Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest
2022 Show Report
Continuing on the 1200 Wing of
the First Floor
Art & Son teamed up with On A Higher Note in 1229 where I met up with Philip O'Hanlon with an eclectic rig comprised of the red Bergmann Modi air-bearing turntable with optional Thor air-bearing tonearm with pump and power supply sitting on the floor beside the rack (USD 17k for the package in black), a Melco server, Moon River Audio 404 Reference integrated amplifier, and a Chord Hugo TT DAC, all sitting on a highly adjustable Artesania Audio rack.
The speaker was the Graham Audio Limited Anniversary Edition LS8/1 loudspeaker at USD 9700/pair with stands. The LS8/1 was designed by Derek Hughes, son of the founder, to extend both higher and lower than the traditional BBC speakers while retaining their glorious midrange. The stated rage is 16kHz to 45Hz +/-3dB, but Philip claims it is still audible down into the low 30 Hz when properly positioned in a room. Other Graham stand-mounted models were also on display, including the fabled LS3/5. A very classic, non-fatiguing, and inviting musical presentation was to be found here in a handsome traditional cabinet.
Dire Straits was singing Sultans of Swing when I dropped into this lifestyle rig. With the 4K Hi-Fi Media Player tucked neatly into the credenza, this minimalist approach may be the portal to higher-end music. (Room 1222, sponsored by Motet)
Next door, in 1221, another Motet Distribution room featuring Tri-Art open baffle speakers, the room was so packed with people I elected to move on, but even from what I could hear just standing in the doorway, I sensed this was an important room and vowed to return.
In yet another Motet Distribution room, 1216, co-hosted with Angel City Audio, sounds of Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out LP were coming across nicely on a KLH Model 5 speaker driven by a Zidoo all-in-one, except for the turntable, of course. There was also a Plinius integrated amp powered up, so the actual configuration of the rig was ambiguous. With everyone in the room engaged in conversations here, I decided to move on.
But not before my eye caught the PMC 25th Anniversary Cor integrated amp sitting silently on a table. I grabbed someone who looked like they might have been a host and the best he could tell me was there was another one active in another room somewhere. (I never found it.) But this unit is way cool with buttons for source selection on the left, sliders for balance, treble, and bass, and more buttons for mono, mute, and bypass, plus a headphone jack. Very sleek design, indeed. Research on their website indicates 95 Wpc, class A/B, all analog and remote control, but also 230V. So maybe they were just testing the water here in the land of 120V.
As I left the 1200 hallway and circled around to the elevators to take me down to the conference hall level, I noticed that had added a sauna and hot tub near the pool. Those are mounds of towels in the photo, not snow and ice, though it was rather cool both Saturday and Sunday.