Toronto Audiofest 2023 Show Report
Westin Hotel Lobby
Kiosk Wynn Audio
Lounge PMA Magazine And
Sutton A Acora Acoustics
Against their now familiar background, the VRC was less sparkly without spotlights on it, though the photo gives a hint of the "metalflake" embedded in the black African granite. The ultra-rigid stone enclosure yields transparency like no other speaker material or design. While the limerence from my first encounter with the VRC has worn off, the music still produced goosebumps and captured my attention — both cognitively and emotionally. It plays as loud and as scales up as well as much larger speakers which means it will not over-power your room or your décor.
Val Cora has a way of pulling together top-notch components for shows and Toronto was no exception. The Dan D'Agostino M400 monoblocks seen above, which put out 400 / 800 / 1600 Watts into 8 / 4 / 2 Ohm loads (respectively), and the balanced HD Preamplifier and Phonostage seen below are exemplary both in performance and design, though I have to say I am strongly drawn to the copper & silver over the copper & black.
The black rack seen under the preamps here and the amps above are also from Acora.
The SAT turntable has also been acknowledged as one of the very best in the world. I didn't notice that Val was fiddling with an optional vacuum hold-down, so I assume it did not have it. That would put the price around $240k USD for the table and arm. A Lyra Atlas Lambda cartridge was used at the show.
So this was a very expensive system and it performed to expectation. If I see it again at Capital this coming week, I am not so hopeful it will sound as good. I have not found the very largest rooms at that venue to sound very good, despite the fine systems presented in them. I hope I am pleasantly surprised.