AXPONA 2014: Scaena and Ayon, sculptures in sound


Scaena had some new loudspeakers tucked kitty-corner into one of the larger demo rooms down on the main floor at AXPONA, and it was either the room, the odd placement, or “something else”, but the room acoustics that plagued many did not really make much of an appearance here. Happy day!

The new arrangement, which I’m told is the 3.2/12, retails for $40k and that’s for the set, which includes the not-optional 12″ matching subs. Sweet spot was as nailed-down as always, but the sound here, paired with the $68k/pair Titan monos from Ayon Audio, was very musical, with a fine sense of drama and that eerie Scaena-Vision 3-D sound stage.

As far as I know, this marks a the lowest price point I’ve ever seen a Scaena system hit, and all I can say is, “well done”. Quite frankly, we need more of this!

I really liked the new Conga-shaped subs, which strike me as a significant improvement over the stacks of ramjet engines I caught on their flagship at CES last year. This is still quite a lot of real estate for a loudspeaker array to occupy, but the finish on the speakers was still that beautiful, lustrous, pearlescent paint that causes my camera to crap the bed over.

The tubes on the Ayon monos also caused me a double take or three — I’m told they’re based on the 300b, but yeah, they’re not 300bs. I’ve never heard of AA32B-S, AA52B-S and AA62B tubes, but there’s a first time for everything.

Expensive audio, to be sure. But if you have the scratch, this is some beautiful kit to sit in front of. Art as audio, indeed.