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Toronto Audiofest 2022 Show Report Fine sounds on the fourth floor.

Toronto Audiofest 2022 Show Report Part 4
Lower level rooms and ground floor in part 4.
Show Report By Rick Becker

 

Toronto Audiofest 2022 Show Report Part 4 Lower level rooms and ground floor in part 4.

 

  Coming down from the Second Level I stepped off the elevator and went to the KEF display near the registration area. I admired this presentation numerous times in passing during the show. Three pairs of colorful KEF speakers and a KEF subwoofer stood in front of a digitally created backdrop that was pure eye candy.

As you can glean from the photo, the displays in this area were busy and the mezzanine to the immediate right looked like an extension of the restaurant with virtually no one there, even at this early afternoon hour.

 

 

The grey KEF LS60 wireless floorstanders ($7000 USD) were the tight ends on this offensive line and I was caught off guard by their diminutive size. The photos I had seen before the show gave no sense of scale, so naturally, I thought it might be closer to the KEF Blade 2 but in a more affordable enclosure. Instead, they shrunk the concept even further and made it an active, wireless lifestyle speaker perfectly sized for apartments and smaller rooms. Unfortunately, I did not get to hear it, but I loved the concept and the execution.

 

 

Backed up to the KEF display was the Grado headphone display. My vintage SR80e has served me well for many years, particularly for Zoom classes during the Covid crisis. They've got a new driver in their entry-level Prestige series, Reference series, and Statement series, designated by "x". Once again, feeling the pressure of time running out, I dodged the rabbit hole of headphone listening. The photo of the building covered with graffiti, I was told, was the actual entrance to the Grado building in Brooklyn. I'll try to grab a listen at the next show.

 

 

Hard to miss in the aisle in front of the Grado listening display was this MOON by Simaudio 888 monoblock that looked to be deliverable only by serious weightlifters. It specs out at 888 Watts into 8 Ohms, and 1776 Watts into 4 Ohms (2.4 hp). Shipping weight is listed as 300 lb./136 kg. It was released in 2018, so there are a few reviews available, but this was the first I'd seen it. It bears the signature design of Moon products so it should fit right in with your existing components. The word "formidable" comes to mind.

This was about the spot where I messed up at the show, not knowing that there were three additional large rooms up a half flight of stairs on the Mezzanine level. I had walked past this area numerous times by this point but had never seen many (if any) people up there. The floorplan in the show program indicates the doors to this room are not visible from the lobby level, so not seeing any audiophiles milling around, I never thought to explore. In fairness, the rooms were identified in the program as having audio displays, but I failed to connect the dots.

 

 

The Easton room hosted by Audio by Mark Jones was one of those. This is especially embarrassing as Mark had emailed me ahead of the show, asking me to stop by. In the past, his rooms have always deserved a Best Rooms award as he not only carries a lot of top lines, but he knows how to set up a room and conduct the listening so people can appreciate the quality. In a follow-up e-mail he sent the above photo and lamented that he felt this was his best presentation, yet. On my part, I was sorry to have missed hearing a superb rig featuring a Linn Sondek LP12 turntable as the source. This was a very rare opportunity.

The electronics looked to be mostly CH-Precision from Switzerland and the new flagship of the ProAc speaker line, the K10, which starts at $69,800 USD, but this looks to be an exotic book-matched veneer so there was probably an upcharge. Cables and power conditioning were by audioquest.

Corby's Audio (Dixon Room) was mentioned in the room they shared with Coherent Speakers (Bristol A) on the 2nd Floor. I checked out their website and they seem to carry a very nice selection of premium brands, so I expect this room would have sounded very good.

Centre HiFi (North Atmosphere) in Quebec sells televisions, mid-fi audio, and popular high-end brands such as KEF, Arcam, Totem, and Triangle. I hesitate to guess what their presentation contained. I'll catch them next spring in Montreal. Again, my apologies.

 

 

From the Lobby area, I worked my way down the hall toward the three large Sutton rooms. Simcoe Audio Video had a long island of headphone listening stations that attracted a lot of attention on Saturday and a little less so on Sunday when I grabbed this photo. A flyer on the counter offered several "open-box-specials."

 

 

All That Jazz was the only record vendor at the show, so they were perpetually busy. They seemed to be well-organized and informative with every LP in a plastic sleeve.

 

 

Isonic record cleaners were on semi-active display at the far end of the All That Jazz table, a logical place for them to be.

 

 

 

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