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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 20, 2016 2 comments
The room sponsored by Montreal dealer Audiophonie was like a treasure trove of interesting things/pair—tubes! horns! turntables with tall platters!—and when I first arrived, it was filled with nearly a dozen men speaking French in such animated tones that I felt as though I had stumbled upon a meeting of an especially enthusiastic audio society. I did not feel left out for long: the room's host, audio designer Robert Gaboury, made me feel welcome, and explained that his very good sounding Arteluthe Cadenza loudspeakers ($CDN24,000/pair) were a two-way design with a specified sensitivity of 97dB.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 19, 2016 2 comments
It will come as no surprise that audio journalists find their greatest professional pleasure in writing about things—playback gear, recordings, what-have-you—with which they are wildly impressed, and that their second-favorite topics are things that are genuinely and comically awful. But the fact of the matter is, at audio shows, most systems don't fall into either of those categories: most systems at shows range between "listenable" and "pretty darn good"—and there's nothing wrong with that. So here's one of the pretty darn good systems: a combination, found in the room of Quebec dealer Audio D'occasion, of the Atoll CD200 CD player ($CDN2200), Atoll IN200 integrated amplifier ($CDN2200), and Dali Opticon 8 loudspeakers ($CDN5000/pair), all cabled-up with products from Nordost.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 18, 2016 3 comments
Because my train from Albany, NY arrived ahead of schedule, there was just enough daylight for me to photograph Montreal's Bonaventure Hotel—formerly the Hilton Bonaventure—which, from Friday March 18 through Sunday March 20, is the site of the brand new Montreal Salon Audio. As some of you will recall (see our recent story), Montreal's heretofore long-running Salon Son et Image was "deferred" by its organizers, on account of too few manufacturers and dealers willing to sign up as exhibitors at the once-iconic show. But then the show's previous organizers, Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay, stepped in and put together this new Montreal show—and the new not-for-profit organization behind it—in less time than it takes most of us to plan a trip to the grocery store.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 18, 2016 5 comments
Friday dawned snowy and bright, and by the time I got around to exploring the corridors of the Bonaventure Hotel, music was already coming from a few scattered rooms. Overnight, more signage and posters had appeared, and an admissions station had been set up in a portion of the hotel's entryway that was relatively clear of construction work: admission is free, of course, but volunteers were busy greeting arrivals and handing out a two-sided map giving the exhibitors' locations. (Since Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay took over the show, there simply wasn't enough time to create a full-blown show guide.)
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 09, 2016 10 comments
In an announcement made yesterday on their corporate website, UK-based Chester Group—which, in recent years, has sponsored consumer-audio shows in Vancouver, Brooklyn, and Brighton, UK, among other locales—revealed that they are "deferring" this year's Salon Son et Image, which had been scheduled to take place March 18 through 20 at the Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 07, 2016 10 comments
No one likes to be fooled, least of all those of us whose job it is to sort the real from the imagined: a tightrope walk, the audience for which reliably contains one or two rustics who delight in the occasional splat.

Such were my concerns in the days following last November's New York Audio Show, where I first encountered High Fidelity Cables—an exhibitor that generated considerable (figurative) buzz by promoting the use of magnets in an audio system's interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords. Indeed, by the end of the first day, more than one showgoer had asked me, "What did you think of the guy with the magnetic cables?"

Art Dudley Posted: Feb 24, 2016 0 comments
I don't listen to music when I write, even when I write about listening to music: When there's music playing, it almost always gets my full attention—and I'm no good at multitasking. (And if I'm around music that's awful and I'm powerless to stop it, I have to leave the premises.) A rare exception is when I listen to CDs while proofreading, because proofreading is fairly brainless stuff—and as playback formats go, the Compact Disc isn't the most musically compelling.
Art Dudley Posted: Feb 10, 2016 7 comments
In my sophomore year of high school, one of the greatest challenges my friends and I faced was the search for the perfect after-school hangout, perfect being defined as "having the least amount of adult supervision." Some of us lived in single-parent homes, but only one had a single parent for whom weekday surprise inspections were impossible, and that was Scott. So Scott's place—a downstairs apartment in a nice older house not far from school—got the nod.
Art Dudley Posted: Jan 28, 2016 4 comments
The stats are impressive: Quebec's Oracle Audio Technologies, formerly Trans Audio (footnote 1), has been in business for 37 years, during which they've sold nearly 11,000 Oracle Delphi turntables. That's not bad for a perfectionist turntable—and especially not bad for a perfectionist turntable whose first and most estimable competitor, the Linn Sondek LP12, was well established by the time of the Delphi's debut, in 1979.
Art Dudley Posted: Dec 29, 2015 6 comments
I don't know much about horses, but I've been given to understand that dead ones don't respond to even the severest beating. In light of that, I'll make only this brief statement—Even with the best playback gear of my experience, I don't derive as much pleasure from CDs as I do from LPs.—and move on to a simpler truth: Regardless of what I think, CD players are still a necessity for most music-loving audiophiles.