Best Of Toronto Audiofest 2023
Awards Show Report
Best Rooms At The Toronto Audiofest 2023
Show Report By Rick Becker
In my usual
manner, I nominate a variable number of Best Rooms rather than select a First,
Second, or Third place. This levels the playing field for sponsors of all
rooms, large and small. Gives the guys with smaller, more economical rooms a
shot at recognition. Big, expensive rooms don't impress me as much as rooms
where the music moves me emotionally, though often there is a strong
I made three cuts from the 49 rooms at the show, though
there were more systems than that since several rooms had more than one
presentation. And in some cases, speakers and amplification were swapped which
would have given a few more unique presentations. The first cut came down to
twenty rooms. The second cut brought that down to 13. The final selection
produced six very fine-sounding rooms which, this year, were all very
expensive, though half of them also had smaller, roughly analogous systems in
other rooms at the show that were far more affordable.
Presented here in the order in which they were covered in
the show report, these were the Best Rooms that amazed me. I've
referenced the part of this report, the floor, and the room to help you locate
more photos and comments within the report.
Part 4, 2nd Floor, Plaza B: Bliss Acoustics
With their unique loudspeakers being driven by
ultra-fidelity Nagra electronics and the very impressive J. Sikora turntable
at the front end, this room certainly earned a Best Of Toronto Audiofest 2023
Part 4, 2nd Floor, Bristol A: Corby's Audio, Coherent
Audio, And Baetis Audio
With the scalable tower speaker from Coherent Audio, driven
by Allnic amplifiers and a Kuzma turntable at the front end, this system
thrilled me with transparency, dynamics, and a "live at the performance"
presentation. A similar, smaller version from these companies was heard in the
Lower Level in the Balmoral room.
Part 4, 2nd Floor, Mayfair: Cardas Audio, Eon
Art Canada, Oracle Audio, And Gershman Acoustics
This team has collaborated for years, each time mixing it up
with different loudspeakers, and always produces spectacular sound within this
large room. A similar presentation on the 3rd Floor in 356 sponsored by
Toronto Home Of Audiophile featured the smaller Gershman Acoustics speaker
that earned Best Rooms recognition last year. Year after year, this
room is among the very best!
Part 5, Lobby Level, Sutton A: Acora Acoustics
Val Cora continues to impress me with his various speakers
driven by an ever-changing cast of top-shelf components. The new VRC flagship
speaker presented here, driven by Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems
amplification and a world-class SAT turntable at the front end is among the
top loudspeakers in the world today.
Part 5, Lobby Level, Sutton B: EQ Audio Video
This room had numerous systems that were played in rotation.
The new Monitor Audio Hyphn flagship loudspeaker driven by Michi amplification
was simply outstanding both in acoustic presentation and its contemporary
design. The Hyphn will be all over the audiophile press in the coming year.
And the Michi electronics earned newfound respect.
Part 5, Lower Level, Carlyle: Wynn
Audio, Karen Acoustics, And TIDAL
Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio specializes in the true luxury end
of the audiophile kingdom. The system he put together here was sourced from
six different European countries. The larger system with Tidal speakers driven
by Karan Acoustics electronics gets top recognition, although the more
modest-sized system from Goldmund was not far behind.
The Last Word
Each of these Best Rooms costs the price of a very nice
yacht for a large berth in the Toronto Harbor, but an audio system will give
you the pleasure of music all year round. Regardless of where you are in your
audio journey, there was surely something presented at the Toronto Audiofest
that would enhance your joy from music. I hope you were there and had a great
time. And if not, I hope to see you next year, if not sooner.
Safe journey and as always... enjoy the music!
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show report homepage.