The Axpona 2016 experience

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mattsk8
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The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by mattsk8 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:08 pm

First off, I want to say thanks to the guys at Meniscus for the room to hang out in and for such an incredible time!! Thanks Midwest Audio Club for the pizza dinner!! Also, I want to thank Audio Advisor for loaning the Vincent integrated amplifier and the Vincent HDCD player to Meniscus Audio, both performed amazingly well and look incredible too 8-) . The 2 channel stereo integrated amp performed flawlessly, and had plenty of get up and go to drive the speakers!! The Vincent HDCD player was certainly no slouch as an addition to the acoustic nirvana either. Thank you very much Audio Advisor!! I will gladly be recommending Vincent products to anyone looking :D . Here are links to the equipment...

Vincent SV-237 integrated amp... http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=VISV237
Vincent S1.2 HDCD player... http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.as ... r=VICDS1.2

And here are pics of the Meniscus Audio room, with the active version of the Mandolin kits...

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It was a great time all the way around. I shared a room with Craig K and Steve F who are both fellow stereo enthusiasts, and Eric J (fellow enthusiast and designer for Thiel speakers). Craig, always a riot hanging out... Steve and Eric, was great getting to meet both of you for the first time. I'm going to hold you guys to the Nashville get together... make it happen!! Was also great seeing fellow DIY enthusiasts at the show, as well as everyone else!!

I took lots of pics (sorry for the lack of quality, they're cell phone pics) so I won't post them all... but here are the highlights from the event from my perspective...

My favorite room there was the MBL room. I'm not sure if it's the eye candy, the fact that I know I'm listening to a pair of $262,000.00 speakers (not including the amps and other equipment, I'd guess this room was approaching a million dollars), or the absolutely insane sound quality that gets me with MBL. In the words of Craig K, and I agree completely, I've never heard a speaker that had the ability to pressurize a room like these did. These had to be the most realistic to a live show pair of speakers I've ever heard. I've heard the smaller pair of these before and loved them so much I couldn't imagine an upgrade, but MBL pulled it off here. Unbelievable... that's how I would describe them. I can't imagine what these were capable of as far as SPL goes, but I'm sure permanent hearing loss would be inevitable if I were to ever have a pair for myself (dreaming a little now :lol: ). The MBL rep had these VERY loud and they never flinched, I actually think they were begging for more...

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My second favorite speakers were the Sony SSAR1. I knew I loved these, these speakers are the reason I have a Scanspeak Revelator mid in my own 3 ways. But I hadn't heard them for a couple years because the previous events didn't have them playing, they were playing the smaller, less expensive pair. I absolutely love the tonality of these; the bass isn't too strong, and the mids and highs are a silky smooth blend of perfection!!

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Another fun room was the Volti room, I've always been a fan of these. Not only do these sound incredible, I love the "off the beaten path" design. And in addition to that, the Volti guy went ahead and demonstrated their seemingly unlimited ability to CRANK!

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Another mind blowing creation for me was Jim Salk's fully active TM monitor. These speakers were unbelievable for their size, the sound was huge. IIRC, these are not only active as far as onboard amplification goes, but they also house their own DAC. This next statement shouldn't undermine the SQ of the floor standers next to them, because they were also very good, but I would have to think hard about which ones I preferred between the active white ones and the beautifully veneered floor standers. Very nice job Jim!!

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The Raidho room was very good too (as usual). Very big sound from a smaller box... but these definitely come with a price tag at (IIRC) around $35k? The guys in the Raidho room are also very cool, and always willing to chat. Unfortunately for us in the DIY community, Raidho designs and manufactures all their drivers and they aren't available to us :cry: .

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These were incredible as well. What initially drew me into this room was the fact that these share the same driver as my Blues, which is the HiVi L6-4R used as a midrange. I'm also fairly sure those are aluminum cone Dayton woofers as well, with a Vifa XT25 tweeter. They sound very nice!! So good that there might be a revision coming with the Blues design using a XT25 tweeter ;)

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These are my opinions so hopefully no one is offended. I hope others that were there have pics and opinions they're willing to share. Like I said, I have a lot of pics, and I'll post more later. The show was absolutely a super fun time!! If you missed out on it, you missed out :) .

craigk
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:17 pm

Re: The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by craigk » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:25 pm

the last speakers are EA Engineering. I like your picks for good speakers. have to add the Focal and both Tidal speakers that were at the show. great event.

speekerbldr
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Re: The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by speekerbldr » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:21 pm

Thanks for the post Matt. Sounds like it was fun.

How many of us DIY'ers were there with our builds? Or how many DIY builds were represented? And if you don't mind, how did "our" stuff fare against the other rooms? I'm obviously including all of us DIY addicts in that, even though most of us didn't participate for one reason or two others.

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mattsk8
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Location: Michigan

Re: The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by mattsk8 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:47 pm

craigk wrote:the last speakers are EA Engineering. I like your picks for good speakers. have to add the Focal and both Tidal speakers that were at the show. great event.
EA Engineering... AKA, Endeavor Audio 8-) . Yes, thank you for the reminder! And I agree completely on the Focal and Tidals, both were very good. I especially had fun in the Focal room, and learned quite a bit about placement and room treatments when we basically played around with the placement of the Focal equipment stand, as well as the sign for the integrated amp. I couldn't believe how much moving those 2 things to the back of the room effected the soundstage. Not saying it was bad before we did it, but it was vastly improved after we moved those things.
speekerbldr wrote:Thanks for the post Matt. Sounds like it was fun.

How many of us DIY'ers were there with our builds? Or how many DIY builds were represented? And if you don't mind, how did "our" stuff fare against the other rooms? I'm obviously including all of us DIY addicts in that, even though most of us didn't participate for one reason or two others.
The show was super fun, I had a riot. As far as builds go, IIRC there were 6; the Kairos, the active Mandolins, Jason P brought a TM, JR brought his little active speakers, there was a DIY magnaplanar that I unfortunately never got to hear, and a pair of Tritons that have NLA CSS drivers.

Jonmarsh
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:40 am

Re: The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by Jonmarsh » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:42 am

Nice set of pictures and comments- it's been a while since I've been to a good show like this- used to get out to RMAF on a regular basis, but it's been about 5 years!

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mattsk8
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Location: Michigan

Re: The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by mattsk8 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:25 pm

Jonmarsh wrote:Nice set of pictures and comments- it's been a while since I've been to a good show like this- used to get out to RMAF on a regular basis, but it's been about 5 years!
Thanks, it really was a lot of fun. I've been to CES a couple times, numerous DIY shows, and Axpona a few times, but never RMAF. I'd love to go to that sometime. Are you anywhere near us? We do a DIY speaker get together at Meniscus late summer, that's usually a good time too.

speedle
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Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:48 pm

Re: The Axpona 2016 experience

Post by speedle » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:09 pm

I had no idea this was happening!  I'm bummed I missed it, any idea if Mark is going to do it again?  I'd absolutely bring a pair!  

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