YG Acoustics practically defied logic with their room. This was a very, very popular room. After attempts to enter the room on Friday and Saturday, I was finally able to find a lull on Sunday. The large and impressive $119,000 Anat III Signature speakers were wedged into a rather small, oddly shaped hotel room and the results were wonderful, but larger-than-life due to my seating position. The speakers were powered by Krell Evo 402e power amplifiers, fed by the DCS Scarlatti digital playback system and Veloce Audio LS1 battery powered linestage preamp. The sound was musical, powerful, and surprisingly full-range despite the challenge of the room. I must say this is the second superb sounding room in which I heard this fabulous Veloce linestage preamp, the other being the Scaena. Prior to this show it was totally unknown to me. Veloce Audio hailS from Ambler, Pennsylvania and I have a feeling that we will be hearing and reading much more about them in the future. Due to the number of people and the shape of the room, it was quite impossible to get a picture of the equipment table.)
Avatar Acoustics was showing a fine sounding analog system in the new Dr. Feickert Firebird Turntable, with DFA tonearm and Lyra cartridge. The Rosso Fiorentino Sienna speakers were sounding quite good in this very involving system which included the Abbington Music Research (AMR) AM-77.1 integrated amplifier and AMR PH-77 Phono Stage.
M Audio was showing their fascinating Model 10 speaker system. An active DSP speaker, the Model 10 sports four separate power amplifiers, one for each driver, and digitally controlled, fully adjustable crossover points and slopes, equalization, gain, and phase; all housed in the subwoofer base. The overall structure and cabinet makes liberal use of carbon fiber and aluminum to assure structural rigidity and low resonance. Since the Model 10 is fully blue-tooth enabled, all you need is a handheld device, phone, tablet, reader, etc. and you can stream music directly to the speakers. During my visit to this room, an attendee was streaming music from iTunes via his phone directly to the speakers.
Of course, the sound was lossy due to the source. I was unable to get back to hear these using higher quality source material.
Lorr Kramer of Smyth Research was demonstrating a rather fantastic little device called the Realiser A8. This system records an actual system and room environment binaurally using a set of binaural microphones that are placed in your ears.
Once the system records and maps your hearing in the context of that system, it can then playback that exact same system’s signature via headphones. The accuracy and degree of perfection of the emulation is limited only by the quality of the headphones used for playback. You can buy the Realiser with Stax electrostatic headphones, but you can use any headphone of your choice. (I’m thinking maybe a nice Sennheiser Orpheus system).
I did the test and I must say that the device really had me fooled. I actually thought the headphones were non-functional and that the speakers were actually still playing.
This concludes my coverage of AXPONA 2012. I’m very pleased to say that there were so many really good sounding rooms, I feel it unfair to name a single room as a clear “Best of Show”. That said, these were my five favorite listen spots in no particular order; the Scaena Room, YG Acoustics Room, Linkwitz Room, Beauty of Sound, and the Soundsmith Room. While each could not be any more different in sound and in cost, each was engaging and made sweet music in their own special way.
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