SSI 2013 Montreal HI-FI Show Report


Introduction to the SSI 2013 Montreal Show Report - Day One

Thursday at SSI is reserved for press and industry affiliates. The mood was laid-back with some doors still closed and systems not yet unboxed. I did get a chance to hear a few systems and meet some very nice people. There was a good mix of music servers, CD players and vinyl. Did not see much in the way of displays or video, yet there was plenty of room treatments to help tame the un-friendly spaces.


Elipson had a static display of their wireless Planet LW speakers and Music Center transmitter (not shown). 2-way coaxial design, available in white red or black, and has an optional ceiling and wall mounts.

Definitive Technology

Some static displays of various Definitive Technology speakers, here is one of their in walls.


Inovaudio makes stands and acoustic panels out of wood.

Tri-Art Audio

TriArt Acoustics with Rosso Fiorentino Certaldo Speakers ($5,995)

Tri-Art uses beautiful wood and concrete to build amps, cd players turntables and more. Their room was packed at all times I stopped by, and the sound was very good. And the equipment looks fantastic with its blend of bamboo, and concrete. They were playing vinyl from their Pebbles turntable ($1200). Shown but not spinning when I was there was their gorgeous Pebbles CD/DVD player ($550). Speakers used were from Rosso Fiorentino and were very smooth and easy to listen to.

Woo Audio

Woo Audio had a huge and comfortable room setup with multiple headphones, amps and source units up for demo. This was a very relaxing and approachable room with fantastic sound. I have not been much in headphones in the past but open sound of the Beyerdynamic headphones was enticing.

Pathos Acoutsics

Another static display of some great looking equipment.

Blue Circle Audio

Hands down my choice for best sound of the first day. Stevie Ray Vaughn was playing with incredible dynamics and bass – considering the huge size of the room, through Blue Circle electronics and Ledoux speakers. Interestingly both companies offer upgrade programs. The speakers shown cost $14,000 pair, $5000 per sub, or $21,000 for set. Made in Canada, these speakers had amazing realism. The gracious host cued up a track of my thumb drive, Ben Harpers Whipping Boy. And I have never heard it with such conviction. Unfortunately the dark room made it tough to take a pic, hopefully I can convince the guys to flip on the lights for me to snap another pic today.


Magico was demoing their ``affordable" S5 speakers ($28,600), with Constellation Audio electronics. Sound was good, will come back to this one to hear more as no one was around and the music stopped and didn`t restart.

AIX Records

A large room was setup to showing and AIX Blu Ray sampler with a 5.1 Focal set powered by Bryston , a JVC projector and stewart screen. Both sound and picture was great and the recordings are clean and dynamic. There was plenty of Blu-Ray discs to purchase.

Devialet with Focal

Stepping into the clean white Devialet room we heard Pink Floyds Time played on some large Focal speakers. The beautiful electronics were impossible to photograph, but he sound was devine. When the room cleared I was left with the interesting remote control, and I hoped that more volume would help the lack of midbass I heard. No such luck with Time. Changing tracks on the lone source (a Mac Book) to a Kodo track (Japanese Drums) was the answer. Phenomenal deep bass and wide imaging.

RJH Audio

These handcrafted Canadian single driver speakers contain either a single 12" Alnico driver (Reference 1, $7995) or a single 6.5" Alnico driver. Bass was full and real, and the highs were still smooth. Great looking and great sounding despite being in a large shared room. Ron J. Harper was on hand to discuss the speakers and his enthusiasm matched the dynamic sound. Will be back for more tomorrow from this setup.

Reference 1 (big ones) $7995

Songbirds $5495

Reference 1s playing, beautiful sound, wide freq response, smooth top end

One my list to hear again tomorrow.

That is it for the first day, and what a day it was. This was my first time at the SSI, but not the first time in Montreal. Despite the weather this city is beautiful and well worth the visit. Now to plan my attack fro tomorrow!

Jared Rachwalski.

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