Montreal 2001 Show Goodies!
I was very highly impressed with the Anacrouse loudspeaker, the flagship of the Quatour line, a highly respected French company trying to gain a foothold in North America. This transmission line speaker featured a unique Y shaped port designed to filter out the high frequencies. A Sony SACD player fed a Jeff Rowland integrated amp. Speakers were about $15,000 CD.
The small stand mounted Quatour Mycron, $5,000 CD, is their newest model and also sounded very fine. The sealed cabinet featured a rear facing passive radiator with an unusually thin beak in the center. Single wiring only on this one. It was powered by a Wyetech Topaz 572B amp, delivering 23 wpc, SET, with zero feedback. Wyetech is a very highly regarded Canadian builder who shared the room with Quatour and had most of their tube amplifiers on display.
Cabling was from FIM, another Ontario, Canada, company with
rather expensive cables in two lines: Gold and Silver. What intrigued me was a
very handsome power filter machined out of a block of aluminum, anodized gold,
with an isolator switch (for ground?), and displaying a voltmeter, which read
a very stable 125 volts. They claim that it is too expensive to manufacture
for sale, and only use it for shows. (This is a company that shamelessly
offers gold interconnects for $4,494 CD, so I'm not exactly sure what the
power block might cost). The power block also raised an issue that has
bewildered me for some time. Why have high-end systems shunned voltmeters
until only recently? After all, a voltmeter can give you serious clues as to
why your system does not seem to be performing up to snuff at certain times.
The US companies, McCormack and Vandersteen are practically
synonymous at audio shows. And I have never been terribly impressed with the
sound of the combo until this show. I heard the 2CE Signature powered by the
McCormack DNA-125 amp with much greater focus and control than the plain Model
2 and the earlier McCormack amps. Not a surprise in that these new and
improved models of amp and speaker SHOULD sound better, but a surprise to me
that I really LIKE them now. The fine GamuT CD player ($3995 CD) from Denmark
was the front end and McCormack's remote controlled RLD-1 preamp followed in
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