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Black Ice Audio, Jim Fosgate, and Vienna Acoustics | FLAX 2020








Black Ice FLAX 2020

TAMPA, FL (PTA) — Continually showing one of the better sounding affordable rooms at audio shows, it’s Black Ice Audio which comes from the popular Jolida family of electronics and builds upon the designs of legendary electronics designer Jim Fosgate.

Florida Audio Expo 2020 coverage sponsored by Core Power Technologies A/V

Black Ice FLAX 2020

The Story

Here in Tampa, the Black Ice Audio room was showing final production versions of two new amplifiers. Together they are the Fusion F11 integrated and Fusion F22 integrated. Donned with shiny knobs, glowing tubes, against a black glass and carbon fiber chassis, the new Black Ice Audio equipment sparkles in the dimly lit room.

Both of these integrateds look like the slightly more svelte versions of the Black Ice Audio Fusion F35 integrated that we covered in show reports throughout the last two years. The new models like the previous versions feature back-lit touch sensitive controls, and feature Jim Fosgate designed dual phase circuits, named V drive.

Power output of the F11 comes in just a touch under 19-watts per channel, using EL84 tubes in the output stage. The F22 offers 60-watts per channel using a 6550 tube configuration, or 50-watts per channel using the EL34 tube based configuration. Both models feature custom wound audio transformers with a core of German grain oriented silicon steel. The output transformers are based on a Hafler design. Also featured, the Exact Bias System, a top panel bias testing terminal with bias adjustment controls and built in meter. ALPS Blue audio potentiometer, gold plated RCA input jacks, and Black Ice Audio coupling caps round things out.

Black Ice FLAX 2020

Also on display in the system, the Fusion F360 Preamplifier, which is a tube based unit that features EQ controls, dimension (soundstage) tailoring, and various outputs for use with two-channel and home theater systems. On the digital end, the Fusion Glass FX Wifi DAC and Fusion DAC Transport which basically is a CD player, but for now we’ll call it a DAC and CD Transport. Just to be extra.

Black Ice FLAX 2020

The Sound

Pushing the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand towers to great heights, the integrateds never seemed out of control. I did have a preference for the more powerful F22 version as the loudspeakers used in the system were not quite the most efficient things out there, but nevertheless everything sounded fine at moderate volumes with the less powerful (19wpc) F11 integrated.

Black Ice FLAX 2020

The System

Vienna Acoustics

Beethoven Concert Grand Loudspeakers – price unspecified

Black Ice Audio

Fusion F360 Hybrid Tube Preamplifier – $1,995 USD

Fusion Glass FX Tube DAC DSD Wifi – $799 USD

Fusion F11 Tube Integrated Amplifier – $1,499 USD

Fusion F22 Tube Integrated Amplifier – $1,699 USD (with EL34 tubes)

Fusion F22 Tube Integrated Amplifier – $1,799 USD (with 6550 tubes)

Florida Audio Expo 2020 coverage sponsored by Living Sounds Audio

The Photos