AXPONA 2017: Music From Another Room, Part 2

A photojournal by Eric Franklin Shook

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, proving again that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Axpona is to me an ensemble interpretation of beauty, ruggedness, finesse and power; all tangled in a whirlwind of song. Masterful as the grace of a ballerina, don’t let these good looks fool you, there is power beneath the skin. Today I want to highlight the sexy designs this industry has to offer. Let’s take a walk…

Paragon Sight & Sound

Feat. Dan D’Agostino, dCS, Wilson Audio, Brinkmann, Transparent, Harmonic Resolution Systems

This room challenges convention. From an aesthetics standpoint, these brands do no time standing in one place, ever pushing the form forward. If Savile Row were a room, this would be the late night design house. Stunning from all angles.

Skogrand Cables

Featuring: ModWright, VPI, Daedalus

Silky is a verb often attributed to top end sound. In this case, we should highlight the silk covered cables from Skogrand. Attention to detail and craftsmanship is immediately apparent. Had the notoriously kind Knut Skogrand not been the exhibiting force in the room, I’d have assumed the cables were hand made by Hattori Hanzō himself. The sword business is slow you know. Either way, this was the most simple and beautiful room of the show.

Salk Signature Sound 

Featuring: Wells Audio, Exogal, Gingko Audio, Danacable, Schiit Audio

Jim Salk cabinets are famous for their vignetting front baffles, and dark smoky finishes. Comparable grace and refinement found elsewhere at the show, will cost you substantially more than what Salk takes to market.

Wynn Audio

Featuring: ZenSati, Karan Acoustics, Penaudio

Beauty in simplicity, beauty in sound. This was room that made me proud. It checked all the boxes for what I would hope for in a small but strong system.


Featuring: Spatial Audio, Linear Tube Audio, Verastarr

The enchanting charm of this room extended well past it’s modern designs, it was about the mood. Everyone was dancing in their seats, anchored to their focus, no notice of me. I could have cartwheeled in the room and been ignored. It’s a beautiful thing.

AXPONA coverage generously provided by NOBLE AUDIO.

Sound Consultant Ltd

Featuring: Audolici Electronics, Michael Green Audio, Audio Note UK, Bricasti Design, Transparent, Saturn

There was just something about this room that kept me coming back, was it the sound, or the pinewood isolation devices, not sure.

Audio Plus Services

Featuring: IsoAcoustics, SPL, XLO Cables

Many things are pleasing to the ear and to the eyes, but some things are pleasing to wallet upon laying eyes. Check out these prices. Mike Twomey of Big Kids Toys AV and I were both bowled over at the IsoAcoustics looks and bargain price-point. Smiles were all around.

Snake River Audio

Featuring: Sonist Audio, Pear Audio

Rich colors, shiny finishes, crystal like details, this was audio porn in the flesh. Sign me up.

Volya Gmbh

Featuring: NoLimits, Bouquet

Do I really have to say anything here? I had to take a selfie, and ask for her number — she didn’t reply.

Saturday Audio Exchange

Featuring: Paradigm, Anthem, AudioQuest

Back to more serious notes, or the control of them, Beryllium has taken us to a place where beauty is seldom recognized — in silence. Deep, dark, silence. A material that  Paradigm has embraced for their Persona series of loudspeakers, it makes up not only the tweeter, but also the midranges. What you put in is what you get out. Fantastic demo by Paradigm.

Burwell & Sons Loudspeakers

Featuring: Rogers High Fidelity, VPI, Audio Vault USA, Nordost, Ortofon

Classic beauty, something that Burwell and Rogers know they have in spades. If Lauren Bacall were a room, this one would be smoking.


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  1. Part-Time Audiophile AXPONA 2017: Lee’s Best of Show

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