Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound Magazine visited the Axpona 2023 Show!
This AXPONA was easily the most upbeat, best organized, and well attended show outside Munich. But what really made this year’s event so heartening was the diversity of the attendees. The halls and exhibit rooms were packed with young people and couples looking for new ways to explore music. Fortunately, this show had plenty of affordable products for them to see and hear, and with features and capabilities targeting how they want to access music. Here are my picks of the most interesting new electronics at the show.
5 Most Significant New Products
PrimaLuna EVO 100 Phonostage
PrimaLuna, the company known for delivering amazing value and high build-quality, has introduced a “swing-for-the-fences,” all-tube phonostage with the EVO 100. Nearly all tube phonostages employ a step-up transformer or transistor gain stage at the input before the tube stage to keep noise levels low. Realizing 65dB or more of gain with just tubes can result in a poor signal-to-noise ratio. PrimaLuna has addressed this challenge with a massive all-tube power supply that uses a pair of EL34s, a tube usually found in a power-amplifier output stage. The EVO 100’s tube complement includes four 12AX7s in the front end, a 6922 for additional moving-coil gain, and a pair of 5AR4 tubes as rectifiers. The EVO 100 offers three gain settings (52dB, 56dB, 60dB). The first production units just started shipping from distributor/retailer Upscale Audio.
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