Robert Schryer

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 26, 2024  |  3 comments

The first time I heard a pair of standmount Kii Audio Three speakers, a few years back at a Montreal Audiofest, I immediately got them—their sound, their purpose, their futuristic, polished look. I was infatuated by these strange, complex, almost entirely self-sufficient sound-reproduction devices, so unlike anything else I'd seen they may as well have been from outer space.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  2 comments

Hegel hosted a few rooms. In this one, the Norway-based company’s setup included its brand-new 150Wpc H190V streaming integrated amplifier with MM phono stage ($4899, projected release: May), a pair of Andrew Jones–designed MoFi Sourcepoint 8 speakers ($4399 with stands)—the model's 8 designation refers to the size of the concentric driver—AudioQuest cabling (various prices), and a MoFi Ultradeck turntable with factory-aligned Mastertracker MM cartridge ($3999), wasn't in use during my visit.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  2 comments

"I could live with a system like this," I thought, as I sat beguiled by what I was hearing and seeing in the room co-hosted by Luna Cables, Thöress, AudioNec, The Wand, and Wattson Audio. At that moment I wasn’t thinking only of the system’s sound quality but also of the artisanal, passionate, old-values aesthetic these companies represent. Certainly those components—those values—were making beautiful music together, music with touch, tactility, air, pure tone, expressive delicacy, vocal purity, solid bass, transparency, and informational fullness.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  1 comments

For a couple of years now at the Montreal Audiofest, Classé Audio and Bowers & Wilkins have been exhibiting together. That’s no surprise considering that both brands are owned (for the moment at least) by the same company, Masimo. (Medical-device manufacturer Masimo may soon be spinning off the former Sound United home–hi-fi brands.)

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 25, 2024  |  0 comments

And now for more from the Montreal show.

You want guts? You want music with explosive dynamics, effortless sonic propulsion, and a bass beat that punches so low and hard it makes you sit up at attention? How about if with all that power came high-level transparency, dimensionality, tonal purity, vocal naturalness, and microdetail?

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 24, 2024  |  7 comments

The first thing I thought when I spied SPL’s component rack was how nifty its gear looked—neither too large nor too small, with faceplates just the right size to accommodate their features with style.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 24, 2024  |  0 comments

After I witnessed the ribbon cutting-ceremony performed by 20 industry under-40-somethings on Friday morning—a symbolic event meant to jointly celebrate the Montreal Audiofest’s 35th edition and the new generation of audio-industry flamekeepers—I hit the rooms closest to my own room, starting with Corby’s Audio. This Toronto-area retailer was showing a spread of audio gear that offered a visually appetizing mix of rich wood tones and sleek metal surfaces.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 24, 2024  |  2 comments

"I'm back, back in the saddle again"—actually, I'm back at the Montreal Audiofest, held March 22–24 at its usual grand locale, the Bonaventure Hotel.

Robert Schryer  |  Dec 22, 2023  |  70 comments
Sometimes I think expensive components—I'll let you decide what constitutes expensive—should come with a big red sticker on the box that reads "WARNING! This product will probably not meet your expectations!" That's because when you spend a lot of money on something, you expect that something to have no flaws and to sound nigh perfect. Why else would you have paid so much? As you gaze at it, touch it, and listen to it, it constantly reassures you that you made the right decision by picking it over all the other, less pricey candidates. It has to be unambiguously better than any component of its nature that has passed through your system, or else, what was the point in all that upgrading?

Prior to this review, I had expectations about the product under review, the Leak Stereo 230 ($1695 with the walnut enclosure), based on, among other factors, price.

Robert Schryer  |  Apr 28, 2023  |  12 comments
I'm picturing a gaggle of cigar-chomping Simaudio execs in an office discussing what to do about the fact that their high-end amplification lines have become so successful that their names have become synonymous with the company. "In the '90s, people thought our company was called Celeste," one floor-pacing exec says, speaking for everyone in the room. "Now they think we're called Moon! How do we fix this?" After much debate, a member shouts: "We add 'by Simaudio' at the end!" The execs hoot, holler, and slap the conference-room table—and thus is born Moon by Simaudio.

A fictional account? Sure, but, as they say in the movies, it's based on a true story.