AXPONA (Jacksonville) 2012 Coverage

March 12, 2012

The Bastanis, Garrard, Ikeda, and Tubeguru Room

The loudest room honors goes to The Beauty of Sound which featured the Bastanis Mandala loudspeakers ($6750 kit, $8750 finished). To be honest, the speakers looked like they were made by an amateur woodworker in his garage. Plywood was used throughout, all joints were butt-ended, and the wings on either side of the main enclosure were attached with piano hinges. They had a sensitivity of 100db so were able to be driven to ear splitting levels by the 8.5 watt/channel Tubeguru 300B SE monoblocks ($8000/pair) fronted by the Tubeguru Professional Tube Preamplifier ($3200). The fit and finish of those components was substandard as well.

The most interesting thing in the room was a refurbished Garrard 401 turntable with Ikeda IT-407CR1 tonearm ($6500) and Ikeda 9TT moving-coil cartridge ($3800). The cost of the table, arm and cartridge was in the range of $17,000-$18,000 if I remember correctly.


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