Alrighty fellas. Man what an incredible weekend of food, speakers, and friends. It should go without saying that attending events such as Axpona always ends up being more about the camaraderie and shared passion of a group of people than it is actually about the actual passion itself. What fun hanging with my dudes I have already long considered "Friends" more than fellow enthusiasts. Guess there is a reason my wife refers to AVS as my "Dating Site" lol.
I had never been to an audio expo, or anything other than home and garden shows so this was a brand new experience for me. It was absolutely amazing the type of gear I saw. Knowing full well how ridiculous the prices can get, it was hilarious to me that after seeing some of the pricetags, all of a sudden "Oh those are only $12,000? That's not bad!!" escaped my mouth on several occasions before I could even catch myself. Funny how that works in comparison. Another thing that surprised me was just how many options for gear and stuff are out there. The fact that there were 100's of rooms with all sorts of gear in them, and of that gear there was very little overlap. Whether it was cables, amps, speakers, heck even the equipment stands or streaming devices, it seemed like almost every single room had gear exclusive to it. That was unfathomable.
Some things I took from the show:
~I really want to try out Qobuz. They basically sponsored the entire show and everything they were playing in all the rooms that were using their service sounded pretty incredible. I've never lent credence to high rez files and such, but I at least want to formulate my own opinion on my own setup with further analysis.
~People can preach neutral speaker response, with no bass or other boosting all the live-long day but when you break down what sells, boosting that nice, moist low-end is what sells some speakers. I don't know of too many rooms last weekend that weren't running the bottom end like Tennessee chicken.....HOT....oh, and in several cases it sounded like the treble control had been nudged up a little too. Guess what I did when I got home on my own 2 channel?
~2 days is barely enough time to hit every room and NOT enough time if you are wanting to listen to more than just a song clip
~10 times out of 10 I will not buy a speaker from you if I spend 5 minutes in your room and hear nothing but your annoying sales pitch. That's what the printed literature is for.
~If you are giving away free beer in your room, I don't care if it sounds bad, I'll have a listen! Thanks, Cambridge Audio (It actually sounded pretty good)
~Magnets are magical
~The JVC RS4500 is the real deal. Man that picture was fantastic, I can only hope my rs2000 gets close.
~There are some 4" bookshelves out there that defy physics. Im serious. It sounded like there as a pair of pro 15's hiding somewhere and they lied to me. But they didn't.
~Omni directional speakers and others that have rear firing drivers are a mystery to me.
~Even professional audiophiles screw up setting up the room
As far as faves of the show go other than the JTR room, I liked the Von Schweickert speakers that had already been posted, along with the Legacy V's and to my surprise the two B&W rooms were getting DOWN. Those speakers are well rated for a reason. I also really liked the revel 228Be and the Salon2, although the salon 2 was setup completely wrong and the bass was all in the hallway of the room and outside, while being virtually non-existent in the seating area. Purely a setup flaw, as I know what those should be capable of.
Coolest looking speaker was probably the MBL's and they actually sounded pretty good to boot.
Most surprising speaker was those dang 4" bookshelves. Can't remember the name but I think
remembers. I have the brochure so I'll update this later. Just a killer, cheddary bottom end with a top end sweeter than a plate of yams with extra syrup.
All that being said, can't wait to attend another show sometime. Good meeting those I met and putting names to faces, which is always a good time!