FLORIDA 2019: The Audio Company, Von Schweikert, VAC, Esoteric, Airtight, Kronos, Critical Mass, Clearaudio, and Masterbuilt


They’ve done it again! The Audio Company of Marietta, Georgia USA is without a doubt, one of the premier exhibitors of Von Schweikert, VAC, Esoteric, Airtight, Kronos, Critical Mass, Clearaudio, and Masterbuilt products. Jim, Gordon, and Keith take the Florida Audio Expo by “sonic-storm”, and leave many a show-going jaw dropped.

The Story

Holding court in the largest exhibit room within the Embassy Suites main hotel, The Audio Company set out to eliminate all the competition by assembling one of the more beautiful looking and sounding exhibits I’ve encountered. No matter how many times I step into an audio show exhibit put on by The Audio Company, I am absolutely leveled by the experience. Much seems the same from shows past, but however each time they are indeed different. Yes, the players are the same, but the size of scale of the systems change, continually staying fresh and exciting. This being the debut of the Florida Audio Expo, I think it felt right for The Audio Company to keep up good habits and bring their A-Game.

For this show, the big news was the introduction of the newest Von Schweikert Audio Ultra 55 loudspeakers (pictured in red). Similar to the Ultra 11’s and Ultra 9’s we covered at Capital Audiofest, these are similar in design philosophy, but with a “smaller” footprint and price tag. I say “smaller” because these are still ultra-high-end audio products we are talking about. They are built to ultra-high-end standards and carry with it the appropriate price tags.

The Sound

My time was limited as the show was a lot to cover, but lucky for me the Ultra 55 loudspeakers were playing during every visit I made to the Kilgore banquet room. At no time did the Ultra 55’s sound like they couldn’t handle this large room with ease. Albeit there were two subs underpinning the low-end, but I doubt many took notice to them as they blended in seamlessly. I knew about the subs before going in, so what I was hearing was how well everything above the lowest bass notes filled the room. Oddly, this would have been the type of performance I would have expected from the bigger Ultra 9’s. Overall, a staggeringly great show by all players.

The Systems

System One

Von Schweikert
– Ultra 55 Loudspeakers (in Red)- $90,000 pr USD
– V12XS Shockwave Subwoofer – $11,500 ea USD (system used two / $23,000 USD)

– Statement 450iQ Mono Power Amplifier – $120,000 pr USD
– Statement Phono Stage – $80,000 USD
– Statement Line Stage – $75,000 USD

– Grandioso P1 Transport – $38,000 USD
– Grandioso D1 Monoblock DAC – $19,000 ea USD (system used two / $38,000 USD)
– Grandioso G1 Master Clock – $26,000 USD
– N-01 Streamer/Renderer/DAC – $20,000 USD

– Pro Turntable with Black Beauty Tonearm and Ultracap Power Supply – $51,000 USD
– Airtight Opus 1 Cartridge – $16,000 USD

Critical Mass
– Maxxum Rack – $6,250 ea USD (system used 12 component spaces / $75,000 USD)
– Maxxum Amp Stand $6,250 ea USD (system used two / $12,500 USD)

– cables throughout.

System Two

Von Schweikert
– E5 Loudspeakers – $40,000 pr USD
– E3 Loudspeakers – $10,000 pr USD

– Renaissance V Preamplifier with Phono Stage – $12,990 USD
– Signature 200iQ Power Amplifier – $14,500 USD (system used two / $29,000 USD)

– K1 Grandioso CD/SACD Player – $27,000 USD

– Innovation Wood Turntable with 12” Universal Tonearm – $16,500 USD

– PC-1 Supreme Cartridge – $11,000 USD

Critical Mass
– Maxxum 4-High Rack – $31,250 USD
– Maxxum Amp Stand – $6,250 ea USD (system uses two / $12,500)

– Cables throughout.