Florida Audio Expo 2020 - Tampa

All 3 of my brothers, my girlfriend, our daughter and I came out to the Expo today, had a blast and I took a load of pictures. I think a few of us might just come back tomorrow for a few hours to go through a few floors and rooms that we didn’t make it to.

We saw Michael Fremer in one of the hallways as well as Mat Weisfeld of VPI on another floor, then Gene DellaSala of Audioholics walked into the Raven Audio room that we were in.

Just a couple of notes…

The Carver room was horrible. Too much “brittle” treble, very thin mids, non-existent mid-bass, and totally separated low bass from the mains coming from the REL sub in the corner. Totally unimpressed and totally disappointed.

The Martin Logan room was very good except for the fact that the sub was cranked up way too high. Way too much bass. If there was a gnat on the wall on one of the recordings and it farted, the sub would have blown the windows right out of that room.

The Jolida Audio room… That was some tasty looking and sounding gear, and not for a whole lot of scratch either, less than the PS Audio Stellar gear that I had. Very impressive sound as well as the “Dimension” feature on the preamp, though I think he went a little overboard with the dial, but still, very impressive, very W-I-D-E sound stage.

For me, the best of show that I heard were the MurAudio and MC Audiotech rooms. Most neutral, natural, PURE sound from both of these systems. Highly impressive bass output from the MurAudio SP1 loudspeakers with their four 5" drivers in sealed enclosures in an MTM configuration, and the most natural, effortless, deepest, realistic bass from the four 18" drivers in the folded dipole bass sections of the MC Audiotech Forty-10 loudspeakers.

The last time I heard bass like that coming from the Forty-10’s was my old huge and ugly H-frame dipole subs running two 15" drivers each. I may just build myself a pair of similar folded open baffle (dipole) bass sections for my system again one day. That kind of natural, effortless, realistic bass is intoxicating and extremely difficult to replicate with traditional box subs no matter what size or price.

Anyway, on with some pics…


And a few more…


@Chops Very nice report, and thanks for all the wonderful pictures. I noticed the Reel to Reel in one photo, brings back the “day” for me.
Feel free to post more.



Thanks for sharing your trip!


Thanks for the pictures…


Looks like a really good show! Thanks for posting so many pictures. Gives us a feel of being there :smiley:.


Almost went down last minute, but it didn’t work out. Looks like I should have.

A terrific pic set. Wow. Very nice. The setup with the reel-to-reel (Revox?) is a beauty. I’ve been tempted to add reel-to-reel to my own rig numerous times. If tapes just weren’t so darned expensive … heavy sigh.

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Thank you!

In short, we decided not to go back to the show today. Just too many things we needed to do today, not to mention I have to be at by 5:30 this evening. Now if I didn’t have to work or was able to take the day off, we would have certainly gone again. It’s a shame this is the only show in town and is only once a year. If I could, I would go to these types of shows every weekend. Not to mention, this is the very first time any of us have ever been to one of these shows, and we all had a great time, even our daughter and her love for headphones. She still can’t believe that she had $10k headphones on her head.

There were actually quite a few rooms with reel to reel decks, and not just as static displays either. They were using them and they sounded good, depending on the music and room of course.

You’re welcome.

Like I mentioned, it’s the first time any of us have been to one of these shows. It was a great experience and everyone was friendly. Also, being exposed to music and artists that I’ve never heard of before was a great thing for sure. With Shazam on my phone, I was able to capture a LOT of new artists/music to try out on my system via Tidal.

I would love to go to more of these shows. It’s right down my alley and I love hearing the vast range of gear and loudspeakers at various price points. I also love composing and taking photos of the rooms and gear as you can see. And all from a cellphone no less!

There are quite a few of these shows around the country now. If
you can, try to come to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. It’s in
Denver and this year it will be held Oct. 2-4 at the Gaylord
Resort right near the airport. It’s quite a show, put on by the
Colorado Audio Society. I’ve been 6 times and see something new
every time.

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Would be a great experience, combine a couple of hobbies, hiking in the mountains, visit a colleague and friend, listening to music, talk to audiophiles/enthousiasts, and if possible a visit to PS Audio.
But, Texas first this year, too many good friends and memories down there.

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Thanks for the report, some serious stuff!

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Thank you.

I agree, except for Sunday in the MC Audiotech room. Apparently late Saturday / early Sunday the Wolf Audio guy came in and did a SW update to the Wolf server the MC guys were using. Messed up the sound a little. The poor speaker guys spent a good chunk of Sunday morning tweaking the speaker crossover and other things to try and recover. It still sounded good, but not like the previous two days. The Ocean Way stand mounts used in the room with the funky GaN Class D amps also sounded great. I liked finding something new like that.

I thought the MurAudio sounded a bit better at last year’s FLAX, but they still sounded good.

I also attended the Florida Audio Expo this weekend; Friday and Sunday. There were more exhibitors than last year, but still no real marketplace. I mostly go just to listen and get an idea of different speaker technologies and sounds. Super nice people running the show and no admission charge. And there is no down side to being in the Tampa/St. Pete area in February.

And once again the Muraudio SP 1 speakers were amazing. Very early on Sunday I had a private listening session and got to select the music. Not a fan of the Jetson’s look, but love the sound. These are a top contender for my next upgrade.

And the mbl room was spectacular as usual. But $70K speakers are not an option. But great to be able to listen for a while in their large, dimly lit and quiet room.

Other speakers that I really liked were the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand Reference making their North American debut. Best box floor stander of the show IMHO. Maybe even more impressive relatively speaking were the Vienna Acoustics Hayden 30 Year Jubilee Limited Edition monitors. They really filled the space and a great bottom end. Hard to beat for my money at $1,495.

Much to my surprise, my favorite sounding room was EIKON with their Image 1 system. A closed system with amp/pre-amp/dac/dsp engine box and two floor standing speakers, each connected with four XLR cables. Just add a source and go. I was not a fan of DSP until I heard this room. What separates it for me was the overall coherence. It’s hard to put into words, but not gimmicky at all, just an immersive and captivating sound top to bottom. Great imaging as well. If I was starting from scratch this would get my serious consideration.

Glad I got to hear Spatial Audio for the first time, M3 Sapphire. Sounded somewhat muffled on Friday, but locked in on Sunday. Impressive.

And there were others I wanted to like, some I really wanted to like, but just didn’t. No point in naming names.

And the Easter Egg of the weekend was a reggae version of a DSOM track. Pink Floyd, mon!

Well that’s a shame with the MC Audiotech room. Those Forty-10’s were running top notch when we shut down the show Saturday evening with them. It must have happened when they got back from dinner. That system to me was still the best of show, with MurAudio right behind them and Raven Audio taking a very close third.

I heard these for the first time last year at T.H.E. Show in Long Beach. These did sound really good! I think they were like $5k, right?

I’m not sure. There was no sheet specific to the model they were playing, but the amp guy was offering his two small monoblocks plus the speakers and stands ate the show for $15K.