A Best Sound at FSI

The massive, expensive systems at FSI—VTL/Wilson, Avantgarde, Lamm/Verity, Gamut, Vienna Acoustics, Tenor/Avalon, KEF Muon/Musical Fidelity—sounded as impressive as expected in their different ways. But the very last room I visited at FSI, one of the small ones on the 12th floor belonging to Montreal dealer Coup de Foudre, delighted me. In some ways—particularly the overall balance and the sheer accessibility of the music—this was the best I heard at the Show despite the system's affordable price. ProAc's Response D Two stand-mounted speakers were driven by a Leben 28Wpc CS600 tubed integrated amplifier (not a brand I am familiar with), with the source either a Clearaudio turntable or a CD player whose name I can't decipher from my notepad's spider scratchings. Just as I was about to leave, John Marks walked in and played for me a CD-R of tenor Brian Cheney singing the aria "Che gelida manina," from Puccini's La Bohème. This had been recorded at the microphone comparison sessions that I had reported on a year or so ago. Despite the system's modest pretensions, I was transported back to New York's SearSound Studio in the best way. A delightful end to my visit to the Montreal Show and proof that you don't necessarily need to spend big bucks to get big sound.

suits_me's picture

I don't know if this post is the conclusion, but thanks for the enjoyable coverage of the show.

tom collins's picture

I agree, good coverage. In regard to these monitor speakers, until last week, I had never heard good monitor speakers in action with really good front end gear. I was shocked by the sound of these little speakers on stands. Those were Focal monitors driven by dual McIntosh 275 amps. The detail was stunning and surprisingly, the bass was there too. I would love to have heard the combination you just described.Thanks again.Tom

mike's picture

the CD was a Naim cx2

John Atkinson's picture

>the CD was a Naim cx2<Thanks, Mike.

Andre's picture

The cd player was a audio aero prima. Was the happy folk who did the set-up. Thanks for those nice comments.Andre

Ian's picture

I do agree with the comments because i was in the show too and got totally impressed by those small speakers and that leben amp.that system is exactly something that most of us want to have to enjoy the music that we like,not to ciritisizing the quality of the records or finding the errors of the poor sound engineer.