Welcome back for the conclusion of my coverage of the Florida Audio Expo 2022! We would like to thank Walter Liederman at Underwoood HiFi for sponsoring HiFiAudio.Guru’s coverage of Florida Audio Expo 2022, without the help of our fabulous sponsors we would not be able to bring you these wonderful experiences.
Onward and downward to the main floor. This is a floor of Conference rooms…much larger than the hotel suites.
My first stop of the morning was the room put on retailer The Audio Company. This room featured Von Schweikert Audio, Valve Amplification Company (VAC), and Esoteric with analog being handled by a Kronos table. Cabling was all Master Built. The system was playing through the Von Schweikert Ultra 7’s bi-amped by 4 (FOUR!) VAC Statement 452 iQ power amps…or I guess that’s quad-amped! Spinning Kind of Blue on the Kronos, the image was deep, tall, and palpable. If they’d pumped in a little smoke, I’d have believed I was in a jazz club. Switching to classical, this system threw a realistic soundstage with precise instrument placement. In addition to the active system, they had static displays of other models from each company including the VSA Ultra 55’s, ESE, and E3 as well as Statement 450 iQ monoblocks from VAC. If you have a spare $million, this was a system to which you could aspire!
https://www.theaudioco.com http://www.vac-amps.com https://www.vonschweikert.com https://www.esoteric.jp/en/ http://www.kronosaudio.com/kronos-pro.html
One of the biggest improvements in sound from the 2020 edition of the show was the room put on by MBL. I’m not sure if it was attributable to the move across the hall to a larger room or the new product improvements, but this room went from slight disappointment to blowing me away. The omnidirectional speakers threw a HUGE image that seemed very real. The system consisted of the Model 1621A CD transport ($31,500), 1611F DAC ($31,500), 6010D Preamp ($30,000), 9011 monoblocs ($60,000ea) all driving their 101 X-Treme MK2 speakers ($317,500)
Across the hall in what had been the MBL room last time was a second room by distributor High End by Oz and The Audio Group Denmark. Again the room featured the blend of Thraz electronics, Anzus cables, and Borreson speakers…this time the big 05’s ($132,000 base price…$215,000 in silver version) in addition to the stand mount 01’s. Lars Kristensen of the Audio Group Denmark provided an exceptional demonstration of the system.
Next up was the 2nd room I visited by Florida retailer Suncoast Audio. This excellent sounding room featured the Vivid Audio Giya G1 speakers ($93,000/pair) being driven by the Black Audio preamp ($45,000) and mono amps ($60,000/pair) Analog duties were handled by the always-gorgeous VPI Rosewood Prime Signature ($8,000) with a Koetsu Onyx cartridge ($10,995) while the digital front end was an Aurender N30DA Streamer ($24,000) feeding an MSB Select 2 DAC ($107,000).
The biggest room at the show featured the most unassuming-looking system. The room by Acora Speakers felt sparse by comparison to some of the other grandiose rooms…until Valerio Cora dropped the needle and the music poured out…lush and liquid…filling the huge room with glorious sound. If you’re unfamiliar with Acora, they make their speaker cabinets from granite. Heavy doesn’t begin to describe them. This virtually eliminates cabinet resonances and allows them to play louder and with greater detail than most other speakers can approach. The fact that these two simple, relatively small speakers (SRC-2’s at $37,000/pair) were able to comfortably fill this huge room was nothing short of astonishing. The amps driving these wonders were a pair of the VAC Statement 452 iQ power amps. Analog source was a J. Sikora Standard Max Turntable with upgraded Power Supply ($27,500) with a Tru-Glider Tonearm ($5,600) supporting a DS Audio Grand Master System cartridge ($60,000) which was run through a VAC Statement Phono Stage ($80,000) and VAC Statement Preamp ($80,000). The digital source was an Ideon Audio streamer ($19,900) feeding an Ideon Episilon DAC ($47,000) clocked by an Ideon Master Time ($3,950). Also on display were the Acora Acoustics SRS-M ($2,500pr), SRS-G ($5,000/pr), SRB ($15,000/pr) and SRC-1 ($28,000/pr). Cables throughout this system were Cardas Audio.
https://www.acoraacoustics.com https://www.integrityhifi.ca/tru-glider https://ideonaudio.com https://www.drvinyl.net http://www.cardas.com/
No show report would be complete without mentioning the music itself. Show sponsor Qobuz was behind the ability for anyone to walk into any room and request nearly any song. That’s because Qoboz streams high-resolution audio to any internet-connected computer, phone, tablet, and most streamers. After reading about the many tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear at this show, be happy to know that you can get all that music wherever you are and on whatever kind of system you have for just $10.83/month.
As the sun sets on the Florida Audio Expo coverage for this year, I want to thank Show producer Bart Andeer for another great event and I will look forward to the 2023 edition.
We would also like to thank Walter Liederman at Underwoood HiFi for sponsoring Headphone.Guru’s coverage of Florida Audio Expo 2022, if you enjoyed this or just want great HiFi and a great price, I suggest you visit Walter’s Webstore.