Category Archives: AXPONA

AXPONA 2016: End of Line and Best In Show

My first AXPONA was five years ago in Atlanta. It was about as far from 2016 as you can get. Then, there was something like 20 rooms. Five years later, and the difference is almost unbelievable. Chicago was over 5 times that big. It was yuuuuge. And stuffed. And full of folks. And and and. This? This was a completely different show. In the

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AXPONA 2016: John Stancavage’s Best of Show

Best Sound Cost-no-object system: Wilson Alexx, driven by Doshi tube amps (Paragon/Wilson Audio room). Neutral, effortless and jaw-dropping sound, combined with realistic weight, solidity and image height. $150,000 to $200,000 system: Sonus Faber Lilium speakers powered by Aesthetix electronics (Quintessence Audio/Musical Surroundings room). Ultimate refinement and ease, with excellent pace and resolution. $100,000 to $150,000 system: Volti with BorderPatrol front

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AXPONA 2016: Ear Gear eXpo (Plus) Roundup

The Ear Gear eXpo at AXPONA followed quickly on the heels of the all-headphone extravaganza of Head-Fi’s CanJam SoCal, which made double-coverage tricky and somewhat problematic — an issue I “solved” by giving some admittedly short shrift to this section here in Chicago. Mea culpa, and my apologies. I did, however, see and hear quite a bit round-and-about on the

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AXPONA 2016: Sonist sings with Triode

It may be an odd thing to say, but Jonny Wilson knows how to decorate a demo room. No, seriously. There are a lot of folks that can set up a great-sounding room. But the photos of those rooms only show an unending sea of ochre and beige that completely undermines whatever it is that’s going on in the room. Jonny,

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AXPONA 2016: Seduced by Vapor Audio and LampizatOr

Fan favorite Vapor Audio has not necessarily had the best track-record when it comes to audio shows. Maybe we’ve been unlucky with our timing, or they’ve been unlucky with their timing, but whatever the reason, PTA and Vapor just seemed out of synch. This room at AXPONA changed that for me. The Derecho loudspeakers, driven by a variety of amps, and fronted by

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