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AXPONA 2014 Pre-Show

I got in a day early. I could say that I do this because it's a great way to catch up with friends and get some sneak peeks at stuff, but that's not it. Or, not entirely it. No, the real reason I fly in early is that I really don't trust the airlines to get me and all my stuff anywhere these days. Call me paranoid, but hey, it's a living. So, since my travel came off without a hitch -- only because it's no fun to mess with someone who's prepared -- I did have some time to sneak around. Here's what I saw! DSC00677


Merrill Audio has teamed up with Sadurni Acoustics to show off a system I would not have believed even if … someone credible … huh. I can’t even think of a single person in my Audio Circle of Trust that would actually refrain from trying to put one over one me. Sarcastic, sneaky, lying bastards all. Which is probably why we all get along. Anyway, about the horns. 110dB, phase aligned, and supported by some honkin’ big subs, powered off of a couple pairs of Merrill Audio mono blocks. Yes. Kilowatt Class-D amplification into horns. I can hear you shuddering from here, so don’t bother with the innocent-face, bro. But guess what? Powerful, dynamic and unbelievably transparent was the entirety of the menu here. I can only imagine that even with the most demanding transients, they’re going to need all of a couple of handfuls of watts, but if you ever wanted to know about “Limitless Power Reserve”, here’s your case study.

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Jeff Catalano is a personal hero of mine. I have no idea what kind of wizardry he’s into, but he does live in NYC and I’m pretty sure that Stephen Strange is from there, too. Anyway, the High Water Sound demos are usually a bastion of awesome in a sea of “meh”, so I make it a “thing” to get to see him early and often at every show. He’s got a pair of the new Eufrodites from Horning on display, what with the top-line Lowther driver (used only as a mid, and crossed above and below to keep it in its sweet-spot) and brand-new curved-wall cabinetry. Even with the speakers all catawampus, he still was getting insane tonality and room-filling sound. I honestly have no idea how he does it, but I don’t care. I’ll be coming back for more throughout, for sure.

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5 Comments on AXPONA 2014 Pre-Show

  1. Jeff Brown // April 28, 2014 at 12:49 PM //

    Jeff told me he spent 18 hours fine-tuning and tweaking his room before showtime. His dedication paid off in spades. On Sunday, the last day of the show, I got the room all to myself for about half-an hour. From an Acoustic Sounds/Saint-Saens Organ Concerto test-pressing to a rare RCA Toru Takemitsu disc, Jeff’s room was a model of natural tonal balance, explosive dynamics and perhaps the widest, deepest sound-staging I heard at the show. Easily a BOS nominee at this year’s Axpona.

  2. Hey, what’s Jeff doing with my turntable? Oh yea, that’s on next summer’s shopping list. Looking forward to lots of beautiful pics this weekend while I work. Great to see Axpona rebound a little since landing in Chi town.

  3. Merrill’s Veritas amps, 2 pairs, plus Sadurni Acoustics horns seem like a counter intuitive combo, but they exhibit a surprising synergy and sound great together.

  4. Looking forward to the coverage.

  5. See you there, going Saturday for sure…hopefully no fire drills this year.

    Thanks, Hank

    Sent with my thumbs, please pardon any typos…

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