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Montréal Audiofest 2024 Show Report


Part 4: Montreal Audiofest Chronicles 2024
Many wonderful surprises within the 2400 Hallway.
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Show Report By Rick Becker


Part 4: Montreal Audiofest Chronicles 2024 Many wonderful surprises within the 2400 Hallway. Montreal Audiofest 2024 Show Report By Rick Becker


Room 2401  Erikson Consumer
It was a delight to enter the Erikson Consumer room to find JBL L100 Classic Mk II speakers ($3400 each) playing. They were driven by a rig comprised of JBL components including a streamer, CD player, and integrated amp. It sounded decent with the JBL components, but the components were entry-level to the high end at best and priced in mid-fi territory which is the fertile ground for Erikson Consumer. And I'm glad to see them at the show because they are a solid stepping stone to the higher-priced gear at the show. No shame in that. Even this level was way above my head when I was a young man.



That said, a year or two (or more?) I heard the original reissue version of these speakers played in the lower level of this show driven by much more expensive electronics. The experience was emotionally very moving and the sound quality was considerably higher. If you're lucky enough to own these speakers, consider upgrading the wiring and the components in your system long before you let the speakers go. You might even consider hanging onto them for special occasions to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. Except in this case, the nostalgia trip will be better than the 'good old days'.



2404  Erikson Consumer


In the next room, Erikson went much higher end with the electronics, featuring a Chord integrated amp, Chord DAC and M-scaler, and a streamer on the right-hand rack. On the left, with a turntable on top, was a rack full of Cyrus scaled-down components that belie their size when it comes to sound quality. The inner set of speakers was Mission 770 and I didn't catch the name of the floorstanders. The rigs were wired with Atlas Cables.



2405  Hegel Canada


The first Hegel Canada room, once I was able to squeeze into it, was notable for the 'tent-within-the-room' featuring snow-covered mountains along the wall – presumably from Norway where Hegel is made. The stand-mounted MoFi Sourcepoint 8 speaker ($4400 w/stands) by Andrew Jones may well have been the big draw here. It was certainly an appropriate size speaker for the room. Hegel kept it simple with their H190V integrated amp ($4900 in black or white) that puts out 150 Wpc. The sheet suggests it will be available in May in your choice of black or white. That was a MoFi Ultradeck + M turntable with mm pickup ($4k). The cabling was by Audioquest. I should also mention here that MoFi has a Special Promotion on the Sourcepoint 8 running through May 15th with the speakers offered at $3299.

This room is a good example of simple, if not quite minimal, rigs being presented at shows. (It's difficult to be minimal when you have a turntable.) It seems to draw crowds. It looked like there was going to be more talk than music in this room, and since I didn't have a seat, I moved on.



2407  Hegel Canada


Next door, Hegel was all show and tell with a variety of their full range of products on display along with a knowledgeable representative. They now list five integrated amps, two preamps, five power amps, their Viking CD player ($6k), and an MM/MC phono stage ($1800). No mention of sonar for detecting Russian subs in the North Sea or Arctic. Having a room like this for talking and the previous room for listening is the way to go if a company can swing it. In the past, they have taken a larger suite and tried to do both in the same room which was not nearly as effective... at least from a visitor's point of view.



2410  Kanto Audio


The Kanto room also drew a lot of attention and they did the 'show-listen-tell' all in one room for the desktop and dorm room crowd.



In the cubbies were a variety of stands for the Kanto speakers to elevate them above the clutter of your desktop workspace. In the upper right quadrant was a black version of their subwoofer revealing the connections and controls. The sub was shown in white on the floor.



2413  Altitudo Audio


Altitudo Audio came all the way from Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the show with a rack full of Electrocompaniet components from Norway which were driving an Audio Physic Cardeas speaker from Germany with a huge stereo amp on the floor in front of the rack. They were boppin' with Jamaican music at the time. No shortage of power here.




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