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Axpona 2013 Day One Highlights

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Audioengine new A2 speakers

Audioengine A2 speakers

Audioengine A2 speakers with high end speaker cables

Audioengine, one of our favorite desktop computer speakers is releasing a new version of the A2.  We received hint that they will be named the A2+.  A key feature is a low-end DSP cut off to prevent the speakers from clipping on explosive bass from movies and big symphony music. This Bay Area manufacturer also makes such high-tech darlings as a D2 Premium Wireless 24-bit DAC ($599) that includes a transmitter that takes the digital signal out of your computer and sends it to a wireless companion receiver, which is plugged into your own DAC for processing. No more long USB cables. In the larger picture above is the current-production A2 active bookshelf ($199/pair). Notice the extra cables going into only the left A2; it takes all the connections for both speakers.

 Audeze steampunk headphones

Audeze steampunk headphones

I don’t think you can get any more awesome than this.

Kingsound King III speakers and Bob Carver Amps

Kingsound King III speakers at AXPONA 2013

Kingsound King III speakers at AXPONA 2013

Kingsound Princess IIa bookshelf speakers at AXPONA 2013

Kingsound Princess IIa bookshelf speakers at AXPONA 2013

KingSound U.S. importer Roger DuNaier of Performance Devices brought the new King III full-range electrostatic speakers ($12k/pair) to the show. Electronics included the Purity Audio Design Reference Series II line stage ($11,495) and Bob Carver Black Beauty 305 monoblocks ($12,900/pair). All cabling was via Clarity Cables. This system could play loud with impressive dynamic transients and dimensionality. Check outDoug’s recent Review of the King III

Music Hall’s new Ikura Turntable

Music Hall Ikura turntable at AXPONA 2013

Music Hall Ikura turntable at AXPONA 2013

Roy Hall of Music Hall fame showcased the brand-new Ikura turntable with price yet to be announced,. The sound was tuneful and agreeable though not definitive through the $1,195 Creek EVO-50A integrated amplifier driving the $350/pair Marimba bookshelf speakers. Phono stage was also a Creek OBH-15MKII mm/mc phono stage ($595), accompanied by the Music Hall DAC15.2 ($299). We did over hear the the Ikura might be around $1,000.  We look forward to a possible review at Dagogo.

Seminar with Robert Harley, Ed Momkus, Jason Victor Serinus, John Atkinson

Axpona hosted several seminars today and we attended the “Discussions on What Attracted Us and How To Attract A Younger Audience For The Future”.  Dagogo senior reviewer Ed Momkus was among the panelists.  The seminar was very well attended and received.   It was both interesting and sometimes very funny to hear how Jason, John and others, became audiophiles.  All four on the panel mentioned music at home and music education in school as being major influences. Not to mention the “past times”  of the youth in the 60’s.

But that right there, that these were four men who were youths in the 60’s, speaking about how to attract today’s youths into our hobby, is a major oversight with panels like this.  These guys aren’t the youth of today who work in the high end audio industry talking about what attracted them, what attracts their friends, and how can the word be spread.  But this isn’t to say that no good points were brought up. But the good points were that most of the youth today listen to headphones, are on the go, and get music from Youtube, Pandora, and mp3s.  But we already know this.  So no real solutions were suggested.  And unfortunately, even if real ideas or courses of action were suggested, who would organize and execute these?

It might be time for audiophiles, audio manufacturers, importers and shops, to organize a global or at least North American focused non-profit group with the specific mission to address this issue. A group like this must not only have the bully pulpit to speak from, but the financing to back and execute out reach programs.  Until this or something similar happens, any good suggestions really just end up being well intentioned hot air.

One Response to Axpona 2013 Day One Highlights

  1. Great to see you Constantine. FYI, the interconnects you saw at the show are not prototypes but the finished product, ready for purchase.
    Have a great day.

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