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Salon Audio Montréal / Audiofest 2023 Show Report

Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest Show Report Part 2
Rick Becker's Montreal Chronicles 2023 Show
Report By Rick Becker


Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest Show Report Part 2 Rick Becker's Montreal Chronicles 2023 Show


The 2300 and 2400 Hallways
Still on the main floor, we take the stairs at the end of the long hall, just past the ducks in the rooftop wilderness, to reach Level 2. Hopefully, you didn't forget to look to the right at the top of the stairs to find room 2326.


Room 2326  Baetis, Coherent Loudspeakers, And Corby's Audio
Frank Fazzalari of Coherent Loudspeakers ushered me into the room from the hallway. I've spoken very highly of his speakers for many years now. The rig was very similar to what was shown at Toronto with the largest speaker with the 18" coaxial driver holding down the ends of the rig along the long wall. One hesitates to call this the "flagship" because all his speakers have sounded wonderful to me over the years. Your choice should be based more on the size of your room, your budget, and your listening habits. Bigger is not always the best and your choice of amplifiers will heavily influence the sound quality with this acoustically efficient line of speakers. Personally, I'd go with single-ended triode (SET) amps.




Frank is fond of using fine veneers and you will notice the veneer of the baffle carries over to the top of his speaker here. The little oval above the 18" coaxial driver is the super-tweeter that acoustically opens up the top end. The edges of the speakers are protected with strips of solid wood inlaid and stained to match the veneers, a welcomed touch of craftsmanship.



The Kuzma Stabi R turntable with a built-in DC motor and non-flexible drive belt was fitted with the new Safir 9 tonearm with a sapphire arm (€20k for tonearm). Cutting-edge tonearms are now in a league of more than $20k USD. There was certainly plenty of resolution coming from this turntable which is machined from a block of solid aluminum. Frank told me that the Kuzma did an outstanding job of digging deep into the bottom end of his speakers and holding it tight. The bass was so natural sounding that I hadn't paid attention to it or expected it to be otherwise.



On the digital frontier, the T+A DAC 200 has received some very favorable press. The 200 series components are nicely scaled down as well as very attractive.



Room 2327  Sam Kury Electronique
I thought it strange that I had no photos from Sam's room but a little searching reminded me it was an impressive home theater presentation featuring the all-new Pioneer 11.4 channel system with their VSX-LX805 receiver with 11 speakers, including three Klipsch Reference Premier subwoofers: RP-1400SW, RP-1200SW, and RP-1000SW.

As the proud owner of a Sony TV with a modest two-channel stereo as my home theater, I was clearly out of my element here, so I moved on.




2328  AudioWise, Inc.
Dan Mance of AudioWise readily admitted this was his first show and the lack of brand banners left me wondering what it was all about.



The small poster gives some clues. Dan is into system optimization with aftermarket products and tweaks.



Above is a Chord DAVE DAC wrapped in what looks like a lead shield.



Dan was eager to talk with people about his service and products. The rig was comprised of admirable products — PMC monitors driven by Acoustic Arts monoblocks, for example. And I believe those were a pair of batteries on the bottom shelf. The rig sounded pretty good, but without being able to compare it without the magic he has instilled, it was difficult to assess the value of what he was offering. Product reviews will likely be the key to his success. And a dive into their website would be in order, too.




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