I’m back from the frozen tundra!


Montreal was a blast. A cold blast! Texans aren’t used to frigid temps and slush. I stupidly left my Sorels home not knowing a blizzard was due to hit. We had an excellent time though. The secret is staying underground, i.e.. take the Metro as much as possible. Naturally the first day we walked miles and miles until it dawned on us that there were easier methods.

The Hi-Fi show was an eye opener and I’m glad I went. It seemed many of the people who were on the list weren’t there. What I did see just solidified that I was doing everything, for the most part, right. As usual, there were tons of mediocre $100,000 systems that many of my $5-10K systems completely shred. I met with Claude who owns the shop Son Idéal in Montreal who has been in business for 40 years! What was he auditioning? A Rega RP10 and Harbeth 40.1!

I saw and heard the big Naim Statement / Focal system and was quite impressed, as one should be for a $300K plus system! I wish the presentation was in English, but I got the gist of it. Cost no object, HUGE sound, possibly a substitute for Viagra. I don’t know, I don’t speak French!

Eli and Ofra Gershman of Toronto’s Gershman Acoustics had some of the best speakers I heard at the show. The Avant Garde R-1 speakers ($8K) were something very special. I wish they had the $3K Idols set up…

The one thing that really did stick in my sights was the Tri-Art Audio room. Tri-Art are a Canadian company. I usually poo-poo Class D electronics but these guys seem to be onto something. The chassis are made of Bamboo and are stuffed with wool to help break down vibration. Also, they had an all bamboo turntable that sounded quite good. I’m going to be keeping an eye on this line. They are relatively new to the scene but I like what I heard. A lot!

Also in the Tri-Art room were a new company that are a subsidiary of Abbington Music Research called ifi audio. They make affordable and portable DACs, Phono pre’s and Headphone amps. Look for them on the floor soon!