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Montréal Audiofest 2024 Show Report


Part 7: Montreal Audiofest Chronicles 2024
Time to check out the Lower Level, Outremont, and St. Laurent rooms.
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Show Report By Rick Becker


S5  Audio Group Denmark And Wynn Audio


Wynn Audio recently took on Audio Group Denmark when they introduced their new Axxess series with more affordable prices that didn't compete head-on with his established higher-end lines. The rig here was oriented along the long wall of the room with the trademark Audio Group Denmark banner behind it.



The speakers were the new top-of-the-line in the X-Series, the Borresen X6 ($30k USD). I've seen a couple of the smaller models at previous shows and these have the same sonic signature as the higher-priced Borresen speakers but with a trendier, less expensive cabinet. Efficiency was said to be 88-89dB, so not a difficult load.



On the top shelf was the Axxess Forte 3 ($15k USD) which included an amplifier, preamp, DAC, and headphone amplifier. I thought the chassis was not just unique, but also very classy from the viewpoint of a younger audience. It's from Denmark, after all, where they take design very seriously. With 100 Wpc @ 8 Ohms, this unit had plenty of power to drive the X6 speakers in this room.

Below it was the Ansuz A3 Network Switch ($5k USD). On the bottom shelf was the Ansuz power distribution box ($5400 USD) that does not limit current, as it has no isolation transformer, only filters to keep out the noise.



S6  Sonxplus


Sonxplus appears to be mid-fi oriented with 14 stores throughout mostly Quebec.  They presented a rig with a Cambridge server, Anthem preamp and power amp, driving Paradigm speakers.  I have heard top-end Paradigm speakers sound very good when supported by higher-end electronics, but this rig was closer to entry-level.



S7  JVC / Kenwood


This room was totally into home theater, so again, I didn't enter.



S8  Gershman Acoustics, Cardas Audio, Eon Art, And Oracle Audio Technologies


Last, but definitely not least, I came to the room which has been shared by the winning team of Gershman Acoustics (speakers), Cardas Audio (cables), Eon Art (amplification), and Oracle Audio Technologies (turntables and phono stages).



Identical Eon Art integrated amplifiers, built to extreme standards to withstand maritime use on luxury yachts, also served as monoblocks for the speakers.



The rack, from Solid Muebles, uses plywood shelves that are as thick as they look in the photos. The style here could almost be called Art Deco with the radiused corners.



Jacques Reindeau's Oracle turntable with its recently redesigned tonearm was supported with an Oracle phono stage.



Ofra and Eli Gershman have been celebrating the 30th Anniversary with special 30th Anniversary editions of the Black Swan ($80k USD), presented here in white, and Avant Garde models ($18k USD). I've heard both of these speakers, as well as the Studio XdB monitor ($12k) in this same room with the same rig… always sounding exceptionally fine. It has reached the point where I don't have to visit this room anymore because I know how good it will be.

Sadly, when I visit them in smaller sleeping rooms at US shows, the speakers don't have room to breathe and visitors there don't have a clue how great this gear can sound.



My bags had been packed and in the car since breakfast. I took one last longing look at the pool as I left the Hotel Bonaventure.



A trip around the block and I was headed out across the Champlain Bridge, south to my beloved Adirondack Mountains.



Outside Saranac Lake, I came upon Black Dog Records. I'll have to stop back in the summer.



The full moon was rising and the total solar eclipse was just two weeks away.




Next Up: Best Of Montreal 2024 Blue Note Awards
The Best Rooms at Montreal 2024 will be announced in Part 8, coming soon!




---> Onward to the Montreal Audiofest 2024 Best Rooms And Honorable Mentions. 


---> Back to the Montreal Audiofest 2024 show report homepage.














































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