Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest 2019 Show Report
Davone speakers have always had a kind of lifestyle appearance with their Danish modern design, but they usually sound High End. I've admired the brand for more than a decade and the Twist model shown here was no exception driven by a Lyngdorf unit that appeared to be an all-in-one unit. Nations Imports, Room 1314.
I also liked the music coming from the Dali Callisto, an active speaker with a ribbon tweeter, large dome midrange and a pair of woofers seen here. Priced at $7000 for the stand mounted version and $6000 for stand mounted version, they are linked by Wi-Fi to the source hub that is part of the package. A 24-bit/96kHz DAC is built into each speaker along with the bi-amplification. The hub is said to act like a giant remote control with inputs for a variety of sources including streamers and CD players. This is the new wave approach to system building that will likely have greatest appeal for younger audiophiles as well as older ones moving into downsized, de-cluttered lifestyles. Art & Son, Room 1316.
Good sound also came from this Graham Audio LS 5/9 floorstander ($9500 CDN) with adjustable tweeter and downward firing port. It is said to dig 5Hz deeper than the stand mounted version which is a reincarnation of the BBC design. A Gryphon integrated amp powered the speakers. The room was hosted by the effervescent Philip 0'Hanlon of On a Higher Note, Room 1315. Being a West Coast importer, he brought a more modest rig to feature the Graham line which is his most recent acquisition. Much of what he imports is very High End. Perhaps we'll get to see something large at AXPONA 2019 in April.
Outside the door to On A Higher Note on a table were three custom speaker stands with very nice looking wood bases available in a variety of veneers and custom heights. This is how companies get started. Call Soudure PCM at (450) 753-0103. Best of luck!
Heaven 11 makes this Billie hybrid integrated amplifier with tube preamp section driving an ICE power amp stage that delivers 120 Wpc. It appears to also have a built-in phono stage as well as a built-in DAC. ItaiAzerad is the founder and designer of this new venture in Montreal and it looks like this young man is on the right path. I hope he gets some good reviews. Heaven 11, Room 1321.
I had heard the Kii loudspeakers when they first came out some years ago and my memory was of them being much smaller. The presentation here with their bass module appeared much larger and more muscular. The sound was definitely fuller. The color was actually a teal blue, more like the upper right corner in the photo. It is a high end automotive finish that does one of those pearlescent optical tricks. You can special order pretty much any finish you like. The top module with built-in amps is $25,000, same as the base module. DACs and amps are built in to create a minimal technical footprint in a room that presumably places high priority on design. The Gramophone Distribution, Room 1326.
Much more to come!