Toronto Audio Fest 2018 Report part one

The T-Rex are here! For the 2018 Toronto Audio Fest, Bryston proposes their new T-REX loudspeakers! Don’t be fooled though, as these colossal actives three-way loudspeakers offer a great softness and transport you in a passionate musical universe. The tones are beautiful and the impression of quiet power is definitely there. The stereophonic image is immense, both in width and in height. So, I undoubtedly predict many beautiful listening sessions will occur with this pair of loudspeakers.

The demonstration system consisted entirely of Bryston products: the BDP-3 Digital Player ($3,995), the BDA-3 DAC ($3,795), the BP-26 Preamplifier ($3,795), the MPS-2 Power Supply ($1,865), the BAX-1 Digital Crossover ($3,495), the BIT-20 Power Conditioner ($3,999), the 21B3 3-channel Amps ($11,995 x 2) and the T-REX Loudspeakers ($20,000). A heck of an audio system!

Yamaha and Luna Cables had some nice surprises for the 2018 Toronto Audio Fest! First, the new Yamaha C-5000 preamplifier and the Yamaha M-5000 amplifier. They powered the Yamaha NS-5000 loudspeakers that we had the opportunity to hear at the Montreal Audio Festival. Let me tell you right now, we are now in a whole different world! This duo is now up to the full potential of Yamaha NS-5000 speakers The tones are full, it breathes the quality and the image is completely detached from the loudspeakers. The cables used for the system were Luna RED XLR and Luna RED loudspeaker cables. They are now equipped with a beautiful separator block made of aluminum by a Quebec craftsman. A beautiful touch of quality.

Yamaha yet reserved another surprise, a connected turntable! Yes, you read correctly, the MusicCast Vinyl 500 model (displayed during our visit as the TT-S503 model) connects to your network via the Yamaha Musicast app. In fact, you place a vinyl record on the deck and it will play everywhere in the house via the Musicast modules!

Even better, you can even stop playback with an application installed in your phone. It even has a built-in streaming module to access music on the Internet! This is, without a doubt, the techno gadget par excellence of this audio show!

Motet Distribution, in collaboration with the House of HIFi store, presents a sound system that is alive and well for the Toronto Audio Fest 2018. It is composed of the following equipments: Acoustic Solid Metal iii Turntable, Unison Research DUET CD Player, VTL 5.5 Preamplifier, VTL TP-2.5 Phono Stage, VTL 5200 Amplifier, Lumin A1 Network Player, Triangle Delta Signature Loudspeakers. Everything was plugged in with XLO cabling. I had the opportunity to listen to some vinyls on this audio system at this show. The presentation of the music is live, solid, with an impression of sitting in the first rows of the concert room. The bass was superbly controlled and it is rather rare, in conditions of audio shows as such. A first class installation realized by professionals with a very agreable listening session as a bonus!

Atoll Electronics Canada, a Montreal-based company that distributes a number of audio products, presented us at the Toronto Audio Fest 2018 with a beautiful stereo system, as musical as one could wish for. It consists of: an Oracle Paris turntable, an Ortofon MC-1 cartridge, an Oracle unipivot arm, a Conrad-Johnson TEA2 phono stage, an ET7 S2 preamplifier, a Conrad-Johnson amplifier Classic 120 and Davis Renoir loudspeakers. All wiring is from the Nordost brand. From the first time one listens to this system, what is amazing is the level of quality of the bass emitted by the 12-inch paper woofers of Davis speakers. Wow … this is an acoustic loudspeaker with a real seat in the bass and superb strength. The bass register helps to give depth to the stereophonic image and the fineness of reproduction of Conrad-Johnson electronics offers us with a beautiful medium register and well detailed highs. A high class listening session, delivered by products which have proven themselves, and well deserve that one pays attention to it!

At Elac, the team presented a sound system of great simplicity and yet, with a formidable sound. It includes: a single Elac Music Server, the DS-101-G ($1,500), connected to a pair of active three-way loudspeakers Elac Navis ARF51. It is often said that it’s better to be simple and here, it really is! These active loudspeakers are simply revolutionary. With their BASH amplifiers, they offer a performance in terms of sound quality that has nothing to do with their price. A rare thing: the sound quality remains absolutely the same at low volume and the tone is impeccable in its balance. The sound is fluid, loose, articulate, there is something that works very well with this system and it’s often, timing. I love this system, definitely my favorite show stopper for a not too expensive kit! More, please…

Audio by Mark Jones and Luxman have joined forces to present a system that simply sounds mind-blowing. It consists of the following devices: a Luxman L-509X amplifier ($12,345), a Roon Nucleus server ($3,300), a Luxman D-05U CD player ($6,495), a Luxman PD-171A turntable ($9,095), a Lyra Kleos cartridge ($4,795), Magico A3 loudspeakers ($12,800) and Audioquest cabling for the entire system.

The music that emanated from this system simply left me speechless. The stereophonic image was splendid, the notes flowed crystal clear and the bass had a superb hold. The marriage between the Magico A3 loudspeakers and the Luxman electronics surprised me but worked perfectly, a system with an unforgettable sound.

Congratulations to the team of Audio by Mark Jones and Luxman, it is to hear HiFi systems like this one that people visit audio show. Mission accomplished!

…to be continued