Attending AXPONA for my first time at the Renaissance was an experience for me with a good amount of much-needed exercise. Between the walking at the large venue and the walking at O’Hare, I lost 6 pounds at the show. The most exciting thing for me was seeing friends and companies, many of which I have seen grow from infancy, that over the last ten years have made a significant difference in personal audio, with creative and spectacular sounding designs. The friendships I have developed from the Headphone community in the last ten years have been both rewarding and a blessing. AXPONA 2019 under the direction of JD Events and the hard work of a dedicated staff continues to provide consumers and manufacturers a sounding board for them to see and hear the best in 2 channel and personal audio. Liz Miller and Mark Freid did an outstanding job with making sure everything ran without any major hitches and had signage placed all over making it fairly easy to find what you wanted to audition. Headphone.Guru was proud to be a sponsor this year and looks forward to many more future shows with AXPONA. Over the three days, we covered as much as we could in personal audio and hope you have enjoyed our coverage and look forward to seeing everyone again next year. I also want to thank Wally from Underwood HiFi for sponsoring our coverage for this show.
While in the hotel Lobby I caught Joe Reynolds the CEO of Nordost marching to the many rooms Nordost was exhibiting in and it gave me a chance to say hello to Joe, who I wish I could have spent more time visiting. Meredith Gabor was not in the marketplace when I got there and this large show kept us both busy and we missed each other this year and hope to see her soon. Nordost manufactures some of the finest audio cables and interconnects in the world and in the marketplace they had many of their products available for purchase.
QKORE Power Wire being shown and sold for $287.99 at the show. The QKORE is designed to provide a solid grounding plane for your system, assuring maximum noise floors and extreme dynamic range.
The Nordost Power cables and interconnects were being shown. The Blue Heaven Power cables I use in my system makes a significant difference over stock cables with exceptional clarity and clean power coming into my system. Stepping up to the Heimdall 2 gives you more clarity and inner detail retrieval in both interconnects and power cords. All were being offered at show prices. The Blue Heaven Power chords start at $219.99 for 1 meter and are available in a variety of different sizes. Blue Heaven interconnects start at $369 for .6 meter and also available in different sizes. Heimdall 2 cables start at $661 for the power cord and the interconnects start at $766.99 and all are available in different sizes and can be ordered to fit your individual systems. Cable and cords made a huge difference in my system with detail retrieval and clarity and made the music more enjoyable by making inner detail come to life that the stock cables were masking.
The Auris Headonia priced at $9200 is a majestic 2A3 design. Mikki Trosic had it driving not one but two 82dB Hifiman Susvara Headphones. The Headonia, a Headphone.Guru Amplifier of the Year, made the Susvaras come alive with exceptional speed and the Susvara detail and musicality was astonishing. The Susvara completely disappeared and the floating out if the head experience was amazing. The beautiful leather wrapped wood design was a thing of beauty to look at and is one of the best amplifiers in the world, a no-compromise design from the Serbian master Mikki Trosic. Exceptional transparency and an end game solution for driving your headphones to get the most out of them. If you really want to hear what your transducers really sound like you need to listen to this magical combination. The Headonia is one of my favorite amplifiers for listening to headphones. The stunning design creates a you-are-there experience that is hard to match.
The Euterpe was in the other isle on Moon Audio and Auris’ other booth as well. The $1699 amplifier/DAC offers exceptional value with another no-compromise design from the folks at Auris. This amplifier is gorgeous to look at and delivers exceptional tube sound and musicality.
Devon Mehrbach the co-owner of ZMF with a smile that lit up the room in the ZMF booth.
Ethan Opolion organizer from CanJam Global was totally consumed listening to one of Zaks Designs.
The $1699 Auertor Silk with its beautiful wood design is magnificent to look at as well as to listen too. What an amazing headphone Zak designed.
HeadAmp had the Focal Stellia playing music out of its new GSX Mini and it was magical sounding articulate and dynamic with Justin Wilson new design. Amazing value for the sound quality it delivers and it is exciting and affordable.
One of my favorite people at the show is Dan Clark. Watching him work over the last 10 years has been interesting. One of the pioneers and a true game changer in the industry he keeps pouring out better designs and his last two offerings have set the industry upside down with the magical MrSpeakers ETHER2 Special Edition ($2499) planar design and his new electrostatic creation the VOCE ($2999.99) has it all covered with outstanding transparency and terrific clarity with textured and deep bass. Dan is always working hard whether he is at a show or in his office. His mind is always working on how to make his products better. One of the biggest success stories in personal audio and I cannot wait to see what the master of design comes out with next.
Ethan Opolion from CanJam Global and Andy Regan President of MrSpeakers sharing a moment to pose. Next time you see Andy ask him about the monkeys!!! (A must hear adventure).