AXPONA 2023 Show Report: Get the inside scoop on audio equipment showcased this past weekend! Discover new and noteworthy products from Yamaha, Dali, Fyne Vintage, and Martin Logan.
AXPONA 2023 has come and gone, and what a weekend it was! From the latest in high-end audio equipment to exclusive performances and demos, this year’s AXPONA was a true feast for the senses. I had the privilege of attending this incredible event, and I am excited to share with you the top highlights of the weekend.
If you missed out on the action, this recap will give you an inside look at the latest and greatest in the world of audio and music. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the unforgettable experience of AXPONA 2023.
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AXPONA 2023 Show Report- 1. Dali’s New Flagship Speaker, KORE
At the show, DALI set up their new Flagship speaker KORE ($110,000), in the lobby’s library section (along with a NAD Masters integrated), and while it wasn’t the best place to hear it, it was still quite impressive to look at. The wood finish was stunning; I wish they had them in a quieter location.
To be fair, another showing was scheduled at a dealer nearby, but being a one-man band that weekend, I didn’t have time to look into it.
KORE is produced entirely in DALI’s facilities in Nørager, Denmark, and features two 11″ woofers and a 7″ mid-range driver. The woofers and midrange driver are made with wood fiber cones and a honeycomb sandwich paper-pulp diaphragm, which balance stiffness and nuanced movement for optimal frequency and dynamic response.
The speaker also includes a new EVO-K hybrid 35mm dome and soft fabric ribbon tweeter for high frequencies, with the dome tweeter crossing over to the mid-range driver. The drivers are controlled by a patented dual voice coil design and SMC material to prevent electromagnetic forces from interfering with the coil movements. In addition, the KORE has a sleek Ammara Ebony finish with golden veining, which comes from a local furniture manufacturer in Denmark.
I listened to them for a minute at the show, but I couldn’t tell much about the sound with so much noise in the space. I hope to hear them in a quieter location very soon.
2. Fyne Vintage Twelve
Riding the current “Vintage” speaker wave, The Sound Organisation had a pair of the new Fyne Vintage Twelve speakers ($35,000) paired with a Rega Elicit MK5 Integrated Amplifier ($3,345), and I liked what I heard. It was a natural-sounding system with a smooth top end and, of course, lots of scale.
The Vintage Twelve speaker from Fyne Audio draws from the also beautiful F1-12S, also from Fyne. Its striking design features natural wood veneers, burr walnut inlays, and machined metal trim. The speaker cabinet houses a 12″ IsoFlare driver with a FyneFlute surround, Deep Cryogenically Treated crossovers, and a unique front-mounted Presence control.
If you’re familiar with the classic Tannoy designs (which were also at the show), it’s hard not to see the resemblance. However, since Fyne Audio was started by former Tannoy engineers not long ago, you can understand why some emulation is happening.
BTW, they also had their Vintage Classic X speaker ($11,000) on display, a more accessible iteration of the Fyne Vintage designs. It was also stunning and genuinely looked like a speaker from yesteryear.
AXPONA 2023 Show Report-3. Martin Logan’s New Motion Speakers
The new MartinLogan Motion and Motion XT Loudspeakers have been completely redesigned with an even more modern and sophisticated look, providing advanced audio technology for an exceptional listening experience. With the new lines, MartinLogan aimed to enhance sensitivity, minimize distortion, increase output, and achieve a flatter frequency response.
At the show, they had a pair of the flagship Motion XT F200 floorstanding speakers ($2,749.99 each) playing music from an Anthem Pre/Power setup, and it was a powerful sounding rig, producing a lot of deep bass and forceful dynamics. If I was building a home theater today, these are the speakers I would look at.
In addition, they also had the rest of the Motion (and Motion XT, which is the upgrade) lineup on display, and the whole series looks really good. I would love to try out the bookshelf speakers in a 2-channel setup.
4. Yamaha’s New Streaming Amp and Desktop DAC/Amp
In the Yamaha room, some interesting new items were on display, including their new R-N2000A streaming amp paired with their new NS-2000A Floor-Standing Speakers.
The Yamaha R-N2000A receiver ($3,999.95) has exceptional build quality inspired by their flagship engineering, offering superb channel separation and signal-to-noise performance. It also incorporates a top-of-line ESS Sabre DAC chip. In addition, the receiver provides access to Yamaha MusicCast streaming services, including Amazon Music HD, Apple Music (via AirPlay 2), Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, and more through their app.
Additionally, they had the new Yamaha NS-2000 floor-standing speaker ($3,999.95 ea.) on display. This speaker incorporates patented technologies from the flagship Yamaha NS-5000 speakers. It uses a 3-way, 4-driver configuration with newly developed materials for each driver. The drivers are made from a blend of ZYLON and spruce material which is designed to create a balanced tone across the entire frequency spectrum.
The R-N2000A is a nice blend of modern and classic aesthetics with its VU meters up top and digital display on the bottom. I also like the woodgrain on the sides. I wish I could hear it, but they had a larger system playing in the next room, so I didn’t get a chance. Hopefully, I will later this year. The NS-2000 and the R-N2000A are available for pre-order at World Wide Stereo.
Along with the new amp and speakers, they also had a new prototype Desktop DAC/Amp combo (HA-L7A) paired up with a YH-5000SE headphone ($4995). The DAC amp combo had separate DAC and Amp components, and it looked really cool. Not only that, it was quite engaging playing through the 5000SE headphones. The amp section is based on proprietary technology from Yamaha.
The combination seemed to play with nice speed and detail, but it was impossible to hear everything with the big boy system playing in the next room. No matter what, I know this setup will not be cheap since the headphones are $5000 by themselves. I assume the DAC/Amp will be just as much or more.
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.