The quality of the equipment shown was certainly on the high side, with an ample collection of high end and mid end gear. With only 3 floors and just 20 rooms to see the show was easy to cover, images and comments follow…..and it was easy to return to the good rooms.
Some highlights included the unassuming Davis Acoustics speakers driven by a rack of Atoll-Eectronique electronics, and the sparse Devialet Phantom room. Some lowlights were the unfortunately small room showcasing the normally excellent Totem Element Metals, and the absence of any Bryston gear. All things considered it was a fun show, and I was glad to see it return to this side of the country.
Starting on the 2nd Floor we had three large ballrooms, with the first featuring the unique Art Vibes Audio speakers. The sound was excellent, thanks in part to the large room allowing the speakers to come to life. Furthermore, the exceptional finish is available in a couple of special designs and while polarizing indeed they certainly make a statement.
The next room, while equally as large, was packed full of high-end equipment and brands. Starting with the massive and (IMO) beautiful Tidal Sunray speakers. These 7 foot tall 700 LB speakers were powered by the 600watt/ch $75,000 Burmester 909 amplifier. On the side there was another Burmester system, and a Meridian MQA demo setup.
Moving up the 4th floor the standout room was by far the Atoll Electronique room featuring Davis Acoustic speakers. While I had heard of the Quebec-based Atoll, Davis was a new name for me and I was instantly impressed by both the (new to North America) Renoir ($14,000) and the slim Matisse Signature ($1,600). Overall this was one of my top 3 favorite rooms.
A local dealer, The Sound Room, featured Totem Element Metal loudspeakers with a Devialet 400 for amplification. I have heard the metal’s in a few different rooms and there are one of my all time favorite speakers. They effortlessly plumb the depths and have an amazingly wide sound stage. So it was a shame that even though they had Totem head Vince Bruzeee doing the demo they could not tame the bass in that room.
The Sony room was showcasing their new USB equipped turntable. Using that with the included software you could rip your records to either WAV or DSD – even double DSD. Like last year they had the SS-NA2ES speakers driven by an ES integrated amp and the HAP-Z1ES player. They included a very convincing demo where they played first a track from the turntable, then the ripped DSD file. This would make a decent rig for anyone who wants to archive their analog collection. And once ripped you could use the new Sony car audio head unit to play back the DSD files. Take your analog with you.
Moving up to the third and final floor (5th floor) there was an even greater amount of high end gear. My hopes were high hearing the KEF Blades for the first time. Especially considering the Naim Statement electronics powering them. Unfortunately, the sound was not up to the $300,000 price tag. All this despite having a larger room than most.
The room that did sound incredible though was the relatively sparse and affordable Dynaudio room. Compared to the statement room seen prior this $10,000 pair of active speakers which need nothing other than a source were an outright steal. Source for the demo was an excellent Aurender N10 music streamer.
Another standout room was the Magico room with a Devailet 400. The impressive S5mkII speakers excelled on all types of music played, overall I spent more time in this room than any other.
That wraps up this small but fun show in the beautiful lower-mainland of British Columbia Canada. Hopefully we will have another show next year, with even more gear to demo.
Attending the 2nd Annual Vancouver Audio Show. More pictures to follow.
www.elementacoustics.com showing Burmester, Tidal Audio (speakers not streaming service) Accuphase Meridan and Kuzma had a huge room. beautiful and massive Tidal speakers.
Totem Room. Vince was there with the TOL Element Metals. Great sound as usual from Totem. Beautiful Mitchell Engineering Gyso SE turntable.
Totem room also had Devialet source/amplifaction (common sight today) and a pair of Forest Sigs on static display.
SimAudio paired up with a Nottingham turntable and the brand new Wilson Sabrina speakers. One of the best sounding rooms of the day.
Sony room, new USB turntable includes software to rip your cds to wav or DSD. Demo included listening to an Adele cut from the TT then from the HAP Es player. Nice sound, smooth and non-fatiguing. Also on display was the new sony car audio DSD compatible head unit.
Rip your records to DSD to playback in the car.
Tied for best sound at the show was this small room with a huge sound stage thanks to the un-assuming Davis Acoustic speakers from France. Source and amplification from Atoll. Even the $1500 small towers were impressive.
Devialet Phantom Speakers.
This was high on my “must hear” list….so I hat to say how disappointing the sound was. Last year heard the statement amps with some huge Naim speakers. Decent sound then. Today was my first time hearing the KEF blades and I was not impressed. For a system totaling close to $300,000 I had high hopes. Too bad they could not tame the room and ended up with excessive bass and shrill highs. I came back to this one a few times and it was always full…maybe they will have it dialed in tomorrow.
Tied for best sound at the show was the sparse Dynaudio / Aurender room (with Torus power conditioner). Wireless active speakers with built-in DAC. Incredible sound, effortless dynamics and smooth sound. Playing SRV Tin Pan Alley, breathtaking.
Very nice sound from the impressive new S5 MKII speakers from Magico.
As a long-time Marantz fan I enjoyed the Reference integrated with Marantz TT playing through some Focal Sopra bookshelves.