Salon Son & Image 2013 - Montreal, Canada
- Written by Administrator Administrator
- Parent Category: Salon Son & Image 2013 Salon Son & Image 2013
- Created: 21 March 2013 21 March 2013
Companies featured in gallery below: Arteluthe, Advance Acoustic, Aurum, Bryston, Ledoux Acoustics, Tannoy, Simaudio Moon, AIX Recordings, MA Recordings, Octave Audio, Dynaudio, Woo Audio
All prices in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated
Robert Gaboury, formerly of Gemme Audio, has started a new speaker company called Arteluthe. Their entry-level speaker is the Satie, a two-way, fully active, DSP-based design that is said to be “ruler flat” and “phase coherent” from 30Hz to 20kHz. The Satie takes an incoming analog signal and converts it to digital, and then the DSP engine handles the crossover manipulation before converting the signal back to analog, where it’s handed off to the two internal amplifiers, each capable of delivering up to 350W into 8 ohms. Whereas Gemme’s products were made in China, Arteluthe’s . . .
. . . are made entirely in Montreal, Quebec, a fact that surprised us. We were particularly impressed with the quality of construction and the finish work. According to Robert, the cabinet walls are HDF over maple plywood (making the walls anywhere from 1.5” to 2” thick, depending where it is), and inside there is a 2m-long folded horn to augment the low bass. The Satie is priced at $8000 per pair. Artelhuthe has two larger loudspeakers as well: the top-of-the-line Kantate, priced at $16,000 per pair, and the middle-of-the-line Alegria, which is priced at $12,000 per pair.
Mok and Martensen Sound Distribution is a Canadian distributor of numerous brands, including Advance Acoustic of France. MMSD showed a prototype of Advance’s new X-i160 integrated amplifier-DAC, a feature-rich, low-cost component that is said to deliver 60Wpc into 8 ohms. The X-i160’s . . .
. . . rear panel has a wealth of connectors, including four digital inputs (USB, TosLink, and two RCA-based coax) for its DAC. What’s more, the X-i60 even has an onboard phono stage! Although the X-i60 shown was a prototype and pricing hasn’t been firmly established yet, MMSD reps said that they expect it to be priced at about $700 in Canada. A review of this in our GoodSound! site would be a good idea.
The Mok and Martensen firm also distributes products from Aurum, a well-established German audio company. MMSD used Salon Son & Image 2013 to showcase the Aurum Titan VIII loudspeaker, the eighth iteration of the model. The Titan VIII is a three-way design using two 10” woofers, a 7” midrange, and a ribbon tweeter. The finish work on the show samples looked spectacular, and the parts quality appeared high. It’s even possible to see . . .
. . . the Titan VIII’s crossover through the window on its backside. The price for the Aurum Titan VIII starts at $26,000 per pair, and goes up from there depending on the finish. The Titan VIII is backed by a ten-year warranty, which is two times longer than what most companies offer.
When one of Mok and Martensen’s reps said that Quadral’s new series of electronics are “hand made” in Germany, we asked what that meant exactly. According to them, no robotic assembly lines, only skilled workers with tools at the company’s factory in Hanover. So the products have a real personal touch. On the left and right are the A3 and A5 integrated amplifiers, rated to deliver 100Wpc and 150Wpc into 8 ohms, respectively. The A3 is $3100 and the A5 is $4300. Between them is the C3 CD player, priced at $2500. The three products are not only made by hand, but they can also be . . .
. . . individually customized via the detachable side panels, which come in high-gloss black lacquer or any wood finish that Quadral’s speakers come in.
According to Bryston’s James Tanner, what started as an idea to produce a single loudspeaker, the original Model T, has taken on a life of its own for the brand. The Model T is now available in three versions (two passive and one active), and the line has grown to include additional floorstanding, stand-mounted, center-channel, subwoofer, on-wall, and in-wall models. Two of Bryston’s newest speakers are the stand-mounted Mini T and the floorstanding Middle T, which retail for $2695 and $4695 per pair, respectively, in standard vinyl-veneer finishes. Real-wood finishes add $500 to the Mini T’s price and $800 to the Middle T’s. Both are true three-way designs that, according to James, have sonic signatures that are very close to the Model T.
Ledoux Acoustics is a new name to us, but we learned that it’s really not a new name to everyone -- the company, which is located in Magog, Quebec, was founded some 20 year ago. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Ledoux attended Salon Son & Image for the first time in 16 years (we started coming about 15 years ago) and showed their new Diva tower loudspeaker, which retails for $14,000 per pair, and Gaia 12 subwoofer, which retails for $4595.
Tannoy’s Definition DC10A isn’t brand new (they released it last year), but we thought it was worth mentioning in this report because Doug Schneider recently got a pair in for review and is mighty impressed by what he’s heard so far. The DC10A is a very interesting design where they’ve taken their modern speaker-engineering know-how and applied it to the company’s decades-old coincident-driver technology, resulting in a speaker that has sound quite unlike any other. What’s also interesting is that the DC10A is made in Tannoy’s home country of Scotland, not in the Far East, which is where so many UK-based brands have gone to keep prices low. The DC10A sells for $17,500 per pair. Look for a review in SoundStage! Hi-Fi in the months to come.
Several years ago there was a crazy-assed rumor going around that Simaudio’s products were being made in the Far East, something we could call bullshit on because we’d been to the Quebec, Canada-based factory so many times. Trust us, the stuff’s made there. But if there’s still any doubt that Simaudio is proudly Canadian, the new Commemorative Edition 600i integrated amps should squash that. The Canadian Edition 600i comes in striking red and has . . .
. . . a maple leaf mixed with Simaudio’s logo on the top plate. The maple is, of course, the center-most part of the Canadian flag.
The Edition Quebec 600i comes in eye-popping blue and has . . .
. . . a fleur-de-lys (flower lily) symbol combined with the logo. The fleur-de-lys is a defining element in Quebec’s provincial flag. The standard 600i is priced at $8500, and the Commemorative Editions will be priced higher, though Simaudio hasn’t settled on exactly what the figure for each will be.
Mark Waldrep of AIX Records holds up two of the company’s newest Blu-ray Disc releases: Nicci Gilbert and the Soul Kittens’ If You Love Me and The Banda Brothers’ Primavera. AIX Records is doing some unique things with their feature-packed Blu-rays. Both of these releases . . .
. . . feature 1080P video and three audio mixes: Stage Perspective (surround), Audience Perspective (surround), and traditional PCM-based stereo. Each disc sells for $35. If you’re unsure about these artists, Mark says that the best way to get a taste of what AIX is offering is to buy their new HD Audio Sampler Blu-ray Disc, which features 41 tracks culled from their most recent releases.
Todd Garfinkle of MA Recordings showed us two of his newest releases: Puente Celeste’s Nama and the Mathias Landaeus Trio’s Opening. What’s interesting about these releases is that they’re double-DSD (5.6MHz) recordings that come as data files on DVD-Rs -- so you copy the files from the discs to a hard-drive and play them back through a DSD-capable DAC (many new DACs now support DSD via USB). These releases are priced at $50 each.
Octave's new V 110 was still a prototype at RMAF and CES 2013, but it's now shipping. The KT120-based integrated amp comes in black or silver and is said to deliver 110Wpc into 4 ohms. The V 110 is priced at $8300 without phono stage, and $8900 with an MC or MM (the buyer must stipulate) phono stage.
Crappy picture cropping? Not so fast -- the highlight here is Dynaudio’s new Stand 6 speaker stand, which sells for $600 per pair and comes in high-gloss black, high-gloss white, matte black, or silver. There are special adapter plates for the Dynaudio Confidence C1 and Contour S1.4 models, but the standard steel top plate is compatible with any loudspeaker, not just Dynaudio’s. The center column is aluminum and is fillable (e.g., sand), and the bottom plate is a combination of steel and a damping material for superior vibration control.
Woo Audio used SSI 2013 to showcase their new WA7 Fireflies headphone amp-USB DAC. The WA7 features a pair of 6C45 tubes (hence the Fireflies part of the name), a pair of nickel-alloy-core output transformers, and an output-impedance switch (labeled HI-Z and LO-Z). It also has a solid-glass top portion, which not only protects the tubes but also makes the WA7 look damn cool. The DAC section, which operates at up to 32-bit/192kHz resolution, works asynchronously, meaning it controls the data from the computer, not the other way around. The WA7 is priced at $999 and is available now.
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