Montreal Audio Fest 2023

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Robert Schryer  |  Mar 29, 2023  |  0 comments

Although it may seem like it sometimes, not all the exhibitors at an audio show play the same typical audiophile fare, which sounds great but rarely challenges the power and dynamic reserves of their systems. Mark Jones, of Ontario-based retailer Audio by Mark Jones, is one of those exceptions to the rule. The first track he played for me was Led Zeppelin's chord-crunching, drum-whacking "Moby Dick," at high volume.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 28, 2023  |  10 comments

Quebec-based Lemay Audio was one of my best sounds of the show. At its dizzying price, it should be. If its price makes your eyes glaze over at first glance, all is not lost. I'll get to that.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 27, 2023  |  3 comments

My friend ran up to me in the Mezzanine hallway. "You have to check out the Klipsch Jubilees", he said, breathlessly. "They're so big!" He leans his head back like he's looking up a skyscraper.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 27, 2023  |  0 comments

Bryston launched two new products at this year's show that will hit the market in a week or two, according to Bryston CEO James Tanner, who was sitting in the chair next to me in the Bryston room. If what I heard in that room are any indication, Bryston is on to something big.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 27, 2023  |  20 comments

I found the sound of the rooms at this show almost universally good, but some stood out, including the Bowers & Wilkins / Classé room, which sounded fantastic with the Tidal-streamed 16/44.1 FLAC files played for us.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 26, 2023  |  0 comments

As is typical of their show setups, Focal Naim occupied a large, banquet-style room divvied up into different exhibits and active setups. How can you realistically gauge the sound of a demo while other demoes are playing in the background? The trick Focal Naim used, which worked like a charm, was to move our group among alternating demoes so that only one played at a time.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 26, 2023  |  0 comments

Another room that stood out from the pack for its sonic excellence belonged to Canadian speaker manufacturer Acora Acoustics, which was showcasing its floorstanding SRC-2 model ($62,000/pair) on Quartz stands ($11,000).

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 26, 2023  |  3 comments

When I spotted—on a poster affixed to Heaven 11's exhibit room door—Charlton Heston as Moses (?) holding tubes in his arms instead of those famous stone plates, I knew going in I was in for something a little different. Visions of single-ended triodes were dancing in my head.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2023  |  5 comments

Making its North American premiere—perhaps its world premiere, according to Le Studio du Son's Olivier Fragman—was the Aperion Verus III Concert V8T Tower speaker ($5000/pair, the big ones in the photo above).

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2023  |  3 comments

Friday—opening day—was crazy. I've never visited so many rooms in one day at an audio show—14, to be exact. That's a lot of rooms to cover. As a show reporter, you must take the time to listen to the gear, evaluate its sound, jot down legible impressions, make sense of exhibitors' explanations, get product names and prices, take photos of the gear, and ask for business cards so you can contact someone later if you're missing information. Then, despite my best efforts, I often must make a repeat visit because I forgot to take a particular photo or pick up a price list or ask for the exhibitor's business card. It's time-consuming.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2023  |  0 comments

Sunny? Springy? Even more bizarre: No snow is predicted for the entire weekend, during the 34th Montreal Audiofest, which runs from March 24 to March 26.