Yeung was demonstrating a few new Blue Circle products, an inexpensive USB DAc and the $4895 95Wpc FtTH integrated amplifier. Yeung calls the FtTH his "statement" preamp, saying that it employs Blue Circle's True Balanced Audio technology, which, he says, "drives both the positive and the negative output terminals for better control of the loudspeakers."
I was as impressed as Robert Deutsch had been with KEF's $140k/pair Muons, and enjoyed a couple of tracks from the late Joe Zawinul's Faces & Places CD, Musical Fidelity's new 750k Supercharger monoblocks driving the speakers to satisfyingly high levels. Except there was no CD playing. It turned out I was listening to a 320kbps AAC file on an iPod sitting in the Wadia dock you can see in the photo. This takes an I2S digital output from a late-generation iPod and KEF were using the S/PDIF datastream to drive the digital input of the Musical Fidelity CD player at the top of the equipment stack. Given how much ink I have spilled recently on the dangers of lossy-compressed file formats, my face must have been as red as the room’s illumination had been at the time.
"Cinema—musique—beaux-arts." That's what it says on Mario Boisvert's business card. His Montreal store, Le Ren Art Bleu, sells LPs, CDs, original art, and Blu-ray discs. How is that for diversification? He had some of each at FSI—with just about the lowest priced I've seen for Blu-ray discs.
GamuT makes electronics as well as speakers, and they introduced a new model at the show. The Si100 is a $120Wpc integrated, similar in design—and, they claim, sound—to their $11,000 Di150, but priced at $6200. (I was going to say "only," but, of course, $6200 is still a good bit of change for most people.)
Kevin Wolff, Vienna Acoustics' new international sales manager, poses next to the new $25,000/pair The Music loudspeakers.That rotating section of the cabinet contains Vienna Acoustics' revolutionary (hah!) new, flat, concentric 7" tweeter-midrange unit, which handles frequencies from 200Hz to 20kHz. A separate super-tweeter takes over above the audioband.
Mutine's Pascal Ravach was demonstrating the small, but striking, Duevel Planets omnidirectional speakers (CDN$1495/pair), The Planets consist of a floorstanding vented cabinet with an upward-firing 5" woofer and 1" horn-loaded tweeter. The drivers fire against reflective spheres, which disperse the sound.
A closer look at Vienna Acoustics' coaxial tweeter-midrange unit. The central dome is supported by the magnet pole-piece of the flat midrange driver—and the strengthening ribs are said to dissipate standing waves on the surface of the driver.