Canada's VMAX Services is the national distributor for a number of popular European brands including four on display in their room at TAVES 2011: Audio Analogue (electronics from Italy), Hegel (electronics from Norway), Amphion (speakers from Finland), and Atohm (speakers from France). Earlier this year on Soundstage Hi-Fi we reviewed the Amphion Argon3L speakers, which are the floorstanders on the outside (reviewer Philip Beaudette now uses a pair as his personal reference), so it was the stand-mounted Atohm GT-1 that caught our eye ($3995/pair) this time, and it might be something we review in the months to come.
Crown Mountain Imports is a North American distributor of some products that have had very little press here, but they're trying to change all that. At TAVES, CMI showed the Mimetism electronics from France along with the Kudos Audio speakers from the UK, which look quite interesting indeed. The Titan T88 (shown, $27,000/pair) is brand new and features an isobarik woofer configuration and a cabinet made of HDF and birch plywood. You can read more about the Titan T88 in the "New Products" gallery.
TubeMagic is a Canadian manufacturer of, you guessed it, tube electronics. They used Focus Audio's FP60 SE stand-mounted speakers, which are also made in Canada.
When we asked where retailer Audio Eden was located, a great debate ensued about whether Newmarket, which is where their store is situated, is part of Toronto or not. At the end of the discussion the verdict was a resounding no. It's way too far north, someone said. Audio Eden sells many different brands, including what was on display at TAVES 2011: Tannoy, Simaudio, Jadis, Rega, Devialet, Brinkmann, Gingko Audio, and Furman. Seems like it would be a good store.
Toronto Home of the Audiophile (a retailer in, obviously, Toronto) collaborated with Siltech Cables of the Netherlands for this room that featured Pass Labs and PS Audio electronics, Gershman Acoustics speakers and, of course, Siltech cables throughout.
We have yet to figure the "Audio Note thing" out -- it's seems very cult-like -- but the brand has a large enough following around the world, so undoubtedly some people have. This UK-based brand had their own room at TAVES 2011 featuring their CD4.1x CD player, OTO SE Signature integrated amplifier, and E/SPe HE loudspeakers. They claim 17Hz reach with the E/SPe HE speakers, which based on the way Audio Note always jams their speakers right into the corners, factors in a lot of room gain.
Positive AV Marketing distributes a large number of brands in Canada, including Atlantic Technology and Parasound. We have a review of Atlantic Technology's floorstanding AT-1 loudspeaker by Ron Doering coming to GoodSound! soon -- you won't want to miss it!
Reev Designs is a relatively new Canadian speaker maker, and the two-way Aatma loudspeaker is their first product. The Aatma sells for $6950/pair and was designed by the company's founder and president, Jugveer Rundhawa. You can find more details about the Aatma in our "New Products" gallery.
Coherent Speakers is another relatively new Canadian firm that had a room to show their Model 12 loudspeaker, a two-way design that uses a 12" coaxial driver with horn-loaded tweeter. The cabinet, which is said to be made entirely from Baltic birch plywood, is fabricated in Canada, while the driver is made for them in the United States. Unfortunately, we didn't learn the Model 12's price.
Canadian distributor Tri-Cell now handles Joseph Audio's loudspeakers in Canada. Tri-Cell is also the national distributor for many other products, including the ones shown from Clearaudio, Accustic Arts and Audience.
Canada's Oracle Audio had a room that contained the Vienna Acoustics Klimt The Kiss speakers along with every product they make. The highlight, though, was seeing singer Anne Bisson there and hearing her new release, Portraits & Perfume, on . . .
. . . LP and CD, using Oracle's CD player and turntable, of course. Comparing the two formats was interesting. In our opinion, the LP won out by having just a little more presence and soul. What was also surprising was the LP's lack of surface noise and the fact that it was pressed in Montreal, Bisson's hometown.
Finally, for those who'd rather build their gear, there is the AudioNote Kits company, which is related to Audio Note UK but is a Canadian company (president Brian Smith is shown) based in the nation's capital, Ottawa, which is also where the SoundStage! Network's headquarters are.