Montreal Audio Fest 2023

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Robert Schryer  |  Apr 02, 2023  |  22 comments

Finally, it snowed during the weekend of the show, on Saturday, which was disappointing. It meant I wasn’t in an alternate 'verse of the multiverse after all and, consequently, I wasn’t the Alternate Rob with a half-million-dollar hi-fi waiting for him at home.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 02, 2023  |  0 comments
Jacques Riendeau of Oracle Audio

I was running out of time.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 02, 2023  |  1 comments

As usual, I found cellist and Audio Note UK music ambassador Vincent Bélanger hosting the Audio Note UK room, but this time, Vincent wasn't alone.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 02, 2023  |  5 comments
Our fearless reporter--left--waxing eloquent in his notebook.

I have bumped into manufacturer Artist Cloner’s owner and designer, Sylvio Comtois, many times at audio shows. He strikes me as being a bit of a mad scientist. Not “crazy” mad but mad in the sense of being obsessed with a particular objective.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 02, 2023  |  3 comments

When I asked Totem's Vince Bruzzese, at last year's "static" launch of the new Bison series, what the impetus was to create the Bison range, he said it came down to wanting to create something special to mark the company's 35th birthday but also that of the Model 1, which came out in the year of the company's founding, 1987.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 01, 2023  |  7 comments

Talk about a dream triad of fabulous gear from Switzerland: darTZeel, Stenheim, Merging Technologies. The first thing I said to myself when I saw this simple, sharp-looking spread in Toronto-based retailer Sonic Artistry's room was, "Damn, this is an attractive group!".

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 01, 2023  |  4 comments

What did the Hearken and Art et Son rooms have in common? The Graham Audio LS8.1 speakers ($13,300), so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that I heard a similarly, though not identically, engaging intimacy in both systems' presentations, the kind that made me just want to relax in my seat and listen through whole albums.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 01, 2023  |  0 comments

"Are you sure there are no tubes in the chain?" I asked On a Higher Note's Philip O'Hanlon, North American distributor of the BBC-inspired Graham Audio speaker line, in Montreal retailer Art et Son's room. Philip was sitting with me listening to an LP of Belgian singer Mélanie De Biasio.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 01, 2023  |  0 comments

MartinLogan's Motion F200XT in the Planète Haute-Fidélité room wasn't the only speaker in town to employ a Heil Air Motion Transformer tweeter. So did Monitor Audio's 3-Way Platinum 300 3G (for 3rd generation) floorstander ($22,000).

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 01, 2023  |  0 comments

Remember in my first post when I said "How cool it would be if I'd turned into Alternate Rob with a half-million dollar system waiting for him at home?" Well, the system I encountered in one of Filtronique's rooms would fit the bill nicely.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 30, 2023  |  2 comments

Beautiful strains of music lured me into the Audiophile Experts room, where the song "Göttingen," written in 1964 by French chanteuse Barbara (real name Monique Andrée Serf) as an ode to the German city by the same name, was playing. As well as having become a hit in her native country, the song has been credited as having helped improve relations between France and Germany in the years following the Second World War. Barbara called the song "a hymn to Franco-German reconciliation".

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 30, 2023  |  2 comments

As soon as I entered the room hosted by distributor / reseller Distribution Phonographe's room, I thought, "where's all the gear?" There wasn't much around, and of the few items that were around, one was so small as to be nearly imperceptible at first glance.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 30, 2023  |  0 comments

When I think of MartinLogan, I immediately envision an electrostatic speaker. One of their tall ones equipped with the dynamic woofer. A second later, I'll be reminded that Martin Logan also makes good cabinet-style standmounts such as the one I saw at the 2019 Toronto Audiofest, the Motion 35XTi. What I won't naturally equate with an ML design is a box-design floorstander,

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 29, 2023  |  0 comments

Does anyone who's been in our audio hobbyist orbit for some time not know speaker designer Andrew Jones? Wouldn't it be funny to imagine that in alternate 'verses in the multiverse, Jones might be something other than a famous speaker designer? Perhaps a famous pianist in one 'verse, an accountant in another (footnote 1)?

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 29, 2023  |  4 comments

The second demo I heard in Focal Naim's spacious, hall-sized room was centered around the brand new Naim NSC 222 streaming preamplifier ($12,000) from the company's New Classic Series. This is big news in the realm of Naim, though it doesn't entirely replace Naim's last Classic Series, which was launched … 50 years ago!