AXPONA Chicago April 12-14, 2019

Don C

Active Member
These Muraudio electrostatic hybrids were amazing for only $15,300. The panels are CURVED (spell check correction) vertically. I didn’t perceive any sweet spot imaging just a vast soundstage and huge dynamics. Driven by 250wpc Hegel Integrated, although the manufacturer said 100wpc would do very nicely!View attachment 12487View attachment 12488
Yessir, have the room to myself for a moment listening to Thad Jones play April in Paris. Sublime.

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Don C

Active Member
AudioNote UK, a C- (at best) for presentation, but I thought the sound was quite good. A friend said it was his favorite “non” cost-no-object room.

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Don C

Active Member
Probably my second-place favorites from this weekend, avantgarde acoustic with Esoteric. I’m not normally a horn guy, but these were engaging and musical, toe-tapping and fun. Not something I would (or probably could) listen to all the time, but in this context, they’re my runners-up of not-to-be-missed rooms.

“And When I Die” by Blood, Sweat, and Tears (re-mastered SACD) was being played in this room on my second visit this morning. (First visit was early Friday, and I knew I should return.) Other than the music, you could hear a pin drop - all in attendance were completely rapt. Given the proper frame of mind, one could be moved to tears. (Just sayin’)

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The other avantgarde/Esoteric room was playing Jazz. Suddenly it was 1959, after Dave’s introduction, it was all Paul Desmond, with Eugene and Joe only making their presence known in support on “Strange Meadowlark.” Clean, clear, balanced, refined - near perfect. The quintessential Desmond. Had the room to myself for 7 minutes of cool admiration.

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I’ve never given much focus to Esoteric equipment, and didn’t get photos of the gear, but I think I’ll pay more attention. Quite, quite nice.
 

Don C

Active Member
And my preference for “Best in Show” was not a close race. The larger VAC/Van Schweikert system set up in the (aptly-named) Euphoria room by The Audio Company from Marietta, GA took my breath away. I texted a friend “Wow” and meant it.

I listened for over a hour, heard big orchestra, girl-with-a-guitar, blues, and other stuff - LP and digital. I wished I had come earlier and had to force myself to leave.

This system had the largest - widest and deepest - soundstage I’ve ever heard. I’ve had the privilege to hear large bands and orchestras while standing on the proscenium and from every spot on the stage and from nearly every seat in the house. This was the first time I could “hear” the entire Chicago Symphony Orchestra (for instance) as though I were actually there in front of them. Every instrument was present and in its place, its player performing his or her part just as they practiced, rehearsed, and were recorded.

And the dynamics were enormous, yet nimble.

And there was no question about clarity and resolution. This system was operating on a higher level than that. It was a given.

And the timbre was accurate. Correct. Right.

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Perfect? No. There’s no such thing. (And I’m eager to hear the criticisms from those who disliked this or that about it.)

Practical? No. That’s not likely in most any context. But the person for whom this system exists probably has a context already bought and ready.

Higher (?) thoughts:
There’s an obvious absurdity in assembling a stereo system that costs $1.3M-$1.5M (yes, I asked) to do something you could just catch a cab and hear for real in Symphony Hall for <$100. You could do it about 15,000 times, actually. Yep, you could get two excellent seats at the symphony every week for the next 144 years.

So the question becomes “Why?”

The bleeding-heart liberal in me considers questions of income stagnation vs. cost-of-living inflation, wealth inequity, poverty vs. prosperity, and the like. The spiritualist in me wants to know if I could assemble what is clearly a gross misuse of funds in the pursuit of audio nirvana, just because.

No, this system isn’t for me, or for any of us. One could question if it even should be. But it does exist, and for a brief moment there was an experience as close to superficial stereo enlightenment as I’m ever likely to have.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
And my preference for “Best in Show” was not a close race. The larger VAC/Van Schweikert system set up in the (aptly-named) Euphoria room by The Audio Company from Marietta, GA took my breath away. I texted a friend “Wow” and meant it.

I listened for over a hour, heard big orchestra, girl-with-a-guitar, blues, and other stuff - LP and digital. I wished I had come earlier and had to force myself to leave.

This system had the largest - widest and deepest - soundstage I’ve ever heard. I’ve had the privilege to hear large bands and orchestras while standing on the proscenium and from every spot on the stage and from nearly every seat in the house. This was the first time I could “hear” the entire Chicago Symphony Orchestra (for instance) as though I were actually there in front of them. Every instrument was present and in its place, its player performing his or her part just as they practiced, rehearsed, and were recorded.

And the dynamics were enormous, yet nimble.

And there was no question about clarity and resolution. This system was operating on a higher level than that. It was a given.

And the timbre was accurate. Correct. Right.

View attachment 12571

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Perfect? No. There’s no such thing. (And I’m eager to hear the criticisms from those who disliked this or that about it.)

Practical? No. That’s not likely in most any context. But the person for whom this system exists probably has a context already bought and ready.

Higher (?) thoughts:
There’s an obvious absurdity in assembling a stereo system that costs $1.3M-$1.5M (yes, I asked) to do something you could just catch a cab and hear for real in Symphony Hall for <$100. You could do it about 15,000 times, actually. Yep, you could get two excellent seats at the symphony every week for the next 144 years.

So the question becomes “Why?”

The bleeding-heart liberal in me considers questions of income stagnation vs. cost-of-living inflation, wealth inequity, poverty vs. prosperity, and the like. The spiritualist in me wants to know if I could assemble what is clearly a gross misuse of funds in the pursuit of audio nirvana, just because.

No, this system isn’t for me, or for any of us. One could question if it even should be. But it does exist, and for a brief moment there was an experience as close to superficial stereo enlightenment as I’m ever likely to have.
The VAC room was one of the best at the last show I went to, though it was presented with Focal Utopia speakers. And yes over a million dollars in audio gear. I talked to Kevin from VAV for a bit, as I have an older VAC pre/amp. And he said "Keep what you have, its not this but it's excellent..it's a very sound circuit and everything in it is high quality." Didn't try to upsell me, just told me to be content and happy. He's a really really nice fellow.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
Thanks again @Don C for the reports. That VAC/Von Schweikert system must have been something if you spent an hour with it. The cost doesn't bother me, it is so far from relevance in my world.

Shows like this let you get up close with lottery grade gear, and IMO that's good fun.
 
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