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

The AXPONA Chronicles 2023: Part 5
Gold Pass suites and more on the 11th floor.
Audio Expo North America 2023 Show Report By Rick Becker



  The 11th Floor was a short floor with only eight rooms plus the Gold Pass Suite.


Theoretica Applied Physics
I've raved about the rig here before, giving it a Best Rooms award at Capital Audiofest as I recall. Just sitting in the chairs, much of the holographic sound quality goes to the JansZen speakers which have electrostatic divers in the middle of the front baffle as well as woofers above and below. But you can also see small side-firing speakers and I believe there is also a rear-firing driver as well which all contribute to creating a realistic ambient space for the music. The speaker is a great value on its own, and it is available without the side and rear-firing drivers if you wish to keep the cost down.

The silver box on the floor is the Bach-SP unit from Theoretica Applied Physics. Do a search for a review of this unit. I think there is one in The Absolute Sound that goes into far more complex theory and detail than I can afford to write here. But the bottom line is the same. This was a great-sounding room.



The gentleman on the left is Dr. Edgar Choueiri, Director of Princeton's Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory (EPPDyL) and the 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics (3D3A) Lab. He is a tenured Full Professor in the Applied Physics Group at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, and associated faculty at the Astrophysical Sciences Department/Program in Plasma Physics at Princeton University. Not exactly your everyday rocket scientist. I didn't have time to take in a lecture or demonstration here, but I think his work has something to do with creating sound images that follow you as you walk about a room. But don't quote me. Perhaps I will catch up with him at Capital Audiofest 2023 in the fall.



When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The Phonia room was a Polish lemonade stand. Their gear was held up in US Customs and running late with UPS, I was told.



But these two young entrepreneurs, Daniel Krolak (left) and Marek Michalski refused to hide behind closed doors. They welcomed me into the empty room with great exuberance and gave me their elevator pitch.



Whipping out a cell phone, I was shown a photo of the speaker they intended to premier at the show. I believe this is the dipole speaker, an open baffle design that looks similar to a Nola Baby Grand Reference, except it is a fully open baffle design. It is to be priced at $10k. (They also mentioned a tower speaker in the $7k to $8k price range.) It looks very interesting and at a more real-world price than most speakers at the show. I will be keeping an eye out for them in the future.



Dutch & Dutch North America
I've heard a lot of buzz about Dutch & Dutch in the past few years and finally, I was able to come baffle-to-ear with them. The buzz is true. They're good.



The room was set up with the listeners gazing at the view through the picture window, much as I have my listening room at home. (I use some car stereo damping material on the glass to keep it quiet.)  The speakers were backed up to the front wall which reinforced the bass emanating from two rear-facing woofers.



The baffle is sculpted from a white solid surface material with a waveguide around the tweeter. I appreciated the absence of visible screws. Very svelte. The cabinet is made from wood with a veneered surface stained to come close to the pure white of the front baffle. Other finishes are available. There is a vertical port on the side, as you can see.



They had a display model on the counter that I could spin around to photograph the rear baffle.



From the left at the lower edge is an XLR subwoofer output, XLR input, XLR pass-through, Ethernet network input, a series of settings for Lo Gain, Hi Gain, and something for left and right. Then we have the AC input with an easily accessible fuse for the internal amplifier (1000 watts) and the power switch. It seems to self-set for 100-240 V and 50-60 Hz, but read the manual as the fine print on the back warns. I was very impressed and I see why others have been, too.




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