AXPONA 2024 coverage sponsored by Vera-Fi Audio Part 5

By: Gary Alan Barker
May 3rd, 2024

Welcome back to our coverage of AXPONA 2024, I would like to especially thank Vera-Fi Audio, manufacturer of fine loudspeakers and clever accessories much of which comprises my reference system, for kindly sponsoring our coverage.

spl/Oracle Audio/Sonus Faber

AXPONA 2024 - spl/Oracle Audio/Sonus Faber

My first big surprise at AXPONA 2024 was spl. I had long been aware of spl as a pro audio manufacturer who made very popular headphone amplifiers, but was taken totally unawares that they also had a full line of electronics for two-channel loudspeaker systems. The system on display was comprised of a beautiful Oracle Audio Origine MkII Turntable ($2,975), an spl Phonos RIAA Phono Preamplifier ($2,221), an spl Director Mk2 Preamplifier with D/A-Converter ($4,110), an spl Diamond D/A-Converter ($2,777), an spl Elector Analog Preamplifier ($2,999), an spl Performer s1200 Stereo Power Amplifier ($7,221), a pair of spl Performer m1000 Mono Power Amplifiers ($4,999/ea), and a pair of Sonus Faber Amati G5 Loudspeakers ($36,000/pr).

Convergent Audio Technology/Clarisys Audio

AXPONA 2024 - Convergent Audio Technology/Clarisys/Aurender

Back in the late ’80s, Convergent Audio Technology made “the” preamp, so I couldn’t help but be drawn into their room to see what they are up to now. On display was a CAT SL 1 Legend aGS Extreme Preamp ($99,995), CAT The Statement aGS Extreme Power Amplifiers ($249,990/pr), CAT JL7SE Extreme Power Amplifiers ($74,999/pr), and CAT JL5LE aGS Extreme Power Amplifier ($34,995/pr) driving the Clarisys Audio Piccolo (TBA) and Clarisys Audio Auditorium ($180,000/pair) with a VPI HW40 turntable ($22,000), and a Van Den Hul Crimson cart ($5000) as well as an audioa√©ro Capitole Classic CD Player (discontinued) as source.

Berkeley Audio Design/J.Sikora/Cardas Audio/Joseph Audio/Doshi Audio

AXPONA 2024 - Berkeley Audio Design/J.Sikora/Cardas Audio/Joseph Audio/Doshi Audio

While modest in appearance the Joseph Audio Pearl Graphene Ultra Loudspeakers ($52,000/pr) paired with Doshi Audio Evolution Monoblock Amplifiers ($45,000) and a Doshi Audio Evolution Line Preamplifier ($23,000) sourced via a j.Sikora 15th Anniversary Edition Standard MAX Turntable (TBA) with an Aidas Audio Mammoth Tusk LE Cartridge (TBA) and a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 3 DAC ($28,000) with Cardas cables throughout put out impressive sound.

AXPONA 2024 - Berkeley Audio Design/J.Sikora/Cardas Audio/Joseph Audio/Doshi Audio

Aries Cerat/Arya Audio/HornSolutions/inakustik/Pink Faun/WELLFLOAT/Worldwide Wholesales

AXPONA 2024 - Aries Cerat/Arya Audio/HornSolutions/inakustik/Pink Faun/WELLFLOAT/Worldwide Wholesales

The Aries Cerat Aurora Loudspeakers ($150,000/pr) certainly catch the eye and Worldwide Wholesales backed them up with products from Aries Cerat, Arya Audio, HornSolutions, inakustik, Pink Faun, and WELLFLOAT.

American Sound/RETHM/Phasemation

AXPONA 2024 - American Sound/RETHM/Phasmation

American Sound offered up a second room featuring the RETHM SAADHANA Loudspeaker ($15,750/pr) driven by a pair of Phasemation MA 1500 Tube Amplifiers ($32,800/pr). On static display were a pair of the self-amplified RETHM Aarka Loudspeakers ($6,000/pr) with built-in tube amps.

AXPONA 2024 - American Sound/RETHM/Phasmation

Marten/Constellation Audio/Jorma Design

AXPONA 2024 - Marten/Constellation Audio/Jorma Design

The diminutive Marten Parker Duo Standmount Loudspeakers ($13,495/pr – stands $3,895/pr) gave a large sound when powered by the Constellation Audio Taurus Mono Power Amps ($58,000/pr) and Constellation Audio Pictor Preamp & DC Filter ($32,500) which in turn received its power from a Jorma Design Jorma Filter Reference Power Center ($21,999).

Perfect8 Technologies/Ypsilon

AXPONA 2024 - Perfect8 Technologies/Ypsilon

Back in the 1970s people experimented with glass speaker enclosures due to the material’s high rigidity so I was intrigued by the Perfect8 Technologies Cube T Loudspeakers ($60,000/pr), of course, their appearance is also quite arresting and nothing is hidden from view. The Ypsilon Phaethon Integrated Amplifier ($25,000) appeared to be a good choice for driving them.

Garrard/Goldmund/Tannoy/Rhythm Distribution

AXPONA 2024 - Garrard/Goldmund/Tannoy/Rhythm Distribution

I have been a fan of the British sound and Tannoy in particular, since the late ’60s, in fact, two of my home theatre speakers are a pair of Tannoy Orbitus Loudspeakers circa 1971. One has only to look at their classic styling and listen to their epic sound to understand why the British word for P.A. is Tannoy. To add to that, my first turntable was a Garrard, so the Rhythm room held a lot of appeal to me. The main system consisted of a pair of Tannoy Stirling III LZ Special Edition Loudspeakers ($12,500/pr), a pair of Tannoy SuperTweeter GR Supertweeters ($2,195/pr), a Garrard 301 Advanced Turntable with SME Series V Tonearm ($54,900) fitted with an Ortofon MC Diamond Phono Cartridge ($9,999) through a Goldmund Mimesis PH3.8 NEXTGEN Phono Preamplifier ($48,000) to a Goldmund Telos 690 Integrated Amplifier ($36,000).

AXPONA 2024 - Garrard/Goldmund/Tannoy/Rhythm Distribution

Treehaus Audiolab/Iconoclast/SME/dCS

AXPONA 2024 - Treehaus Audiolab/Iconoclast/SME

Probably the most unique loudspeaker out there is Treehaus Audiolab Phantom of Luxury Field Coil Loudspeakers ($29,000/pr) in no small part due to their construction being one-off, meaning that no two speakers are the same. For amplification, they used the Treehaus Audiolab The A/Machines Preamplifier ($19,000), Treehaus AudioLab The A/Machines Power Amplifiers ($39,000 for the four pieces), and a Treehaus SUT Moving Coil Step Up Transformer ($3,000). On the front end was an SME Model 12 Turntable with an SME 3o9 tonearm ($14,700), an Ortofon MC Verismo cartridge, and a dCS Rossini APEX DAC ($32,800) with Iconoclast cables throughout.

Paducah Home Theater/Klipsch Heritage/English Acoustics/Unison Research

AXPONA 2024 - Paducah Home Theater/Klipsch Heritage/English Acoustics/Union Research

Talking about vintage audio, Paducah Home Theater presented a pair of Klipsch Cornwall IV Loudspeakers ($3,299/ea) a pretty much unchanged design since they were introduced in 1959. Choosing the Unison Research Simply 845 Integrated Tube Amplifier ($9,995) was an inspired choice. On static display was a beautiful English Acoustics Stereo 21c ($5,999) and a Unison Research Triode 25 Integrated Tube Amplifier ($4,499).

AXPONA 2024 - Paducah Home Theater/Klipsch Heritage/English Acoustics/Union Research
AXPONA 2024 - Paducah Home Theater/Klipsch Heritage/English Acoustics/Union Research

Harmonia Distribution/Fyne Audio/Pathos Acoustics/Berkeley Audio Design/Aurender/T+A Elektroakustik/Cardas Audio

AXPONA 2024 - Harmonia Distribution/Fyne Audio/Pathos Acoustics/Berkeley Audio Design/Aurender/T+A Elektroakustik/Cardas Audio

In an effort to distance their distribution business from their retail business Upscale Audio has changed their name to Harmonia Distribution and were demonstrating a Fyne Audio/Pathos Acoustics system, which is what drew me into their room as the Fyne Audio Vintage Fifteen Floorstanding Loudspeaker ($39,999) looked remarkably like a Tannoy speaker. As it turned out Fyne Audio was started by former Tannoy employees who felt their product designs were not getting the attention they deserved. Paired with the Vintage Fifteens was a Pathos Acoustics InPol Legacy Integrated Amplifier ($55,000), a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 3 DAC ($28,000), an Aurender N20 Streamer/Music Server ($12,500), a T+A Elektroakustik MP 200 Multi-Source Streamer/CD Player ($5,900), and Cardas Audio cabling throughout.

AXPONA 2024 - Harmonia Distribution/Fyne Audio/Pathos Acoustics/Berkeley Audio Design/Aurender/T+A Elektroakustik/Cardas Audio
AXPONA 2024 - Harmonia Distribution/Fyne Audio/Pathos Acoustics/Berkeley Audio Design/Aurender/T+A Elektroakustik/Cardas Audio
AXPONA 2024 - Harmonia Distribution/Fyne Audio/Pathos Acoustics/Berkeley Audio Design/Aurender/T+A Elektroakustik/Cardas Audio

That concludes part 5 of our ongoing coverage of AXPONA 2024 thanks to Vera-Fi Audio, stay tuned for part 6.

Vera-Fi Audio
Vera-Fi Audio

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