Publisher Profile

2015 Axpona Chicago, Part 1

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Kingsound 1

One of my darling speakers following review has been the Kingsound King III electrostatic, and ownership has been a joy. At the show I heard the Prince III ($995), which produced respectable LF, and a pristine midrange on up. It was powered by KR Audio’s Va-910 Mon Block Ultra-Linear Class AB1 Amplifiers ($16K/pair), Allnic Audio D-500 DAC ($11,900), Sound Science Music Vault Diamond Ultra Music Server ($4,995), and Dana Cables Reference models (ranging from $995 for interconnect to $3,300 per pair of speaker cables). In a reversal of logical system building, the speakers represented just under 25% of the total system cost, which is perfectly fine, as it was as delicate and nuanced in most respects as the top gun rigs I heard. Many times I have used the King III in seemingly absurd cost-ratio systems and it always impresses. The Kingsound ESL products are presenting themselves as some of the finest sounding panel speakers regardless of cost.

Kingsound 2


Grant Fidelity and PureAudioProject

Grant Fidelity 1

Perhaps because I spent plenty of years cobbling together more affordable systems in an effort to reach finer sound, I love cost to performance surprises in show rigs. One room which tickled my fancy was hosted by Grant Fidelity and the PureAudioProject. Rachel Zhang of Grant Fidelity and Ze’ev Schlik of PureAudioProject were energetic and cordial; a very welcoming atmosphere was created in the room. Rachel recently returned from China, checking on the production of new panels for the PureAudioProject TB15 Speaker. Up front were the Music Hall C-DAC 15.3 DAC/CD Player, Yulong Sabre DA8 DSD DAC ($1,299), Consonance D-Linear 15 Ultra Reference Power Conditioning System ($1,850), Psvane TS845 Integrated SET Tube Amplifier ($3,550) and a suite of Grant Fidelity Custom Cables ($750).

The PureAudioProject TB15 deserves special comment, as this is a category blending DIY/mainstream crossover product. With a skeletal triangle-like frame and individual open baffles for each driver, the speaker sits naked in all respects. The wiring and crossover remain open in the rear of the speaker. I was told the speaker is assembled in approximately one hour, and panels can be swapped for different finishes if desired. The speaker comes with either 10” Morel bass drivers (note different driver configuration on website) version, or 15” bass drivers using the Eminence Alpha 15a. Most notably, the middle driver is swappable, and three versions are fully supported by PureAudioProject: (Tang Band W8-1808) Trio 15TB, (Heil AMT) Trio 15 Heil AMT, and (Beyma Horn AMT TPL150H) Trio 15 TPL/150H. Adding to the flexibility, the speakers will in the future support both active and passive crossovers! I will be reviewing all three variants of this speaker.

As to the sound, the Grant Fidelity/PureAudioProject room was splendid, with generous body and richness. The soundstage was physically lower, as the speaker is not tall, but the lovely coherence of a full range driver with bass assist was on display. Bass output was quite acceptable for an open baffle design, and not cluttered. This speaker deserves a serious look by anyone with a desire to get the foot in the door to excellent sound on a budget. The Psvane TS845 did justice to the event, with a liquid smooth ease. Though not in competition for an award of the highest absolute sonic caliber, this was one of the most enjoyable rooms of the show.

Grant Fidelity 3Grant Fidelity 2


NEXT: Part 2

3 Responses to 2015 Axpona Chicago, Part 1

  1. Jeffery Martin says:

    Informative Comments.
    Any chance (a) Grant Fidelity and Pure Audio Project and (b) Kingsound King and Prince wiil
    be at the August CA Audio Show this year?
    Thanks, J.M.

    • Jeffery,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Grant Fidelity will be featuring PureAudioProject and Mundorf in the 3rd Floor San Bruno Suite at CAS6.

      See you there!


      Constantine Soo

  2. lloyd smith says:

    Essence of music cd treatment seems pricy. How well does it work? Regards, lloyd

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