Toronto: Angie's Audio Corner Opens an Annex

Toronto is turning into a happening place for audiophiles. The Toronto Audio Visual Entertainment Show being held October31–November 2, 2014, promises to be bigger and better in their new venue at the Sheraton Centre Hotel downtown. The Update TV & Stereo Elevated store, with a strong high-performance audio orientation, opened last spring in the Toronto suburb of Unionville. And now, Angie's Audio Corner, devoted to high end celebrated its second anniversary with the opening of the Annex Clearance Center in the coach house next to the main building, acting as a clearing house for used equipment of all sorts and used LPs.

Here's a glimpse of what's available at the Annex. How many of these products do you recognize?

The owner of Angie's Audio Corner, Angie Lisi, is intensely passionate about music and the equipment used to reproduce it. Surveying the used records for sale at the Annex, she kept saying "Oh, this looks like a great recording. Maybe I should keep it." The records have all been given a careful visual inspection, and are placed in new inner sleeves. Here's Angie with one of her treasures.

The party celebrating the second anniversary of the opening of Angie's Audio Corner, and the opening of the new Annex, attracted some notable guests, including Johnnie and Eva Bergmann, shown in the photo, whose various air-bearing technology turntables/arms were on display, including the $62000 Sleipner.

Jacques Riendeau, whose Oracle turntable has kept pace with the evolution of top-rank turntable designs, is shown here with Angie Lisi.

Recently introduced to North America, and available at Angie's Audio Corner, were the Feickert Analogue turntables: the Firebird (shown in the photo), the Woodpecker, and the Blackbird.

The Dr. Feickert Analogue turntables are now distributed by VANA, Inc. Here's VANA's Kevin Wolff, explaining what makes the Dr. Feickert Analogue turntables special.

If you're thinking, "That's enough about turntables," here's a photo of something completely different: the Esoteric Grandioso line. D-1, P-1, M-1. It's a do-everything digital system, including the D-1 DAC, P-1 transport, and two M-1 monoblock amplifiers. The total price is (gulp!) $145000.

Bel Canto's Mike McCormack was on hand to present their new Black line. This is another complete digital playback system, not unlike the Esoteric Grandioso (but no transport). The price of the system is $65000. Products like the Black line and the Esoteric Grandioso are way too rich for my blood, but I think it's great that people who can consider products in this price range have a store like Angie's Audio Corner, where they can actually compare them.

Live music provides a much-needed reference at audio store events, and Angie arranged for two of these: the Liquid Trio, shown here . . .

. . . and Whiskey Jack. I thought we might see Anne Bisson, a favorite at audio shows, and she was indeed scheduled to be there, but had conflicting radio interviews promoting her new recording.

Sarah Tremblay and Michel Plante, shown in the photo, were the team responsible for the Montreal Salon Son & Image. They're still a team, but now Sarah is involved not only in the Montreal show but other shows presented by the Chester Group, including the upcoming one in New York. Michel now works for Plurison, distributor of some highly prestigious lines, including Focal, Devialet, Naim, Pathos, etc.

Harley Jilek is the owner of Audio Empire, a Toronto store that has been in business since 1974, and is still going strong. He’s shown here with his sister, Janet, who helps him run the store, and their young friend, Shawnacy.

Why were they at the Angie's Audio Corner event? Well, Angie is Harley and Janet's ex-sister-in-law. Although they're nominally in the same business, Audio Empire's attends to the affordable end of the market, with a huge gap between the prices of the products they carry and those at Angie's Audio Corner. What they share with Angie is a dedication to help customers get the best-sounding equipment that their budget allows. If there's any secret to running a successful bricks-and-mortar store, that has to be it.

It was a marvelous party—due, to no small extent, to the efforts of Angie's assistant, Adrienne Surtees (in the center of the photo).

Catcher10's picture

Love the album shot of Steven Wilson's Covers in the Kevin Wolff shot...Bet that sounds awesome on a Feickert table!