The last couple of months have been a blur. Just days after I joined the team at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional, I was off to Denver to cover the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Then, just a few weeks later, I was driving down to Rockville, Maryland to cover the 2018 Capital Audiofest. Then I’d been home about a week before I headed out to San Diego to cover the debut of the Dan D’Agostino Relentless monoblock amplifiers and YG Acoustics Sonja XV speakers at Alma Audio.… Read the full article
It became a running joke after a while. I’d be walking the halls at the 2018 Capital Audiofest, I’d look up and Fritz would be standing there or walking by or coming out of a room. By Fritz, I mean John “Fritz” Heiler of Fritz Loudspeakers. I’d met him at a few times over the years, mostly at audio shows, but never in a room where his speakers were being shown. It was always in an elevator, or in someone else’s room.… Read the full article
The Fritz speakers are quite legendary in online audio forums, and even specifically among our review staff. John Richardson recently reviewed the Fritz Carrera 7 BE monitors, and by the end of it all Fritz Speakers walked away with an Editor’s Choice Award. So I was excited to add the Fritz / ModWright room to my list of show coverage.… Read the full article
Sunday at an audio show is always a little bit slower, a little more relaxed, and a whole lot more “are we done yet?” Many of us on the press side are tying up loose ends, or returning to our favourite rooms to squeeze in another listen. I on the other hand am still clamoring to hear everything I can.… Read the full article
There are over 1,000,000 brands exhibiting here at Capital Audiofest … okay, okay, — I don’t know how many brands exactly, but it does seem like a lot this year. Which makes 2018’s event feel every bit like the “premier show of North America’s eastern coast”, that we often claim it to be. Fear not, as the rag-tag band of misfits from Part-Time Audiophile are here to be your surrogate audio show guide.
Here are some surefire rooms to get you started off on the right foot.… Read the full article
Audio shows are more than new gear releases and demonstrations to me. They are a chance to connect with the strange personalities that embody what it means to be an eccentric. Sometimes our interests can be socially unfortunate, but it’s during these few moments of the year at audio shows where we audiophiles can feel normal in our priorities, lusts, and musical tastes.
There have been a growing number of monitor/bookshelf designs that I’ve encountered recently which impress me more than towers from other manufacturers. Segregating speakers firstly by whether they are bookshelf monitors or floor-standing doesn’t make as much sense as it used to.
I currently have the Studio Electric M4 Monitors in for review, and comparing the looks of the updated models on show at Axpona to the ones I have at home, it seems they have hit maturity. The formerly rudimentary looks in the M4 review samples, have now grown up to include rich maple veneers, and a new aluminum grill worthy of its own photoshoot and review.… Read the full article
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
Spatial Audio, Linear Tube Audio, and Fern & Roby each arrive at a new reference this weekend at Axpona, and I’m glad I was able to hear it.
Cone drivers bolted into wooden boxes are a dime a dozen. On the tip of my tongue I’m lucky if questioned to name more than a handful of open-baffle speaker companies that are more than a garage business.… Read the full article
Bigger and better than ever, this years Expo Hall at AXPONA was alone worth the cost of admission. Vendors were pulling all the stops with their displays and demo exhibits. Traffic was consistent throughout the weekend, and I imagine the Expo Hall will be a popular destination for both attendee and exhibitor next year.
On with the show!
Wynn Audio had six displays featuring ThalesTurntable, KalistaDigital Playback System, Karan AcousticsAmplifier, EntreqGroundbox (recently reviewed by Rafe), PenaudioSpeakers, and ZenSatiCables.… Read the full article
Christopher Hildebrand of bespoke high-fidelity manufacturer Fern & Roby showed off some impressive pieces of kit at AXPONA a few weeks ago, and when I spoke with him there he related his excitement at attending his first High End in Munich this weekend. He came to Chicago loaded for bear with the company’s new 89dB/4-Ohm/Two-way The Tower loudspeakers, new phono stage designs, tonearm designs, and updates for his existing combinations of Montrose deck guises. Hildebrand has also been rolling his sleeves up on cable design/construction for tonearms, and interconnects, and was showing off several preamplifier/amplifier chassis redesigns that he had collaborated on with Linear Tube Audio and their main man Mark Schneider.… Read the full article