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AXPONA 2024: ampsandsound Brought the Funk, the Bump and Stuck the Landing


Justin Weber of ampsandsound takes a break. 300B amps aren't known for their ability to party hard. More often than not you hear about their sweetness, lucidity, and warm conveyance of Big Tone. But the ampandsound kit, powered by their flagship 300B amp, the Black Pearl, had hip bones fully engaged. The Yellowstone preamp is... Read More »


Magnificent But a TAD Expensive? Maybe, Maybe Not as AXPONA Delivers Dream Audio!


SCHAUMBURG, IL—Twenty-six years ago, aspiring studio tech and entrepreneur, David Malekpour, launched his Pro Audio Design, Inc. (initially under the banner, Anything Audio, he re-named it in 1993), with Augspurger Monitors that employed Technical Audio Devices (TAD) drivers and components simply because "they were the best." TAD have been tops for years, he says, and... Read More »


Impressions:  AXPONA 2024, Part the First…Show Overview & Photo-Essay


Ye Olde Editor, AXPONA 2024 (photograph by Bill Parish; image processing by David W. Robinson) Another year, another trip around the Sun, another AXPONA. Apart from the COVID years, I have been attending AXPONA since Mark Freed first invited me personally to do so in late 2014. 2015 was my first show. So, I've been... Read More »


AXPONA 2024: Swan Song Audio's Technorama


Some of the most fun to be had at AXPONA was discovering fresh new ideas and technology. Never have I ever encountered a complete 3D printed horn system (with bass cabinets), or software algorithm-controlled tube equipment. Yet, this is exactly what Tony Crocker of Swan Song Audio delivered and more. Who is Tony and Swan Song... Read More »


AXPONA 2024: Manley Labs Preaches a Vinyl Gospel


Manley Labs has always kept its feet planted in two lands. Known for keeping the tube faith on the Pro side of audio—their mic preamps and processors are legendarily for their natural detail, color, and overall juiciness. They are used at many of the best studios and mastering houses. They also make some of the... Read More »


Slouching Towards Schaumburg - AXPONA 2024


I'm sliding into Northern Illinois on a dreary Thursday in early April. There is a touch of nostalgia and foreboding landing here in the suburbs of Chicago filled with its brutalist architecture and utilitarian brick structures. The daffodils and plum trees are blooming. The grass and clover is already coming out and getting green. It is... Read More »


Impressions: The Pacific Audio Fest 2023, Part the Third & Last


Ye Olde Editor with cigar and match, 2021 (photograph and image processing by John Robinson) Here's the last set of my Audio Oasis! Awards from PAF 2023, together with the final set of photographs. Focal-Naim The Naim-Focal room I'll admit it:  I was very impressed by the Focal-Naim space. Departing from the usual emphasis on... Read More »


Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Best Rooms - High End by Oz


With this episode of the audio analyst©, "Episode 167: Southwest Audio Fest 2024-Best Rooms - High End by Oz," I’m highlighting the remarkable sonic achievements of Room 1401 at that show. It was sponsored by 3mA, a Houston retail establishment, United Home Audio, and High End by Oz. This is the first of several in-room... Read More »


Florida International Audio Expo 2024


One of my favorite audio events every year is the Tampa show. For the past four visits the weather has been sunny and in the 70s every day. This year it rained straight through the weekend. Yet it totally did not matter. There was a level of energy all four days I was there (Thursday... Read More »


Capital Audiofest 2023


It's that time of year again and the Capital Audiofest has come around and an awful lot of people went to it. An awful lot of people; it was just packed in the hallways and some of the more popular demo rooms were pretty solid. I went, but because it was so big and so... Read More »


AES 2023 New York Convention


The Audio Engineering Society has a big event every year that alternates between the east and west coasts of the US. What makes it interesting is that it's both a big trade show upstairs and an academic conference with papers downstairs. This makes it much more interesting than most audio events because it brings in... Read More »


Toronto Audio Fest 2023


Toronto (pronounced: Tir-ran-Nah) is a Native Canadian word for "place of high taxation." It was also the city where TAF 2023 (the Toronto Audio Fest) was held at the Westin Toronto Airport Hotel from Friday 20 October to Sunday 22 October 2023. The Westin is located right next door to Hell…er, ehm…the Lester B. Pearson... Read More »


Pacific Audio Fest 2023, Part Four


The last few rooms, and some pictures from around the hotel. It's an interesting place. Dan Wright, me, and Marc Phillips. The ModWright room is one where you can easily sit and feel welcomed by Dan and his staff. Spatial Audio. Another shot of VAC. Conversing with Kevin Hayes. Not quite sure what these chairs... Read More »


Pacific Audio Fest 2023, Part Three


Continuing our coverage. The Tektons really showed what they can do. Miller Carbon, Origin Live, Townshend Audio, Soundsmith, Atma-sphere, Heartsound. MarkAudio-SOTA. Audiophiles we encountered. David, Jay, and Conor. They were having a great time wandering the hallways. They knew us by name! Hate that sort of thing... Cabasse, Upscale Distribution. Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL preamplifier,... Read More »


Lone Star Audio Fest 2023


Lone Star Audio Fest held in Dallas, Texas, the weekend of June 2-4, 2023, was a big success. LSAF had been on hiatus since 2019, so it was with some trepidation that we awaited the reboot at a new hotel. As the exhibitor list filled and then the date arrived when we began to fill... Read More »


Pacific Audio Fest 2023, Part Two


Continuing on with our coverage. Angel City Audio, EverSolo, Melody, Motet Distribution. Good sounding room. Hugh Nguyen, ACA. A truly loving guy! Bella Sound. Sound was... pretty good with the right music. Genesis Advanced Technologies, Profundo Audio, Merrill Audio Advanced Technology. Genesis Advanced Technologies, Profundo Audio, Merrill Audio Advanced Technology. Genesis Advanced Technologies, Profundo Audio,... Read More »


Pacific Audio Fest 2023, Part One


Pacific Audio Fest, Doubletree Hilton adjacent to SeaTac Airport. Great weather, nice flight via Alaska Airlines, wonderful room. This is like our 50th show in the past 35 years. Something like that, hard to remember them all. But after all these years we have learned that for the most part, rooms will reflect the music... Read More »


2023 Pacific Audio Fest


The following show report was written by John Hughes. John is a long time friend and offered to share his perspective of the Pacific Audio Fest. A brief introduction to John Hughes I started my Audiophile journey at 16 when I begged my father to buy a vintage Magnavox Console at a garage sale. I... Read More »


Impressions: the Pacific Audio Fest 2023, a Photo-Essay – Part the Second


David W. Robinson and Leif Ericson:  a Fantasy.   Music and fine audio weren't the only things happening at PAF 2023, though. A group of us also participated in the late afternoon and nightly sessions of the ad hoc Audiophile Cigar Society. To those of us who appreciate fine cigars and excellent pours of adult beverages,... Read More »


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