EQ Audio Video was presenting their wears in the Sutton B room at the Toronto Audio Fest 2021. The large conference room was split into two larger theatre type rooms with JVC’s new Laser projectors, and five other smaller areas where audio systems were displayed.
The first area I visited (hosted by Edward P. O’Herlihy – Owner and senior designer) was showing a Musical Fidelity audio system connected to Focal Sopra No. 3 speakers. These 3-way floor standing speakers are comprised of two 8.25-inch W cone woofers, one 6.5-inch W cone midrange with TMD (Tuned Mass Damper) suspension and an IHL (Infinite Horn Loading) inverted dome beryllium tweeter. At just under 155 lbs each, these are seriously well-built towers. These were being driven by a pair of Musical Fidelity M8S-700M (700 Watts each) power amplifiers – weighing in at a respectable 30 kg each – connected to a Musical Fidelity M8s preamplifier. This fully balanced preamp offers 8 inputs – 2-XLR Balanced inputs, a switchable MM/MC Phono input, CD, Tuner, Aux1 and 2 and Tape inputs. Outputs consist of 1 pair of XLR Pre out, 1 RCA Pre Out and 1 RCA fixed output along with a trigger output are located on the back of the preamplifier.
Source material was supplied by the Musical Fidelity M6 Encore Connect Streaming CD player (as well as a hard drive). The M6 Encore Connect is a special device as it can be both a Source device AND a pre-amplifier with 3 line level RCA inputs, 2 optical and 2 coaxial S/PDIF inputs (up to 24-Bit / 192kHz), 1 USB Type A input, 3 USB Type B connectors (2 rear, 1 front) and 1 10/100/1000 Base-T ethernet connector. It has 1 set of line level Preamp outputs (variable), 1 line level Fixed output, headphone jack, 1 optical and 1 coaxial S/PDIF output (same 24-bit / 192kHz) with an internal storage 2.5” 1 TB SATA II hard disk (included). There’s a full colour display on the front facia and is compatible with Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify streaming.
Power management was handled by an Audio Quest Niagara power conditioner and cables were by Audience.