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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 2
TAVES 2016 Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

  In the third Tri-Cell room I found another turntable, this time a more affordable Acoustic Solid table from Germany. Unfortunately, my notes and additional photos fail to tell me what else was in this room. Clean cup, move down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we come to yet another Tri-Cell room (7137). I've raved about Vivid speakers since they first appeared in North America and their weird shape is finally approaching icon status... at least in my mind. As the drivers and internal technology have evolved, the shape has remained pretty consistent. Every time I see one, I know I'm in for a pretty good listening experience. In this expensive rig the Vivid B1 Decade speakers ($33,500) were driven by Acoustic Arts Mono II monoblocks (300 Wpc, $21,000 per pair) fed from an Acoustic Arts Reference tube hybrid preamp ($13,125) that operates in balanced mode with the Mono II. The front end I heard here was an analog rig costing about $15,000 with an Oracle Delphi VI MKII turntable equipped with an SME tonearm fitted with a Charisma Audio MC-1 moving coil cartridge ($1530 CDN). There was also an upgraded power supply for the turntable. Joan Baez singing "Diamonds and Rust" was riveting with excellent focus, tone and pleasant helping of bloom. The phono stage was a tube EAR 88PB ($8000) with a volume control that allows direct connection to power amplifiers, though I don't know that it was playing in this mode. The digital front end included an EAR Acute 4 DAC ($10,000) and Acute 4 transport ($8,900). Wiring was by Cardas and the power conditioner was a Pure Power ($3250 USD), a brand I'm not familiar with. Clearly, this was one of the Best Rooms at the show. At a side table in this room, I believe, I also saw the new Oracle Origine turntable, complete with the arm shown and an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge at a package price of $2000 USD. Thanks go to Ken Wilson of Tri-Cell for the help, here. Products in this room are available at Executive Stereo in Toronto; Tri-Cell is the distributor.

The phono stage was a tube EAR 88PB ($8000) with a volume control that allows direct connection to power amplifiers, though I don't know that it was playing in this mode. The digital front end included an EAR Acute 4 DAC ($10,000) and Acute 4 transport ($8,900). Wiring was by Cardas and the power conditioner was a Pure Power ($3250 USD), a brand I'm not familiar with. Clearly, this was one of the Best Rooms at the show. At a side table in this room, I believe, I also saw the new Oracle Origine turntable, complete with the arm shown and an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge at a package price of $2000 USD. Thanks go to Ken Wilson of Tri-Cell for the help, here. Products in this room are available at Executive Stereo in Toronto; Tri-Cell is the distributor.

 

    

 

 

 

 

In the final Tri-Cell room (7135) I heard this Audiovector SR 6 Avantgarde (Arette?) with an Air Motion Transformer tweeter and a concealed downward firing subwoofer. With a frequency range of 24Hz to 52kHz, 8 Ohm impedance and 92.5dB/W/m sensitivity, this speaker should be useable with a wide variety of amplifiers, including tubes. These speakers from Denmark are distributed throughout the world, though it is lesser known in the United States. Its founder, Ole Klifoth, received the 1916-1917 Lyd & Billede Award for his work with loudspeakers from 1979 through the present. I met his son, Mads Klifoth, who graciously tipped the speaker so I could see and photograph the downward firing woofer. Another TransRotor turntable graced this room with its Bauhaus styling.

I woke up this morning thinking that Audiovector speakers were really what I thought was Dynaudio speakers and I totally missed the connection with all the Dynaudio speakers I had seen in the past. After searching and checking the Audiovector and Dynavector and Dynaudio websites, I finally have my head screwed on in the right direction this morning. I was in mortal fear that I had made an unforgivable, glaring mistake.

 

 

 

 

In the Sonic Artistry room (7109) at the end of the hall I found very delightful music coming from an unusual conglomeration of components. The very precisely suspended turntable from Audio Union International, a consortium of some of the finest minds in turntable design, was the new Thrax Helix 1, a sort of descendent (or ascendant?) of the Caliburn by Continuum Audio Laboratories pioneered by Dohmann. The table practically floats like a helium balloon and responds with a jiggle to the light touch of a finger. It's based on a Minus K Technology isolation platform and the plinth is designed around the suspension to isolate vibration from the bearing. The power supply is a separate unit. The tonearms are an advanced Schroeder carbon fiber design from Germany while the table is built in Bulgaria. The cartridges were the Reference Two MC ($3820 CDN) and MC-M medium output moving coil ($2400 CDN), both made here in Toronto by Charisma Audio. The table itself is $52,000 CDN and the tonearms are $5200 CDN (9") and $5720 CDN (12") each. Amplification was done with a Devialet integrated model inconspicuously tucked away on a shelf below the turntable. The speakers here were Danish, from Davone Audio that specializes in making speakers endowed with contemporary Scandinavian styling. I've seen some of their work years ago and it was very much in the design vein you see here. They are for the person who is as much concerned about the visual presentation of the speaker as they are of the acoustic presentation. And on both hands they acquit themselves quite well.

The tallest speaker is the Solo, a three-way full-range speaker ($10,000 CDN) which is what I heard. The smaller floorstander is the Tulip, a two-way design with a pair of 6" mid-woofers and a tweeter for $4000. The stand mounted Ray strikes me as mid-century modern. It is a three-way and sells for $7500 CDN. The Mojo is a tabletop omni-directional small lifestyle speaker for $2100 CDN. The only model missing was the flagship, Grand, with a retail price of $20,000. The entire line will be right at home with your Eames Lounge chair ($4000-$6000 for a Herman Miller version, less for an imported knock-off). A GigaWatt six-outlet power conditioner was $9000 CDN and cables were by BIS Cables from Quebec. The Vivat speaker cable was $1444 CDN for 8'pr. And Maestro II power cable was $1200. I noticed Massif Audio Design wood cable risers that were very handsome and in particular, the Codia Acoustic Design four tier Stage 3000 BAB audio rack in Wenge wood finish with black posts ($7155 CDN) similar to the one I reviewed and now is within own reference rig.

 

That's a wrap for Part 2. Keep checking back for lots more coverage in the coming weeks. There are a few more rooms to cover in the Best Western and then I head over to the Sheraton to hit the tables and the big rooms.

 

 

---> Click here for TAVES 2016 Part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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