Located on the main floor of the Chicago-based AXPONA audio show, Auralic always puts on quite the acoustic presentation for attendees. While the transducer section of their rig at the AXPONA event (usually conducted in April) has changed over time, Auralic always manages to kicks out the jams in a very eloquent way with whoever they pair with. In 2023, it was a pair of ATC Tower Series SCM100ASLT Active loudspeakers in rare crown walnut finish ($51k) on the main stage.
ATC usually straddles the line between the pro world and hifi very well, and any number of high profile musicians do indeed utilize ATC in their home and studios. At the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention center last weekend, the flagship active speaker delivered good synergy between the purely Auralic electronics and was really able to showcase the company’s audiophile sensibilities quite well.
Most of the heavy lifting on the digital front came from the Aries G2.1 Wireless Streaming Transporter ($5,699), Sirius G2.1 Upsampling Processor ($7,899), Vega G2.1 Streaming DAC ($7,899) and Leo Gx.1 Clock ($10,499). Playing a good cross section of classical music and brass instruments, the tonality was accurate without being too squishy. The imaging filled the large room nicely, and had no issues producing a dominating presence for the relatively large listening area sectioned off. It kind of felt like an actual musical performance in that regard. So did the sonics. With plenty of low end shove coupled with a careful recreation of the mids and highs, the rig managed to achieve that perfect balance of detailed information retrieval with a believability and trueness to the source material.
The second rig (on static display both times I was in the room) consisted of the AURALiC Altair G2.1 Digital Audio Streamer ($6,099) and the ATC Entry Series SCM40A Active Loudspeakers ($11k). Both systems use Audioquest Hurricane/Blizzard Power & Balanced Cable. It did seem that Auralic was implying that huge setups consisting of giant, hot mono blocks isn’t necessary for good sound – and I tend to agree. While those types of listen stations are very fun to look and and hear, a more simplistic setup is just so often more viable for more people who either don’t have a dedicated listen room, or want to enjoy high fidelity music in an office or TV room. Overall the ATC + Auralic combination at AXPONA was a great sounding experience, and one of my favorite stops of the show.