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AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com


Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles
Fantastic Luxury Hi-Fi On The 5th Floor At AXPONA 2022.
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker


Fantastic Luxury Hi-Fi On The 5th Floor At AXPONA 2022.


  I first heard the Perlisten S7t at Capital AudioFest and was very impressed with what I heard. This is a new company with a multinational footprint, designing in the US and building in China. The fit and finish of the upgrade wood veneer were exemplary. Piano Gloss Black and Gloss White are standard. The speaker is Certified for THX Dominus, the highest version of THX, so you can presume it is robust. It can also be reconfigured as a bass reflex with deeper bass or acoustic suspension for more tuneful bass response. The speaker is rated at 92.5dB sensitivity and 4 Ohm impedance, making it tempting to try it with a strong tube amp, but they recommend amps from 100 to 600 Watts RMS. Perhaps they are thinking in terms of room-shaking THX performance. I should have made a better effort to capture the finish of the wood veneer on the sides. The black fronts are suited for home theater or listening to music in the dark.




The electronics in the Perlisten rig were simple: A new Aurender A15 server/streamer with full MQA decoding and balanced outputs coming from the DAC. A Unico 150 hybrid integrated amp from Italy drove the speakers. And both were situated on a Pangea rack with "X" support struts on the side for additional stability — a modest upcharge from the basic model.




A Mark Levinson stack of components drove Revel F328Be speakers with a 1-inch (25mm) beryllium tweeter surrounded by a ceramic-coated, cast-aluminum Acoustic Lens waveguide to control the directivity. With 91dB/W/m efficiency and 8 Ohm impedance, this looks to be an interesting possibility for use with a strong, though not necessarily high power tube amp. Naturally, being a Harman International company (wholly owned by Samsung), it was partnered with Mark Levinson gear including one of several Mark Levinson 5105 turntables I saw at the show. Below that was their 5101 SACD player, preamp, and stereo power amp, all on a Solidsteel rack — a very clean look in black and silver.



Retaining the professional-looking shipping cases in the room was an interesting approach to décor that I've seen only a few times in my life. Note the casters on the exterior and the low lift-over height of the cases — two features that should make delivery and re-shipping a lot easier.




JBL presented a trim rig with their new SA750 integrated amp ($3k) streaming Qobuz with wireless connectivity, Dirac room correction, and 110 Wpc of Class G amplification. That looked to be their modern L82 2-way speaker ($2750) with the orange grille. The large piano gloss black speaker next to it was a JBL HDI 3600 ($4200). The JBL website is a mess, but you can find info on the speakers on the Crutchfield site.




Rethm, from India, consistently comes up with unusual and interesting speaker designs. The AARKA ($6k, including shipping) shown here is a hybrid active speaker with a 5" wide-band driver on the front, driven by a 25 Wpc hybrid amp with tube driver stage, and a pair of 6" bass drivers on the rear driven by a 95 Wpc Class AB amp. The internal amps can be bypassed if you wish to use your own external amps. All you need is a streamer / DAC / preamp unit and you have an elegant minimalist rig. A dark wood finish shown on their website also looks very elegant.




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