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AXPONA 2024 High-Performance Audio, Luxury Premium Hi-Fi Stereo Audiophile Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com


Best Of AXPONA 2024 Blue Note Awards Greg Weaver's Top Five Rooms at Audio Expo North America 2024


Best Of AXPONA 2024 Blue Note Awards
Greg Weaver's Top Five Rooms at AXPONA 2024
Audio Expo North America 2024 Show Coverage By Greg Weaver


  As mentioned at the outset, here are my Top Five Rooms, presented in the same order as the main show report is laid out, starting on floor 16 and working down to the ground floor. Keep in mind that, given your personal biases and musical preferences, any of these Top Five Rooms might have filled your top honor qualifications. They were all fabulous and deserving of such remarkable recognition. Let's literally, "Take it from the top...."



1621 – Von Schweikert Audio, LampizatOr, And Hear This
If you've seen my take on the performance achieved by these partners at the last Capital Audiofest 2023 in Rockville last November, you may not be surprised when I tell you that what they achieved at this event was even more accomplished. This time, they offered just a few new twists.

First, Fred Ainsly, of Maryland's Destination Sound Group, the North American importer of Poland's remarkable LampizatOr gear, was showing the latest DAC from Łukasz Fikus, the new Poseidon DAC, with volume control. At about half the price of their flagship Horizon, I can attest to the fact that it offers the Lion's Share of the Horizon's performance!



Next, with offices in Manchester, England, the Hong Kong-manufactured WestminsterLab founder and designer, Angus Leung, had a few tricks up his sleeve. WestminsterLab is represented in the USA by Gary Leeds of Newport Beach, California's Hear This, and instead of using one Quest Preamplifier, Angus arranged two to work together in tandem, one for the left channel only, and the other for the right channel only. Then, instead of using one Rei Class A monoblock per channel, he was using a pair in a vertical bi-amplification scheme.

And while Von Schweikert Audio of Riverside, Californian had changed up to the VR-55 Special Editon version, digital audio was sourced by Andy Gillis and his New Hampshire-based Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i9.


System Details:
Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i9 (Gen 4) Roon Server - $3,999
Sonore Signature Rendu SE Deluxe Music Streamer - $5,350

LampizatOr Posiden Balance DAC/Preamplifier - $25,800

WestminsterLab dual Mono Quest Balanced Pre-amplifiers (full carbon edition) 2 used - $53,800

WestminsterLab Rei Class A Monoblock Amplifiers (4 used in a vertical bi-amp configuration) - $67,800

Von Schweikert VR-55 Special Edition Loudspeakers w/ Foundation/ARC bass controller - $85,000/pair

Von Schweikert V-12XS MkII Shockwave Active Room Correction Systems – 2 used - $33,000

Masterbuilt Audio Ultra Balanced Interconnects - $18,000

Masterbuilt Audio Ultra USB - $12,000

Final Touch Audio Sinope USB - $1,500
MasterBuilt Audio Ultra Speaker Cables - $23,000

MasterBuilt Audio Ultra Power Cords - $17,000

Vividuszwo Grounding Box (for source components) North American debut - $13,000

Folgenhaüs Bespoke Three-Tier Double-wide Rock Maple Component Shelves - $18,000

FalkenOhr Amplifier Stands (custom for WestminsterLab Rei monoblock amplifiers) - $14,000



As impressive as the VSA sound is in their larger installations, I have to say that this may be the very best bass I've ever heard represented in a more typical and modest-sized room. Further, listening to the Larry Carlton Trio playing "Sunrise (Live Version)" from the 2005 New Morning: The Paris Concert release, Larry's distinctive guitar was well fleshed out, tonally district and rich, and presented with an engaging representation of texture. Such a wonderful-sounding room – which is why it made my Top Five Room cut.



1627 - GTT Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Vivid Audio, And Mola-Mola
I have heard, reviewed, or have owned many of the pieces of gear presented in this room, and these partners were taking no prisoners with either of the two systems in this suite. Both the LP and digital playback in the Main room was off the chain, and among the best you will hear at any event, worldwide. Further, the accomplishment in the second much smaller room, which may not be exactly a "budget" system, yet was both simple and affordable by today's standards, and represented an over-achievement that was bordering on the surreal.



Main Room System Details:
Kronos Sparta turntable - $26,000
Kronos Kronoscope RS tonearm - $14,000
Kronos Sparta Super Capacitor Power Supply - $9,500
My Sonic Lab Signature Platinum MC Cartridge - $11,000
MolaMola Lupe phonostage - $9,850
Grimm MU1 Streamer/Roon Core $12,500
MolaMola Tambaqui DAC - $13,500

Dejitterit Switch X Ethernet Switch - $3,500

Audionet Stern Linestage - $48,950

Audionet Heisenberg monoblock amplifiers - $105,000/Pair

Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit - $105,550/Pair

Kubala Sosna Xpander - Power Distribution - $5,400
Kubala Sosna Realization Interconnect - $12,000/$2,300 1m/additional meter

Kubala Sosna Realization Speaker Cable - $12,000/$2,300 1m/additional meter

Kubala Sosna Realization Power Cable - $3400/$7001m/additional meter

Kubala Sosna Realization AES/EBU Cable - $5,600/$800 1m/additional meter


Second Room System Details:

Mola Mola Makua preamp/with internal DAC card - $20,700

MolaMola Percaamplifer - $9,850

Vivid Audio Kaya K-45 - $21,000
All cabling from Kubala Sosna



During all my listening in the main room, it was the playing of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti, that highlighted what a grand-slam home run this system represented, with an almost hypnotic rendering of the fourth movement. First, the vinyl was so quiet that the listener sitting beside me asked me why they were letting the LP spin since they were playing a digital track! And the effortless, natural bloom of instruments, and especially the body of the soloists, was just exceptional. The system's ability to highlight the individuality of massed strings and voices was beyond reproach. The system easily earned its inclusion in my Top Five Rooms / Best Of AXPONA 2024 Blue Note Awards.



The smaller room was pulling off miracles as well. Listening to Benny Carter's, "A Walkin' Thing," from his late 50' Jazz Giant release, revealed a superbly amazing sense of body while offering surprising bass extension, speed, and impact. Bravo!




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