Axpona 2015 – Day One Report

The Westin O’hare is a lovely hotel. It adds a lot when considering the rooms, restaurants and the overall scenery. Unlike the stuffy hotel used for RMAF, the Westin is modern, accessible and have that fresh feeling (hotel dwellers, you know what I mean). This year, the show is divided to three sections. Section one, is the 12th floor where you have all the big rooms. Section two, are floors 2 to 5 for the regular rooms and last section are the two lower floors named Lower and Lobby. On Friday, I spent all my time between the 12th floor and the 5th floor.

Magico / Aesthetix / Clearaudio / Pass Labs

On demo, were the big Mark II Magicos. They also added a sub-woofer. When I set there, they were playing Copeland’s “Fanfare for the common audiophile man”. Truth to be told, I wasn’t impressed. Ah!, but then they played some modern Jazz trio and the system made a 180 and started to exhibit all the good things we love about Hi-End audio. Yes, the Bass as amazing. These speakers throw a lot of air at you.

Magico / Aesthetix
Magico Sub-Woofer




Audio Research / Wadia / Sonus Faber

Nice sounding. Speakers’ finish is amazing.

Sonus Faber / Audio Research


Auralic / Ryan

Ryan speakers are made in the US. The all Auralic setup with the Rayn’s sounded very good. Tonality was even across the spectrum and the musical presentation was very pleasing. I will probably go back to this room again as I have no experience with these speakers before.


Auralic electronics and Ryan Speakers



Marky Mark / JBL / Clear Audio  / Lumin

Why, oh why would Harman stuff the room with everything but the kitchen sink? We heard these speakers before, we know what they are capable. Not this year.




Davialet / Focal

Nice surprise! The small Davialets drove the speakers with ease. They were playing some records and some Hi-Res stuff.




Something for rich people

Magico’s new M project. VTL, Clearaudio and dCS. So what? Chancesa are I will never own these speakers but the 5 minutes I spent in the room was a memorable occasion. The were giving handkerchiefs when you left the room. I think it said on the door “go cry elsewhere”.

Brand new car


Kids’ education plan



I don’t remember the speaker’s brand ($65k) but along with Goldmuind’s new line, the sound was excellent. Goldmund has moved away from their conservative design into something sleek and modern. I will probably go to this room again.

Goldmund transport and Preamp / DAC
Aurender – but they didn’t use it for the demo.


That’s it for Friday. There were many other rooms but these are the highlights.