April 28th, 2019
By: Carlin "Rick" Smith
The AXPONA 2019 show has come to end. I was there only Friday this year due to a death in family so had to work quickly through the ever expanding venue. Below are some pictures and there are many others out there from various sources.
First some general thoughts.
AXPONA was in its new location about ten miles further north at Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center for the 2nd year. I personally love the new venue as the majority of listening rooms were around an open atrium meaning the rooms were only on one side of the floor which helped greatly with people traffic flow. The areas for the marketplace were larger and having parking right at the venue for free was a nice addition.
Not surprisingly given the recent public launch of Qobuz in North America you found it in streaming most rooms but still plenty of TIDAL particularly for MQA content. For those who prefer their content without streaming there was plenty of vinyl, CD, and other high-res content on music servers in higher end rooms.
Chord Electronics with Raidho Speakers
Scansonic HD Speakers
Wilson Audio and Audio Research Electronics
Nordost Room with Odin 2 cabling, VTL, dCS, and VPI electronics, and Stenheim Speakers
Monitor Audio Speakers and Roksan Electronics
Plenty of CH Precision Electronics
MSB Reference DAC and Magico Speakers (no award for cable management here - geez)
Mark Levinson Electronics and Revel Speakers
Classe Delta Series Monoblocks plus Magico S5 MKII Speakers - sounded really nice
Moon Electronics Galore
Dan D’Agostino Relentess Monoblocks - really the picture doesn't do justice to just how massive these are
Very Large Rooms By Expo Area (25' Ceilings Perhaps)
Jeff Rowland Gear
Joseph Audio Updated Perspective 2 Speakers with Graphene, Jeff Rowland and Aurender Electronics. Jeff makes some great speakers
Lumin Music Servers
McIntosh Gear in several rooms
My buddy checking out Woo Audio Headphones and Amplifiers - great stuff
Raidho Bookshelf Speakers
Very interesting wireless distribution system
dCS and Wilson Audio
Parasound Room Modestly Equipped But Sounded Very Good
New Aurender A30 Streamer, Server, Ripper Flagship - really hope this display makes it into future N10, W20 models
PS Audio Room with new speakers yet to be released - read Paul's Blog for more info on design (Saw Ted in the hall the software master of their DAC)
Cary Audio Electronics
Dynaudio Speakers plus Aurender and dCS Bartok
MSB Technology Select DAC Fully Equipped plus Magico Speakers. This system sounded amazing.