T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2

By: Gary Alan Barker
June 18th, 2024

Welcome back to our coverage of T.H.E. SHOW 2024. As with AXPONA I visited every room at the show, but will only talk in detail about those rooms that most impressed me.


T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Final

One product that I saw at AXPONA but did not hear was Final’s full range Electrostatic Speakers (note this is Final ESL from Holland and not the Final from Japan that makes headphones) and I was very anxious to do so, so they were the first room that I went to to find that they had shipping issues and were not open for the first day of the show. On Saturday they had their Final Model ESL 15 Electrostatic Speakers ($15,000/pr) set up with a frequency response down to 40Hz (the top end is just listed as ultrasonic) they were very impressive sounding, especially so close to the window in the back wall, but the highlight of the show was stuck in customs and so was not set up until Sunday, so I returned to listen to their new flagship Final Model ESL 35 Electrostatic Speakers ($27,000 – $30,000/pr depending on options) which boast a frequency response down to 20Hz and dynamic range that would give dynamic speakers a run for their money. Given that they were brand new, not burned in, with a minimal set-up, and were playing at volumes intended to impress rather than give a realistic presentation, they provided one of the best sounds of the show, but I think set up properly, in a proper environment these could be one of my favorite speakers.

In a second room, they had a Dolby Atmos system which I listened to at AXPONA made up of Final Model 5 ESL Hybrid Loudspeakers ($7,000/ea) for the mains, Final Model 3 ESL Loudspeakers ($3,750/ea) for the surrounds, a Final Model 3 ESL Center Channel Speaker ($3,000/ea), Final Model 1 ESL Dolby Atmos Height Speakers ($2,250/ea), Tekton Design 4-10 Line Array Subwoofers ($860/ea), an EMM labs Switchman 3 Multichannel Fully Balanced Analog Preamp (discontinued), a Sony STR-AZ7000ES Receiver ($3,299.99), an Oppo UDP-205 Audiophile DAC / Blu-Ray SACD Player (discontinued), and Apple TV 4k as streaming source.

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Final

JPorter Studios Inc/Linear Tube Audio

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - JPorter Studios Inc

JPorter Studios Inc’s Waterloo Signature Edition Powered Speaker System ($7,498/ea) paired with an LTA MicroZOTL Level 2 Preamplifier ($5,750) and LTA Aero DAC ($3,950) were unique looking, beautiful, and fantastic sounding.


T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - WIIM

WiiM was a new brand to me, but were all over the show including as an accessory music server for Streamline HiFi which I mentioned in my previous report. The tiny WiiM Pro Plus Music Streamer ($219) employs an AKM 4498SEQ DAC chip with a 121 dB signal-to-noise ratio and 24-bit/192kHz Analog-to-Digital conversion for the Analog input.

Destination HiFi/CODA/Kimber Kable/Legacy Audio/Lumin

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Destination HiFi/CODA/Kimber/Legacy Audio/Lumin

Legacy Audio Aeris XD Loudspeakers ($23,400/pr) mated with the Legacy Audio Wavelet 2 Room Correction DAC/Preamp/Crossover ($7,950) connected to a Lumin U2 Mini Transport Streamer ($2,400) and a Coda S5.5 Stereo Amplifier ($6,400) and wired with Kimber Kable gave marvelous sound and an image that made me think the sound was coming from the Legacy Audio Studio HD Speakers ($2,400/pr) in the middle.

Aperion Audio/Cambridge Audio/Linear Tube Audio/Marantz/Straight Wire

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Aperion Audio/Cambridge Audio/Linear Tube Audio/Marantz/Straight Wire

Aperion Audio was running a Dolby Atmos system in one room and a two-channel setup in a second room. For the theatre room they were running three Aperion Audio Theatris T80 Cinema Loudspeakers ($1,449/ea), four Aperion Audio Theatris T65 Cinema Loudspeakers ($1,199/ea), two Aperion Audio A5 Immersive Height Modules ($549/pr), two Bravus B212D Subwoofers ($1,199/ea), an Aperion Audio Energy 7 Power Amplifier ($1,899), an Aperion Audio Energy 5 Power Amplifier ($1,599), and a Marantz SR7015 AVR with Straight Wire Waveguide 2 Speaker Cables ($190 for 100′) which I note that they neglected to mirror the main speakers for. The more interesting two-channel room consisted of a Cambridge Audio MXN10 Network Streamer through an LTA Aero DAC ($3,950) and LTA Velo Preamplifier ($2,100) connected to an Aperion Audio Energy 2 Power Amplifier ($1,149) driving Aperion Audio Grandis G6B HiFi Bookshelf Speakers ($2,299/pr) which they were unveiling for the show (literally, they were covered with cloth sacks when I entered the room). There was also a pair of Aperion Audio Verus V8T Tower Speakers ($1,999/ea) and an Aperion Audio Bravus B212D Subwoofer ($1,1999) with Straight Wire Octave 4 Biwire 8′ Speaker Cables ($570) being employed.

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Aperion Audio/Cambridge Audio/Linear Tube Audio/Marantz/Straight Wire

Songer Audio/Western Electric/Innuos/Mola Mola/Atlas

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Songer Audio/Western Electric/Innuos/Mola Mola/Atlas

Songer Audio was showing their fantastic Songer Audio S1x Nova Field Coil Loudspeakers ($45,000/pr) with the gorgeous Western Electric 91E Integrated Amplifier ($14,999) sourced with an Innuos STATEMENT Music Server/Streamer ($18,900) and Innuos Phoenix NET Network Switch ($4,349) through a Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC ($13,500) using Atlas Arran Ultra Latik Interconnects ($3,515) and Atlas Arran Transpose Speaker Cables ($8,455). Talk about dynamic range, who needs brassy horns when you have field coils?

Audio Note

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Audio Note

It’s hard to pass up a nice turntable and the Audio Note AN-TT Three Deluxe Turntable ($16,535 with PSU3 Power Supply) with an Audio Note Arm Three Mark II Tonearm ($2,465 with AN-Vx Tonearm Cable) and an Audio Note IOI Moving Coil Cartridge ($5,030) through an Audio Note AN-S3 Step-Up Transformer ($4,525) is just that, and played through yet another field coil design the Audio Note AN-E-SPx Limited Field Coil Loudspeakers (65,000/pr) powered by an Audio Note Meishu Tonmeister Phono Silver 300B Single-Ended Triode Integrated Amplifier ($19,300), with a Audio Note CD4.1x CD Player as an alternative digital source, the sound was magical.

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Audio Note

Akustika Eterna/Grimm Audio/Horning Hybrid Systems/LampizatOr

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - Akustika Eterna/Grimm Audio/Homing Hybrid Systems/Lampizat0r/PS Audio

Most impressive amplifier goes to the three chassis Akustika Eterna LUCET Ultimate 801A/AD1 Single Ended Triode Amplifier ($179,900) paired with the Akustika Eterna (Volume)3 Passive “Preamplifier”/Transformer Volume Control ($13,500) using Akustika Eterna Silver DNA Interconnects ($2,800/4’pr) driving Horning Hybrid Systems Eufrodite Alnico Lowther Full Range Transmission Line Loaded Loudspeakers ($39,500) via Akustika Eterna Speaker Cables (TBA) with a Grimm Audio MU1 Music Server/Streamer ($12,500) through a LampizatOr Golden Gate 3 DAC ($24,000) as source.

House of Stereo/Audio Group Denmark/Ansuz Acoustics/Axxess/Borresen

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - House of Stereo/Audio Group Denmark/Ansuz Acoustics/Axxess/Borresen/Lansche Audio

Hidden in the far corner of the Lobby floor with two large ballrooms was House of Stereo & Audio Group Denmark demonstrating Borresen C3 Loudspeakers ($38,500) with an Axxess Forté Streaming DAC/Amplifier ($5,500) using Ansuz Acoustics cabling and accessories.

T.H.E. SHOW 2024 Pt 2 - House of Stereo/Audio Group Denmark/Ansuz Acoustics/Axxess/Borresen/Lansche Audio

That concludes part 2 stay tuned for part 3.

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