SSI 2009

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Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 06, 2009  |  1 comments
The Sashas of Obad Imports suggested that I check out the Gemme Audio room, where a Neodio amplifier had been replaced by a prototype KingRex 50W Tripath amplifier. Gemme Audio's Robert Gaboury had his special Phenix Green Gem system ($37,000 CAN) on display, along with a Neodio CD player, and Blueberry Hill Audio cables.
Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 06, 2009  |  0 comments
Robert Gaboury stands with his little Gemme Audio Soprano.
Robert Deutsch  |  Apr 04, 2009  |  0 comments
Based in Calgary, Alberta, Grant Fidelity is the North American distributor of a range of Chinese-made audio electronics, under various brand names.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 04, 2009  |  0 comments
I am only familiar with the name "Solen" from the company's audiophile-quality capacitors and other passive components, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I entered the room labeled "Solen." The beautifully finished speakers, demmed with an Ayre C7-xe CD player, Accuphase preamp, and Rotel power amp, were one-off designs to show off what coud be achieved by the audiophile interested in "rolling his own." (Selections from AudioXpress magazine's library of speaker design books were also on show.) The large speaker with the outboard crossover sounded pretty good, I thought. It combined a JBL subwoofer with an Audio Technology woofer, ATC dome midrange, and Dynaudio Esotar tweeter.
Robert Deutsch  |  Apr 04, 2009  |  0 comments
Which do you prefer: tube sound or transistor sound?
Robert Deutsch  |  Apr 06, 2009  |  8 comments
It did not require great perspicacity to predict that SSI2009 would not be as well attended as last year's show. Things are tough all over. In any case, as I write this, on Saturday evening on a train en route to Toronto—yes, I manage to catch the train this time!—the show still has another day to go, and, as Michel Plante, with Sarah Tremblay the SSI's organizers, admitted, what often makes or breaks a show like this is the Sunday attendance.
Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 02, 2009  |  2 comments
It was a pleasure to finally meet Stereophile forum member, KBK, also known as, Ken Hotte. If you think he looks a little crazy here, you should read his forum posts.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 06, 2009  |  1 comments
Lafleur's X-1 bookshelf ($14,000/pair) was one of the hits of last year's Montreal Show despite the poor acoustics of the room they were being shown in, so I was looking forward to taking a further listen this year in a better room. Driven by an all-Simaudio Evolution series rig—Andromeda CD player and i-7 integrated amplifier—the X1s did indeed produce a superby detailed, natural-sounding midrange and treble, but the low frequencies seemed a little shelved down in absolute terms, I thought.
Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 02, 2009  |  1 comments
You would never guess that just moments before the photo was snapped, Tone Imports' Jonathan Halpern was bent over, purple-faced, and teary-eyed with delirious laughter. I'm not sure what it was all about. It had something to do with "championship wood."
Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 03, 2009  |  1 comments
In the Brosseau Audio/Video suite, Linn's Adolfo Cano provided a fascinating demonstration playing back Barb Jungr's "Beautiful Life" from a Linn Recordings sample disc.
Robert Deutsch  |  Apr 06, 2009  |  1 comments
Asked to name the top three drawbacks of electrostatic loudspeakers, the knowledgeable audiophile will list—not necessarily in this order—restricted listening area, inability to play loud, and limited bass extension. Although the last criticism can still be applied to the new MartinLogan CLX (its claimed bass –3dB point is 56Hz), the speaker's design has gone a major way toward addressing the other two criticisms.
Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 02, 2009  |  0 comments
Monitor Audio took advantage of one of the show's larger suites by setting up a home theater system, a two-channel hi-fi, and a static display. Starting from the far right, here we see Monitor's entry-level Bronze series, the Silver series, and the Gold series. The flagship Platinum series, including the new PL200 floorstander, is just outside the frame.
Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 02, 2009  |  0 comments
Monitor Audio's Sheldon Ginn is very excited about the company's new PL200 loudspeaker ($8000/pair). This attractive floorstander fills the gap between Monitor's PL100 bookshelf and the much bulkier PL300 floorstander, and uses a three-driver configuration with a ribbon tweeter. It's available in ebony, rosewood, and piano black finishes, and boasts a real leather front baffle.
Robert Deutsch  |  Apr 06, 2009  |  3 comments
Stereophile readers often wonder about how products are chosen for review, and, as I said at the SSI "Ask the Editors" panel discussion, the Monitor Audio Platinum 200 provides a case in point.
Robert Deutsch  |  Apr 04, 2009  |  4 comments
Is it just my perception, or do people who are looking through bins of LPs have a kind of happy excitement about them? The vinyl-buying folks at SSI sure seemed to be a really happy lot. Selecting CDs seems to be a much more matter-or-fact endeavor. And I can't imagine anyone getting too excited about the act of buying a new hard drive for their music server.