Ontario-based Kevro International, which distributes Monitor Audio loudspeakers and British-built Cyrus electronics in the US and Canada, demonstrated a system using a pair of Monitor Silver 10 loudspeakers ($2700/pair in gloss finish) and a stack of Cyrus amplification and digital components (total price approximately $12,000). Apart from lacking a bit of bass weightsurprisingly, given the speakers' size and the sheer amount of bass-driver real estate), the sound was smooth, spacious, and open, with very good melodic flow and momentum.
In one of three rooms sponsored by the dealer Acoustique Technologies, Marten Getz 2 loudspeakers ($23,000/pair) were driven by a pair of Manley 250 "Neo-Classic Design" mono amplifiers ($13,750/pair), in turn driven by a Manley "Neo-Classic Design" 300B preamplifier ($6500) and fed by a Feickert Woodpecker turntable/tonearm combination ($6090) with Dynavector XX2 cartridge ($2150).
When I return home from Montreal I'll be able to tell my 16-year-old daughter, truthfully, that I listened to Lorde's "The Royals" on a very good system, the value of which rivals the expected cost of her first two years of college. Included in this Coup de Foudre-sponsored system were a Luxman DA-06 D/A converter ($5000), Luxman C 900 preamp ($19,000), the big Luxman M 900 stereo amp ($19,000), and Vivid Giya G3 loudspeakers ($40,000), used with Cardas cables.
Here's a closer look at one of Plurison's customized Regas. The face motif, according to Michel Plante, plays on the idea that an LP has two "faces" (French for "sides"), and the notion that music itself has many faces. Exact prices were not immediately available, but the plan is to sell each of the silk-screened Regas for 15% above the normal price; all of that premium will go directly to the artists who created the designs.
In addition to AudioQuest cabling, the demo system put together by Montreal retailer Audioville comprised a pair of KEF Blade loudspeakers ($30,000), stirred into action by Chord electronics: the SPM5000 amplifier ($25,000), CPA3000 preamplifier ($10,000), and DSX1000 DAC/streamer ($13,000). The sound, as noted in Steve Silberman's demonstration, was explicit without being relentless about it: Music flowed naturally, and with decent color and very good impact, especially at the louder end of the spectrum.
Plurison, which distributes the products of Rega Research throughout Canada, sponsored a press breakfast in which they unveiled a series of Rega turntables that had been transformed by the Quebec artist Zilon (seen above). On display were three RP1s and three RP3s, the plinths and platter hubs of which were painted using Molotow oil-based markers; 100 copies of each of these six originals will be madeby means of silk-screeningand sold, with more designs to follow.
AudioQuest also announced their entry into the world of Ethernet cables, with a line that includes nine distinct models; seen here is the Audioquest Cinnamon Ethernet cable, priced at $69 for a 1.5-meter length. "USB won't go away," said the company's Steve Silberman, "But Ethernet will continue to grow.
The family-owned electronics chain Son X Plus sponsored a number of exhibits at SSI, including this active display of Skech wireless headphones, in a rainbow of colors. I gave them a brief trynot the pink onesand was mildly impressed at the progress being made in Bluetooth audio.
It only looks as though Steve Silberman of Audioquest is trying to ignore a corpse behind the loudspeakers; in actual fact he's explaining the finer points of JRiver playback softwarea topic in which he is remarkably conversantwhile a colleague works on their system's cabling.
Here’s the trick to show reporting: accomplish as much as possible ahead-of-time. Thus my decision, while riding the Amtrak train from Albany, NY to Montreal for this year’s Salon Son et Image, to write about the journey itself, and to illustrate my post with a photo of something I’d seen along the way.