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TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) Report
TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Show Report
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show Part 1
Report By Rick Becker


The big news in the Audio Oasis (Audio Zone) room (7208) was the new TEAC UD-503 DAC / preamp / headphone amp ($1800) that uses an AMD chip that offers the highest DSD sampling rate of 11.2. Note the special footers, here. The monoblock Zamp D1 amplifiers are being re-styled and will be out in January. They were driving a Nola Contender floor-standing speaker ($3800 in standard form) that was really a one-off version with the S2 treatment with Mundorf silver capacitors and hand wound coils in the upgraded crossover. George Tordai told me their real passion is refurbishing old equipment and his business card suggests they are knowledgeable of old tube gear. This reminds me of an episode this summer when my friend Tom shopped around for a vintage Pioneer tuner on eBay and I became tangentially involved. There is a whole other subculture that thrives on vintage gear in the audio world. Their shop is down on Queen Street in E. Toronto if you care to investigate it.


Knut Skogrand of Norway produces elegant high-end audio Skogrand Cables for the luxury market in Norway. His room was dimly lit with shimmering red drapery lining the walls and spotlights on the cables. This was the World Premiere for their ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition speakers with internal Skogrand SCIW Beethoven wiring $35,000 USD speakers. A display board showed the cabling used in a single speaker. The finish on the speakers, which are made in Denver, was custom hand painted and finished with a gloss topcoat that was visually quite stunning with creative use of lighting.

I truly did enjoy this room immensely and stayed here for hours while they played vinyl. Skogrand's ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition speakers, a world debut, are a thoroughly upgraded version of the ACA Seraphim speakers. The ACA Seraphim SE (Skogrand Edition) is a three-way loudspeaker using a pair of 16.5cm cone woofers, a 16.5cm cone midrange, and a special 29mm soft-dome tweeter that is slightly horn-loaded. The tweeter and midrange are each mounted in separate isolated and sealed enclosures to ensure no unwanted interaction to deliver top-quality performance. The two woofers operate together in a separate ported enclosure using a large flared port to minimize port velocity and "chuffing".

Both the woofer and midrange have unusually large magnet structures for improved sensitivity and good efficiency. The tweeter employs radially arranged Neodymium magnets to improve cooling and to reduce turbulence behind the dome. The Seraphim SE crossover is redesigned for the Seraphim SE and is constructed of premium parts, including all foil and round-wire air-core inductors, metallized-film and waxed-paper and foil type capacitors, and non-inductive wire-wound resistors. All components are soldered employing silver-content solder for maximum conductivity. The crossover slopes were all selected to best work with the chosen drivers, optimizing their individual response characteristics and blending with the adjacent drivers.



Naturally all wiring within the Seraphim SE is Skogrand Cable's SCIW Beethoven, which is their premium hand crafted solid-core 1.00 air-dielectric OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) product. Wire gauges were carefully selected to minimize skin-effect while maintaining the outstanding dynamic performance of the loudspeaker. Gold-plated copper connectors are used at the drivers and crossover. WBT's gold-plated 0705Cu NextGen binding posts round out this impressive design.

As for the enclosure, Skogrand's Seraphim SE is constructed of 25mm MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and employs multiple layers and extensive bracing to improve rigidity and reduce vibration. Baffles and ledges are employed in the base enclosure to reduce "pipe-organ" standing waves. The interior of the enclosure also employs damping pads and other multi-layer vibration control materials in order to minimize enclosure "voicing'. It seems that every detail has been carefully considered as the drivers, base, and terminal plate are all mounted with Allen-head machine screws rather than regular wood screws in order to preclude loosening and minimize stripping. All edges of the enclosure are rounded to minimize undesirable cabinet diffractions and the resulting response variations. Finally the Soundcare Superspikes adds to the elevated performance of the ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition speakers.



The supporting cast of the system was supplied by American Sound of Canada, a local retailer right nearby on Younge Street in Richmond Hill. It included a Venture V120S solid state power amp, VAC Signature 11A tube preamp ($26,000), Sutherland Duo Phono stage ($5,200), Esoteric K-03X CD/SACD/USB player ($22,000) as well as the very expensive Skogrand cables dressed in silk sleeves. Triangle Art supplied a gorgeous Symphony SE turntable and Massif Audio Design provided a pair of very well built, heavy duty custom equipment racks, about which I will have more to say later.



---> TAVES show report part 2 by Rick Becker.












































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