The Audio Geek!

Australian A/V & Audio Show

There has not been a dedicated Audio show is Melbourne in recent memory, so a large number of people made their way to the Marriott Hotel in the city over Friday, Saturday, Sunday to get a peek and a listen to some decent audio gear. Also there were some audio royalty in attendance as well. Mr Cabasse, showing off his latest orb-ish / eyeball looking speakers, and Dan D'Agostino, was demoing his new Class D amps and signing autographs as well! It was a very good event I thought. Well organised, reasonably well spread out given the hotel-style restrictions, and feedback I got from several exhibitors was very positive about interest levels, response etc.

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Forget all that fluff, was there anything good?

Well, let me say, without any exaggeration at all, I saw and heard the most impressive piece of audio technology that I have ever seen. The start up company is from the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Kyron Audio, and it was their first product, Gaia Speaker System. Recommend you take a tour of their website. A Dipole design, over five feet tall, twelve bass drivers, four mids and four dome tweeters. Five thousand watts of DEQX DSP managed amplification. Price? About $A160,000. The sound was spectacular, not so much what it did, but what it didn't do. The sound stage and imaging was so vivid, placing the voices and instruments on such a completely black background with seemingly unlimited space and air around. Like nothing I have ever heard before. Music was played via hi-res files from a server.

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Kyron Audio jewellery, poorly represented by an iPhone pic - 2011

Like many of these shows, the music is often played too loud, and tends to be too strident and / or too bass boomy. So the second best room was by Audio Note. Playing some vinyl-based jazz, through big tube mono blocks and their latest Alnico monitors the sound was so cool and smooth, like an oasis in the desert.

I very much enjoyed the Vivid Audio room, with their little B1 I think. Strange, oval looking stand mount thingys, driven by an Esoteric integrated amp and CD player. Very smooth, effortless and engaging. 

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Cute and ccol Vivid Audio speakers - 2011

Best of the rest? One of my favourite local dealers is selling Japanese spec JBL horns, with Ypsilon electronics and a pretty impressive Kuzma Stabi XL2 turntable. A very rich and immersive sound. 

Unfortunately I missed a demo of the Wilson Sashas driven by those D'Agostino amps. Shucks.

All in all an enjoyable three hours spent wandering and listening and chatting. Rumour has it that if successful, the show will alternate annually between Melbourne and Sydney. Sounds like a good reason to take a trip to Sin City every second year.