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Robert Deutsch Posted: Nov 02, 2015 4 comments
Cellist Vincent Bélanger (above) is getting to be a fixture at audio shows, the sound of the instrument and Bélanger's impeccable musicianship always serving as a welcome reminder of what our hobby is all about. He played at the party TAVES put on for the industry and media in a large ballroom, and first apologized that the sounds he was about to make were not nearly as loud as people were used to in the demo rooms. I think there's a lesson in there—and it's not that Bélanger was playing too softly!
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Nov 01, 2015 4 comments
The first room I visited at the 2015 TAVES, held this past weekend in Toronto, was Update Stereo & TV's big room that had MartinLogan's flagship Neolith speakers—and they sounded completely different from the pair that I heard at the 2015 CES. Transparency, tonal neutrality, precise imaging, presence: it was all there. These are great speakers!
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jul 12, 2015 0 comments
I ran across the poster above in Canada HiFi magazine: an announcement of the launch of a new audio store with an evening of vinyl playback. Located in the town of Orangeville, Ontario (population 30,000, about an hour's drive from Toronto), the store, with the intriguing name of Aardvark Boutique Audio, hadn't opened yet, but the event, taking place in the Orangeville Opera House, promised "Canadian Musicians On Vinyl—In Amazing Hi Fi Sound." I had to go and check it out.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 29, 2015 3 comments
Established in 1980 by Victor Sima as Sima Electronics, Canadian audio company Moon by Simaudio Ltd. celebrates its 35th year in the audio business in 2015—or, as its ads say, "35 years of passion." To mark the event, Simaudio had a party at Executive Stereo, their Toronto dealer (see photo above). It was a fairly low-key event, with a handful of Toronto-area audio journalists—including yours truly—and representatives of Simaudio attending.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: May 10, 2015 2 comments
It's been almost exactly a year since I reported on the opening of a new store dedicated to high-performance audio and video in Unionville, Ontario. To mark the first anniversary of the store's opening, they had a party to celebrate the occasion.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Apr 12, 2015 4 comments
A few days ago I received an email from Adrian Low, owner of Audio Excellence, a Toronto-area Wilson dealer, inviting me to a demo of the Sabrina by Wilson Audio Specialties' Peter McGrath (above)
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Apr 01, 2015 22 comments
An event at SSI 2015 that, to the best of my knowledge, was unique for an audio show, involved the setup of an "on location" recording studio, and the making of actual recordings. No, not a "Garage Band" App, not a "home recording studio," but a real professional studio, involving some $300k's worth of equipment, and the services of professional recording engineers. The project, called La VibZ Studio, was initiated by Stephan Rich, musician and sound technician, and brought together for the SSI 2015 event vocalist/pianist Anne Bisson, the Give Band (featuring vocalist Caroline St-Louis and Stephan Ritch on the guitar), and Hans Wilwright. The attendees were provided with Sennheiser cordless headphones for listening to the playback.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 31, 2015 18 comments
Montreal dealer Coup de Foudre's exhibit featured the 2012 Stereophile Loudspeaker of the Year Vivid Audio Oval K1 (USD$26,000/pair), in a system featuring Luxman electronics. I've never heard these speakers sound anything less than great, and their sound at SSI 2015 did nothing to change my previous impression. I really liked the red of the demo pair, and asked importer Philip O'Hanlon if it was a popular choice. He said that although the red is much admired, most people end up choosing a different, more conservative, color. I guess I'm not like most people. My Avantgarde Uno Nanos are red, and so is the last car I bought.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 29, 2015 3 comments
One of the characteristics of shows like SSI, where many of the exhibitors are dealers rather than manufacturers or distributors, is that you may get a chance to hear equipment combinations you would never encounter at CES. At SSI 2015, the Totem Earth speakers were combined with McIntosh electronics, to good effect. Another thing that distinguisher these dealer-exhibitors is that you can buy the products on display—something that's strictly forbidden at CES. The Totem Earth has a list price of CAD$9000/pair, but you could have it a "show special" price of CAD$6000/pair...
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 29, 2015 13 comments
The first room I visited at SSI 2015 was the one devoted to the Soltanus Acoustics ESL Virtuoso loudspeaker (CAD$10,995/pair). Why did I choose this room? First, their room was right next door to mine, so it was a matter of convenience. And when I saw the sign that said that they were showing a full-range electrostatic loudspeaker—well, given my history with the original Quad and KLH Nine, I was most intrigued.

And this speaker turned out to be one of my "finds" at the show...

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