Starting off day two right!
Starting off the morning right with a nutritious bowl of Michael Fremer (of the Tracking Angle) explaining the ins-and-outs of deep groove hi-fi vinyl exploration, with the help of Leon Shaw (Audio Advice founder) pictured far left.
Reporting by Eric Franklin Shook
Check out our Audio Advice LIVE 2022 preview article (linked here) for a comprehensive look at Audio Advice LIVE’s location, schedule and attendee resources — if you’re still on the fence about attending next year.
Ahead in this article, we look at what happens on day two of the Audio Advice Live 2022, we explore the local breakfast/brunch scene (“Bang! Bang!” style), and take a peek at some of the larger exhibits of the show. Including some amazing in-wall (or surface mount) loudspeakers that had us rethinking everything we look for in a speaker system. Finally we drop in on some proper head-fi gear for a listening session that leads us to some even more interesting realizations.
Ahead in the following week, our complete and full show coverage begins with single exhibit reports, that dive deep into what’s new, and what sounds great. Do hang around for that.
Hangover Breakfast — Bang! Bang!
Jameson Mourafetis and I love to eat. We enjoy the finer things in life, and “gastronomy-in-excess” sometimes seems like our most frequent vice. Be it the best restaurants of the Michelin Guidebook or the Bo-Berry Biscuits found at our local Bojangles’ — we take no prisoners.
We started off our hangover with a quick breakfast at one of Raleigh, NC’s most celebrated landmarks, The Mecca Restaurant: an Americana Lunchonette founded by the Dombalis family back in 1930. Known locally as the go-to diner for the states government offices and capitol nearby, the restaurant has been graced by high ranking political figures and celebrities from around the globe.
Bang! Bang! is where you and a friend hit-up a restaurant for one whole meal, and then immediately after (or within an unreasonably short amount of time) eat another whole meal at another restaurant nearby. It’s a brutal exercise in delicious immaturity that we are sure to pay the price for more than once.
In true Bang! Bang! style, Jameson and I link up with local head-fi’er Luke Wagoner to tackle El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant for an early—we just ate less than an hour ago—brunch.
Now, back to the audio show.
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What’s New on Day Two?
A lot actually.
Just after making the rounds of the upper half of the show on day one, (floors 16,15, and 14 in that order) we found ourselves with breaking news in our hands. New products from ELAC, SVS, Cambridge Audio, and McIntosh Labs were making quite the splash among the attendee chatter.
On day two, everything gets bigger. The large meeting rooms are we had the pleasure of meeting with MoFi Distribution to experience what probably could be deemed as the most hi-fi sounding and high-end system of the show. The Piega Master Line Source loudspeakers were as eye catching in person as they were a captivating listen.
Reported highlights are as follows.
- Over 60 of the world’s top home theater & home audio brands with suite-after-suite of immersive demo rooms
- KEF will be bringing their flagship Blade Meta One Speakers & will partner with Epson to feature a full home theater setup, as well as two 2-channel setups
- Bowers & Wilkins will partner with Sony in an immersive home theater demo & will also have a 2-channel setup featuring the new 800 Diamond series speakers — all of which need to be heard to be believed! If you have not experienced this new series, which was years in the making, you will be in for a treat! They’ll also display their iconic Nautilus speaker in one of their new Formula 1 colors, which is a true sight to see.
- MoFi Distribution will offer the US debut of several brand new components featured in a 2-channel audio system approaching $500,000. This system will feature the Piega Master Line Source Loudspeakers, which are one of the physically largest speakers we have ever seen, the BAT REX 500 mono amps with the REX3 preamp, an exotic new rack from Finite Elemente, and Isotek power conditioners.
- MartinLogan will show off their legendary Neolith Speaker System as well as a Statement 40XW home theater system. This 7-foot tall, 40″ driver home theater speaker is something you must hear!
- Sony, JVC, & Epson will demo several of their brand new projectors in fully immersive home theater setups. We will also have a massive reference home theater demo room featuring the Sony GTZ380, RBH reference speakers, & Trinnov Audio
- McIntosh will be set up in several rooms and will demo a 70 driver McIntosh XRT 1.1K speaker system paired up with a huge stack of McIntosh gear including their massive 1.25KW mono blocks and C2700 tube preamp.
- Sonos rarely exhibits at shows but will be at Audio Advice Live. Experience their latest flagship products & home theater offerings with a 5.1 home theater setup.
- Focal Naim: Experience the Focal Naim 10th Anniversary Edition consisting of Focal Sopra N°2 loudspeakers featuring a concrete finish on the side panels and a tin-colored front panel. A range of Naim electronics powers the loudspeakers: the NDX 2 music streaming device, combined with the NAC 282 and NAP 250 DR pre-amplifiers, all complemented by HiCap and NAPSC power supplies.
- Qobuz will have a heavy presence at the show as the official streaming partner
- US Debuts from Piega, HiFi Rose, Mark Levinson, SVS, Klipsch, and more!
- Explore a dedicated Headphone Experience room featuring top-of-the-line headphones from Audeze, Focal, Mark Levinson, Sony walkmans, a complete gaming setup, & more!
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We get inside our heads!
Tucked between a home theater exhibit that was showing Michael Bay’s latest sequel “Subwoofer: The Movie 7“, and video game display, we encountered The Sound Organisation’s head-fi display where we took a bit of a digestion break to saddle up some tunes at the ends of Audeze and Chord Electronics UK.
Jameson and I were really impressed with the new Anni desktop integrated amplifier, and the portable Mojo 2. Noting specifically the Anni’s capabilities with the intended pairing of Qutest DAC to effectively be all one needs for a capable nearfield and head-fi system.
So far, the entire show is a reality escapist’s dream come true. We can’t wait to report what comes out of Day Three.