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Axpona 2013 Day Three Highlights

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Colleen Cardas Imports

Colleen Cardas Imports at AXPONA 2013

Collen Cardas put together a relatively affordable system: Opera Loudspeakers Quinta ($5,495/pair), Unison Research Simply Italy integrated amplifier ($2,450), Unison Research Unico UPower booster amplifier ($2,895), a Unison Research Unico CDE CD player with dual-mono optional DAC upgrade ($4,120), MIT SL8 ($499/meter pair) RCA interconnects throughout, and MIT SL9 speaker cables ($799/8-foot pair) featuring new, compact networks. Total = $16,759. The sound was surprisingly transparent and musical. This is a great intermediate system package that can be relaxing or exciting whenever the mood calls for.

Colleen Cardas Imports at AXPONA 2013

MAD The Duke floorstanding speakers – The Duke sports innovative new drivers; the ring radiator super tweeter is a non-resonant design with symmetrical chamber and a supercharged magnet to improve top end dynamics with minimal distortion and phase shift. – Pure Audio Ref Class A mono block amplifiers – Moos Aero bookshelf speakers ($2,499)

The all-new open-chassis MILLENNIA Vacuum Turntable System

The all-new open-chassis MILLENNIA Vacuum Turntable System ($9,500) – The MILLENNIA uses SOTA’s internally damped, multi-layer 15-pound vacuum platter system with the ultra Vinyl Format platter mat. It incorporates SOTA’s inverted bearing assembly design, utilizing a polished sapphire thrust plate with zirconium bearing. The SOTA self-sensing record-hold-down system uses a high-tech pneumatic sensing circuit to provide vacuum clamping and maintenance of exact low-pressure vacuum hold-down. The MILLENNIA’s synthesized sine-wave drive (with electronic speed control and speed change) 24 pole A/C Stepper Motor drive system is housed in a separate, high-mass stand alone cabinet and is powered by SOTA’s Electronic Flywheel power supply. Additional damping has been added to the cabinet as well as adjustable feet for fine tuning.

Unison Research Simply Italy at AXPONA 2013

Unison Research Simply Italy ultralinear Class A 12W per channel SET amplifier:
Valve complement: 2 x ECC82 (12AU7) 2 x EL34 (6CA7)
This little guy also had the backing of an external power reserve that would boost the W to 40 when needed.


Wadia Intuition 01 at AXPONA 2013

Wadia Intuition 01 – 350W Class D+ technology – 384 kHz/32 bit USB input – Native DSD playback via USB – 32 bit AD/DA digital pre-amp with a 1.5 MHZ sampling frequency – 3hz – 45khz frequency response – jitter below 1pS RMS – comes in silver – lack anodized, brushed chrome, Nickel (on request)

Wadia Room at Axpona 2013

John Schaffer represented another familiar  face at this show. Whereas the Wadia exhibit had always been staffed by a multitude of employees manning a full shelf of gear, this year there were only two pieces of equipment at the exhibit, and one of them was a pair of speakers that didn’t require  you to even touch it. The other, of course, was the company’s new Intuition 01 USB DAC/class D power amplifier. Outputting 350 Wpc into 4 ohms, the Intuition 01 completely dominated the Focal speakers. This sleek little darling screamed “take me home”. Speaker terminal was all banana. Projected MSRP is $7,500.

Studio Electric and Benchmark

studio electric and benchmark at AXPONA 2013

studio electric and benchmark at AXPONA 2013

Unfortunately the Studio Electric and Benchmark room was the last one we were able to stop into.  And with a flight to catch we were unable to spend as much time as we would have liked.  The sound from the room was not disappointing! Punchy, detailed, dynamic, snappy and fun. The new speakers were put together just in time for the show.  Studio Electric also has a new integrated hybrid amplifier designed to correctly power their closed box bookshelf speakers which are just about the fastest little things this side of the Indy 500.

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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