SSI 2014

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Robert Deutsch  |  Mar 31, 2014  |  0 comments
Evolution Audio's Saxe Brickenden was equally pleased with his award—even though his name on the award statuette was mis-spelled. "I've seen my name mis-spelled so many ways over the years that I'm used to it."
Art Dudley  |  Mar 31, 2014  |  0 comments
Here's the Devialet line on static display: the D-110 ($6495), the D-170 ($9495), and the D-240 ($17,495).
Art Dudley  |  Mar 31, 2014  |  0 comments
Montreal dealer Filtronique Son-Or brought to SSI a system built around Magico's floorstanding S3 loudspeaker ($22,500), with a digital source in the form of the dCS Puccini CD player/D/A converter (ca $25,000) and amplification by Ayre Acoustics. The latter consisted of the Ayre KXR 20 line-level preamp ($27,500) and the newer-than-new, long-anticipated Ayre MXR 20 mono amplifiers (price to be determined).
Art Dudley  |  Mar 31, 2014  |  0 comments
At the GTT Audio room, turntable designer Louis Desjardins introduced a more affordable alternative to the original Kronos turntable: the Kronos Sparta ($21,000, plus an additional $6500 for the companion Helena tonearm).
Art Dudley  |  Mar 31, 2014  |  0 comments
Also on static display at Audio Pathways: the revivified Aragon stereo power amp ($5500).
Robert Deutsch  |  Mar 31, 2014  |  0 comments
Nordost provided the lanyards for the all badges (attendees, exhibitors, and press), with the Nordost name prominently displayed, and to the casual observer it might have seemed that everyone at SSI 2014 worked for Nordost! Not so, but Nordost cables were in a number of systems, and Nordost did brisk business at their booth selling cables and other accessories at a show discount.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  0 comments
Manley tube electronics—the same 300B preamplifier plus a pair of Snapper amps—were used in another Acoustique Technologies room, where they drove a pair of Nola Metro Grand Reference III loudspeakers ($30,900), with the Meitner MA-1 D/A converter ($7000) as a source. I'm sorry to say the Nolas proved impossible to photograph in the back-lit but otherwise dark and very crowded room. And the excessive volume level—and consequently harsh trebles—discouraged me from lingering.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  0 comments
Heard at one of the three SSI rooms sponsored by Montreal dealer Coup de Foudre was this serene-looking record player by Clearaudio, comprising the company's Concept Wood Edition turntable, Satisfy Carbon tonearm, and Performer V2 moving-magnet phono cartridge. Sold as a package for $2200, the Clearaudio player sounded open and engaging in a system including a Unico Primo integrated amplifier with built-in phono stage ($2450), Opera Grand Mezza loudspeakers ($2800/pair), and cabling by Transparent Audio.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  0 comments
I have found that, under show conditions, some of the sweetest sounds often come from the smallest systems; so it was in the room sponsored by distributor VMAX, where a Hegel H80 integrated amplifier with onboard D/A and five digital inputs, including USB ($2000) drove a lovely pair of Triangle 30th Anniversary Comete loudspeakers ($1800/pair), with a Hegel CDP-2A CD player ($2600) used as a transport.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  0 comments
Here's a closer look at that Woodpecker.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  1 comments
Dollar for dollar, the TD-M1 wireless loudspeaker system from Eclipse ($1300/pair) was among the most impressive products I heard at SSI. Imported by the American distributor On a Higher Note and displayed at the show by Coup de Foudre, the self-powered TD-M1 system, which includes a built-in digital-to-analog converter, combined Quad-like detail and transparency with exceptional levels of presence and substance. Notably, the system retained those qualities even at very low listening levels.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  0 comments
Ontario-based Kevro International, which distributes Monitor Audio loudspeakers and British-built Cyrus electronics in the US and Canada, demonstrated a system using a pair of Monitor Silver 10 loudspeakers ($2700/pair in gloss finish) and a stack of Cyrus amplification and digital components (total price approximately $12,000). Apart from lacking a bit of bass weight—surprisingly, given the speakers' size and the sheer amount of bass-driver real estate), the sound was smooth, spacious, and open, with very good melodic flow and momentum.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  1 comments
In one of three rooms sponsored by the dealer Acoustique Technologies, Marten Getz 2 loudspeakers ($23,000/pair) were driven by a pair of Manley 250 "Neo-Classic Design" mono amplifiers ($13,750/pair), in turn driven by a Manley "Neo-Classic Design" 300B preamplifier ($6500) and fed by a Feickert Woodpecker turntable/tonearm combination ($6090) with Dynavector XX2 cartridge ($2150).
Art Dudley  |  Mar 30, 2014  |  0 comments
When I return home from Montreal I'll be able to tell my 16-year-old daughter, truthfully, that I listened to Lorde's "The Royals" on a very good system, the value of which rivals the expected cost of her first two years of college. Included in this Coup de Foudre-sponsored system were a Luxman DA-06 D/A converter ($5000), Luxman C 900 preamp ($19,000), the big Luxman M 900 stereo amp ($19,000), and Vivid Giya G3 loudspeakers ($40,000), used with Cardas cables.
Robert Deutsch  |  Mar 29, 2014  |  0 comments
One of the not-so-secret principles audio design is that no matter how good the design of the basic circuitry, the ultimate sound quality will be a major function of the power supply. Simaudio has taken this to heart with a new product that builds on the already-excellent power supplies of the Moon Evolution series. The new 820S ($8000), pictured here, can serve as power supply for any two products in the Evolution series, providing separate power supplies for digital and analog components.

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