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AXPONA 2023 Luxury Premium Audio And Hi-Fi Stereo Audiophile Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

The AXPONA 2023 Chronicles: Part 10
Third floor thrills with great sounding stereo systems.
Audio Expo North America 2023 Show Report By Rick Becker


The AXPONA 2023 Chronicles: Part 10 Third floor thrills with great sounding stereo systems. Audio Expo North America 2023 Show Report By Rick Becker


Sunday Morning At The AXPONA 2023 Show
Well, It seems I screwed up again today, starting about halfway down the side of the aisle, probably thinking this was where I left off on Saturday (up on the 4th Floor). I'm going to have to cover Capital Audiofest incognito lest the hit squads of some of these rooms catch up with me.

Of course, it may simply have been the case that the guys running these first few rooms were late to work.



Saturday Audio Exchange, Monitor Audio, And Roksan
I've covered Monitor Audio speakers very positively at the Montreal show this spring, and Roksan as well.



Elite AV Distribution And SweetVinyl
These are the guys who make boxes that eliminate the clicks and pops on your treasured LPs.



MoFi Distribution, Isotek, And Wharfedale
I've been wanting to listen to current models of Wharfedale speakers for a handful of years, if not more. So I'm sorry to miss this room in particular. Being a British company, Wharfedale used to be shown more frequently at the Toronto and Montreal shows.



MoFi Distribution, HiFi Rose, And MoFi Electronics
I'm sure lots of others have covered this room, most likely with HiFi Rose driving Andrew Jones' latest Sourcepoint 8 8" coaxial speaker which is a follow-up to the 10" version introduced a year ago.



OK, we're off and running again. ELAC has not stood still after the departure of Andrew Jones and they showed a very nice sounding floorstander augmented with a pair of trapezoidal subwoofers that fired on both sides, rather than forward or downward. I liked ELAC speakers with their folded ribbon tweeters before Andrew Jones came along and I still like them after he has moved on. People looking for speakers at modest price points should pay attention to ELAC.



The Vela FS407 floorstander was $5800 and the Varro DS12000GB subwoofers were $3k each. They used an Alchemy DDP-2 preamplifier / DAC / Roon endpoint ($2900) and Alchemy DPA-2 Stereo/Mono Amp ($1750 ea.) as well as a Discovery DS-S101 Roon Server ($1k), a Protek PR-81B power conditioner ($450) and ELAC Reference speaker cables, a modest ($250/pr.). There is also a separate phono stage in this series of electronics.



MoFi Distribution, EMT, And Falcon
It was kind of strange that the ELAC room was positioned between the two MoFi Distribution rooms.



The Falcon monitor, probably a BBC variant, was finished in a rather wild veneer that people will likely have strong opinions about one way or the other. Still, I love it when companies take risks like this. Unlike the 4th Floor, there was very little documentation in the rooms here on the 3rd.



A Whest (or whest) TWO.2 discrete dual-mono phono stage was in use here.



On top in the photo above was a LEAK CDT CD transport only ($795), and below was a LEAK Stereo 230 ($1695), the newest integrated amp from this UK company. It features a built-in DAC and HDMI input for connecting to your TV, as well as the usual digital inputs. It puts out 75 Watts per channel, more than enough for civilized listening with most speakers. Its classic looks, courtesy of the real wood walnut cabinet will fit in traditional rooms where much of today's stereo gear would be out of place.



Also on display here, and all fired up, was a Mastersound Dueventi integrated amp ($4500) from Italy that puts out 10 Wpc in triode and 20 Wpc in Pentode mode. And yes, those would be Russian power tubes from Electro Harmonix. For a very interesting read about Electro Harmonix and its fearless American owner, Mike Mathews, check out this page on their website detailing their illustrious history.  




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