AXPONA 2018 Audio Expo: Blog and Recap – Part 3

This is a continuation of the show coverage from AXPONA 2018, provided by AVS Forum members who attended. This section encompasses companies with names beginning with letters Q through Z.

Click here for Part 1 (A-E)

Click here for Part 2 (F-P)


Raidho

@Scotth3886 says:

“Raidho was terrific with a warmish natural sound for classical with good sound stage and scale. Comparing it to color temperature for light with 2200k being really noticeably warm to 6500k a blue white, I’d say these are 2700k to 3000k. I didn’t care for the smaller ones nearly as much.”

“Raidho was in my top 5”


Photos by @Scotth3886

@JLevy1978 says:

“My favorites at the show friday by far was the Raidho setup. In his demo all I heard was an orchestra, stunning.”

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“They’re demoing the itty-bitty XT1s right now. These things are seriously tiny. They also pack a serious punch. It’s amazing the quality and quantity of sound, including honest to goodness bass, that’s coming out of these things.

“Rich, detailed, nice soundstage, no brightness, solid imaging, and they disappear – the music just fills the room.

“They’re front ported with a 4” dynamic driver and a unique ‘ribbon planar’ driver (like a ribbon but connected at all four sides).

“These easily have the most sound, and the highest quality sound, I’ve ever heard from something this small. They’re roughly $8,600 for the pair (stands extra).”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Revel

@Scotth3886 says:

“First stop was Revel to see and hear the new beryllium domed 228. Speaker looks to be the top of the line, and is beautifully finished.”

“Kevin Voacks was in the room so we had a good chat. I had my flash drive with me with most of my favorites, so right to one of my favorite test cuts the Sheffield, Harry James of Still Harry After All These Years. I also have some video of the speakers, so I’ll see if I can fend off the YouTube copyright censors by not playing entire cuts.”


Photo by @Scotth3886

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Performa F228be…. man, today has been a parade of phenomenal speakers. These things are special. They have that top to bottom transparency and neutrality you expect from Revel, they can thrash Rammstein at irresponsible levels then immediately switch to nuanced jazz vocals, then to full scale orchestral and do it with aplomb, presenting a wide, deep, and believable sound stage with appropriate imaging.”

“I may see a pair of these in my future.”

“I was going to try to hit another room, but as I was walking out the Revel guys switched out the F228bes for the M126bes, so I figured I’d hang out for a listen. I still haven’t left. These things are stupid good, stupid, stupid, stupid, good. They have amazing bass, clarity, imaging, the works, and $4,000/pair and may be just as good as those TADs I was raving about earlier.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes

@mtrot says:

“The $10,000 price point seems to be very hot right now, and the new Revel F228 be is perhaps the newest entry. The rep there stated that all the drivers are unique to the 228 and not shared with the F208.

“As I have been researching integrated amps, I was also very interested to hear this Mark Levinson 585 integrated amp. What appealed to me was that this was a very simple system, without a lot of components and cables that I don’t really have room for. All they had was the speakers, the amp, and some sort of streaming box.

“I thought the sound was fantastic for the price. One cut with close miked vocals was incredible. I was also considering a McIntosh integrated amp, and I’ve heard them several times, but this has me thinking of throwing that idea out the window!”


Photo by @mtrot


RUEL Audio

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“This show is the world premier for RUEL Audio’s line array. It’s an interesting setup, completely modular, with each module containing seven high excursion 1.5” drivers and two larger passive radiators.

“The system requires between 7-10 modules per tower (that way you can compensate for your ceiling height) as well as a system controller which is and integrated amp plus DSP. It puts out 1,000 watts of class-D power per side.

“It sounded very good, with much deeper bass than you’d think could come from 1.5” woofers. The claimed F3 point is 40hz. The aluminum bezel around the drivers is designed for high diffraction to spread the sound around.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Ryan Speakers

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“The Aurilac people had some Ryan speakers (a pair of R620) going off of one of their streaming boxes. They’re well-finished speakers, but it sounded like there was a lot of cabinet resonance and the bass was muddy.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Sadurni Acoustics

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Huge horn loaded speakers, incredibly impressive sense of ‘live’, truly full range with included tube stage, very nice soundstage and exceptional detail.

“The hotel room is way too small for these, put these in one of the big ballrooms and they’d be even better.

“Fostex tweeter, titanium compression driver mid, custom woofer in the basshorn. $50K all in including subs, with a smaller version going for $22K. Compared to a lot of stuff here, that’s a bargain.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Salk Sound

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“More Salk – This time it’s the Song3A Speakers which feature RAAL ribbon tweeters, Accuton ceramic midranges, and Satori woofers. These sounded wonderful and did everything well. I know that’s boring, but they’re just really, really, good. Tonal balance, soundstage, bass, imaging, you name it, they got it. I actually may like them more than their pricier brothers upstairs.

“They’re paired up with some nice affordable Schiit gear. This room sounded considerably better than the much more expensive Canton/Esoteric room next door. Just shows $100,000 worth of fancy electronics can’t compensate for bad room acoustics if those electronics don’t include some form of room correction.”


Photo by @blitzdog


Photo by @TuteTibiImperes


SB Acoustics/Satori

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Satori’s New Beryllium tweeters have been all over the show in many different designs. They sound great, so no wonder.

“The room is showing off a bunch of drivers they make along with some kits. For the demo, the ones playing were the angular white ones. The kit costs $2,000, comes with the Satori woofer, beryllium tweeter, all necessary other parts, and a pre-built pre-finished cabinet.

“They sound pretty awesome, and look cool. They’ve been playing a variety of music as I sit here and update my posts; these really do every genre of music justice.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Schiit Audio

@Mike_WI says:

“I just ordered a Schiit Jotunheim Multibit. High value.”

“The exhibit hall for Schiit made it hard for me to concentratem, with a lot of business with Mr. Speaker enthusiasts as well (almost bought some headphones!).  And the 384 room was busy.”

“I loved the combination of Schiit and Salk gear., including the Song3-A speakers. Likely one of the lowest cost, highest value rooms in the place, in my humble opinion.

“I took some pics and started playing Tidal from some of their music selections, including ‘Jesse Cook.’ New to me.”


Photo by @Mike_WI

 


Seaton Sound at AXPONA

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Season Sound Special Preshow Session: Mark Seaton’s father was kind enough to meet with us and show us around the Seaton Sound room before the show this morning so that we could get some pictures.

“Seaton Sound is demoing a variety of their products including their signature Seaton Submersive subwoofers (two powered units running two slaves each for a total of six), their smaller Catalyst 8C, their new LCR Sparks, new in-wall coaxial speakers, and through a partnership with Acurus the new Acurus 20 channel processor and Acurus Amps.

Seaton is also releasing a new smaller version of their subwoofer, details coming in the future, pricing around $1,299 in wood finish, two of them apparently equal one Submersive.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Sennheiser and Stax

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“There’s a whole headphone thing going on here, but it was pretty crowded tonight and I have a lot of speaker rooms left to hit. I did check out Stax, as I’ve heard a lot about them. Very fast and airy sounding headphones, extremely transparent, not much bass, much more comfortable than they look.

“Sennheiser has a new closed back 800 series coming out, the 820, hitting shelves in June for around $2,400. They sounded good, and they look cool.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Sonus Faber 

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Still pre-official open, but rooms are open to wander through. This one is going to be a must-see for Scott – huge Audio Research Corp tube amps, a rack of Audio Research and Aurender gear, and two giant Sonus Faber Aida speakers.”

“Right now it’s just playing at quiet background levels, I’ll come back to hear it in action. Even at quiet levels though these have a lot of sparkle and are throwing a super wide soundstage.”

“I went back to the Sonus Faber Aida room since they were all set up, they’re probably the prettiest speakers I’ve seen so far, and they have a nice big sound, but surprisingly little bass from such huge cabinets.”

http://8md8b.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2389258&d=1523630166


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“More Sonus Faber in the hallway, this time Cremonas with a huge stack of McIntosh gear. They’re playing Farrucas by Pepe Romero – the percussive slaps of either dancers or hands against the guitar are crazily realistic.”


Photo by @TuteTibiImperes

@Scotth3886 says:

“The Sonus Faber, Audio Research room was a big disappointment and there aren’t too many bigger ARC fans than me. They were using a pair of ARC Reference 750s, and I don’t know what they referencing, but this didn’t work… all my opinion of course.

“Sound was bright and strident. One could be led to believe that it was Klipsch or JBLs powered by an AVR versus what it was. I didn’t stick around long …. better things to do. This room was sad for me.”


Photo by @Scotth3886


TAD

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“TAD Micro Evolutions, these are the Uni-Fis Andrew Jones would have designed if price wasn’t a limitation (he did in fact design the larger and earlier version of these).

“They sound amazing, no criticisms, they’re some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard, and they look good too. Seriously though, these may be the best bookshelf speakers currently being made (I’d love to A/B them against the Paradigm Personas).

“Side plates hide slot ports while serving as baffles to keep the air from traveling too fast.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Technics

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Huge SB-R1 Speakers and SE-R1 amp sourced by a Technics turntable. Big open sound even in a small room, excellent treble and midrange, possibly thanks to a unique coaxial driver with a flat ring radiator midrange so the midwoofer doesn’t act as a waveguide for the tweeter.

This gear is aesthetically very pleasing in a clean well designed sort of way. I like it quite a bit.”

Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Thrax speakers & amps

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“These are neat, and something new I’ve never heard of – Thrax speakers (and amps). The speakers are two pieces – the MTM with what look like Seas drivers and a compression driver in the middle (the Lyra) and the bass, called the Bassus, which is a 15” servo-sub rated down to 20hz +/- 2db, with a 1 kilowatt amp. The speakers (tops and bottoms combined) go for $60K/pair.”



Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Vanatoo

@juanchibiris says:

“Today I saw a small powered speakers from a brand called Vanatoo (transparent zero), I was looking to change my computer speakers and I think this completely fits, they sound incredible for the price ($339) and size. To me, they sound even better than many of the larger and more expensive speakers over there.”

“Forgot to take pictures.”


Vandersteen

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Vandersteen Carbon 5A – These sounded fine. Not as nice as the Sopra 3s or Legacy stuff I’ve just checked out, but fine. Could be the first case I’ve seen of ‘room too big’.”


Photo by @TuteTibiImperes


Wilson Audio

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“So, Wilson Audio…. I was going to say some not-so nice things, but then they played some of Stravinsky’s Firebird, and that changed everything. These are monsters. They don’t sound great on the solo piano or acapella vocals they started the demo with, sort of like trying to use a chainsaw to carve a tiny figurine. Put some big orchestral stuff on though, and wow! These have effortless huge dynamics and can slam huge crescendos in your face like it was nothing.”

“I also found where all the D’Agostino gear went. There’s also a crazy UPS thing here, this is the small one, it’s $19,500. They’re using the big one on the system, it’s $39,000.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“Baby Wilsons: I actually liked these more than the big brothers. They were playing a lot of smooth jazz, but it sounded nice. Not the greatest soundstage or imaging, but tonally they were pleasing.”

“This was the first room I’ve been in where they’ve used the turntable. I was surprised how nice the record sounded.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“So, there were even baby-er Wilsons hiding in another room, the Sabrinas. They’re also the best of the three IMHO. Everything from a solo Barton violin piece to Linda Ronstadt to Fanfare for the Common Man sounded excellent with great sound stage, imaging, bass extension (seriously, I was trying to find the hidden subwoofer when I heard how deep and powerful the Tympani parts were in Fanfare, but there was no sub), etc. The smallest Wilsons are my favorite Wilsons. Also, I saw Steve Guttenberg, but I was too shy to say hello, this is like AV celebrity spotting.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes

@scotth3885 says:

“Wilsons were in (at least) two rooms this years. Possibly more, but I only found them in two. The smaller pair sounded fine, but had some pretty strong upper mid bass coloration that was noticeable.

“The larger of the two sounded great, but were being used more as an MQA demo to illustrate audibly what MQA did to ‘right’ recordings.

“Yeah, true, I could hear the difference, which I think just about everyone in the room could judging by the comments, plus it was clear which was better, especially on a Wagner vocal piece, But the original digital (PCM I think) didn’t sound right to begin with.


Photos by @Scotth3886


Von Schweikert at AXPONA

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“VR11 Speakers, a ton of VAC tubes and preamps, a smattering of Esoteric gear, Chronos turntable… I don’t even want to guess how much this room costs.

“It sounds absolutely fabulous. Deep bass that you can feel in your body, sparkly highs, huge voices, detailed, sound coming from places in the room there are no speakers.

“This is an imposing take-no-prisoners setup and it delivers.”


Photos by @TuteTibiImperes


Wolf/Stillpoint/Rockport/Entreq/Viola

@TuteTibiImperes says:

“This was a room with a lot of stuff going on. The Rockport speakers sound nice if unremarkable. The Wolf server can apparently do everything for everyone, so that’s cool. One of the companies in the room is trying to sell wooden boxes filled with ‘minerals’ that you connect your phono ground to in order to make the music more natural or something.”


This is a continuation of the show coverage from AXPONA 2018, provided by AVS Forum members who attended. This section encompasses companies with names beginning with letters Q through Z.

Click here for Part 1 (A-E)

Click here for Part 2 (F-P)


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