AXPONA 2017 Speaker System Demonstrations

AXPONA 2017 Videos

At the AXPONA 2017 audio show that took place this past weekend, I captured footage of various speaker demos using my trusty Sony FDR-AX53 4K camcorder ($898) and a Tascam TM-2X mic ($100).

While it’s impossible to convey what the various rooms at the show sound like through a recording, some characteristics do come through. For example, changes in tonality caused by moving the microphone around the room are quite obvious. Anyhow, these videos are intended as a fun glimpse at a fraction of the demo rooms that were available to attendees of AXPONA 2017.


Emotiva XPA electronics (including the XPA Gen3 amps) and Airmotiv speakers all played a big role in the company’s AXPONA 2017 demos.


JTR Noesis 210RT Speakers ($2300 each) are a 3-way design with a concentric compression driver. These speakers are horn-loaded to 400 Hz.


Gamut played Pink Floyd’s The Wall from a studio master quality tape. The company was showing its new reel-to-reel board that’s designed to make the most of the signal picked up by the tape heads. The result—as played through a system that included Gamut RS7i speakers—was crisp, clear, and detailed.


Thiel demoed its flagship 40.3 Reference towers ($35,000/pair), the sound was impeccable, the essence of what high-end performance/luxury speakers should sound like. It may not be “classic Thiel” but it’s a new speaker that does many things right. I could listen to these all day long.


Although the huge (4-foot diameter) woofer-shaped enclosure is decorative, these Volya NoLimits speakers had no shortage of bass. They did a great job playing Massive Attack.


Cambridge Audio AeroMax 6 towers sounded dynamic and lively in the British Hi-Fi company’s AXPONA 2017 demo. I like that these speakers are both innovative and affordable; the BMR driver (looks like a flat tweeter) plays down to 250 Hz.


I thought these Classic Audio Loudspeakers Project T-1.5 reference speakers sounded like they were worth every penny of the $36,500/pair asking price.


Emotiva’s Airmotiv Stealth 8 powered studio monitors offer 400 watts of power (each) in a bi-amped configuration. These are great speakers if you want to skip buying an amplifier and simple connect them to a pre/pro or a source.


KEF Blade 2 at AXPONA 2017. These speakers impress in many ways. The four woofers in a force-cancelling alignment make plenty of bass, and the whole speaker is designed so it acts as a point source for the listener. Sophisticated and sexy, that’s the KEF way.


The Platinum PL300 II loudspeakers from Monitor Audio are balanced and refined. They did many things well including presenting a great soundstage.


Markaudio-SOTA debuted and demoed its Cesti and Viotti speakers. Here, the Cesti T towers are playing. The novel design uses dual full-range drivers and a simple crossover to create a 2-way speaker concept that is used in all three models the company offers.


JTR Noesis 215RT towers formed the foundation of this 7-channel supersystem at AXPONA 2017. It sounded amazing thanks to 14,000 watts of power and a total of 14 15″ woofers.


The Dayton Audio Epique uses 24 full-range drivers mounted in a special arched-baffle enclosure. It’s a line-array, so it’s really good at imaging and avoids issues with floor and ceiling bounce.


Emotiva brought its affordable yet high-performance BasX lineup to AXPONA 2017 and had a 5.1 system available to demo. Look under the hood and you will see Emotiva’s entry level is actually quite high-end. I have a BasX system in for review.


VPI Industries President Mat Weisfeld chats up a storm about the company’s new Prime Scout turntable that debuted at AXPONA 2017.


JBL Everest and Mark Levinson is always a formidable combo. This system made making music sound effortless.


There’s no sound to this video, but the Volya Bouquet doesn’t need it. It’s easily the most flamboyant finish I saw on any speaker at AXPONA 2017.


All videos by Mark Henninger. Shot with a Sony FDR-AX53 camcorder & Tascam TM-2X