Centre Hi-Fi's Genesis Room, with Marten, T+A components, Music Hall Analog, and an Earmen Phono Preamp

Another fun room was the one sponsored by Centre Hi-Fi, a Montreal-based audio dealer that decided to add a flagship division called Genesis that offers higher-performance and higher-priced products than it normally sells.

It’s under the new Genesis banner that I heard a system that included a pair of standard-version Marten Parker Duos in Piano Walnut ($17,550/pair)—standard version meaning the ones with the ceramic tweeter and not the more expensive Duo Diamond Edition with the diamond tweeter. (See John Atkinson's review of the larger Parker Trio Diamond Edition, here.) The floorstanders pictured are the Marten Oscar Trios; Michael Fremer recently reviewed the Oscar Duos, here. Also in the system: a T+A PA3000 integrated amp ($30,000), T+A MP3100 HV (for high voltage, due to it running on high voltage rails) media player ($27,000)—in essence a combo of streamer, CD player, and DAC, the latter using two discrete DAC chips, one to deliver PCM and the other true bit-to-bit DSD.

Analog was handled by Music Hall's new flagship 11.3 turntable ($7500), whose substantial, lightwood-colored appearance I immediately became smitten by, with the dazzling, 24-Karat gold-plated Auris Tangenta Hawk tonearm ($18,000 US). Designed by Slobodan Petrovic, this arm would match up well visually with the aforementioned Critical Mass Systems rack. The phono cartridge was an Audio Technica EV33 ($600) and phono preamplification was provided by—wait for it—an Earmen mm/mc Phonio phono stage with a tube buffer, which will retail for (US)$1000! Sound like a crazy match? Not if what I heard is any indication, which was sound that was lively, punchy, tactile, and explicit. I wasn’t kidding: Keep an eye out for Earmen!

Anton's picture

More, please!


Loving your coverage.

rschryer's picture

Thanks, Anton.

Ortofan's picture

... QUAD equipment sitting on the floor used for demonstration, or was it there just for display?

rschryer's picture

...when I was there.

Anton's picture


As in, "Nice doorstops ya got there."

rschryer's picture

Is this a trick to get me to say it so that the exhibitor selling a $50,000 "doorstop" punches me in the nose?

That's just evil, Anton.

dalim185's picture

The Quad's were on display, why else would there be speaker cables and brightly lit orange power buttons on the QC24 Pre Amp? They did an A/B test for me between the QII Monoblocks and the T+A HV line.