Ultra Fidelis | AXPONA 2023

ultra fidelis

Audio Research, one of the stars of the main floor at AXPONA 2023, also snuck into the Vandersteen room hosted by Ultra Fidelis. For the life of me I can’t understand why this Wisconsin dealer from the Milwaukee area is the most active Vandersteen dealer in the Chicago region, but the Kēnto’s that Jonathan set up sounded rich, warm, and sultry driven by an Audio Research Reference preamp and DAC.

Words and Photos by Graig Neville

Amp duties in the Ultra Fidelis room were performed by Vandersteen’s own M5-HPAs. An AMG Giro turntable and a Lyra cart, both favorites of Jonathan, were also featured. The Vandersteen Kēnto was one of my favorites at the show, being warmer and more laid back than most of the other transducers at the show. I stopped by the Ultra Fidelis room several times and the music selection was more typical of music you would listen to at home and less of the curated “driving bass” or “audiophile wow factor” selections heard in most other rooms.

amg giro

In the adjacent Ultra Fidelis room, Vandersteen’s VLR bookshelfs were playing on the popular Audio Research i50 integrated tube amp, and even shoved way into the corners against the wall the sound was good.

ultra fidelis

The Ultra Fidelis room wasn’t flashy–it was quite the opposite and was an oasis of respite in an otherwise crowded show. This didn’t mean the room was never busy, it was often packed to the gills when I went by, but the crowd and the energy as well as the music was a calm amongst the gale that was AXPONA. If you are in the Milwaukee or southern Wisconsin area check out Ultra Fidelis. They are one of my favorite dealers in the Midwest.

audio research

ultra fidelis

audio research

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. Malarkey – audio research is Toast – I am a bankruptcy attorney and that’s just the way it is.

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