AXPONA 2018: Vandersteen and AudioQuest clean-up nicely

System synergy is everything, why change the recipe if you find something tasty? We’ve seen a magic mix when you bring together Vandersteen + Audio Research + AudioQuest + AMG & HRS. They seem to come together as a perfect 5-course meal that leaves you satisfied at the end of the evening.

As I entered Vandersteen / AudioQuest / HRS Room, our resident power guru Garth Powell from AudioQuest was putting on a power demonstration. If you haven’t had a chance to watch do his dance on power, you’re missing out. Garth is on a mission to remind us that it all starts with clean power.

Although a shiny AudioQuest Niagara 7000 power conditioner was keeping it clean, it wasn’t the star of the show at AXPONA. Garth was doing a deep dive on his new AudioQuest Storm Series Power Cords (currently on review at PTA).

The power cable of choice through-out the room was the mid-level AudioQuest Tornado Power cord.

Powell’s demonstration consisted of comparing the AudioQuest Tornado with a $6 stock cord, as well as reference power cables from Shunyata, Nordost and Transparent, all that cost multiple times the price of the AudioQuest Tornado power cable.

All cords in the system remained AudioQuest Tornado, and just the power cord to the Audio Research DAC 9 was swapped. Using Nobreza by Virginia Rodrigues as the test track, a room packed with AXPONA attendees were quick to provide feedback on what they were hearing. Following the AudioQuest Tornado power cord, we gave the $6 cord a listen. One AXPONA attendee commented:

“Virginia sounds like she has been drinking!”

It was clearly evident how much better the AudioQuest power cord made the system change, even with just one $6 cord in the system.

Next the single $6 stock cord was swapped with a reference cord from Shunyata and show me the money Nordost Odin power cord.  For both of these reference cords, the system came back to life.  The Shunyata at four times the price of the original AudioQuest seemed to be lacking some detail but was close to the original AudioQuest Tornado. Garth’s explanation was that although the Shunyata works great, it wasn’t providing the same level of linear noise reduction as the AudioQuest Storm series power cord.  The Nordost Odin was lovely and looks like jewelry, but I’d hope it translates foreign music to English for $18,000, as one AXPONA attendee was call out!

The demo closed with a taste of the AudioQuest Dragon Source Power Cable, which stole the show across all power cords auditioned during the demo.

Richard Vandersteen was continuing the momentum by providing a new M5-HPA mono-block amplifier.  At 15,000 USD per pair of mono blocks they are designed to make any Vandersteen to be fully powered by Vandersteen.

The M5-HPA is a solid-state design descended from the flagship M7-HPA mono-block amplifier.

The M7-HPA was designed to be used with the Vandersteen Model Seven MkII speaker, while the M5-HPA can be used with any loudspeaker.

Vandersteen M5-HPA spec’s:

• Zero-Feedback Solid-State Design With Dual Single-Ended Circuits Connected By The Speaker Load
• All Signal Transistors N-Channel Bipolars
• No Emitter Resistors
• Minimal Circuit Path- Only 5 Parts In Signal Path Per Phase
• 10 Separate Power Supplies
• Adjustable High-Pass Filter (20Hz, 40Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 200Hz)
• 300-Watts Into 4 Ohms / 150-Watts Into 8 Ohms
• Made In The USA

Look at those beautiful HRS SXR racks and M3X bases! And look what’s hidden in there an Aurender N10 server!

The lovely AMG Turbo 12JT tonearm that we’re in love with at PTA…

A party full of Audio ResearchRef 6 Pre-amp, Ref Phono 3, DAC 9.

Another great sounding room that created music from some of our favorites.



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