Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Montreal Audiofest 2022: Product Coverage 3 (Mini Analog Round-up)

I’m going to begin this part of the coverage with a confession: I almost didn’t write this article. That’s because, although I got my feet under me to do the second part of the coverage more efficiently, I’ve seen so many products and talked to so many people at Montreal Audiofest 2022 that, as I’m typing this, I don’t feel like writing more—I’m spent.

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Montreal Audiofest 2022: Product Coverage 2

As I mentioned in the first round of show coverage, I was feeling a little overwhelmed by being the only SoundStager here covering the show. But by staying up late on the first show-day night and sorting through my photos and notes, I got my feet under me and was better prepared for the next day of coverage. Below you’ll find more of what I witnessed at Montreal Audiofest 2022, with all prices in Canadian dollars, except for the product described at the very end.

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Montreal Audiofest 2022: Product Coverage 1

For the first time in a very long time, the first day of Montreal Audiofest 2022 had me feeling a bit overwhelmed. Not long after I got off the escalator that took me to the lower level, which had the largest rooms and the most exhibitors, I knew that there would be more new and/or interesting products than I originally thought might be at the show. This was just like Florida Audio Expo 2022, which I’d covered in February—it wound up exceeding my expectations. But unlike at Florida Audio Expo 2022, where I had Jason Davis to help me cover it, I decided to go to the first Montreal Audiofest since 2019 alone—we usually have two or three people at this event.

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Montreal Audiofest 2022: PS Audio’s Aspen Aspirations

I was initially going to include the PS Audio Aspen FR30 loudspeaker in the regular product coverage, but when I realized that I wanted to write far more than a regular show-coverage caption, I thought it deserved to stand as a story on its own. The speaker was, without question, one of the most interesting new products at Montreal Audiofest 2022—and it was something I really wanted to hear because I’ve been wondering about it since about the beginning of this year.

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Montreal Audiofest 2022: KLH and Motet Distribution Kick Off the Show Talking about Acoustic-Suspension Speaker Designs

I always arrive at shows at least a day early to get going on our coverage, but I get disappointed if no company is set up or there’s no one to talk to, because there ends up being nothing to do. But when I walked into the Hotel Bonaventure Montréal, which is home to Montreal Audiofest 2022, at about 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, I immediately ran into Lily Luo, owner of Motet Distribution, who said, “The guys from KLH just arrived. We hope you can make it to our dinner in fifteen minutes. It’s a casual thing.”

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What’s Fresh at the Florida Audio Expo? Loose Ends . . .

Alex Sound Technology

The room hosted by Alex Sound Technology—a newcomer on the Florida distributor scene—was packed all weekend. From the hallway, on multiple visit attempts, I glimpsed a handsome pair of Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin FS MK 2 loudspeakers (starting at $21,050 per pair, all prices USD) wrapped in a striking Makassar ebony veneer. I’m a sucker for big-cone two-ways, and the Genuin FS MK 2 filled the bill: high-efficiency, 12″ paper woofer, floor-ported bass-reflex design, and a horn-loaded compression driver mounted atop the cabinet.

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Florida Audio Expo 2022: Product Coverage, Part 3

In my previous product-coverage articles, I tried to include a broad range of product categories. For this third and final installment, I’m keeping it mostly to loudspeakers, since I came across several interesting ones. But I also added one amplifier into the mix because I felt that it was important to include in the coverage. All prices are in US dollars.

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What’s Fresh at the Florida Audio Expo? Acora Acoustics . . .

It’s easy to fall in love at an audio show.

It’s easy to fall out of love at an audio show.

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What’s Fresh at the Florida Audio Expo? RJS Acoustics . . .

Depending on whom you ask, there is uncertainty in the audio show business. Some forecast gloom and doom, suggesting that the show model has run its course, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened its irrelevance. Others (extroverts, I’m sure) have been dying to corner press contacts in person for the first time in two years in the show’s hallways—or over coffee at the restaurant’s breakfast bar or over drinks after hours—exuberant to share in the spectacle of the hotel audio experience.

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Florida Audio Expo 2022: Product Coverage, Part 2

The speed with which my first round of coverage showed up online was because the manufacturers whose products it featured sent out detailed preshow press releases about what they’d be displaying at Florida Audio Expo 2022. Having that information ahead of time let me know that those products would be there and provided details that I didn’t have to waste time getting in the display rooms. Instead, I went straight for the rooms the products were in, photographed them, got out, wrote them all up, and then uploaded the completed coverage online. I am bringing this up as a less-than-subtle hint for those manufacturers still wondering about the best way to get covered in a show report quickly.

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What's Fresh at the Florida Audio Expo? Geshelli Labs . . .

The third annual Florida Audio Expo (FAE) kicked off on Friday, February 18, around the time that the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic began to decline nationally. After an underwhelming CES, the question on everyone’s mind was whether manufacturers, dealers, and showgoers would actually show up.

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Florida Audio Expo 2022: Product Coverage, Part 1

It’s fitting that Florida Audio Expo 2022 is the first hi-fi show I’ve attended since the COVID-19 pandemic began. That’s because the last show I attended prior to the pandemic shutting everything down was Florida Audio Expo 2020. It was held then at the same site of its inaugural year, 2019: the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, located in Tampa, Florida.  And it’s back there again this year. It’s a great place to hold a hi-fi show—if only to get so many of us out of the snow for a few days.

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CES 2022: (A Few) New Audio Products, Part 2

Here’s my second batch of new audio products I saw as one of the handful of press attendees at the 2022 CES in Las Vegas this week. Why so few? Because I found only three major audio companies at CES. In fact, although I expected to see lots of headphone and Bluetooth speaker brands, they bailed, too—the biggest one I saw was Raycon, best known for heavily advertised and relatively cheap true wireless earbuds.

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CES 2022: (A Few) New Audio Products, Part 1

Against all odds, the 2022 CES took place this week in Las Vegas, even though many major tech manufacturers had pulled out and most press outlets canceled their plans to attend. So why did I go? Partly out of sheer inertia—I haven’t missed a CES since I first visited the show in 1990. Partly out of convenience—I was driving back to Los Angeles after visiting my family in Texas, and Las Vegas wasn’t far out of the way. And partly out of curiosity—I can remember when CES didn’t take over all of Las Vegas, when you could get a good lunch buffet at the Sahara for $6, and when the press events actually focused on new products rather than creating spectacle for the TV cameras. I hoped that the 2022 show would recall those simpler times of my youth. Rosebud . . .

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Toronto Audiofest 2021—Keeping It Safe

On September 27, an unexpected email appeared in my inbox. “Hey, Toronto, your Audiofest is back!” the message proclaimed. “After a two-year absence, the Toronto Audiofest is happy to return October 22–24, 2021, as the ‘SafeMode’ Toronto Audiofest.” I registered immediately.

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CanJam SoCal 2021: Part 2

Here’s the second half of my coverage of the CanJam SoCal 2021 headphone show, which took place September 25 and 26 at the Irvine Marriott hotel in Irvine, California. I was surprised to see so much innovation at this show—not just new headphone and earphone models but also new technologies I’d never seen before. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been too surprised, because what else were audio product designers going to do when they were shut inside for months?

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CanJam SoCal 2021: Part 1

Audio shows are understandably but sadly rare in the COVID-19 era, but happily, the relatively small (and manageable) CanJam SoCal headphone show was able to take place, at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, California, just south of Los Angeles. All show attendees were required to be vaccinated (on the honor system) and wear masks, and we could take some comfort in the fact that California currently has the lowest rate of COVID-19 transmission in the US. Most exhibitors were careful to clean the headphones and earphones with sterile wipes after every use, and hand sanitizer was readily available.

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Florida Audio Expo 2020: Accessories and Power Products

I’m not the kind of audiophile who tweaks my system endlessly -- I usually set up my components and speakers well and pretty much forget them unless something really intriguing comes along. Still, I like regularly looking at audiophile accessories, power products, and stands, if for no other reason than to see what’s out there and what could pique my interest. At Florida Audio Expo 2020 I found several things worth writing about, which I’ve detailed below. All prices are in US dollars.

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Florida Audio Expo 2020: Speakers, Part 3

Is there any product genre that has more diverse offerings than loudspeakers? Florida Audio Expo 2020 saw a dizzying array of models of all configurations, sizes, and shapes -- and at all price points. And as you’ll see in the first entry in this installment of our coverage, you can even get them in all stages of manufacture. (All prices are in US dollars.)

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Florida Audio Expo 2020: Electronics, Part 2

There were a few new products at FAE 2020, and some that weren’t brand new but that were playing at a show for the first time. Trends? Integration is still a thing. We saw lots of products that combine functions that are typically handled by standalone components in separates-based systems. What has always occurred to me is that some functions should be combined -- for convenience, yes, but perhaps also for performance. As a prime example . . .

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Subcategories

High End 2013

May 9-12, 2013

All prices in euros unless indicated otherwise

CES 2013

January 8-11, 2013

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2012

October 12-14, 2012

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

TAVES 2012

September 28-30, 2012

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

High End 2012

May 3-6, 2012

All prices in euros unless indicated otherwise

TWBAS 2012

March 30-31, 2012

Salon Son & Image 2012

March 22-25, 2012

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

CES 2012

January 10-13, 2012
All prices in US dollars unless otherwise indicated

RMAF 2011

October 14-16, 2011
All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

TAVES 2011

September 30 - October 2, 2011
All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2011

September 8-10, 2011
All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

High End 2011

May 18-22, 2011
All prices in euros unless indicated otherwise

Salon Son & Image 2011

March 31 - April 3, 2011
All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

CES and THE Show 2011

January 6-9, 2011

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Salon Son & Image 2013

March 21-24, 2013

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2013

September 26-28, 2013

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2013

October 11-13, 2013

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

TIAS 2013

November 2-4, 2013

All prices in Japanese yen unless indicated otherwise

CES 2014

January 7-10, 2014

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Salon Son & Image 2014

March 28-30, 2014

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

High End 2014

May 15-18, 2014

All prices in euros or US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2014

September 10-13, 2014

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2014

October 10-12, 2014

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CES 2015

January 6-9, 2015

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Salon Son & Image 2015

March 27-29, 2015

All prices in Canadian or US dollars as noted

High End 2015

May 14-17, 2015

All prices in euros or US dollars unless indicated otherwise

T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

May 29-31, 2015

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2015

October 2-4, 2015

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2015

October 15-17, 2015

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CES 2016

January 6-9, 2016

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CanJam SoCal 2016

March 19-20, 2016

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016

June 3-5, 2016

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2016

September 15-17, 2016

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

TIAS 2016

September 30 to October 2, 2016

All prices in Japanese yen (¥) unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2016

October 7-9, 2016

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Audio Video Show 2016

November 4-6, 2016

All prices in euros (European Union), zlotys (Poland), or pounds (Great Britain) unless indicated otherwise

CES 2017

January 5-8, 2017

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Montreal Audio Fest 2017

March 24-26, 2017

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

High End 2017

May 18-21, 2017

All prices in euros (€) or US dollars ($) unless indicated otherwise

Los Angeles Audio Show 2017

June 2-4, 2017

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2017

September 7-9, 2017

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2017

October 6-8, 2017

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Audio Video Show 2017

November 17-19, 2017

All prices in euros (€), US dollars ($), or Polish zlotys (zł) unless indicated otherwise

CES 2018

January 9-12, 2018

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Montreal Audio Fest 2018

March 23-25, 2018

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

CanJam SoCal 2018

April 7-8, 2018

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

High End 2018

May 10-13, 2018

All prices in euros (€) or US dollars ($) unless indicated otherwise

T.H.E. Show Newport 2018

June 1-3, 2018

All prices in US dollars ($) unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2018

September 6-8, 2018

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2018

October 5-7, 2018

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Hi-Fi Live 2018

November 10-11, 2018

Audio Video Show 2018

November 16-18, 2018

All prices in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), US dollars ($), or British pounds (£) unless indicated otherwise

CES 2019

January 8-11, 2019

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Florida Audio Expo 2019

February 8-10, 2019

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Montreal Audio Fest 2019

March 22-24, 2019

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

High End 2019

May 9-12, 2019

All prices in euros (€) or US dollars ($) unless indicated otherwise

CanJam SoCal 2019

June 22-23, 2019

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

RMAF 2019

September 6-8, 2019

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CEDIA Expo 2019

September 10-14, 2019

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

UK Hi-Fi Show Live 2019

October 26-27, 2019

All prices in British pounds unless indicated otherwise

Audio Video Show 2019

November 8-10, 2019

All prices in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), US dollars ($), or British pounds (£) unless indicated otherwise

Tokyo International Audio Show 2019

November 22-24, 2019

All prices in Japanse yen (¥) unless indicated otherwise

Florida Audio Expo 2020

February 7-9, 2020

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CanJam SoCal 2021

September 25-26, 2021

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Toronto Audiofest 2021

October 23-24, 2021

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

CES 2022

January 5-8, 2022

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Florida Audio Expo 2022

February 18-20, 2022

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

Montreal Audiofest 2022

March 25-27, 2022

All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise

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