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Robert Schryer  |  Oct 19, 2019  |  3 comments
The Acora Acoustics room was another standout. The Canadian company has been building speakers for only a year, but they are on to something with their SRC-1 speaker ($CAD37,995/pair), whose enclosure, as per their marketing literature, is "handcrafted using granite by only the finest artisans in Canada." Sure, they must be a pain to move around, but one could say the same of the amps that were powering them, the cinderblock-shaped Audio Research Ref 10/750Se amps ($CAD95,200/pair).
Robert Schryer  |  Oct 19, 2019  |  7 comments
The Hearken Audio room was showing the sort of gear that indulges my creative impulses. None of it looked boring, or robotically manufactured on an assembly line. Two of the displayed items in particular snagged my focus: the Jean Nantais Ultimate Lenco analog rig ($US17,500), outfitted with a Graham Audio 12" tonearm ($CAD10,335; only arms of 10.5" or more in length can be used) and a Tru-Lift automatic tonearm lifter ($USD275), a Miyajima Labs Saboten L low-output MC cartridge ($CAD6700), and a pair of 102db sensitive Rethm Saadhana speakers ($CAD24,000).
Robert Schryer  |  Oct 19, 2019  |  1 comments
Another system that did a great job at communicating music's gestalt was the one taking pride of place in the Toronto Home of Audiophile Ltd room. The system included a Lumin U1 streamer ($CAD8000), a Mutec Ref 10 Audiophile 10 MHz master clock with MC3+ smart clock/re-clocker/USB interface ($CAD7150 for both), a PS Audio DirectStream DSD DAC ($CAD9500), a Pass Labs XP22 preamp ($CAD14,000), a class-A, 30Wpc Pass Labs XA30.8 stereo amp ($CAD9800), and a pair of GoldenEar Triton One.R speakers ($CAD8000). Completing the system were a DirectStream Power Plant 20 power conditioner ($CAD14,700) and various cables from Gutwire and Siltech.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 19, 2019  |  2 comments
A working musician: singer and flautist Caroline St. Louis (above).
Robert Schryer  |  Oct 19, 2019  |  4 comments
Looking for a simple, sweet-sounding system that's sure to elicit pride of ownership? If so, I'd like to suggest the one I encountered in the room hosted by retailer Vinyl Sound. It starts with a Ken Micallef fave, the Kuzma Stabi S turntable with Stogi arm ($CAD6400 for both), and an Ortofon Cadenza Blue cartridge ($CAD2000).
Robert Schryer  |  Oct 19, 2019  |  10 comments
Having never before seen a pair of Klipsch La Scalas ($CAD15,000/pair) in person, I was pleasantly surprised by their appearance when I saw them in the Kennedy HiFi room. Looking stately, dare I say noble even, with their wide baffles and hardwood enclosures, the Klipsches were coupled to a system that included a Simaudio Moon 393 preamp ($CAD6800), a Moon 330 120Wpc power amp ($CAD4400), and a Pro-Ject 2Xperience turntable ($CAD1700 with arm and cartridge).
Robert Schryer  |  Oct 18, 2019  |  5 comments
More great sound was had in retailer Audio Eden's room, where they were showcasing a system fronted by SME's Synergy all-in-one record player, which includes the SME model 12 turntable, SME lV arm with internal Crystal Cable wiring, an Ortofon Windfeld Ti MC cartridge, and a built-in phono stage made by Nagra ($CAD28,000 total cost)—but no kitchen sink.
Jim Austin  |  Oct 18, 2019  |  1 comments
The first thing I did at the Toronto Audiofest—after eating breakfast and attending some business meetings—was visit the Zesto Audio room, where I was hosted by Zesto Audio President and designer George Counnas. I was eager to hear the just-announced Leto Ultra vacuum tube preamplifier ($9995 US), which features—wait for it—tone controls.
Robert Schryer  |  Oct 18, 2019  |  21 comments
My journalistic objectivity be darned! The Goerner Audio/Grandinote room produced the sort of sound that melts my heart, ravishes my senses, and reminds me of why great hi-fi is worth the money . . .

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