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

Toronto Audiofest 2022 Show Report Part 2
Thirst for more on the third floor.
Show Report By Rick Becker



  Moving on to room 343, a Bowers & Wilkins 803 D4 floorstander was nicely paired with Classé's Delta preamp and stereo power amp with very cool meters and distinctive styling. There is also a monoblock version of the power amp. Power management in the form of their Antigone power conditioner and cables was supplied by DR Acoustics who also supplies the power cables that come packaged with the Classé gear.



Sound United LLC is the parent company of the brands in this and the two previous rooms (aside from DR Acoustics), so this cluster of components makes sense in that way.




Wihin room 345 the B&W 703 S3 floorstander was teamed up with a Marantz 30-series integrated amp and Networked SACD / CD player, sounding very decent at what might be considered entry-level for the high end. The similar-looking Marantz 40 integrated amp was so popular it was out of stock during the summer. I believe the 30 series is the next higher line.




Next door in room 346 on the corner was the Audio Note rig which was an all-Audio Note (save the laptop) and Vincent Belanger's cello. Turntables always catch my eye and I noted the three-motor design of this particular one. Audio Note is one of the few speakers designed to be set up in the corner of a small or moderate-sized room. The music in the Audio Note room is always warm and inviting and the equipment is both classic and unchanging in its styling. Quality goes up through several ranges which increase in price commensurately. Vincent had stepped out of the room for a moment, but I caught up with him on my sweep at the end of the day on Sunday.



The retailer Erikson Consumer Home next door in 347 where Mission 700 speakers ($2500, stands included), a two-way ported design with a 6.5" mid-woofer was sounding off in a noisy room. An Audiolab Omnia all-in-one with CD player, DAC, wireless streaming, and headphone amp all for $2799 seemed like a good entry-level product designed and engineered in the UK but probably manufactured in the Far East. A sometimes very necessary Audiolab DC Block to remove DC traveling on your AC lines was $199. It's one of those items you don't know you need... until you do.

An Audiolab 6000CDT dedicated transport ($769) might also be necessary if you one day re-discover your CD collection. A matching 6000A Play ($1869) is their wireless streaming player/integrated amp. On the floor in front of the table was a miniature subwoofer — a Velodyne Microvee X with a not-so-miniature price of $2299. On the end of the table was the new Dual CS618Q manual, direct drive turntable with auto-shut-off and a built-in phono stage (which can be bypassed).

And do you remember turntables with dust covers? They came in very handy when I was a young man who didn't care much for vacuuming. I was told both the Dual and Thorens turntables are designed in Germany and manufactured in Taiwan. And not to be outdone, it also features 78 rpm playback. Prices range from $1399 to $1599 depending on finish and they all come with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.



My host, whose name I unfortunately missed, told me of a gentleman in Ottawa, John Thompson, president of The Record Center on Wellington Street, who is an expert in vintage turntable repair and parts. If you're rehabbing an old turntable and get in a bind for a missing part, you might want to look him up. Write this down right now before you forget about it.




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