TAMPA, FL (PTA) — This is a story of perfect execution. Salon 1 Audio of Ormond Beach, Florida had assembled a system of familiar brands, those include: Wilson Audio, VTL, Transparent Cable, Sumiko, Pro-Ject, Sony, Aurender, and Stewart Lang Furniture.
Salon 1 Audio is a full service dealer and curator of high-end audio products. Their inventory of new and pre-loved gear allows them to broaden the spectrum of possibilities for all who grace their showroom. At the end of the day it’s about service right?
Here at the Florida Audio Expo, the story from Salon 1 Audio is definitely focused on sound. I can’t stress enough the importance of the dealer, and I won’t go into all of the reasons why, but one on display at FLAX 2020 is the dealer ability to get excellent sound in seemingly hostile environments like a hotel room.
It’s true — hotel rooms are not the best place to audition audio equipment. Many variables play a part in the silent destruction of good sound at an audio show, and the room usually delivers 90% of that. However, on rare occasions with proper experience and care in the setup process, audio show exhibitors have ascended from that pit of despair.
The Wilson Audio Sasha DAW is a familiar loudspeaker that I’ve experienced at multiple audio shows, but also quite a few in-home experiences. If I were to rank my experiences with the Sasha DAW’s, assuredly the in-home listening sessions would occupy all of the top spots. It’s not even close. The hotel experiences tend to group themselves together in my mind, all sounding more alike than the rest.
Fun to finally here, even though it’s not exactly still “new”, but the VTL TP-2.5i phono-stage was quite a treat. Considered a redesign from the earlier version, the TP-2.5i is trickled down from VTL’s flagship phono stage. Features include user-adjustable cartridge impedance, and two levels of gain, with inputs for both MC and MM cartridges. JFET/tube hybrid circuitry is used for the MC stage, and all-tube circuitry for the MM stage. Additional functions include a front-panel switch that is internally selectable between rumble filter or mono. On the build side, a few notable elements are the shielding between the power supply and the audio circuit, the use of shunt regulated power supply, along with multi-stage AC RF filtering throughout. The idea is to keep things clean and separated, and I think VTL has succeeded at doing just that.
Validating my theory as to why dealer participation at audio shows is a must, the Salon 1 Audio room sounded nothing short of spectacular. The room dark and moody, but the sound awake, bright eyed and lively. The right measure of sparkle cut through the mood, giving insight and shine to everything we played. The Pro-Ject Xtension 12 turntable was absolutely delightful through the TP series phono-stage. Nothing about the sound of analog lead me to believe that the Pro-Ject wasn’t equal in the company of rather esoteric brands and designs. Good showing all around.
Sasha DAW Loudspeaker (in Desert Silver Wilson Gloss) – $37,900 pr USD
TL-7.5 Series III Reference Linestage Preamplifier – $30,000 USD
MB-185 Series III Signature Monoblock Amplifiers – $22,500 pr USD
TP-2.5i Performance Phonostage (w/MC) – $5,000 USD
A10 Music Server / Streamer / DAC – $5,500 USD
SCD-XA777ES CD Player – $3,000 USD
Xtension 12 Performance Turntable – $4,500 USD
Palo Santos Presentation Moving Coil Cartridge – $4,500 USD
Reference Series Loom (various cables) – $48,000 USD
Stewart Lang Furniture
Ascensio Series Solid Maple Audio Rack – $2,950 USD
Ascensio Series Solid Maple Amplifier Stands – $1,200 pr USD