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Montréal Salon Audio / Montreal Audio Fest 2016 Show Report
Montreal Salon Audio / Montreal Audio Fest 2016 Show Report
Part 2 By Rick Becker






It is a rare opportunity to hear a speaker from the French company Jean Marie Reynaud. I think I first heard one at Amherst Audio with Bob Neill in Massachusetts, and maybe one other time at a show. Shown here is the Offrande Supreme V2 ($13,900CAD) in a light maple finish with an air motion folded ribbon tweeter. The speaker is bi-wireable and seems to have a tension rod adjustable from the back of the speaker. A Metrum Acoustics Pavane DAC ($6990CAD) was fed music from a laptop and a German Audioprojekte CA-1010 wpc amplifier ($3990) drove the speakers very clearly with moderately demanding music.  All were offered at special show prices. The card I have from L'Atelier-Audio has the name Sam Furon, though I'm not sure this is he who is pictured. In any case, he was to become an unsung hero at the show for PS Audio, whose tale I shall tell near the end of my report. Sam (?) is also to be remembered for building an outstanding speaker using thin-wall cabinet that plays very well with low powered amplification. He told me he spends half his time in France and half in Montreal, which is why he offers such an unusual collection of relatively obscure (on this side of the pond) audio gear. Seen here are the Ocellia Reference audio cable with a wood body RCA connector and Ocellia Quaero Phono tube amplifier. A tube powered Yamamoto headphone amplifier with a switch for two sources was a familiar sight from previous years and a Finale tube power amp was also on display. I'll have more to say about Finale later in the show. For anyone willing to spend time with this rig of unfamiliar brands, they were treated to very fine sounding music.




Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio was so full of exuberance over his new Pearl 3 loudspeakers he could hardly contain himself. And rightly so, as this was the most musical room at the show. Jeff shared that he designed the crossover starting with the optimal design for the midrange driver, and then designed the rest of the crossover around those parameters, rather than selecting a crossover point first and working around that. He still uses a steep crossover approach, but here, the main focus was the midrange driver. The front end was the very familiar Kronos Sparta turntable which I reviewed earlier this year, equipped with a ZYX Universe Premium cartridge. Pre and power amplification was from Nagra with new (to me) Classic Amp monoblocks running largely in Class A, but transitioning to Class AB. The preamp was the tube powered Jazz with hand selected tubes and a separate power supply. This is a top Swiss company whom I haven't seen in a few years, but is now imported by Rene Laflamme who is perhaps best known for his fine audiophile quality recordings. Cabling was by Kubala-Sosna who always seems to show up in one of the best sounding rooms at any show.  Louis Desjardins of Kronos and I had a long chat and all I can tell you is pay special attention to his presentation at the Munich show coming up shortly.



Since the previous room is such a tough act to follow, I'll close Part 2 with this cute little tonearm lifting device I spotted in the hallway from Integrity HiFi you can attach it to most any turntable with a pivoting tonearm. It comes in three heights at $199 CDN per lifter, or for $249 you can get one lifter with two additional tubes to convert it to the other heights should you change turntables, thereby avoiding having to put it for sale on eBay and buy another of the proper height. Cool. Machined from solid brass, it had substantial heft and appealing visual appearance. A demonstration proved it will not catapult your cartridge into the kitchen.

Much more to come in the weeks ahead. Keep coming back.


---> Part 3 of our Montréal Salon Audio / Montreal Audio Fest 2016 show report.




































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