"What a refreshingly honest blog about listening to music through hi-fi. So happy to see views based upon the enjoyment of music rather than so-called sound 'quality'." - Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at Mission / Wharfedale

Monday 27 March 2023

Audio Show Deluxe, Whittlebury Hall, March 2023 - Sound of the Show and Music Choice Award - Auden Distribution

Many shows have smaller rooms and Audio Show Deluxe is a bit different in offering so many larger rooms.  Auden, typically with Hegel all-in-one streamer / DAC / pre- and power-amplifer products and standmount Amphion speakers have received multiple Audiophile Musings awards for their show systems.  Largely because they put together systems that work with the room - a fundamental that many exhibitors just don't grasp.  So here was a chance for Auden to show us what they can do at the larger end of the scale. At roughly the £180k end of the scale, excluding the turntable element.

On analogue duty was a full Avid front end of turntable, turntable PSU, phono stage and phono stage PSU

Audiomica cable display

EgglestonWorks Viginti

Above can be seen the digital and the power side of the system.  An Innuos Statement server provided USB signals to the Merason DAC. Pre-amp and mono power amps are from Hegel.

So Auden have done it again.  Whilst this system wasn't the absolute last word in refinement and detail at the show this weekend, it excelled in many other areas.  Here is a system that could actually move some air in the room without being aggressive nor harsh - bass that's got weight, power and presence but no sense of overhang or boom. Lots of detail and expression in the mid-range and vocals with a crisp but smooth top end, this system drove the music along, timing being precise and tight and everything presented with a sense of balance an proportion. The imaging illusion was nicely done too.

But here's the thing - musical variety. Yes, some jazz, but also Dylan, Massive Attack, The Who, Nitin Sawhney - lots of chances to hear what the system could do with real World music, the breadth and depth of the music being played gives a chance to appraise a system properly.  It seems blindingly obvious to me, but very few do as good a job as Auden did this weekend.

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