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Montréal Audiofest 2024 Show Report


Part 7: Montreal Audiofest Chronicles 2024
Time to check out the Lower Level, Outremont, and St. Laurent rooms.
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Show Report By Rick Becker


Part 7: Montreal Audiofest Chronicles 2024 Time to check out the Lower Level, Outremont, and St. Laurent rooms. Montreal Audiofest 2024 Show Report By Rick Becker


  To reorient readers and those who have attended the Montreal show this year or in the past, Part 7 covers the rooms off to the right after you descend the escalator to the lower level.



The Outremont rooms are generally just a little larger than the Westmont rooms covered in Part 6, so think of them as larger living rooms, but far smaller than the St. Laurent rooms on the opposite side of the hallway.



Ahead and off to the right was the Audio Technica display with headphones, entry-level turntables, and phono cartridges.



The Aston Martin took me back to 1966 when I lusted after a bright red DB6 in their showroom window bordering Hyde Park in London. The current iteration is much more elegant, but they should have named it the dB12, as it is more understated than its current competition. It would have been a nice car to this weekend.



Outremont Rooms
Outremont O1  Planete Haute Fidelite


Taking a left turn at the main hallway, I'll start at the Planete Haute Fidelite room. Their showroom is down-river, just a little north of Montreal. They had a very nice sounding rig with music coming through Martin Logan speakers. I haven't given Martin Logan as much attention as I should have over the years. They've come a long way since I first heard them in the early 1990s. Amplification was by a $15k Hegel integrated amp. There was also a Hegel CD player and their V10 phono stage in the rig. The rig was fitted with a loom of Luna Cables.



Unfortunately, the Stable 33.33 table was not playing when I visited. It was equipped with a Reed tonearm, Cardas cabling, and an EMT cartridge. With David Solomon preaching to the crowd, they were playing music from Qobuz, the company he represents.



O2  Bryston Ltd.


The Bryston room was a clear step up in musicality this year with their Trim T10 speaker.



At $8500, the Trim T10 speaker represents a high sonic value with lots of air and bloom in the music that earlier speakers lacked. The fit and finish were on the plain side, but that's why you're not paying twice the price or more. Multiple finishes are available.



James Tanner, CEO, explained their approach to crossovers and active speakers, which is far from typical, given their deep roots in pro audio as well as the high end. Their crossovers can accommodate single, bi-amp, or tri-amplification by plugging in different routing plates at the top of the crossover. Active speakers in their view have external amplifiers and crossovers, preferably their 10B active crossover, which takes a unique plug-in on the speaker.



I should have flipped the plug-in units in the photo above to show you how they plug in at the top of this crossover. Powering each driver individually with its own amp has become more common in recent years and produces additional clarity.



The BI200 integrated amp is a combination of their preamp and B3cubed stereo amp which puts out 200 Wpc. I noted the new faceplate design on this consumer version. The pro-audio amps have handles. A variety of chassis finishes have been available for at least a few years now.

James also pointed out the BD-325, a model designed for pro-audio and custom install types. It can take up to six channels, available at 125, 225, and 325 Watts. It is a hybrid design with a linear power supply at the front end and Class D output stages. Lots of flexibility with this company that has offered 20-year warranties on most everything for decades, now.



Continuing down the hall past the Aston Martin, I admired the rear view as much as the view from up front.




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