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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

Tangram wrote: 'Something is not right.'

I was thinking about that too. Toronto has one of the largest transplanted Asian origin populations of any city in the world. Have you ever been to Singapore or Hong Kong and seen the audio shops? Aside from several vendors and shop owners at the show who are of Asian heritage, the show-goers I was passing in the halls were mostly occidental. What does this mean? Are the folks living in Markham going to Montreal? Maybe to the US shows? I know they have expensive systems because their relatives do. Who knows about this?

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Justin Bieber is an arrogant brat from Stratford - so by that logic - are you the same? I don't think you are - and I would not presume that Asian people are more predisposed to going to audio shows than anyone else....and am not certain that on a per capita basis that Asia has more audio shoppes than America. Maybe they do....maybe not.

I get where you are coming from. Example, it seems that culturally there is more support in Qc for audio despite less disposable income vs Ontario - and my sense is different lifestyles/priorities on average in that region make FSI the superior supported show.

I can tell you that this occidental will be going to FSI :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:54 pm 
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weisbe wrote:
Justin Bieber is an arrogant brat from Stratford - so by that logic - are you the same? I don't think you are - and I would not presume that Asian people are more predisposed to going to audio shows than anyone else....and am not certain that on a per capita basis that Asia has more audio shopped than America.


I've been to a 15 story building in Mongkok, a Hong Kong neighborhood, where EVERY floor housed a high end audio store. One building in one neighborhood of Hong Kong. Maybe not on a per capita basis, but how about on a per capita of one percenter basis? Absolutely.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Hi,

weisbe wrote: 'Justin Bieber is an arrogant brat from Stratford - so by that logic - are you the same?'

Yes, certainly, that's it. Mea culpa! I humbly bend my knee before all those with more than 1500 posts.

And now, back to the topic .....

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:31 pm 
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And here I thought I was on topic.....respectfully giving a counter opinion with an example...

I did not claim any superiority because of my posting count. Or do I need to agree with your assessment to gain your respect?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:54 pm 
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Location: Napanee, ON, CA
Am I the only one blown away by the amazing Von Gaylord speakers? Tucked away in the very last ice hut, just them and an unassuming tube amp on the floor, I think they were the best speakers at the show. Astounding, they were. Anybody familiar with this San Francisco outfit? Seems they also have a 200-watt per channel liquid-cooled triode amp on their roster. But those speakers, piano black truncated pyramid stand-mounts with 8 inch fiberglass woofers and 1.5 inch titanium tweeters, they were absolute magic. They could be my last speakers. Already half price at 5 thousand, the guy said I could have them for 3500. If I had that kind of money I would have grabbed them in a heartbeat.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:38 am 
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I told Gershman that they look like his X1 / X2 pyramids. They did sound very good....


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:24 am 
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dc23 wrote:
Am I the only one blown away by the amazing Von Gaylord speakers? Tucked away in the very last ice hut, just them and an unassuming tube amp on the floor, I think they were the best speakers at the show. Astounding, they were. Anybody familiar with this San Francisco outfit? Seems they also have a 200-watt per channel liquid-cooled triode amp on their roster. But those speakers, piano black truncated pyramid stand-mounts with 8 inch fiberglass woofers and 1.5 inch titanium tweeters, they were absolute magic. They could be my last speakers. Already half price at 5 thousand, the guy said I could have them for 3500. If I had that kind of money I would have grabbed them in a heartbeat.



Due to the nature of the construction of those spaces, the resonance in them made it so there was only one (more or less) perfect spot for speakers, in order to avoid overt problems. Those speakers were located in that given spot.

Across the space, in our shared space, the Angel City speakers were also in that same 'spot' in the given room. At least one other room also had that spot in use, as well...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:30 am 
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Hi,

Teo Audio wrote:'Due to the nature of the construction of those spaces, the resonance in them made it so there was only one (more or less) perfect spot for speakers,'

I concur. The' ice huts' were really a challenge for effective set-ups. But actually I think there were two sweet spots. One was directly across from the ice huts entry doorways, which most rooms tried to optimize, with varying degrees of success. This meant the rear of the speakers were facing the 'shorter wall' (using the word wall very loosely), and in that position they were more visible from the doorway. The other option was to place them with their backs facing the 'longer wall' thus twisting the listening spots 90 degrees. However, this meant the speakers so placed could not be pulled into the room very far and so large systems wouldn't be happy at all. Not many went in the second direction. Gilbert Yeung of Blue Circle and George Taylor of Entracte Audio set up their smaller Spendor S3/1R and Blue Circle 002i combo up against the long wall of their ice hut and it certainly worked out well.

Note to dc23. The ice hut with the Van Gaylord speakers was the first one I sat down in, for quite a while actually, in the Main Pavilion. I thought the room was clean and uncluttered and well set up and ditto for the sound. After a while I started to have a few doubts but I think these are tied really to my own preferences and biases. The speakers, to me, have a slightly heavy colouration that adds extra body to everything. It is like Port when compared to Sherry, or a cello compared to a viola. I had an amp once, an Audio Note OTO, that did the same thing, and eventually it was replaced. But all speakers have colourations which please some and turn off others. For $3500 as a show special, if they excited you then they are a bargain. So call the guy up - he is probably crashed in a hotel room.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:21 am 
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Posts: 204
Location: Thornhill, ON, CA
Here is my list of favourites with pictures:

Attachment:
File comment: Penaudio Speakers from Finland
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TIDAL speakers ($60,000) driven by Karan amps. Absolutely phenomenal sound, never knew that Oscar Peterson sounded so good!

Attachment:
File comment: NEAT speakers
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PMC + Hegel = surreal clarity and room filling sound.

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File comment: Coherent Audio
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Monitor Audio Silver 500 ($3,300) + Roksan K3. I could not believe that the speakers were only $3K. The combo sounded very musical.

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File comment: Acapella
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Von Gaylord - if you like that "velvety" sound of tubes this system is for you. However, I don't think they are a good choice for rock.

Attachment:
File comment: JBL
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Eli Gershman's new creation - money-no-object speaker - Posh (US $129,000). The sound was a little harsh on Friday, but much better on Saturday. Must say that these are very good sounding speakers, maybe too good :D to be a home speaker.

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File comment: Audiovector
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Focal Sopra #3 - they sounded very good but not very exciting as I expected them to be.

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Penaudio Speakers from Finland - very interesting sounding speakers that cost $$$$ (don't remember the exact numbers)

Also, there were Audiovector speakers from Denmark that I liked a lot.

The overall impression of the show was that it became "cheap" e.g. listening to hi fi speakers in a padded MDF shack is like drinking a fine wine from a plastic glass. A lot of background noise and a lot of non-audio products also contributed to disappointment.

-- 16 Oct 2017 16:33 --

More pics from the show:

Attachment:
File comment: NEAT speakers
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Very good performer!!! Unbelievable sound from this little guys. The tweeters sounded a little harsh on Friday but much better on Saturday.

Attachment:
File comment: Coherent Audio
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37421571320_3a43245f0a_k.jpg [ 351.61 KiB | Viewed 2098 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Acapella
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23826972888_5e09beb53a_k.jpg [ 302.77 KiB | Viewed 2098 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: JBL
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37647012032_aabb7fcfa1_k.jpg [ 373.34 KiB | Viewed 2098 times ]

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File comment: Audiovector
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37647386922_39f5768afc_k.jpg [ 309.78 KiB | Viewed 2098 times ]

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Attachments:
File comment: Focal Sopra #3
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File comment: Gershman Acoustics Posh speakers ($129,000)
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File comment: Von Gaylord speakers + tube amps
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37680201711_e3167b9fa9_k.jpg [ 380.17 KiB | Viewed 2112 times ]
File comment: Monitor Audio Silver 500 ($3,300) + Roksan K3
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37680201721_629091cd71_k.jpg [ 416.34 KiB | Viewed 2112 times ]
File comment: PMC driven by Hegel
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37421895740_628317271c_k.jpg [ 351.32 KiB | Viewed 2112 times ]
File comment: Tidal speakers driven by Karan amps
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Roon > UltraRendu > Musical Paradise DAC (MP-D2) > Accuphase ASLC XLR cables > Accuphase E-470 Integrated > Focal Electra 1038 BE II
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:41 am 
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Location: Eagle Lake, ON, CA
Hello all. I am a senior citizen who enjoys CAM but confesses to knowing very little about high end audio. I dipped my toe in the water around 1979 with about a $4,000 purchase of equipment from Brack Electronics which used to have a store in downtown Toronto. In the ensuing years I did not have a lot of time for audio. Now that I am retired I have been returning to listening to 2 channel audio. This means I have spent a lot of time listening to vinyl and some CD's. This listening has made me think that perhaps I should upgrade my equipment. Talking to people in the business and following the wonderful commentary on CAM left me a bit confused on whether I should do something or not. A solution came to me when an industry professional told me about Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver. He had exhibited there. I had never been to an audio show but decided to visit RMAF and TAVES in back to back weekends.

I spent 3 days at RMAF and 3 hours at TAVES. At TAVES I spotted 4 exhibitors that I had met at RMAF. What did I learn? Actually quite a lot.

At RMAF the exhibitors had many challenges with the rooms. Neat Audio for example told me that they were happier with the TAVES location than the room they had in Denver. I felt that their XPLORER model sounded more musical than it did in Denver. I also think it is the best speaker I heard that would fit the space I have for music i.e. 10 x 20 feet. I think it is similar in ability to the Tetra speakers. I think pricing of these speakers will be critical to their success in the market. They are looking at about $6,000 in Canada and $5,500 in the USA. I don't see the younger generation having the money to buy at that price level. For me as an older person the situation is one of why would I spend that kind of money when I can get excellent used speakers on CAM for a couple of thousand? The Allan Jones speakers sold by Pioneer I think is a bit of a watershed experience for the industry. Secondly at RMAF they had rooms that showed systems for price points ranging from $500 to $5,000. These rooms were an eye opener for me and in the $5,000 room they had speakers that I thought were very good. ($1,800)

At both TAVES and RMAF I was perplexed by some of the music choices of the exhibitors. Quite a few of the ones I visited played music that in my view did not show the sonic capabilities of their equipment at it's best. In some cases the volume level and the pounding bass caused me to move on.

The best musical sound I have heard came via a Mystique v3 DAC from mojo-audio. It was helped by $3,000 headphones and a $14,000 tube amp. It was red book CD's and the detailing was amazing. It was my choice on what was played.

At TAVES and RMAF my observation is that for the younger generation headphones is where the action is. CANJAM in Denver was very busy and there were some magnificent headsets for them to listen to. With Paul Barton designing headphones I think that is a signal of some sorts. He did a seminar on the subject at 2017 RMAF and I believe in 2015. Both are available on the RMAF You Tube channel.

Lincoln Chen introduced us to CD's made of glass. He brought it up at the seminar on technology at RMAF. Cost is $1,500 per CD and those how have heard these CD's claimed they are sonic marvels. I missed the demonstrations. These RMAF seminars are in general very informative. For those of you into tubes you may like the Bob Carver presentation on tube technology. His $18,000 speakers produce terrific sound but are a bit too tall for my liking.

After my travels I am fairly clear on what suits my tastes in the audio market. My only immediate purchase will be a turntable automatic tonearm lifter from Integrityhifi of London, Ontario. I thought there products would work very nicely on my 2 non automatic turntables.

As for TAVES it was an enormous space to fill. Perhaps the expectations were too high about what could be provided for the exhibitors? As I mentioned above there were equally challenging conditions at RMAF. Focal told me that it was Sunday before they got one of their rooms functioning quite well at RMAF. They had 3 rooms. At another room (RMAF) the exhibitors closed it for 20 minutes so that they could re configure the equipment in order to improve the sound.

Many thanks to those who uploaded pictures from TAVES.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:53 am 
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Hi Again,

Just rounding out the thread with a last remark or two as I just looked over my notes again from the show. Leaving aside the mega-buck, mega sized systems that few will buy or can afford, I have a few other thoughts. The Keros International room had the Monitor Audio Silver system playing with Roksan amps and it was, my notes say, 'very musical'.

The Hegel dedicated room was a mixed blessing. They were alternating speakers, at the distributor's request, and the entry level Polish Pylon pair were, frankly, unlistenable. Totem was there in spades, occupying a beautifully appointed show room with lots of happy visitors, but, alas, I am not a fan. The Bryston room was huge and well attended, but offered no special magic for me. The Audio One room was B & W country, but the stand mounts they were running were very brassy. And so on.

Which brings up an issue. When you drop into a room, you get to hear only a slice of the available jewelry and sometimes it makes sense to circle back a couple of hours later when an entirely different system may be set up and holding forth. Lots of variations in our perceived reactions to 'rooms' is not really the branded room but the system du jour that is playing. Sometimes you get lucky.

Montreal for sure in 2018.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Hi

plmcnja wrote" 'At RMAF the exhibitors had many challenges with the rooms. Neat Audio for example told me that they were happier with the TAVES location than the room they had in Denver. I felt that their XPLORER model sounded more musical than it did in Denver.'

Now that is interesting. Here is what I heard in the NEAT room at TAVES. When I first arrived they had those two little unusual design floorstanders, the iota Alpha and the Xplorer side by side and the Alphas were playing. Like many others I was shocked at how good they seemed and only 17" tall to boot. After a few cuts they switched to the Xplorers. I had a similar reaction, although I noticed right away that the image had less specificity. Anyway I left the room thinking they were on to something.

Several hours later I navigated back and as they were not busy I asked them to reconnect the little iota Alphas. Then we played some Joni Mitchell. Two things struck me. First, the Alphas, with the magnetic planar tweeter and that little mid-bass driver set side by side did indeed image more accurately. Those two little drivers seemed to act more like the ' ideal point source' that small boxes seek to emulate. Secondly, the bass was not as controlled or as cohesive as the bass lines coming from the Xplorer, which benefits from a Isobaric bass enclosure design that couples two bass drivers together like a piston. The bass lines were more omnidirectional. I thanked them and again left thinking; there is something happening there.

Anyway, then I looked up the reviews. Stereophile loved the Alphas, at least the reviewer did, except when John Atkinson tested them he was pretty grumpy. Herb Reichart got a hold of a pair and had mixed feelings. NEAT is one of the few companies that designs 'by ear' and leaves measurement races to others. But the little Alphasdo have a pronounced presence peak right at about 100 HZ and this gives them that large omnidirectional bass feel that fills the room. But, that aside, I still like them. They are not my style of speaker; I need more image specificity and emotional flow, but these are still early days for this design.

At $2500 a pair the Alphas will do things in a 10X20 room that could be pretty magical and I expect for background listening they might be terrific. The Xplorer at potentially $6K Canadian will have some very stiff competition and needs a larger room. The Dayton air motion transformer used as a tweeter in the Xplorer has a wider dispersion pattern but this produces less image specificity. I would love to hear the Xplorer using the ribbon tweeter in the Alpha.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:40 am 
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Hi all,

I definitely have mixed feelings about this year as well. Wasn't a fan of the layout. Really wish they would switch the location back to downtown. Montreal is on my radar next - haven't been, but would be interested in checking it out.

Side note: Does anyone happen to know who made the audio diffuser system in the Audio By Mark Jones room?

(Photo credit to @yrogins - borrowed from comment)


Attachments:
File comment: IMO this room had excellent clarity and imaging and would really like more info on the audio diffusers behind the gear.
37008999733_20d08c42db_k.jpg
37008999733_20d08c42db_k.jpg [ 40.98 KiB | Viewed 1825 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:17 am 
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Hi_Fi416 wrote:
Hi all,

I definitely have mixed feelings about this year as well. Wasn't a fan of the layout. Really wish they would switch the location back to downtown. Montreal is on my radar next - haven't been, but would be interested in checking it out.

Side note: Does anyone happen to know who made the audio diffuser system in the Audio By Mark Jones room?

(Photo credit to @yrogins - borrowed from comment)


I'm not sure who made the diffuser, but here's Mark's email: info@audiobymarkjones.ca
b

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