I attended the 2016 edition of the Toronto Audio Video Electronics Show (TAVES) on October 29-30. Below are some of the images of the high end systems presented at the show and my short (or not) thoughts about them.
1. Wynn Audio
Wynn Audio is a local dealer here in Richmond Hill. They featured probably the most expensive system at the show (price tag $1M+), featuring Tidal Sunray G2 speakers, La Assoluta monoblocks, Presencio pre-amp as well as Goldmund digital front end and the battery powered Thales TTT turntable. I don't know what happened here, but the sound was absolutely lifeless. I couldn't believe my ears! Last year they had pretty much the same set up (minus the Goldmund) and it sounded awesome. Anyway, here are some photos of their system as well as some other equipment they sell. For more info, please visit Wynn Audio site at www.wynnaudio.com
2. Audio by Mark Jones
Audio by Mark Jones is a boutique high end dealer located in Whitby, Ontario. Mark's room at the show was one of the best, if not THE best, in my opinion. It featured almost complete (minus the SACD/CD drive) CH Precision electronic setup consisting of:
- Two M1 amplifiers in monoblock configuration
- L1 pre-amlifier
- P1 phonot stage
- X1 power supply
- C1 D/A controller
Digital front end was an Aurender music server. Analog source was the absolutely stunning Kronos Pro turntable. If you have not seen or heard it, I urge you to do so at the earliest opportunity. It is simply a work of art and a marvel of design and technology. With two massive platters spinning in opposite directions, it is probably the quietest turntable on the market today. There is absolutely no noise and all you hear is just the music.
Speakers were the amazing Magico S5 MKII. Last year Mark had the S7s driven by Tenor Audio. This year, the S7s were loaned to the DVL Audio room (more on their set up later in this post).
Cables were by Nordost.
All this equipment was resting on the custom wood racks, platforms and cable risers created by Trevor Doyle of Massif Audio Design, a local maker of hardwood vibration damping platforms and component stands. The craftsmanship here is superb! Massif racks were also featured in other rooms at the show, which I will talk about later.
Mark played some vinyl records for the audience and each one sounded incredible both times I visited his room. Whether it was Thomas Dolby's "I Scare Myself" or Johnny Cash's cover of Depeche Mode "Personal Jesus", the sound was full, rich and detailed. Mark was even kind enough to play one song from the record I had with me - "Are You Going With Me?" from Pat Methenys Group's "Offramp" album. Needless to say it sounded awesome.
Also, during my second visit, I met CH Precision representative Raphael and had a chat with him about the amazing CH Precision products. Raphael is an electronics engineer and this was a great opportunity for him to see the results of his work being enjoyed by people in the real world. He invited me for a factory tour next time I am in Switzerland. For sure, this is something I would love to do in the future!
Here are some of the images and a video clip I took in this room:
Nordost is a well known high end audio cable manufacturer. Their set up featured CH Precision D1 SACD/CD drive, Viola Labs Concerto power amplifier and Crescendo pre-amplifier. Speakers were Tannoy Prestige GRF 90. Cabling throughout was all Nordost, obviously. Great sound in this room. And it got even better when they changed one of the coaxial cables. Check out some photos of this setup:
4. Audio Eden
Audio Eden is a dealer from Aurora, Ontario. They were presenting Kharma loudspeakers. I was impressed with Kharma's Elegance dB9 speakers last year. This year they had the smaller Elegance S7 model driven by Nagra Classic amp, Classic DAC, MPS and Jazz combo, along with Bryston electronics and even the new Bryston BLP-1 turntable. Really great sound in this room as well.