AXPONA has become the largest (by exhibits), most attended HiFi show in N. America, and it only appears to be on a rapid growth curve. Beginning on Friday, April 13th, and running through Sunday the 15th, AXPONA 2018 was a smashing success. The Renaissance Schaumburg is a terrific venue with size, accessibility and even elevators that work.
Glenn Poor's Audio Video teamed again with Technics at this year's show in a smallish room that surprisingly ended up sounding quite good. In fact, Craig and I were amazed at the sound quality attained with the Technics R1 Reference System. Going in, I had high expectations for the star of the show, the soon-to-be-released SL-1000R turntable, but was doubtful that the large Reference speakers would work in the small, rectangular room Technics had reserved for the show. I needn't have worried as we decided to try the old Dunlavy trick, and place the speakers against the long wall, spread far apart, facing the short distance, but with very little toe-in as the SB-R1E Reference speakers have incredibly linear off-axis dispersion. Even in the small space, we heard breathtaking dynamics, bass extension and musical honesty. After a few test selections, Craig looked at me with a genuine smile. Those of you who know Craig know that he never pulls any punches, and is proud of his reputation as our most skeptical, critical audio consultant. Now, I wish we had the space to show the whole Technics R1 Reference System here at our store in Champaign. We currently don't have the room, but maybe someday........
I have to admit having "audio envy" after spending three days playing LPs on the soon-to-be released SL-1000R turntable system. The build quality is simply stunning, the industrial design is incredible and the sound, augmented by the Ortofon Windfeld TI, was equally amazing! The SL-1000R has the best signal-to-noise ever measured (for a turntable), combined with the most consistent speed accuracy ever (Wow & Flutter less than 0.015%!). In fact, the 1000R is 14 dB quieter than the SL-1200G, which is currently reputed to be the world's quietest. Simply put, the new SL-1000R is the finest piece of gear for doing what it does that I've ever experienced! Those of you who know me can attest to the significance of that sentence. I want one. I don't need one, but I still want one.........
The weekend brought with it my wife, Ann, partner, Ron, and Ryan, our newest consultant at the Champaign store. Ron and Ann came for the fun of the show, while Ryan was a big help in the room. Ryan's a big fan of Technics turntables, and did a great job answering questions about the history of the various iterations of Technics 1200s.
Having Craig and Ryan there gave me a break so I could visit some of AXPONA's outstanding exhibits - the highlights of which were the Playback Design room and the Harbeth room. As usual, each of the three Harbeth models that were demonstrated sounded terrific, and left me thinking, "I'm so lucky to be a Harbeth dealer". Andreas Koch of Playback Design had his ultimate Dream system on display, and, as is typically the case with PBD's systems, the sound was so pure and live sounding that the "analog vs. digital" question was thrown into the irrelevant file. We'll be bringing the Playback Design "Dream" components to our store sometime this summer. You'll want to come by for a listen.
Please accept my apology for not seeing you if you attended AXPONA this year, and didn't realize we were there, but Glenn Poor's wasn't listed either in the catalog, on the room sign, or otherwise. Slight oversight, to say the least. That will not be the case next year when we'll have two contiguous rooms with our name prominently listed - along with several of our best suppliers. Stay tuned.
See you soon,