Florida Audio Expo 2024 – Highlights And Best Of Show

Florida Audio Expo 2024

Tampa isn’t a bad place to be in the middle of February. That especially holds true of you are a lover of high fidelity and are able to attend the annual Florida Audio Expo held there. This year’s showing and attendance was probably was the best yet. Venders were popping out of the woodwork and foot traffic on Friday was at a density I’ve haven’t seen in quite a while. All good signs of a healthy and growing event that continues the groundswell of in-person activities in a post-covid environment.

If you want to check out all the details, highlights and best of show from FLAX, check out the Season 10 premier of The Occasional Podcast with Marc and Brian. The two PT Audio writers come bearing gifts of audio observations and first-hand impressions from the show.

Arriving on the first day of the show Accora Acoustics had a great room located just off the main thoroughfare by registration. The huge space was filled with big sound and a new color to the company’s flagship $218K/pair VRC-1 speakers which they called Sunset Fire. It was an amazing visual to complement the focused energy from the granite speakers. Amplification was courtesy of VAC. Always an impressive room and their efforts at the Florida event did not disappoint.

Also located on the main floor was a favorite of mine that includes the aways-intriguing tech of plasma tweeters. High End By Oz had a pair of Lansche 5.2 floor standers paired with the Italy-based Viva Audio pulling amplification duties. I usually see Viva making high-end waves in the headphone space with their premium tube amplifiers, so it was exceptionally fun to see them in a more lofty speaker setting as well. Sounds were a delight and provided a crisp but nuanced texture to Oz’s very generous time he provided in the pre show hours.

I always try to stop by the Joseph Audio room, especially when it gets paired with a Doshi front end. This year was fairly similar from other setups I have seen, and that is to say it was fully capable of delivering fantastic sounds in a sometimes difficult (or unknown) space. The room is setup the “long” way in the room, and did a great job of delivering some of the Joe A sound I have come to deeply appreciate over the years. While the Pulsar (now in their Graphene edition) will always be my favorite for a floor standing sound from a standmount speaker, the Perspective 2 “real” floorstanding option he had on display at the show fit the bill just fine.

Focal and Naim at the Florida Audio Expo 2024.

The Focal Naim room was split into two sections, same as last year. This year however they had to stunning colors to show off and plenty of new gear to show-and-tell. In the small room, a pair of the new Focal Aria Evo X N°4 in a gorgeous green color that dances in hue, depending how you light it. Those new floor standers were attached to the new Naim Uniti Nova PE. The power edition utilizes a Purifi class D module to up the output to 150 watts per channel for bigger setups or low efficiency speakers. Also on active display were one of my personal favorites from the France-based Focal, the Stone. Made for outside usage, the Stone comes in at least three finished and still manages to push out great fidelity.

In the big room for Focal, the Naim 300 series of separates powered and sourced a pair of Utopia La Scala speakers in a new finish they call “Ebene Blanc”. It looked absolutely fantastic and the sound from the pairing was extremely detailed. The soundstage pinpointed instruments around the “room” and looked high end from every angle. It is nice when a speakers system sounds great, but when it also looks the part, it really delivers on the whole-package proposition of the art form.

Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon Turntable from the Florida Audio Expo 2024.

Fine Sounds America takes care of a few well-known brands for the US, including Sonus Faber, Pro-Ject, Sumiko and Rotel. The room at the Florida Audio Expo 2024 was packed with audio goodies from across the price spectrum, but tucked in next to the door was a very interesting piece from their co-branded series of Pro-Ject turntables which have included the Beatles and Metallica in the past. The new Pink Floyd “Dark Side Of The Moon” table echos the album cover with the iconic prism and clear platter design. The outgoing rainbow lights up with LEDs and the tonearm is made out of clear material as well.

TAD was showcasing three new products, the GE1 Floorstanding speakers, the C1000 preamp, and CE1TX standmount speakers. The massive room at the end of the first floor hallway had two separate setups and tons of standmount and floor standing speakers on passive display. The two active displays were crushing it with holographic staging in the controlled and well managed space. I have always been a fan of the brand, ever since I reviewed the Micro Evolution One way back in 2019. The MC One is another great contender for big sound from a standmount design.

MyTek may be predominately known for small case DACs, pre’s and all-in-ones, but at the Florida Audio Expo 2024 this year, they finally revealed the casework for a new upcoming Class D mono block that was originally teased out at Capital Audiofest last year. Some additional details have emerged, and with the help of GaN technology, the new monos are strategically focused around marketing to push the idea that they offer a tube like sound with much higher wattage. The top of the box features a nod to this with a tube shape intended for industrial design only. The Empire Monoblocks are slated to retail at $10k each.

Falcon Acoustics from the Florida Audio Expo 2024

Falcon Acoustics had another SE of the LS3/5a to talk about at the show. This time the price has climbed to nearly $10k a pair for the 2024 edition, but that high price tag does come with some pretty interesting perks this time around. The front grill is pure vintage, a recovery from some new old stock of the fabric which dates back to the original release for the classic British standmount used by BBC production studios. It has since inherited a cult-like following within the space of Brit-Fi, integrateds and two-way bookshelves, but is known for an amazing performance around the human voice. The new 2024 version comes with a fancy leather carrying case and what the company calls the absolute best parts available for the legendary playback speaker.

Woo Audio had all of their usual, fantastic headphone tube gear on display in their own room at the Florida Audio Expo 2024. The demonstration space was lined with personal audio treats from the portable to huge 300b and electrostatic amplification. The new product to talk about however is a complement to the their latest transportable analog amplifier and DAC in a dongle shape. We got a chance to review the Tube Mini and it is quite an accomplishment in the concentrated form factor. The new base will allow owners to give the device an easy home on the desktop along with power and connectivity.

More info: Florida Audio Expo 2024