Companies featured in gallery below: Focus Audio, Grandinote, Capriccio Continuo, Reference 3A, Kudos, Ceol Audio, Opera, System Audio, Paradigm Shift, exaSound, AIX Records, GutWire, Synthesis, Calyx Audio, Usher Audio
Canada's Focus Audio was demonstrating their Liszt Sonata integrated amplifier, which retails for $12,000 and produces 35W per channel from a class-AB push-pull configuration that's said to be "deeply biased into class A." SoundStage! Network contributor Jason Thorpe currently has the Sonata in for review, and so far he's quite impressed. There is also a lower-priced Liszt Prelude integrated amplifier, which produces 32W per channel and retails for $7800. Both Liszt amplifiers . . .
. . . feature splendid casework, which is all fabricated in Canada.
The Grandinote Shinai integrated amplifier is a zero-feedback, dual-mono design that requires two power cords and weighs in at over 80 pounds. The $16,000 class-A design develops 37Wpc. Grandinote is based in Italy.
A bit of a mouthful, the Capriccio Continuo ATD Submonitor MK III is a $13,999, 87dB-sensitive loudspeaker that's made in Italy. With a specified frequency range of 27Hz-20kHz, it utilizes an Air Motion Transformer for high-frequency reproduction, a 5" midrange driver . . .
. . . and three 6" bass drivers.
Reference 3A showcased the impressive Grand Veena B, which uses . . .
. . . a 1” beryllium tweeter, a 7” midrange unit, and a pair of 8” woofers made from fiberglass and Kevlar. Reference 3A claims the $7995/pair speakers play flat down to 36Hz. Reference 3A manufactures all of their own drivers in their factory in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, including the tweeter.
Kudos Audio’s Super 10 Anniversary Edition is a two-way bass-reflex design that makes use of a 1" SEAS fabric-dome tweeter and 7" SEAS midrange-bass driver. Kudos claims a 40Hz-30kHz in-room frequency response for the 22-pound speakers, which start at $7190/pair and move upward in price depending on the finish.
Ceol Audio’s zero-feedback hybrid Power Amplifier retails for $10,290. It features a pair of EAT vacuum tubes en route to developing 70Wpc into 8 ohms and 140W into 4 ohms. Ceol, which is Gaelic for “music,” is a brand new company based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. They are also making a preamplifier and a standalone DAC.
Italy's Opera (now owned by Unison Research, also of Italy) demoed their $5500/pair Quinta loudspeaker, which features a Scan-Speak tweeter, a 6.5" aluminum-cone midrange unit, and a pair of 6.5" bass units. With a claimed frequency response of 30Hz-30kHz, the Quinta was partially clad . . .
. . . in leather and looked decidedly upscale. The Quinta tops the four-model Linea Classica collection, which starts at $1195 for the Mezza bookshelf speaker.
Denmark's System Audio showed their new Mantra 70 loudspeaker, which retails for $4500/pair and now replaces the 60 as the top model in their Mantra line. The seven-driver 70 is a three-way design that uses four drivers for the bass, two for the midrange, and one for the highs.
Paradigm's Erin Phillips showed off the company's new H15 (in hand) and H15nc (on ears) headphones, which will sell respectively for $199.99 and $299.99 under the Paradigm Shift brand name. The overall design of the 'phones is similar, but the more expensive H15nc incorporates noise-canceling and premium parts, including Protein Leather®-equipped earcups.
Local-manufacturer exaSound introduced their e20 digital-to-analog converter here at TAVES 2012. Making use of ESS Technologies’ 9018 Sabre32 Reference DAC, it can handle 32-bit/384kHz sampling rates, as well as DXD and DSD. The $2499 DAC has coaxial, optical, and asynchronous mini-USB inputs, a built-in headphone amplifier, and outputs of the RCA and XLR variety.
Mark Waldrep says that his AIX Records company is doing a brisk business, releasing two high-definition Blu-ray releases per month. One of his company's newest releases is Mark Chesnutt's Your Room, which Rad Bennett reviewed recently on SoundStage! Xperience.
Toronto-based GutWire was showing off their new Power 3 power cord. Priced at $1799/2m, the Power 3 features an AC shell made out of stainless steel, multistrand conductors using solid-core copper, and . . .
. . . gorgeous Wattgate connectors on either end. The burly cables even use germanium!
Italy's Synthesis is distributed in Canada by Vmax Services. The Synthesis A50T integrated amplifier makes 50Wpc through the use of four KT88 vacuum tubes. It incorporates a Wolfson-based digital-to-analog converter that has coaxial and USB inputs. The A50T also includes a remote control for its $5500 asking price.
Doug Schneider just reviewed Calyx Audio's new Femto DAC on SoundStage! Hi-Fi and, to-date, found it to be the best-looking and finest-sounding DAC he's ever reviewed. The Femto sells for $6850 in the US and just a little bit more in Canada. Charisma Audio, Calyx's Canadian distributor, showed the Femto in the black finish. According to Doug, "The black is nice, but the silver looks better to me."
Canadian distributor Audioscape was showing the new Usher Mini X bookshelf loudspeaker, which will sell for $3995/pair when it becomes available in the next two months. The two-way speaker features . . .
. . . a 1.25” diamond DMD tweeter and a 7” woofer. Usher, based in Taiwan, makes all their own drivers.
Here's a wild one to end off our product coverage. Tri-Art Audio's bamboo turntable was a very attractive piece of equipment, using copious amounts of copper and brass in its design. Retailing for around $2500 (final pricing will be available shortly) with the included . . .
. . . bamboo tonearm, it will retail for significantly less when using an entry-level Rega tonearm. Tri-Art is based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.