Classic Audio Loudspeakers, Purist Audio Design, Atma-Sphere, McIntosh, Tri-Planar, Technics, AirTight, Van den Hul, Crown | FLAX 2022







Florida Audio Expo 2022

Big speakers, big amps, and big sound. The math checks out.

The gentlemen from Classic Audio Loudspeakers show large with their well known field coil loudspeakers, and mixture of new and vintage electronics at the wheel. This years Classic Audio Loudspeakers room at the Florida Audio Expo felt like a refuge. In fact, it felt much more like the before times than any other facet of the show.

This year’s FLAX 2022 show coverage is powered by our friends at Well Pleased A/V

The Story

Ahh, the before times.

Back in February of 2020 we had our last audio show before the pandemic shut downs starting making their way around the globe. For many, their last audio show was Capital Audio Fest 2019, having its biggest weekend ever. But for us, it was Tampa in winter of 2020, where Jameson Mourafetis, Marc Boyle, Dave McNair, and myself found refuge from the Florida Sun in a Classic Audio Loudspeakers exhibit, and little did we know it would be our last exhibit room together for still a long time to come.

Returning to February of 2022, Classic Audio Loudspeakers is reminder of what was and what can still be. Their familiar T-1.5 and Hartsfield field coil powered speakers impose themselves into what otherwise would be a room to set to dwarf most systems. With four drivers total, yes — an 18-inch woofer is located under the cabinet and fires downward into the floor, creating that canvass of space where the above drivers play, and play well.

FLAX 2022 show coverage is powered by our friends at Well Pleased A/V

The devil here is in the details. It’s what’s NEW in the system that catches my eye. Firstly it’s the all new Classic Audio Loudspeakers Dual Output Tungar DC Power Supplies. Donned just outside a pair of Atma-Sphere Novacron Mk3.3 monoblock amplifiers. This is a debut of what’s to come. Meters galore, milled brass knobs, and the glowing light of electric sex oozing out of the topless steel chassis. Cold shower anyone?

It’s these power supplies which create the magnetic field around the main drivers voice coil. In more conventional speakers a permanent magnet would be employed.

More new and of serious note, the new Purist Audio Design Neptune Series Power Cables, Balanced Interconnects, and Speaker Cables that outfitted the system from end-to-end. And mind you, these were not short cable runs. Hums and hisses would easily be noticed with high-efficiency speakers like the ones we have here in Tampa, but never were any of the such sounds making themselves known between records or into the noise floor.

The Sound

When I first entered the Classic Audio Loudspeakers exhibit, I was greeted with something from the vintage Crown reel-to-reel player. I didn’t ask as to what but it sounded great as I set myself to snapping away pictures for this article.

The time came, and I chose a record from the Jazz section, and landed on Cannonball Adderley’s Know What I Mean? with an appearance from Bill Evans. “Waltz for Debby” here starts soft and slow, with left hand strides barely cutting through what Dave and I deduced to be a single microphone wrapped in a hotel towel, sitting on the floor under the piano.

FLAX 2022 show coverage is powered by our friends at Well Pleased A/V

Then, ever so sneakily, cymbals and snares creep into the picture, along with saxophone melody. The sound they embody in this system is one abundant with the dynamics and punch of a real life band. Spatial cues are large and distinctly placed, while the overall experience is just that of being present at a live event. It’s a studio track for sure, but in this context it’s much what I imagine being there would be like.

Credit the system for this style of live presentation. Yes, artifacts of the speakers driver type and cabinet design are there, but I don’t care one bit. There’s warmth, dynamics, and moreover tonaly rich textures that space themselves throughout the soundstage and deliver me a refuge of a time and place, now considered the before times. It’s brilliant. One of my top five exhibit rooms at the show.

As a PTA commenter (and owner of a Classic Audio Loudspeakers system) once wrote: “Mr. Shook, you get it.”

The System

Classic Audio Loudspeakers

  • T-1.5 Field Coil Powers System (speakers) – $79,950 USD
  • Hartsfield Field Coil Powers System (speakers) – $72,950 USD

Purist Audio Design

  • Neptune Series AC Cables
  • Neptune Series Balanced Interconnects
  • Neptune Series Speaker Cables

Atma-Sphere

  • MP-1 Mk 3.3 Preamplifier with installed options – $21,200 USD
  • Novacron Mk 3.3 Monoblock Amplifiers – $22,200 pr USD

McIntosh Labs

  • MC3500 Mk11 Monoblock Amplifiers – $30,000 pr USD
    Courtesy of Audio Classics Ltd, Vestal, NY

Tri-Planar

  • Ultimate 12 Tonearm – $9,800 USD

Technics

  • SP-10 Mk3 + Music Technology & Krebs Upgrade – Priceless

AirTight

  • Colibri Crimson Signature – Priceless

Van den Hul

  • Stradivarius Reference – $13,000 USD
  • Crimson Stradivarius – $5,750 USD

Crown

Model 800CX Reel-to-Reel – Priceless

The Photos

Definitely worth a scroll down memory lane. Enjoy!

FLAX 2022 show coverage is powered by our friends at Well Pleased A/V










2 Comments

  1. It all fits together. Nothing against very high priced gear – the room honestly illustrates that those that can afford the system shown can ( and must – to get the best out of the system shown ) afford a house with a listening room the size shown in the picture.

Comments are closed.