Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Distributor Axiss Audio's main system, built around Air Tight's ATM-3211 211-tube based monoblocks ($72,000/pair), premiere ATM-2Plus KT-88-based stereo power amplifier ($TBD), ATC-5 tube-based preamplifier with phono equalizer ($9500), ATH-3 step-up transformer ($3000), premiere PC-1 Coda cartridge ($8500), and Opus cartridge ($15,000) took pride of place in an all-analog system whose bottom line was tube warmth for days.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  1 comments
No less a personage than Jim Austin suggested that I check out all the new products in the T+A Elektroakustik room, presented by retailer Lone Star Audio. Given that every single T+A product was brand new and pressed into service just 48 hours earlier, and that exhibitors are prohibited from running systems at break-in volumes (if at all) at night, the fact that my brief listening session left such a positive impression makes me eager to hear how everything will sound after it settles in.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  0 comments
In the inner sanctum, as it were, of distributor Axiss Audio, I discovered what I believe were three premieres: Soulution's 525 preamp ($26,500) and 311 power amp ($12,000), and Piega 511 speakers ($15,000). In a brief listen, this system's notably drier, straight ahead, and detailed presentation was distinguished by a smooth midrange core . . .
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  0 comments
On the top floor of the Schaumburg Hotel, retailer GTT Audio assembled an alluring system from many of its top brands. Including three premieres—Kronos Reference Phono stage ($45,000), Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC ($13,400), and YG Acoustics Vantage loudspeakers ($32,800/pair)—the system displayed a finely graded range of colors within a cool color palette. How this particular assemblage of components will sound once its speakers have been broken-in for far more than 48 hours is something I'm eager to find out.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Across the hallway, Paragon Sight and Sound set up a more "modest," albeit hardly chump-change, system that included Wilson Alexia 2 speakers ($59,900 with this special red finish), brand-new tubed Rogers KWM 88 Corona integrated amplifier ($14,000) plus PA2 phono stage ($7300), dCS Bartok DAC ($13,500), Clearaudio Ovation turntable with 9" arm and custom finish ($11,000) and Clearaudio Jubilee cartridge, Transparent Reference and Reference XL cabling, a Transparent Reference Power Isolator ($5995), and Harmonic Resolution System RXR 4V with R3x base audio rack ($9330).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  3 comments
Given that I had recently gushed over the pairing, at one of Definitive Audio of Seattle's Music Matters events, of Wilson Audio's Alexx speakers ($109,000/pair), Sub Sonic Subwoofers (two, at $37,500/each), and Watch Controllers (two, at $4000/each); D'Agostino Relentless monoblocks ($250,000/pair) and Progression monoblocks ($38,000/pair), plus Momentum phono stage ($28,000); a dCS and Clearaudio front end; and lots and lots of Transparent Reference XL cabling plus an HRS VXR-19213V-80 rack with two M3x base audio stands ($57,960 total), I didn't know if I would hear much of a difference from the AXPONA system put together by Michigan retailer Paragon Sight and Sound. If anything, I expected the level of sonic excellence to drop somewhat, because we were moving from a purpose-built, carefully treated store showroom to a far more challenging convention hall space.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  0 comments
It was hard to get a good photo of the Aavik/Børresen/Ansuz system from Next Level HiFi of Wayne, IL, distributed by Gated HiFi, because the premiere Børresen 05 loudspeakers with D-TC Resonance Control ($120,000/pair) were spaced so far apart. But that spacing certainly didn't stop the system from wowing listeners with its extremely strong bass, which on genuinely danceable party music was vibrating in my gut and propelling the 05s' drivers back and forth. The exhibitors in the conference room underneath may have been cringing, but I ate up my opportunity to receive my first sonic massage of the day.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  1 comments
"OMG, it's music" is the first thing I wrote down in this room. "So much of what I've missed at this show is here." On master recordist Peter McGrath's live 24/88.2 MQA recording of pianist Benjamin Grosvenor playing the Sarabande from Bach's French Suite No.5, I heard the natural ring of his piano's top notes resounding and decaying in an uncannily realistic depiction of a large, open venue. Given that plans to attend Grosvenor's performance at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night were scrapped due to the musician's strike, this was certainly the next best thing.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  1 comments
Saturday is always the most crowded and intense day of any show . . .
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 13, 2019  |  0 comments
Canada's Wynn Audio sure mixed it up, to good effect, in a system that included two premieres: Crystal Cable's Future Dream 15th Anniversary limited-edition series, which combines proprietary monocrystal silver and silver-gold alloy in a four-coaxial-conductor construction insulated by Dupont Kapton and Teflon, and the Entreq Silver Tellus Infinity ground box ($2400 each), a passive device that, using a different technology to Nordost's QKore grounding units, claims to remove ground noise from components.

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