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Salon Audio Montréal / Audiofest 2023 Show Report

Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest Show Report Part 4
It's Sunday, let's take a look n' listen at the Lower Level.
Report By Rick Becker



Montreal 2  MoFi Distribution And Zidel Marketing
The large Montreal 2 room swallowed up the rig presented by MoFi Distribution. It was a respectable set of components featuring the SourcePoint 10 speaker from Andrew Jones, now offered by Music Direct at $4k USD including the stands. Music Direct is also offering a free 30-day, money-back guarantee, including return shipping.

Atop the equipment rack was a handsome Dr. Feickert Analogue Woodpecker turntable with a unique wood headshell on the tonearm.



The rig included a whest TWO.2 phono stage, HiFi Rose server, and HiFi Rose integrated amp.



There was decent music throughout the large room, but if you had enough money for a room this large, would this be the rig you'd choose? Hopefully, there will be a more appropriate setting at the AXPONA 2023 show.


Montreal 3  Totem Acoustics And La Boutique Techno
Montreal 3 was divided into two spaces by Totem — one for stereo, the other for video.



A modest rig featuring a Yamaha integrated amp fed by a modest turntable was driving the new Bison series speakers including the Monitor (2500$), Tower (3500$), and Twin Tower (4500$), all available in soft white, white oak, and black ash finishes. Others might have heard music streamed through an Aurender streamer. Vince Bruzzese was given the day off on Sunday, but people still flocked into the room. No flashy nameplates or speaker surrounds, just very tasteful designs with a high-quality look that puts you right in the room with the musicians.



Unsurprisingly, the Kin side of the room drew a bigger crowd with a pair of Totem sound bars on display. These have great appeal for those who detest clutter, yet still want that in-the-theater experience. A small subwoofer was helping with the bass.


Montreal 4  Focal Naim America
Montreal 4 and 5 are the two largest rooms, except for St. Laurent 1 which was used for seminars. The Focal Naim group divided the space up for a variety of purposes addressing different customers.



A line of Focal Sopra speakers in different finishes and colors gave people a first-hand look at the variety they offer.



A headphone bar let people sit and listen to the high-quality headphones they offer. I expect it was more crowded on Friday and Saturday. Sunday morning is usually a good time to try different models without having to wait too long for someone to surrender the pair you want to hear next. I took a moment to try the Bathys wireless model with Bluetooth and noise cancellation ($800 USD). I had tried these in Toronto and while I'm not a headphone geek, I was just as impressed this time around. Good sound quality, but not so expensive that you wouldn't wear them while mowing the lawn.



For those seeking an upscale staycation in their backyard, there was this French Riviera system with speakers that looked like stones.



The rig above was nestled into a corner with a curved backdrop that probably proved quite effective when this rig was rotated into play.



I was intrigued by the textured finish on the Focal speaker. Being a French company, Focal is also fashion-forward so it wouldn't surprise me to see more textured surfaces in the near future. It also wouldn't surprise me if it had acoustic benefits as well.



As in the past, they had a large featured system with a formal presentation that I couldn't stick around for. When I hear the music playing, I doubled back and the music, as in years past, was excellent.




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