Plurison is the Canadian distributor for such brands as MartinLogan from the United States and Micromega from France. At TAVES, Plurison showed the new MartinLogan Montis loudspeakers, which made their debut at CEDIA Expo last month, being driven by a Micromega AS400 integrated amplifier, a unique component that has Apple's AirPlay Wi-Fi music-streaming capability. [www.martinlogan.com] [www.plurison.com]
Plurison is also the Canadian distributor for Focal and Devialet, which are both located in France. The incredible Devialet D-Premier, which Doug Schneider reviewed in SoundStage! Hi-Fi in May and still thinks is the most amazing integrated amplifier on the planet, was driving the Focal Stella Utopia EMs astonishingly well. This was probably the most expensive stereo at TAVES since it retails at over $100,000, but $90,000 of that price is the speakers; the D-Premier retails for only $15,995, making it one of the best bargains in high-end hi-fi right now. [www.plurison.com]
Paradigm and its sister company Anthem had a very interesting display. They had an affordable surround-sound setup based on their new Monitor Series speakers (the floorstanding Monitor 11 on the right and the Center 3 in the middle), and an upper-end 2.2 system (two main speakers and two subs) based on their top-of-the-line Signature S8 v.3 mains (being driven by the amazing new ultra-powerful Anthem M1 mono amps, which have been under development for many years and appeared for the first time at CEDIA Expo last month), which were augmented in the bass by their top-tier Sub 2 subwoofers. According to Paradigm/Anthem, this $47,000 2.2 system had "11,000 watts of power" behind it! [www.paradigm.com] [www.anthemav.com]
Paradigm Shift is a new division of Paradigm focusing on affordable personal electronics. October marks the official launch of this brand, which hits the market with three earphone models (priced from $49 to $129) and the a2, which is a fully active, DSP-controlled loudspeaker (the price varies depending on finish and whether you want the nifty stand or not, but it's about $600/pair). [www.paradigm.com/shift]
Kevro has been distributing UK-based Monitor Audio for as long as we've been publishing, and they've always had fine displays at shows. At TAVES they showed the new three-way Monitor Audio Gold GX 300 loudspeakers, which have a ribbon tweeter. This is the top model in the Gold GX line, selling for $5500/pair, and we have a pair in for review just now. Kevro chose the excellent Simaudio Moon Evolution 650D DAC-transport and 600i integrated amp to use with the MAs. [www.monitoraudio.com]
Tash Goka (left) is the owner of Reference 3A (shown are the Grand Veena speakers), and is also the owner of Divergent Technologies, which distributes Antique Sound Labs (shown) and Copland (not shown) electronics. [www.divertech.com] [www.reference3a.com]
Totem Acoustic of Montreal once again had a beautiful display. This company is tops at show presentation. At TAVES they showed their Element Metal floorstanding speaker, which has been out for about a year now, and Wood center-channel, which was shown for the first time at CEDIA Expo last month. In the photo right is Vince Bruzzese, Totem's founder and president.
The Worldwide Wholesales company is the Canadian distributor for brands such as Zu Audio, which is based in the US, and Ocellia, which is based in Canada and France. WW had a nice system set up around the Zu Omen Def speakers, which we were surprised to learn are quite affordably priced at $3400/pair, and Ocellia all-tube electronics. However, nobody in the room seemed to know what the turntable they were using was called. Overall, the sound of this room was very good.
Liberty Trading (formerly May Audio and then Justice Audio) had a massive display, as they usually do, showcasing CDs, SACDs, LPs, Blu-rays, etc., as well as the accessories and components that they distribute and sell.
American Sound is a retail store in Toronto that sells brands such as Vienna Acoustics and Esoteric, among others. At TAVES, AS had a couple of rooms, including this one, which showed Vienna's top-of-the-line Klimt The Music loudspeakers being driven by a rack full of Esoteric electronics.
C.C. Poon, the president of Monarchy Audio, made the trip from his home base in California for the first-ever TAVES. He's very proud of the SM-70 Mk.2, a . . .
. . . compact, no-feedback stereo amplifier that's been in the line for almost 15 years and sells for the paltry price of $719. It's said to deliver 40W into a 4-ohm load. What's surprising is that the amp is said to be made entirely in the United States. What's even more surprising is their show-special price: $500.