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The Florida Audio Expo, Part 2

02-11-2020 | By Tom Gibbs | Issue 107

I didn't attend the 2019 Florida Audio Expo, but was told many times over that there were nearly double the number of rooms this year over 2019. There were 65 manufacturer and dealer rooms displaying this year, along with one hallway display. And show organizer Sue Toscano corrected the overgenerous estimates I'd been given from last year's attendees—there were actually 41 rooms last year. There were a lot of really interesting rooms, with surprisingly good sound, and a few...well, not so good! And there were definitely some that I had almost zero interest in. So here's my continuation from Part 1 (HERE). And again, I apologize in advance for the highly variable quality of the photos. It was a tough gig!

Ala Carte Productions/Spendor/Vienna Acoustics/VPI/SME/Chord/Aesthetix/Tweek Geek

A Florida-based dealer, Ala Carte had two rooms that offered loudspeakers from Spendor and Vienna Acoustics, turntables from VPI and SME, and electronics from Chord and Aesthetix. There were also displays of other lines they carried, including Luminous Audio, Ortofon, and ADD-Powr. I wasn't particularly taken by the Vienna Acoustics loudspeakers, but the Spendor D9.2 (shown here, $11.5K MSRP) sound was pretty amazing! The very substantial rack was from Adona Corporation, and a variety of accessories and enhancements were featured by Tweek Geek.


The Audeze room featured a broad selection of their headphones, with DACs and amplifier power supplied by Nagra. The headphone sound was pretty superlative!

Carver/Wolf Audio/REL/Wireworld

Carver's room featured their tube amps along with the Carver Amazing loudspeakers, which are pretty unusual in terms of their appearance. The Amazing loudspeakers don't really do much in terms of bass, so they were augmented by a large REL sub. The room also featured digital sound from Wolf Audio's ripper/player/DAC/streamer, and all cables were provided by Wireworld Cable Technology. The sound was OK, but not really great, as the large speakers basically overpowered the relatively small room.

Lampizator/VAC/Daedalus Audio/WyWires

The sound in this room was absolutely superb, with the amazing VAC amplifier, which is massively stunning to behold, and with crazy good digital sound from Lampizator. The Daedalus Audio loudspeakers were beasts; this room had some of the best sound at the whole show. All cables in the system were from WyWires.

DH Labs

A strictly static display (it's a cable manufacturer, after all) DH Labs showed an impressive offering of cables of every sort. The booth was manned by Greg Hovsepian and Curtis Howard; Greg is DH Labs founder Darren's brother. He and Curtis are carrying on with the business since Darren's untimely death last year; he died of a very aggressive cancer at only 49, and will be greatly missed.

The Sound Organization/Rega/Bryston/Fyne Audio/Chord/Quadraspire

This room featured turntables from Rega, along with amplification and digital sources from Bryston and additional electronics from Rega. Loudspeakers were from a relatively new company, Fyne Audio, which is an offshoot of Scottish legend Tannoy. The Fyne loudspeakers employ the same coaxially mounted drivers as many Tannoys do, and even though the MSRP of the pair on display was less than $2K, the sound was remarkably good. And very reminiscent of that great Tannoy sound! The very good-looking rack on display was from Quadraspire, and interconnects and loudspeaker cables were from Chord.

High End by Oz/Audio Solutions/Vitus Audio/Aurrender/United Home Audio/Synergistic Research

An LA-based company that deals in very high-end gear, this room featured amplification from Vitus Audio, digital file management and playback from Aurrender, and reel-to-reel playback from United Home Audio. Cables and power conditioning were Galileo SX from Synergistic Research. Loudspeakers were the Virtuoso S by a Lithuanian company, AudioSolutions, with an MSRP of $22.5K, and the sound quality—especially via the open reel deck—was very good.

Joseph Audio/Doshi Audio/Cardas Audio

The Jeff Joseph/Nick Doshi room featured Joseph Audio's Perspective 2 Graphene loudspeakers, with electronics of every make from Nick Doshi. The Perspective 2 Graphene is a truly remarkable speaker, and the Doshi electronics bring out the very best in them. This was one of the most laid back rooms at the show; Jeff and Nick were very personable and enjoyable, and the sound quality was exceptional. All cables for the system were from Cardas Audio.

Legacy Audio

I've heard Legacy Audio equipment in locations where it totally impressed; unfortunately, this room wasn't one of them. I didn't camp out very long.


Muraudio is an Ottawa, Canada company, and their room was perhaps the most uncluttered of any room I visited at the show. The stand mount SP1 hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers were among the most unusual looking electrostats I've ever encountered; but immediately upon walking into the room, I was completely entranced by the sound. I spoke with Murray Harman, founder and CTO of Muraudio at length about the unusual design. He told me that the SP1's electrostatic element had gone through over ten years of intensive design and redesign until it reached its current form. I was stunned that the SP1 offered as much deep bass as it did without a subwoofer present in the room. A Simaudio integrated amp with streaming capabilities was the only piece of electronic gear in the room, and it drove the SP1 to very satisfying levels. This room—without a doubt—offered what I considered the very best sound at the show.

The DS Audio Ion-001 Ionizer sitting behind the AMG Giro table constantly ionizes the record surface, so there's never any chance of static electricity.

Musical Surroundings/AMG/Rogue Audio/Magneplanar/Clearaudio/Wireworld Cable Technology

Garth Leerer's room featured a lot of cool equipment, featuring the remarkable AMG Giro turntable that was fitted with a DS Audio Optical cartridge. Amplification was by Rogue Audio, and the combo played perfectly into a pair of Magneplanar .7 loudspeakers. The vinyl sound was seriously great into the Maggies, and Garth is such a cool guy to talk audio shop with. A static display featured turntables from the Clearaudio line; all analog, digital, loudspeaker, and power cables were from Wireworld Cable Technology. One of my favorite rooms at the show!

The bass cabinet is almost as tall as the Magneplanars!

The Magna Risers are the perfect addition to the already great LRS!

RJS Acoustics/PS Audio/Magneplanar/Magna Riser

RJS Acoustics is a new company headed by John Schunck; his first product is the MD-6 Bass Augmentation Speaker System, a subwoofer and dedicated amplifier combo ($5,900 MSRP for the system) that he showed with a new pair of Magneplanar LRSs. I was particularly interested in this room, because the LRS loudspeakers were fitted with a pair of Magna Riser speaker stands, which I (rave) reviewed HERE in the current issue. And the electronics were from PS Audio; the really great Stellar Gain Cell DAC (currently in my personal system), along with the Stellar stereo amp, which is a really good, high powered Class D design. The Magneplanar sound was really outstanding, and the bass from the RJS sub was very deep and effective. The MD-6 employs six, 6.5-inch drivers (three-each on opposite faces of the cabinet); the smaller drivers give the system the kind of speed necessary to blend really well with exotic loudspeaker designs (like the LRS!) The subwoofer's cabinet is somewhat large, but the dimensions are tuned to achieve the impressive depth of the bass frequency extension.