Fidelis and Audio Skies | AXPONA 2023

It sounds funny to pair these two distributors together, Fidelis and Audio Skies, but that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw a pair of Harbeth 40.3s mated to JMF amplification and Ideon Audio digital at AXPONA 2023. I also knew this room would be a sonic treat–the Harbeth 40s are one of my favorite speakers of all time, and JMF is quietly becoming one of my favorite brands for solid state amplification.

Now that I think of it, this may be the Audio Skies and Harbeth room–I made assumptions based on Fidelis taking up the room next door for their Lab12 and Heretic Audio system, which I’ll talk about this weekend. Still, my heart races a little when I see a pair of Harbeth 40s.

Words by Marc Phillips, Photos by Scot Hull

Then again, I always knew Harbeths sounded great with quality solid state, such as Naim and LFD. But JMF is unique–despite the somewhat conventional box, the innards are one of the most tantalizing bespoke builds you’ll find in high-end audio. And Ideon? Just in the last year I’ve heard this company’s flagship digital stack about ten times and I’m not sure I’ve heard better.

harbeth 40.3

The Fidelis and Audio Skies collaboration was such a spectacular system in so many ways, and not just when it comes to my personal tastes: those Harbeth 40.3 XD monitors ($24,900/pr USD) on dedicated Ton Trager stands ($1,600/pr) from Fidelis, for a start. Michael Vamos of Audio Skies brought the rest–JMF HQS 6002 power amplifier ($40,000), JMF PRS 1.5 preamplifier ($36,000), JMF PC102 power line filter ($20,000) and a whole new range of JMF Siren cables. The Ideon Audio stack includes the Absolute Epsilon DAC ($47,000), Absolute Stream streamer ($20,000) and the Absolute Time re-clocker ($10,000). That’s some heavy artillery.

jmf and ideon

It’s funny to think that the mighty Harbeth 40.3s were one of the more affordable pieces in this extraordinary system, yet at the same time I kept thinking that these classic monitors never sounded better to my ears than they did right here. Only rarely do I pull out the “lit from within” descriptor while encountering a particular audio component or system, but I could help but feel that magnetic and energetic presence in the Fidelis and Audio Skies room.

Here’s one reason I lamented the overall size of AXPONA 2023–I didn’t have the time to go back for a second listen as I do at most high-end audio shows. If I see Fidelis and Audio Skies put together a system like this at another audio show, I will bring a sleeping bag and someone else will have to cover the rest of the show for me.

fidelis and audio skies

fidelis and audio skies

If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2023, 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.

Also don’t forget to check out our collaboration to commemorate the event with our solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800 grams of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top with also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Fidelis and Audio Skies | AXPONA 2023 | Rabbit Hole Ai

Comments are closed.