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AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com


Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles
Floors 15 And 16 Of AXPONA 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker


Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles Floors 15 And 16 of AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker


  In mid-November, 2021, I covered Capital AudioFest and virtually everyone wore a mask. In late March 2022, I covered the Montreal AudioFest and everyone there wore a mask. A month later I covered AXPONA, fully vaxed and double boosted, and at most, 5% of people wore a mask, including myself. I came home with Covid.


"Don't ask me what I think of you; I might not give the answer that you want me to."
 — Fleetwood Mack



First, I Took Chicago
16th Floor
As usual, I started at the top floor where I once again met Zoltan Bay of Bayz Audio with his C-tube omni-directional speakers. Clean line Pilium electronics were connected with Nordost cables. On the left is the Pilium Divine Alexander preamp with power supply and on the right is the Achilles power amp. Bayz is from Hungary and Pilium is from Athens, Greece. The frequency response of the Bayz runs 28Hz to 22kHz. Sensitivity is 90dB/W/m and impedance is rated 4 Ohm minimum. They recommend an amplifier power of 50 Watts. It was shown with a REL subwoofer at Montreal 2022 but didn't need it in this small room. Shown here was the more affordable version with fiberglass tubes in piano gloss black ($37k), rather than the more expensive naked carbon fiber that we saw in Montreal. I'm not familiar with Pilium, but they have a worldwide distribution network. Both Bayz and Pilium are sold through Rhapsody Audio in Brooklyn, NY. And as with the Bayz speaker at Montreal, they struck me as one of the Best Rooms again here at AXPONA 2022 with lots of transparency, air and inner detail.




The upward and downward-firing woofers are connected by the thinner black cylinder which is the omni-directional driver. The soundstage is realistic without pinning the listener in a single sweet spot.



Next Level HiFi is the distributor for Aavik Acoustics electronics, Ansuz cables, and Børresen Acoustics speakers, which are in reality three integrated companies. Next Level HiFi is located near Schaumburg, IL, and has retail hours by appointment.



The sleek lines of the Borresen speakers belie their Danish origin and their fine acoustic signature is seamless and clear as you would expect from their speakers. Coming from the same 'house', the sound is consistent from model to model — and year to year. Given the Covid layoff of audio shows, I can't say the room sounded much different than it did in 2019, which is to say it ranks as another of the Best Rooms again in 2022.




Michael Borreson is known for his adamant avoidance of ferrous metal in his drivers. And in the second room, there was a stand-mounted monitor in gleaming white.



In 1615 Salk Sound speakers were not only sounding good but also looking very fine in their finely finished wood cabinets. I met Mike McGary of McGary Audio whose tube gear was driving the Salk speakers. Dana Cables were making connections and being lifted off the floor by Gingko risers, which were a much-evolved version of the prototypes I first evaluated years ago. A Holo Audio May Spring 3 DAC seemed to contribute to the highly resolved music that lifted this combo of manufacturers into Best Rooms territory. I've admired Salk speakers for many years and this room seemed to take them even higher.





Angie Lisi of American Sound in Toronto, CA, brought big guns, as usual. It was thrilling to see the new Trio G3 Avantgarde Acoustic speakers with dual subwoofers in person. The Trio horns were gorgeous in a deep candy apple red and these high-efficiency horns could easily have filled the large rooms on the second floor.



But alas, if you surrender your room at this show, you likely lose it for the next year, and this 16th Floor Presidential Suite (Alexander) is a primo room on a floor that typically hosts many Best Rooms at this show.




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