At the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, the Connection, Knowledge, Perfection, and Imagination rooms are all clustered under the escalator leading up to the main lobby. Quintessence Audio, a high-end audio dealer in the Chicago area (Morton Grove, to be exact), organized and setup this assembly of rooms as well as the open spaces between them. That allowed show attendees to hear plenty of great gear within a relatively compact area. We’re talking about brands such McIntosh, Sonus faber, Musical Surroundings, Wilson, Audio Research, and dCS.
In the “foyer” of the Quintessence Audio suite was a full McIntosh stack driving Sonus fabers–showgoers could immediately get close and personal with these legendary high-end audio brands. On the other side of the foyer, Audio Research was showing off their new i/50 integrated, but alas that product was in a static display. If you look carefully in the photo, you may even spot new Audio Research owner Trent Suggs chatting with attendees.
Wilson Audio was showcasing in several of the Quintessence Audio rooms, mated with various electronics from Moon, dCS, and Musical Surroundings. The big Wilson Alexx V, just reviewed by our own Mohammed Samji, were sounding tight while driven with Audio Research. In this room, the Knowledge, the bass authority was extremely impressive–most other big speakers only dream of going this low in such a large room.
In other Quintessence Audio rooms, the Clearaudio Reference Jubilee turntable ($30,000) made a brilliant pairing with the Hana Umami Red MC cart ($3950), while a DS Audio Grand Master Optical turntable ($60,000) with DS003 cartridge ($6000) both made great sounds The optical set up in the Connection room was driven by Boulder amplification into the flagship Sonus faber Olympia loudspeakers and sounded suitably epic.
Thanks to the hard work of the folks at Quintessence Audio, AXPONA 2022 attendees were able to sample a tremendous helping of true high-end sound in one spot.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2022, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.