Axiss Audio, Air Tight, Piega, Wireworld, Accuphase, Franco Serblin, Reed, Shelter, Solution Audio, TAOC, Transrotor | AXPONA 2019

AXPONA 2019 Air Tight

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

CHICAGO (PTA) — Two pair of massive Piega loudspeakers stood tall, cast in silhouette against the Chicago sky. Between them, glowing tubes, like city street lights sat atop the Air Tight monoblocks.

AXPONA 2019 Air Tight

The Story

Axiss Audio brought to AXPONA 2019 one of the sexiest systems at the show. Boasting some of the sweetest Air Tight electronics pushing two pairs of loudspeakers. First a towering pair of Piega Master Line Source 3 loudspeakers, second a heavy pair of Piega Coax 711 towers. To look at the two pairs in photographs, you would think the Piega Coax 711 towers are small — but that couldn’t be farther from the case. The Piega Coax 711 is a 4ft tall all-aluminum structure loudspeaker, with a large coaxial ribbon driver that covers all high and mid-range frequencies. Below that, what looks like four woofers, of which two are actively driven by external power, the remaining two function as passive radiators.

The larger Piega Master Line Source 3 loudspeakers are babies of the Piega Master Series of dipole loudspeakers. Standing at only 5.5 ft tall, the Master Line Source 3 is still capable of driving large rooms, but in the Master Series is the only available option for small rooms. Run with that information how you will. Unlike traditional open-baffle dipole loudspeakers, the Piega Master Series’ incorporate acoustic lenses that are used to disperse the back-wave to create such an expansive sense of sound, that the Master Series speakers allow room placement similar to that found with traditional sealed and ported enclosure loudspeakers. Each of the MLS 3 towers feature four ribbon tweeters, two front-facing actively driven woofers, and two ream-mounted passive radiators.

From Air Tight come a suite of high-class tube electronics that propel the large Piega speakers to stunning levels of detail and complete dynamic resolution. Starting at the most finite of sources, the NEW Air Tight PC-1 Coda Moving Coil Cartridge with a lower impedance of 1.7-ohms. The PC-1 was first introduced over a decade ago, and has seen a few iterations like the PC-1 Supreme and Opus 1 come to represent its growth history. The new PC-1 Coda builds on the advancement in material sciences and construction designs implemented in earlier models.

From there, an Air Tight ATH-3 Moving Coil Step-Up Transformer with an impedance range of 1-to-7-ohms, and 1:40 (32db of gain). At the helm, an Air Tight ATC-5 Tube Preamplifier with built-in phono equalizer. Inputs include two for phono, and three for all-purpose line-sources. Powering the “not as large” Piega Coax 711 loudspeakers was an Air Tight ATM-2 Plus Stereo Power Amplifier, which utilizes KT88 output tubes in push-pull configuration. Each stereo channel is rated at 70 watts. Powering the larger Piega Master Line Source 3 loudspeakers were a pair of the Air Tight ATM-3211 Monoblock Power Amplifiers, with 211 output tubes in push-pull configuration. Rated power output per channel is 120 watts.

AXPONA 2019 Air Tight

The Sound

Can I just say it was “stupid good” and walk away from the keyboard? Probably not. How does one describe something that has no real limits, be them frequency or placement. I couldn’t find fault with the system, or nail down an overriding character to the sound. Each track we demonstrated with sounded like it’s own design. The system imparted nothing of itself into the musical picture. Nothing was lacking in my opinion. Yes, for some there might have been the need to haul in a massive set of sub-woofers to rile up the lowest of the lows, but that would be fodder for the proletariat. This system was refined for the equally refined senses.

AXPONA 2019 Air Tight

The System


– Coax Series 711 Tower Loudspeakers – starting at $26,500 pr USD

– Master Line Source 3 Dipole Loudspeakers – (uncertain)

Air Tight

– PC-1 Coda MC Cartridge – $8,500 USD

– ATH-3 MC Step-Up Transformer – $3,000 USD

– ATC-5 Tube Preamplifier w/Phono – $9,500 USD

– ATM-2 Plus Stereo Amplifier – $ TBA

– ATM-3211 Monoblock Amplifiers – $72,000 pr USD

Turntables by Transrotor

Cabling by Wireworld

AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by the LSA Group