AXPONA 2016: The Voice That Is presents TIDAL, Bricasti, Aurender


axponaIn terms of raw sex appeal, an early winner from AXPONA featured a full set of electronics and loudspeakers from TIDAL Audio out of Germany. Pools of liquid ink have been captured and somehow suspended in semi-solid forms; casework with glittering chrome, and speakers that seem so dark that they pull at your eyes …. wow. Walking into this room was breathtaking — it was as incongruous as finding that someone had managed to sneak in a Bugatti. What the …???

The Agoria loudspeakers are, obviously and unapologetically, enormous and no one in their right mind would attempt to shoehorn something that big and that powerful into a shoebox except to make a point — or to shock the average audio show attendee out of their skin.

Doug White is a good friend, and one of my personal suppliers of all things audio, is a clever and sneaky man. His shop, The Voice That Is (out of Eastern PA), features a lot of unusual brands, and TIDAL (I’ve heard it pronounced Tee-DAHL, which might help separate it from the popular audiophile streaming service) is only one. Also in the mix, Doug has woven in Aurender, Bricasti, and a suite of specialty cables from TIDAL Audio and Dynamic Design (the latter whom Doug called out specifically with a big thanks for saving his bacon), isolation bits from Stillpoints, and power conditioning coming from a Tchaik 6 from Silver Circle.

AXPONA coverage brought to you by Underwood HiFi, Exogal and Emerald Physics

Here’s the big list:

  • TIDAL Agoria Speaker – $109,990
  • TIDAL Presencio Preamplifier – $77,990
  • TIDAL Impulse Monobloc Amplifiers (380W) – $64,990
  • Aurender W20 Reference Music Server – $17,600
  • Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK 6 Isolation Transformer – $9,995
  • New Bricasti M1se DAC – $9,995
  • New TIDAL Audio – Power Cords & Balanced Interconnect Cables
  • Purist Audio Design Cables – 25th Anniversary AES Digital Cable
  • Dynamic Design Cables – Heritage Speaker Cables & New Heritage Nutron SW16 Power cord
  • StillPoints Ultra 5 Isolators – $699 each
  • StillPoints Ultra 6 Isolators – $899 each
  • StillPoints Aperture Room Treatment – $699 each

So, yes, let’s the price thing out-of-the-way — none of this is targeting your budget-focused audiophile. Every bit is pitched at the “aspirational system owner”, and I have to offer that if I was so lucky as to be able to invest at this level, my investment would look rather like this.

The speakers, as I mentioned, really thrive in robust spaces. Here, the bass was a little throttled, but “show-conditions” aside, the presentation and overall immersion was true and truly lovely. I am really taken with the elegant look of the TIDAL gear, and the volume attenuation scheme in that Prescenio pre amp is about as state-of-the-art as it gets. For those that are balking at the price tag, realize that this is also a world-class phonostage — a two-for-one that does at least a little to soften the blow.

Absolutely gorgeous gear.

About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


  1. I just wanted to say this system is almost THE ONLY one I would like to have in my home. These speakers are mind bending. Rare combination of great look, great engineering and great sound. I may wait on the side of the road with a weapon waiting for their truck to pass by.

  2. Scot Hull. Very impressive looking. Excellent analogy above. My only thought about this room is presentation. With an absolute gorgeous speaker and stunning equipment we have the equipment displayed in a way which cheapens the presentation. Thoughts?

    And how would you rate this sound compare to the MBL speaker/equipment room?

    BTW, your blog is awesome and very well respected and has helped tremendously!

    Thank you.

    • It’s funny you ask, because I asked Doug about the table. As you may or may not know, Doug actually makes some ultra-fine racks, but didn’t bring one to the show. Oh well. Maybe next time.

      As for comparing, that’s hard. The MBL room was pretty interesting — but I only popped in for a very late night visit to check out some analog tape — those source materials are stunning, so it’s kinda hard to compare when MBL is clearly cheating. 😉

  3. What wretched excess. Pathetic the industry has come to this. And no, I’m not envious because deep down I really want it. I would not have it in my house.

    • Wretched excess? Clearly your range of experience is sorely limited, either that, or your filter is clogged.

      We have problems, as a people, with a Ferrari. Or a Patek Phillipe watch. But not with a Stradivarius. Or a Picasso. Even though you can’t tell the difference between a Strad and a new violin and Picasso is just plain freakin’ weird. No issues, though. Millions? Fine! Because … what? Some jackhole says so?

      Yeah, that’s dumb.

      This system, constructed by lovingly by artists, that has no value because … what, exactly? Apple and the iPod and MP3 and Beats and the fact that you’ve arbitrarily decided that fine sound has no value to you? That’s like saying a Ferrari has no value because of the bicycle.

      Boorish and patently tripe.

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