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TAVES 2012 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) Report Coverage
TAVES 2012 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) Report
Part 2 Report By Rick Becker

Out in the hall we ran into my friend Ernie Fisher, editor of The Inner Ear magazine, who immediately put his move on Linda, as seen in the photo. Ernie was looking healthier and happier than I have ever seen him, and for good reason his room was one of the Best Rooms at the show, comprised of gear that currently resides as his reference system at home. There was a Bryston BDP-1 Digital Player combined with a BDA-1 D/A converter which I did not hear. Music was coming from an Origin Live Calypso turntable into an Allnic H-1201 phono stage into an Allnic L-3000 preamp feeding a Tenor 175S stereo power amplifier. The Reev Designs Aatma monitors ($7000) on stands were connected with a prototype Siltech Purple Reign cables. I had not been terribly impressed with the Aatma speakers last year when they were driven by Bryston electronics, but they were quite impressive driven by the high end tube gear in Ernie's rig. It goes to show how important system matching, cables and tweaking can be in a system, and Ernie is clearly a master at the game. The monitors were sitting on Primacoustic metal plates on foam about 2" thick on top of metal speaker stands. While the arrangement of the stand was not as elegant as the intriguing speakers themselves, it sure was effective, as was the music Stevie Ray Vaughan on Couldn't Stand the Weather LP. Ernie also knows all the right music to play.

 

Simplifi Audio has been hard at work at shows over the past few years promoting their DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core automatic room correction technology and again at this show, they were offering show specials. I was able to get a reasonable photo of the "before" and "after" curves in the hotel room of a couple of the systems they were playing (See photos the red curve is the "before"). The unit slides into your rig between the pre and power amps and after measuring the room with a computer program that comes on a CD-ROM, it makes the frequency adjustments in the digital domain. Simplifi also distributes the Gradient speakers that I've written about before, but this time I heard the DLS line of lifestyle speakers from Sweden that come in gloss black or white. At only 4" thick, they hang on the wall and come in a variety of sizes of two-way bass reflex models ranging from $199 to $499 each. Active subwoofers, including two wall mount models ($799 and $899) are available for surround sound applications. Bundled package deals are also offered. These were very decent sounding, indeed, and offered the flexibility of "take them with you" when you change residencies.

 

Primacoustic, as mentioned in The Inner Ear room above and Kimber Kable sponsored a two room suite that offered some premium products and utilized their room tuning panels. In one room Oracle Acoustics combined with System-Audio speakers. The equipment racks held both the Oracle top line turntable and CD player as well as their relatively new Paris line which is basically high-end audio in a lifestyle chassis with either gloss black, gloss red or gloss silver perhaps even other colors on demand. I really love the minimalist contemporary lines with the dipped right front corner on the chassis. The innards of the CD player and DAC can be special ordered to accommodate your ear or your wallet.

 

In the other room of the Primacoustic suite was a less expensive looking pair of System-Audio speakers from their Mantra series ($4500 and several months away). They were driven by a rig comprised of a Marantz 1153 SACD player feeding a Parasound JC-2 preamplifier driving JC-1 monoblocks. A Torus power conditioner cleansed the electricity. Both of these rooms had respectable presentations. A head-banger cranked up Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms and I started to get a blister on my ear lobe so I headed for the next room.

 

Tri-Cell Enterprises had a bevy of rooms at the end of the hallway, all great sounding. An Acoustic Arts CD player with a stand-alone DAC with both USB and coaxial digital inputs built in a single chassis combined with a solid state integrated amplifier. Both units are from the ES entry level series of this fine German company. The CD player has an exceptionally well built tray and transport as well as multiple power supplies for digital and analog circuitry. The DAC upsamples to 24/192 and allows you to play a variety of different file formats. The amplifier is available with an optional mm/mc phono stage. I noticed Harmonic Resolution Systems damping blocks on both pieces as well as the speakers. The tall Chario Ursa Majorloud speakers with beautiful solid cherry sides were $12,000 or $10,000 in gloss black or gloss white. They come from Italy as you might expect from looking at them and they are a four-way design with 91dB/W/m efficiency and 4 Ohm impedance. Not only did they sound very good in this system but they would be suitable for much finer electronics and the finest homes. Might I suggest the Unison Research Sinfonia integrated tube amplifier, also from Italy? Gorgeous.

 

---> Click here for Part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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