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TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2016 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) Report
TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2016 Show Report 
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show Part 1
TAVES 2016 Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

 

 

 

  At this point I doubled back down the hall and wandered into the first room that had initially been locked (Nation Imports, 7204). And was I glad it was open for business! The source was a Lyngdorf Audio CD-2 Pure Audio Red Book CD Player. Next, a Lyngdorf Audio TDAI 2170 stereo amp with Room Perfect room correction technology built into it, as well as a Lyngdorf SDA 2400 power amp. The three pieces total about $10,000 CDN, while the integrated amp with room correction alone runs from $4000 to $6000 depending on how it's configured. (HDMI and USB inputs are some options.) The integrated amp has a Class D power section that can be switched off and the unit can be used simply as a preamp with the room correction. The speakers were top-of-the-line stand mounted DALI (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries) Epicon 2 in walnut ($10,000, including the zinc-cast stands) connected with Dali RM230 ST terminated speaker cables with Rhodium connectors.

The room had been locked at the opening bell because Jeff Wells of Nation Imports was running around with an omni-directional microphone setting up the room correction program while the room was still empty. While playing music, he was able to switch back and forth at my request from the "normal" playback to the "room corrected" playback. The results were very impressive, indeed, and easily identifiable. The question remains, which do I prefer? And to answer that I would have to live with the system for a while. Others debate the issue on audio forums, but it was a real treat to be able to experience the application of the Lyngdorf system. Short term, I liked the music both ways. BTW, the unit is available with single ended and a balanced analog input as well. And Jeff assured me that the system works just as well in unusual, asymmetrical rooms. You can explore the options and pricing on the Nation Imports website.

 

 

 

At last year's TAVES show I suggested Frank Fazzalari of Coherent Audio get in touch with Frank of Triode Labs, thinking the fine, low powered tube amps would be a terrific match with the high efficiency Coherent loudspeakers. They've been working together ever since. In fact, Frank of Coherent has begun doing wood chassis sides for Frank of Triode Labs, as seen in the Triode Labs 45 SET monoblocks at the show this year. It is more cost effective to do the wood surrounds than to do a full, folded metal chassis that involves filling the open edges and filing them down as they have done in the past. It is a different look, for sure, but they still use the bright automotive paint on the deck of the amp. I was expecting to see more evidence of the new corporate direction that I mentioned in a previous report with Maple Red, White and Lake Louise Blue to play on their Canadian roots.

No doubt Triode Labs is a craft company with several artisan personalities accommodate so change can be difficult. What has not changed is the quality of their amps and the sound coming from the Coherent Audio Model 15 NEO, except that the combination of these two companies was better than last year's presentation with another amp. Frank of Coherent tells me his Model 12s are selling well in combination with both the 2A3 amp and the 45 SET from Triode Labs. I believe he said they were using the Nordost Heimdall 2 cables and the same Baetis Audio media server coupled to an Audio Note (UK) DAC he has used for several years. Note the clever cable risers he uses with the Nordost ribbon speaker cables. And the fine veneer on the 15" coaxial speakers. I loved the music heard here (7229). Liquid, spacious, and emotionally engaging. I could have camped out in this room all day, except for the call of duty.

 

 

 

In one of the two Summit HiFi rooms (7233, 7235) I heard Dynaudio Excite X38 floorstanders ($5499 CDN) driven very easily by the powerful Emotiva XPA-2 Gen-3, a new version that puts out 300 wpc into 8 Ohms, 490 wpc into 4 Ohms and sells for $1499 CDN. The preamp was an Emotiva XSP-1 Gen-2, which is an all analog differential balanced unit with MM/MC phono built in, as well as analog bass management. The DAC, with separate power supply, was the NuPrime DAC-10 ($1999), capable of handling 384kHz PCM and 256 DSD digital signals. Cables were Kimber Hero with Kimber 8VS speaker cables. I heard a demo of DSD that produced a tight, highly focused sound that would probably appeal more to the Millennials than Gen X, and certainly not very likely the Boomers. At about $11,000 CDN, it was one of the more affordable rooms at the show, however.

 

 

In the other Summit HiFi room I heard the ELAC UB5 stand mounted monitor ($750 CDN) and the Emotiva T-1 Tower with a folded ribbon tweeter that I thought was a good value at $1025 CDN (shipped to your house, I was told) though sharp on the "s"s. The amp was an Emotiva BasX A-300 putting out 150 Wpc into 8 Ohms, 300 Wpc into 4. Preamp was the Emotiva BasX PT-100 at $449 CDN with single ended analog and digital inputs with a MM phono stage and optional Bluetooth. It can also be has as a 50 Wpc integrated amp. The digital source was the Emotiva ERC-3 ($749 CDN) that's called a CD transport, but also has an Analog Devices AD1955 DAC chip in it, making it a CD player. I don't know why we needed to change the terminology from an epistemological point of view, so I guess the manufacturers did it for financial gain. Cables, here, were Kimber Tonik with Emotiva XSS speaker cable.

 

 

In the hall I ran into Simon Au who reminded me I was invited to the staff lunch so I dropped in and ate this entire tray of Mango Mousse. Actually, I only had one cup for dessert. And I was very grateful for the nourishment. Covering audio shows is a lot of fun, but it closely approximates work. I apologize for Part one being so short, but I had technical difficulty after switching from Win 7 to Win 10, and two trade shows in one week took a lot out of me. Things are running smoothly, now, and I should be able to pick up the pace a bit. Keep checking back for lots more to come!

 

I'll have more TAVES 20916 show coverage to post in the coming days. So check back.

 

 

---> Click here for TAVES 2016 Part 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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