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Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Premium Audio Show Report


Best Of SWAF 2024 Blue Note Awards
Reviewer Paul Schumann gives you his Best Of Southwest Audio Fest 2024.
Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Show Report By Paul Schumann


Best Of SWAF 2024 Blue Note Awards Reviewer Paul Schumann gives you his Best Of Southwest Audio Fest 2024. Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Show Report By Paul Schumann


  Attending a high-end audio show is a bit of sensory overload! There were over 100 companies represented at Southwest Audio Fest 2024. When I got my bearings by the third day, I settled on a few favorite rooms that I wanted to revisit. The top ones are winners of the Best Of SWAF 2024 Blue Note Awards.




The Soundlab room was one of the first I visited, yet I returned several times over the three days. What drew me back was the utter transparency of this system. The pairing of Soundlab Majestic ESLs and the Berning 845 ZOTL Gen 3 Monoblocks was an inspired choice. I know that the Majestic ESLs could have used more room to breathe, but it didn't matter. This was a room I felt lucky to experience.





Audio Note UK is all about the synergy of its products, but this was the first time I was able to experience it firsthand. The AN E / Spe HE loudspeakers look positively retro compared to some of the other transducer offerings at the show, but it doesn't matter because this system sounded so darn good. There was a tactile quality of this system that is hard to put into words. If you ever have a chance to listen to a complete Audio Note system like this, don't pass it up.





A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep


These words from Keat's poem came to mind as I sat In front of John Semrad's magnificent horns. The product of a true artisan, they belong in a museum for their craftsmanship alone. When playing, music just flowed out of them like there were no boundaries between the listener and the performer. It would have been very easy to sit in that room for a couple of hours and let the rest of the world slip away.




That's A Wrap


I had a wonderful time at the inaugural Southwest Audio Fest. Congratulations to Gary Gill and Lou Hinkley for the great job they did in the new endeavor! As I walked out to my car, I was greeted by a lineup of trucks ready to take amazing audio equipment to its next destinations. My fingers are crossed so I can come back next year to continue the adventure. As always... enjoy the music!


-- Paul Schumann




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