Verdant Audio, Art Audio, Roon, Musical Fidelity, PS Audio | AXPONA 2019

AXPONA 2019 Verdant

AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies
AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies

CHICAGO (PTA) — Verdant Audio launches itself as a company, and debuts two beautifully made monitors at AXPONA 2019. In partnership with Verdant Audio, bespoke UK tube electronics manufacturer Art Audio returns to the US audio show circuit.

AXPONA 2019 Verdant

The Story

The major news for this room is twofold: Firstly, the launch of Verdant Audio as a company. The speakers on display at AXPONA 2019 feature composite cabinets. Specifically the Blackthorn 1 monitor features a cabinet that is a sandwich of carbon fiber and a dupont Nomex honeycomb. The Nightshade 1 monitor features a design that uses phenolic resin and fiberglass over the same Nomex core for the cabinet structure. The composite used by Verdant Audio provides rigidity while the honeycomb dampens against unwanted resonances. Both speakers feature custom Eton drivers.

The second piece of news is the return of Art Audio to US audio shows. Art Audio has been available during the past few years but now Verdant is the US Importer and they are actively marketing the brand in the US. Art Audio is in its thirty-first year of business and delivers a wide selection of tube based gear. At the show in Chicago, Verdant was showing with Art Audio’s higher power Quartet monoblock amplifiers, each Quartet delivers 45 wpc of tube power into 4-or-8-ohms.

The Art Audio gear is available in different colors and can be customized in a variety of ways. For instance, all of their stereo amps can be converted into integrated amps and several, like the Diavolo are available as stereo, integrated, and monoblock versions. The Verdant Speakers are also available in standard and custom paint colors.

The Sound

The leading characteristic portrayed by this combination of loudspeaker and tube electronics was that of smooth synergy. We listened to music on vinyl and digital. We all knew that half of the music on hand was digital, but with fast moving speakers and the delightful tone of the tube amplifiers pushing the music into the room, gone was the harshness so often associated with digital. Blurred was this digital vs analog line. The speakers had a glossy and emotionally moving sound that did well to underline the dark and silent background created by the use of high-tech enclosure materials. I know it sounds weird to say, but the enclosure sounded good. Many monitors on the market have stayed with the usual MDF cabinet, while most of the more esoteric tower speakers at the leading edge of the art are using complex composites. More bookshelf monitors should strive to be like the Verdants.

AXPONA 2019 Verdant

The System

Verdant Audio

– Blackthorn 1 Standmount Loudspeaker
– Nightshade 1 Standmount Loudspeaker
– Olneya Speaker Stand

Art Audio

– Composer Solo Turntable
– Phase 1 Power Supply
– Conductor Preamp
– Vinyl One Phono Stage
– Quartet Mono Blocks
– Carissa Copper Reference SET


– Nucleus+ Music Server,

Musical Fidelity

– M3SCD Player

PS Audio

– DirectStream DAC

AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by the LSA Group