SSI Starts Friday in Montreal

Now that spring has sprung, the moon has gone super, the sun has eclipsed, and more polar ice has melted, it's time to welcome the 28th edition of the Montreal Audio Show. Known to French Canadians as Le Salon Son et Image, the show occupies the consciousness of audiophiles worldwide on March 27–29 from its customary location, the Hilton Bonaventure.

This year's Montreal Audio Show is on track to welcome a good 3000 attendees to active exhibits in 55 rooms. One of its unique features is the presence of a host of Canadian manufacturers. Showings by 10 Canadian companies—double that of last year—will undoubtedly contribute to the friendly atmosphere for which Salon Son et Image is known. Perhaps the priciest Canadian exhibit, billed "The World's Best Canadian Audio System," will include a half million dollars worth of equipment in the form of Tenor Audio amps, Muraudio loudspeakers, and a Kronos Audio turntable.

Besides the usual extras—a headphone room, vinyl room, and three hours of seminars on both Friday and Saturday—the Montreal Show is putting a lot of energy into setting up a live recording studio. Jazz singer Anne Bisson, the Give Band (Caroline St-Louis & Stephan Ritch), Hans Wilwright, and a trio of musicians from those bands will each record a single track, which attendees will then experience mixed into a final product.

"The whole point of the recording sessions is to promote music," Roy Bird, President of the show's sponsor, The Chester Group, tells Stereophile. "We hope they will drum up new interest and new visitors. In fact, we're brightening up the show from start to finish to bring new people in."

There are four hour-long recording sessions on Friday, four more on Saturday, and three on Sunday. In between two of Saturday's recording sessions, classical coloratura soprano Hélène Brunet and pianist Jérémie Pelletier will give a half hour performance on top of the escalator (!), sponsored by Moon by SimAudio.

Some of Le Salon Son et Image's other attractions are Canada's first public showing of Devialet's Phantom, Chord's Hugo DAC, SSC's (String Suspension Concept) decoupling accessories, ReVox's product line, Tannoy's Westminster Gold Reference loudspeaker, Marantz's NA 6005 wireless streamer, ClaeCast's loudspeaker line, PS Audio's BHK Signature 250 amplifier (in final form), and Auralic's Aries streamer and Vega DAC. World premieres include Atoll Électronique's MS-100 streamer and Deep Space Audio's DS-1 loudspeaker. Add in the first show appearance of Soltanus Acoustics' ESL Virtuoso electrostatic loudspeaker; and the North American premiere of Accuphase's DC-37 DAC and Spendor's A5R loudspeaker, and you have one exciting show.

For the first time, major manufacturer Sony will have some of its products on display at the show. In addition, Quebec manufacturer Delaney Technologies, designers of Montreal's Olympic Stadium loudspeakers, will set up what they are calling a "knock-your-socks-off exhibit."

One thing people will not have to do is sweat getting to Salon Son et Image. The Hilton Bonaventure resides at the exceptionally convenient intersection of the Montreal Central train station and the Bonaventure metro station, in the middle of downtown. Not even a major snowstorm will prevent significant numbers of people from attending.

Nor will it stop both Art Dudley and Robert Deutsch from reporting on every single item of interest they encounter at Salon Son et Image. Their reports, starting Friday, will continue Stereophile's annual stream of comprehensive show reports on that, which following CES 2015 in January, will also include, in order of appearance, AXPONA Chicago, High End Munich, T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, the Bay Area's California Audio Show, the D.C. area's Capital Audiofest, Denver's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Toronto's TAVES, and the New York Audio Show, the last now scheduled to take place in Westchester County north of Manhattan.

volvic's picture

Wish I could attend, has been several years since I was there and it is always a great show.