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Axpona 2013 Day Three Highlights

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[T]he final day of Axpona 2013 allowed those of use who wanted to listen to the rooms some actual breathing space.  Unfortunately, there were still so many rooms to hear that it was nearly impossible to give a good listen to each.  Here are some of the highlights of our third day.  Starting with Von Schweikert’s ultra high end system.

Von Schweikert Audio

Von Schweikert Audio VR-100XS Universe System

Von Schweikert Audio VR-100XS Universe System – HD Ref 3 Limited Edition Music Server System $14,500 – EMM Labs DAC 2X $15,000 – Purity Audio Ultra GT Pre-amp $53,000 – KR Amp SXi MkII Integrated Bi-amp for upper freq $21,000 – Channel Island Audio D200 MkII for lower freq $3,500/pr. – Von Schweikert Audio VR-100XS $140,000 – EX V15 subs $10,000/each – MasterBuilt Sig Series speaker cables $7,500/pr – MasterBuilt Sig Series Interconnects $3,600/pr – MasterBuilt Sig Series Power Cables $6,200/pr – MasterBuilt USB cable $4,000 – Critical Mass Rack & Stand $37,000

Where to even start? The sound from this system was quite fantastic and in ‘show’ setup conditions. We overheard several attendees in the other rooms and elevators telling others to make sure they go hear the Von Schweikert room.  You can’t get a better endorsement than that. We heard a smooth mid-range that was fleshy and textured, a quick top end, lively and dynamic.  Soundstaging was very good; spacing and size of instrument and singer seemed spot on.  One interesting thing to note: The amps in the system cost considerably less than the speakers and other electronics.  Very interesting, and if it showed, it was probably in the somewhat slow bass.  But who can really say when in ‘show’ condition you will only hear 60-70% of what a system can do at best versus when it was in a proper room.

Salk & Audio By Van Alstine

Salk & AVA at Axpona 2013

Salk Streamplayer – Oppo Player – Fet Valve Pre-amp $2499 – Transcendence Eight + Preamp $1299 – Fet Valve DAC $2499 – ABX switch box $1500 – Ultra Valve Amp $1999 – Fet Valve Amp $3499 – Humdinger DC Line Blocker $125 – Salk Soundscape 8 $7,999 – Salk SongTower $1,999 – Salk WOW1 mini monitor $1,199

Jim Salk and Frank Van Alstine teamed up again, presenting sure fire quality and sound.  The white Salk SongTower speakers were inspired by a purchaser who works at Google.  Since their creation Jim said he has had many more requests.  The real gems in the room were the Soundscape 8 speakers.  Jim wanted to see how cost effective he could be and still create the same quality of sound as the Soundscape 12 speakers which are nearly twice the price. The sound from this room was smooth, the bass thumped with authority, and the mid-range and top end was open and clear. I think this is one of the best sounding demos I’ve heard from Salk and AVA at a show.

Rega

Rega at AXPONA 2013

RS3 speakers $1,399 – RP8 turntable – Apollo R CD player – Brio R integrated amplifier

Rega RP8 turntable at AXPONA 2013

RS3 speakers $1,399 - RP8 turntable - Apollo R CD player - Brio R integrated amplifier - at AXPONA 2013

Rega choose to show a relatively inexpensive system at the show.  The room’s host commented that a lot of folks forget that Rega also makes speakers.  Which is too bad, because at $1,300 the RS3 sounded very good.  With their side firing woofers the stage extension was a bit shorter than one might be used to, but they were clear, had a good upper mid-range without being sluggish.  And hey, that new RP8.  That is a great looking table, isn’t it?

One Response to Axpona 2013 Day Three Highlights


  1. Harold says:

    Re Unison Research Simply Italy amp. Aren’t ultralinear and SET mutually exclusive designs?

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