In the morning KEF offered a delicious breakfast to all the press while we basked in the glory of music via their extensive line of impressive speakers. KEF representative Johan Coorg and i discussed their Blade 2 and other developments. The Blade Two is excellent for those who have a smaller-ish room to mate well for best sound. KEF's original Blade design has already earned many prestigious awards, and now with their second model, Blade Two, they have once again brought together their engineering prowess yet on a physically smaller scale than the original Blade floorstander. Being a smaller size, KEF's Blade Two is easier to position where space is at a premium. Have heard both Blade models and they are most impressive.
Since we broke the news on the new Etymotic, more info has come to light. The new IEMs benefit from enhancing the matching sensitivity so it is the same with both models. At 98dB at 100 mv the Etymotic ER4XR And ER4SR IEM will work with pretty much all devices from low output cell phones to the very best portable media players and headamps. The XR model is tuned for those enjoy more bass, whereas the SR is more neutral. Pricing is $349 and, oh, by the way, the cable is now user replaceable. Sweeeet!
Nordost Blue Heaven Ethernet ($399 for one meter) and Blue Heaven headphone ($399 for 1.25 meter length) are great upgrades to stock cables. Yours truly is so looking forward to hearing the benefits of their Ethernet cable, while i've already enjoyed the benefits of their headphone cables. Stock cables are generally good, yet if you want to unleash the potential of your cans you really need to try Nordost's colorful cable offerings.
Will cut to the chase and simply say that this is perhaps the best i've ever heard the Wilson Audio Alexia speakers sound to date. Amps were the outstanding Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression ($58,000 and $40,000 respectively). The highs were extremely transparent and musical midrange was joined by very controlled and tuneful bass. A great combo!
Dan and i share many of the same joys in life including fine Swiss mechanical timepieces, sports cars and scuba diving. Am always impressed with his immense knowledge on many topics. Dan is truly a brilliant man with many skillsets! We're very much looking forward to hearing the production version of their much-anticipated Streamer DAC / network media player ($45,000).
Technics will soon be shipping their legendary direct-drive 1200-series turntable. Specifically, their much-anticipated Grand Class SL-1200GAE ($4000 each). One problem that direct-drive systems have always faced was sound quality degradation caused by 'cogging', or tiny vibrations of the motor and rotational speed fluctuations. By using a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor without iron core, this 'cogging' is said to have been virtually eliminated. Furthermore, a twin rotator construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque and also limits minute vibration during rotation. The tonearm employs a lightweight material (cold drawn aluminum for the SL-1200G and magnesium for the SL-1200GAE).
Enjoy the Music.com will be posting much more AXPONA 2016 coverage so check back often.