OK, so there were so many rooms at AXPONA that I just have to do a part two of this post to recognize a few more systems that are worth mentioning.
In the CH Precision room, they were using the CH Precision D1 SACD/CD drive that sells for $38,000. It had the Sync I/O clock synchronization board for $1,500 more. They were also using their Reference II universal integrated amplifier for $38,000. For speakers, they were using the YG Acoustics Carmel 2 speakers. The turntable was from Thales. The cables were their CH Speaker Links. All the power cords and conditioning was from Nordost.
I have always really liked the Carmel speakers, both the original and especially the Carmel 2’s. We toured the YG Acoustics factory the day before RMAF last year and wrote a post about how impressed we were with the quality they put into their products, so I wasn’t surprised that the speakers sounded great.
On Friday, the overall sound in this room had great detail and a big soundstage, but it sounded a little lean in the upper bass. When I went back late Saturday afternoon, the sound was much fuller.
Silnote Audio, Allnic Audio and Magnepan shared room 506. The system they put together sounded very good, but it seemed to be somewhat of a hodgepodge of equipment. The speakers were the Magnepan 3.7i powered by a Mark Levinson 335 with an Allnic Audio L-4000 tube line stage, The source was a Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, and the cables were from Silnote Audio.
The sound was open, full, extended and very musical.
In the Daedalus Audio/Linear Tube Audio room the speakers were the Daedalus Apollo 11 that they say is their final version with their MTTM (mid/tweeter/tweeter/mid) design. The price starts at $17,400, but in the configuration, they were showing at AXPONA they were $22,800. They were being driven by a pair of LTA Ultralinear ZOTL Power Amplifiers that cost $6,800 for the pair wired for mono. The source was from Lampizator; their own Super Computer music server at $8,500. The cables were Skogrund Vivaldi Series.
This system looked beautiful, especially the Daedalus speakers and the Lampizator. This was an incredible dream system that made beautiful music. By the way, the LTA amp was used in other rooms as a single stereo amp, and in each system, it sounded great.
In the Carver Sound and Audio room, they were playing Bob Carver’s Amazing Line Source speakers that sell for $18,500. They were being driven by the Carver Crimson 350 monoblocks that sell for $9,500 a pair.
I didn’t care for their sound at RMAF, but here at AXPONA I was shocked at how good the system sounded.
In the Amped America room, they were using their just-released the AMP 2400 power amplifier that sells for $3,500 and the new 400Wpc Class D stereo amplifier used with an Adcom GFD-815 preamp at $499. The speakers were the KEF Q950 speakers that sell for $1,800 per pair.
They had two sources, the LA Audio CD player for $2,200 and the just released Triangle Art Maestro turntable with a Jelco tonearm for $7,500. I am just finishing up the review of this turntable, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s the real bargain in this system.
The sound was nice and listenable. The top end was a little mellow, and the bass didn’t go all that deep. I can say from listening to the table at home that it is worthy of a much better system than this.
In the Musical Surroundings room, they were using Wilson Audio Sabrina Speakers at $15,900 driven by a Moon by Sim 700i integrated amplifier. The analog source was an AMG Giiro 9 turntable with their 9-inch tonearm for $10,000. It was mounted with the AMG Teatro MC for $2,750. It was being used with a Musical Surroundings Super Nova phono preamp for $5,000. The digital system was the Moon 6500 CD Player and an Aurender A-10 Music Server at $5,500. The cabling was by Kubala Sosna and the racks by Critical Mass.
I don’t know why but I seem to always prefer the sound of smaller Wilson Speakers, and I loved this system. The AMG Teatro MC is one of the best-kept cartridge secrets in audio land. You can easily spend twice as much and not get as much music out of the grooves of an LP. This combination of components simply made beautiful music for a system at any price.