. I heard what I heard and reported it. I went back multiple times to see if the issues were resolved and they were not. The Whisper XD sounded much more coherent to me. I found the Aeris treble to be out of balance with the midrange and occasionally calling too much attention to itself. As I said in my first post, the lower midrange problem was likely a room issue and could be corrected with the processor. I would be willing to give them another listen, but could not bring myself to spend that kind of money on them based on what I heard in Chicago. I really don't feel like I need to be "set straight" about that. I trust my own ears.

As far as the 12k comments go, the OP stated that the Aeris retailed for 12k. The Aeris in fact sell for 17k as I stated. The Kingsound King III retail for 12k and they were the 12k speaker I was referring to. IMO the Kings sounded better and were 5k less to boot. This is coming from a person that has never been a big fan of panel speakers. Just remember that all of these observations were under show conditions. YMMV
CSM your last response is little different in the fact you acknowledge they were very good just not your cup of tea.
It's all about personal preference.
I spent several intimate hours with them and they are very impressive however even without the AMTs I still have a preference for the Whisper XDs, its all about the volume of air moved.It's hard to replace 4-15"drivers.
I have read what others are saying about the Aeris too but from my standpoint the pairing of the XDs with the Coda 15.0 and the 7X in a completely balanced system is my reference point.

The Aeris will however do very well for Legacy coming in 4200.00 under the Whisper XD's base.
As for the Kings it was their flagship they had in Vegas so I was curious what they were showing in Chicago when you mentioned 12K was all.
The Alura was being driven by Quicksilver Mid-Mono blocks, EL34, 40 W per channel - really, much more power than they need. As to disappearing - if seated in the proper sweet spot, like most great speakers, they will not draw attention to themselves as the source. I know - I own a pair.
Tonality is wonderful and true - I AM biased of course.
AXPONA favorites IMHO:
Hornning in the High Water room.
Sound Lab Millenium with Clarity Cable.
Sonus Faber Aida w/ ARC in Quintessence room.
Venture Reference w/ Thrax amplification
amoung others....
How was the Magico room??
I'll second the Quintessence room with the Sonus Faber Adia's... the Magico room IMHO was nothing special... and the TAD room was amazing.
Thanks for your impression of theVolti. The Horning is a speaker I am very curious to hear. My guess is it sounds quite good.
As always, I read these comments and discover I somehow missed a bunch of stuff I would have wanted to hear. Damn.

My favorite rooms:

Bricasti, with their M1 DAC and new monoblock amps, plus Tidal speakers. This was the sound I liked most at the show.

Devore Fidelity, showing the new Gibbon X and the O96. Wonderful.

Horning speakers in the High Water Sound room. Plus, Jeff Catalano is a really compelling guy.

Sadurni Acoustics horn speakers with the Merrill Veritas amps and International Phonograph tapes as source. Not exactly neutral, but perhaps the most gorgeous, luscious sound I recall ever hearing.

Tip of my cap to KEF. Their demo was the LS50s and the Blades, both driven by PrimaLuna electronics, showing that you don't have to spend a fortune to get high-end sound. I'll bet this demo yields a lot of LS50 sales, a few Blades and probably some PrimaLuna also.
I'm with Drubin on all but the Kef LS50. Hollow sound in a room too big for them. The Blades however...nice.
Did Avalon display their speakers? Curious to know what Tidal & TAD models where on display.
04-27-14: Papermill
Sound Lab Millenium with Clarity Cable.
Thank you, glad you liked the sound.

Actually the speakers we demonstrated were Sound Lab Majestic 845s. (A review of this model was just published on Power cords, power distributors, and digital cables were by Clarity Cable, while most of the analog interconnects and speaker cables were by Teo Audio.
Thanks for the correction.
Very musical.
The system at the show pales in comparison to what's here, even though the electronics and cabling are the same. Chris and Melissa Owen of Clarity Cable, who were in the room, came by today for a listen and were just about in tears the whole time.
Brian has a way of making people cry. 8-)
Boo hoo hoo on the advertisement.
The Essential Audio room was fantastic and a lot work to setup I am sure. With my budget, the more rough-around-the-edges King Sound ESL with Purity & Hegel was a big winner.
Really liked the Y.F.S. with Endeavor room. Compelling offerings from them. Lou Hinkey was open about sharing useful insight to his Daedalus speakers. They were well balanced, easy on the ears and good detail at that price point.
The Tidal speaker system demonstrated at Axpona 2014 was the Piano Cera which is now Tidal's least expensive floorstander.