Grant Fidelity's Chinese-made Bargains
Grant Fidelity of Calgary, Canada specializes in low-cost, high-value equipment from China. To get an idea of the huge number of components on display by the company whose motto is "Hi-End, Not High Priced," please check out the list on their website. There you'll find a complete list of components on display, descriptions, and pricing. You'll even discover a host of photos taken at the show.
Responding to my request to set up the combo Ian Grant and Sherry most wanted me to write about, I was treated to the Shengya 200wpc A206 integrated amplifier ($1650 factory-direct), Shengya CD-16 balanced CD player ($1200 factory-direct), and Grant Fidelity MBS-1 Speaker ($1150/pair). These speakers claim a frequency response of 45Hz to 22kHz, 6dB at 40Hz, and a sensitivity of 88dB.
For a system that costs around $4000, the sound was next to astounding. There could have been a blacker background, but there was certainly tremendous slam and ease, and a colorful, non-fatiguing presentation. There was also a large dynamic range, from soft to loud without ever sounding forced.
I just loved another visitor's Dave Grusin album, Homage to Duke, and specifically the track, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be." Given Chinese competition to American-made products, things sure ain't.
Ian Grant explained that he voiced the speakers and designed the crossover before they were manufactured by Shengya in China. The owner of Shengya, who designs all the electronics, made his fortune designing and marketing the first integrated amp in China.
When I played a highly refined recording of cello and piano playing mellow chamber fare by Ginastera, the system totally captured the delicacy, beauty, and emotion of the music. Shall I tell you how many systems at the show that cost 10, 20, and 30 times as much failed to reach into the heart of the music they were designed to faithfully reproduce. . .