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Florida International Audio Expo 2024 Show Report


The Best-Sounding FIAE To Date!
Florida International Audio Expo 2024 high-performance audio show coverage.
SWAF 2024 Show Report By Maurice Jeffries


The Best-Sounding FIAE To Date! Florida International Audio Expo 2024 high-performance audio show coverage. SWAF 2024 Show Report By Maurice Jeffries


  For me, mid-February in Central Florida usually means a two-hour road trip from Orlando to Tampa to attend the annual (and now well-established) Florida International Audio Expo (FIAE, previously FLAX – I prefer the latter as it rolls off the tongue more easily). Warm sunny days, pleasant balmy nights, great tunes, good food, and more than a few libations typically define FIAE show weekends.

This year's shebang delivered most of the expected thrills, but the awful weather (wet, dreary, and cold) dampened spirits somewhat, and the venue elevators seemed even slower this year. Still, and on balance, I thought this the finest sounding FIAE yet (I've attended all but one), with a fine (if perhaps slightly smaller) cohort of manufacturers, distributors, and dealers demo'ing high-performance gear from around the globe, and at all price points.

My bad weather/good sound weekend began on the 2nd floor with High End by Oz in the perfectly proportioned Kennedy Room. The system on display, one of the best at the show, delivered bracing clarity, engaging transient speed, and superb instrumental articulation on French drummer Manu Katché's lovely ECM release Neighborhood.

The Lansche Audio 5.2 speakers (with that lovely Lansche plasma tweeter - $57K per pair in gloss white) produced deep tight bass and surprising scale powered by the 22 Wpc Viva Audio Solista MkIII tube integrated, this fed by a Thrax Audio Maximus DAC / player ($38.5K). The superb plasma tweeter struck me as perhaps a touch hot in the big room on the same Katché recording, but otherwise sounded well-extended and clean, with air and real bloom.



My show notes highlighted the system's stable precise imaging and real sense of soundstage depth. Oz himself shared that the tweeter runs from 1.5kHz to 150kHz, meaning no crossover nasties in the all-important 2kHz to 4kHz range. This system gifted simply gorgeous sound, the slightly hot top-end notwithstanding. A Best Of Show contender. S.I.N. Audio's PSD Unlimited Power Distributor ($23.5K), Hifistay rack ($6.5K per shelf), and Albedo Silver cables ($6k to $23K) rounded out a stellar setup.



On the same floor, the TAD/PAD HiFi partnership (situated in the massive Bayshore Ballroom to be precise) offered slam, fine coherence, and good texture over their reference system. The massive TAD-R1TX-BR/EB Ultimate Reference One TX floorstanding speakers ($160K per pair) inflated the large space with potent bass and fine pitch and focus.



The Beatles' Come Together shimmered with stable, precise imaging, very good depth, but perhaps not the last word in holographic layering and bloom. Possibly more concerning given my listening preferences, the presence region sounded just a might thin, but not annoyingly so. 




TAD's M700 mono amps ($96K – I'm assuming that price is for the pair, but the literature wasn't clear here), TAD-DA1000TX-S D/A converter ($15,900), TAD-C1000 preamp ($24,950), and TAD-D1000TX-S disc player rounded out an impressive demo.  




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