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Toronto Audiofest 2022 Show Report Fine sounds on the fourth floor.

Toronto Audiofest 2022 Show Report Part 1
Fine sounds on the fourth floor.
Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

  On display off to the side were a variety of Emission Labs tubes and a KR Audio tube box, for those who prefer not to patronize Russia for replacement tubes.

 

 

There were also a couple of interesting tube amps on silent display. First, was an Audion Silver Night PX25 that produces 8 Wpc with a pair of PX25 tubes with zero feedback.

 

 

Next to it was an Audion Qualiton A20i integrated amp that puts out 20 Wpc and has three RCA inputs. It uses a quartet of 5881 tubes, two E88CC/6922, and two ECC83. A sticker on the spec sheet said $7000.

 

 

All told, the Baetis/Coherent room was another very good-sounding room.

Moving on to room 439, an Anthem STR integrated amp that put our 200 Wpc into 8 Ohms (and 550 into 2 Ohms), including a built-in DAC, phono stage, and room correction, was driving a pair of Paradigm floorstanders, likely the top-of-the-line, from their new Founders series. There was way too much talking in this room as there were numerous people attracted by these popular brands. I didn't stay long.

 

 

I felt much more at home in room 441 where Muraudio SP1 speakers ($19,500 USD) in wood veneer finish were driven by Constellation's Inspiration 1.0 entry-level stereo amp ($16k) with very high resolution, easily sorting out Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. These are one of my favorite speakers, though they appreciate a fair amount of power. In recent shows, they've had them in wood veneer, but they are also spectacular in the painted finishes that emphasize their unique contemporary hybrid design that combines di-pole electrostatic blades with dynamic drivers to give a seamless full-range sound.

 

 

George Klissarov of Exasound introduced me to the world premiere of their Delta Music Server Mark II ($2,999 USD), a heavy-duty Roon UPnP server capable of handling DSD 512, PCM 768kHz/32-bit, and DXD. While I'm not into streaming pure music, I was impressed by the fact that they have allowed for the inclusion of YouTube, perhaps my favorite source of entertainment, and also by the exquisite industrial design of the black box unit incorporating mini heat sinks on all four sides.

 

 

Exasound also featured two of their DACS, the stereo S82 Streaming DAC ($6,499 USD) and the S88 Mark II Eight-Channel Streaming DAC ($7,599 USD) which fed the Constellation power amp. While the clean lines of the amp suggest a Swiss origin, it comes from California. It was nice to hear a fine-sounding amp from them that might be within reach of a more common audiophile. With three out of the first four rooms visited so far being of such high quality, I pressed on wondering if the excellence could continue at this level.

 

 

 

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