Axpona 24’ Mike Lavigne pics

But, notice the tall ceiling yet modest sized room. I think an accidental advantage for this show.
I think this is generally correct. Higher ceilings and coffers can make for better ambient mixing in a room. The low ceilings in many of the hotel room demos don't serve as well.
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Lavigne
Mike, thanks for the fantastic photos and coverage! It was great meeting you after all these years!
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Lavigne
Mike, are you going to do a list of what you liked. Any additional comments on what you heard.
i enjoyed Axpona 2024. i had a great time and i'm glad i went.

here you go.

it was awesome to see the level of attendance, and feel the positive energy and obvious momentum in our hobby going on right now. i was only at the show from 9:30am-6pm Friday, and 9:30am-4:30pm on Saturday. my plan was to try and go into as many rooms as i could and get a feel for them by Saturday mid day, then go back to a few rooms Saturday afternoon and listen more. i decided what i could do to provide info those not able to come, was to take basic pictures of as many rooms as possible, then also take a picture of the room sign too for reference. this i could do in my process without slowing me down very much. with my limited tech skills it was doable. i did not hit every room for various reasons, whether too crowded, too loud, or my initial view of the gear. some doors appeared to be locked. i was very focused and decided not to travel with any group or listening partner as that slows me down.

i wanted to avoid the elevators as much as possible, so i started Friday morning on the 16th floor, and worked my way down to floor '11', then took the elevator to floor 7. at that point needed a break from the smaller rooms, and went to the main floor, and then over to the large rooms at the far end. then on Saturday started on floor 6 and worked my way down to floor 3. i must admit by the time i got to floor 4 on Saturday my focus to hit most rooms was spent. my tank was empty. so i just quickly did a few rooms on floor 4 and floor 3. then returned to some rooms i missed or wanted to hear again.

lots of good sound, and quite a few a notch or two better, then a few stand outs. it's important to note that many rooms could be pretty good assuming you played music that matched the room performance envelope properly. not every room could do all music properly.

highlights in my now 48 hour old memory. the pictures triggered my memory of what i liked and how much. the order within the categories had to do with the order of my picture posts. not any section ranking.

Stand out rooms "special" sound---
-1620--Avantgarde/both with itron and Phasemation tubes. (great set-up Todd!)
-Club Lounge (15th Floor)--Gobel/Wadax/Riviera--liquid with rich textures. beautiful tonality.
-1210--darTZeel/Stenheim/+ Jerome Sabbagh live sax
--big Acora VRC speakers/VAC/SAT---with the SAT turntable. the next level lower with the digital.
-596--Cessaro/TW Acustic--High Water Sound---great musical connection. immersive, had flow and liquidity.
-592--Wolf Von Langa/Zeiler---great piano.

my two favorite listening moments were in the Gobel/Wadax/Riviera room and the Acora/VAC/SAT room (besides Jerome Sabbagh's "live" sax ;) ).

a notch or two better than merely good-- pulled me more into the music.
-1628-Gauder/Soulution---especially tall ceilings, really even and tuneful bass for a small room.
-1632--Gauder/Soulution--larger room, very nice and balanced sound.
-724-ADG productions.
-Schaumburg D-lobby floor.--Estelon/Vitus.
-Nirvana B--Credo/Emm Labs/Schroeder--spooky imaging.
-Nirvana A--Joseph Audio/Doshi
-1505--Artisan Fidelity/Tidal--sweet sound.
-476--Infigo/Alta Audio---outstanding digital sound.

good enough to be positively memorable---i liked it.
-1428 Vinnie Rossi
-1403--Audio Note
-1223-PMC/Esoteric (had the T1 tt but did not hear it.)
-1145--Porzilli Audio
-745--Cube Audio/Pass Labs
--628-Leben--Tone Imports
--676-Clarisys/Hegel (very very slightly tipped up)
-448-Magnan Cables/Graham--relaxed, immersive
-428--AAD tape machine, Horst House tapes.
-Schaumburg B-Stenheim/VTL/dCS/Nordost (great sound but really tall ceiling so boomy bass).
--Wilson Sasha's/Moon Audio--liked it more than the other Quintessence rooms. seemed balanced. not too loud.

some good....memorable (or of particular interest)......but not entirely there
-709-Clarisys Minuet/VAC--a little tipped up
--Schaumburg H-lobby floor--ESD--big horns--playing too loud, and hard music to tell anything. might be great?
--Clarisys Auditorium/CAT--1st day---music with highs was tipped up, 2nd day seemed the same, then left quickly too loud. maybe on Sunday better? when they played Leonard Cohen sounded good as his voice has no upper octaves. YMMV. had a strong interest to investigate this speaker....expected that the CAT amps might = a great combo....but not when i heard it.
--Schaumburg G--T+A---might have been great but too loud.

i reserve the right to modify these comments as i think more about them.
Last edited:
I'm working on him...
i'm not 'anti' anything.......except....being.....'anti'.

Wilson's can make great music, but are not my highest my recent experiences. much of that is the accompanying gear i mostly see them paired with at shows. i do really like the Moon electronics more than most common matches for Wilson (Boulder, D'Ag). and show conditions don't favor such a set up sensitive speaker (i find the larger the more true). and then there is how loud they play them. i'm sure there are plenty of mature home Wilson set-ups (like yours Mark) where Wilson's behave and are complimentary to a great result.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bobvin
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Lavigne

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing