March 28-30, 2014
All prices in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise
Companies featured in gallery below: Muraudio, Blue Circle Audio, LineAV Design, Cocktail Audio, Rega, Music Hall, Blue Aura, Simaudio, Bryston, ProStudioMasters, Tri-Art Audio, AVA Media, WOW, Essence, Davis Acoustics, Kimber Kable, Mass Fidelity
High-end audio is built around extremes. The attention-grabbing companies generally build products that are large or expensive, or -- more commonly -- both. Great big amps. Refrigerator-sized speakers. Forearm-thick cables. Turntables that take three people to lift. It's all about wretched excess, conspicuous consumption, and one-upmanship.
Adjectives like revolutionary, miraculous, and unparalleled are often bandied around in the audio world, but it's rare that the application of these labels is deserved. It's even rarer, in my experience, for a new company to spring up, fully formed, with a statement-level product to which such those terms clearly and obviously apply.
These days there's a jillion different ways to skin the media-server cat, and most of them seem like mostly stop-gap efforts, requiring significant know-how or large chunks of Rube Goldberg-like system jiggering.
I arrived on Thursday night at the Hilton Bonaventure in Montreal, and it didn't take long for my partner, Marcia, and I to mosey down to the lobby bar for a beer. We settled down into our chairs and ordered, and as the buzz and disorientation from the five-hour drive wore off, I looked around at our surroundings.
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