Toronto Audiofest 2023 Show Report - (November 3rd update)

Meet the Team

On the left, Dylan Dacres Product Manager and Bonnie and Peter Fan the new proud owners of Motet Distribution

This year, we decided to take a unique approach. We aimed to combine equipment that is not typically seen together. Our main setup for this year showcased the highly anticipated Accuphase A80 (making its first appearance in North America), the C2300 Preamp, the Lumin U2 Streamer, the PS Audio FR20 Speakers, and a set of P20 Power Conditioners. We are grateful to have partnered with Kennedy HI FI to make this room possible!

Wondering if anyone made it out to the audio show in Toronto this weekend. Just curious to hear people’s impressions (given no thread yet that I can see, it seems likely very few from this forum attended). I was there yesterday with a buddy of mine. We only had about half a day and wanted to see each room, so couldn’t really stay in any room for long and draw any solid conclusions. Took some pics (not many) and might throw those up when I get the chance.

I found a lot of the systems sounded far too bright, but that could be due to various reasons.

I did like the Accuphase room, where Accuphase gear was feeding a pair of PS Audio speakers. Nice, balanced sound that played loudly without strain.

Importer Motet Distribution had a few exhibits at the show this year. One of them was showcasing two systems, situated side-by-side but separated by a large divider. After greeting representatives from PS Audio, Kimber Kable, Kennedy HiFi, and PMC, I settled in to have a listen to the first system.

It featured two models from PMC’s new prodigy series (prodigy with a lower case “p”, according to the company’s website), the prodigy1 standmount ($2500/pair) and prodigy5 floorstander ($4000/pair), which use the same tweeter as the company’s Result6 active monitor. The system, wired with Kimber Kable ($various), consisted of a PS Audio StellarGold preamplifier ($5600), a PS Audio StellarGold DAC ($5600), and a pair of class-D, 350W PS Audio M700 monoblocs, said to be stable (briefly) at 2 ohms ($4500 ea). Providing streaming via Tidal was a PS Audio AirLens music streamer ($3000), while AC regeneration was handled by a PS Audio 6-outlet Stellar P3 PowerPlant ($3300).

With both prodigy models, the system sounded well balanced, but, unsurprisingly, the prodigy5 offered more bass and sounded more harmonically full than its smaller sibling. Both speakers’ high frequencies were airy and detailed. It was apparent to me that the speakers’ Advance Transmission Line (ATL) design and trickled-down tweeter technology really shines in this new series from PMC.

System 2 featured a pair of the latest PS Audio aspen FR20 tower speakers ($26,000/pair), whose cabinet was designed by Canadian company Studio 63. Handling streaming via Tidal was a Lumin T3 network music player ($7500) feeding a PS Audio DirectStream Mkll DAC ($11,000), which converts every one of its galvanically isolated input signals to pure DSD. Other products in the chain included an Accuphase C-2300 preamplifier, a class-A, MOSFET-based, 65Wpc (520W into 1 ohm!) Accuphase A-80 power amplifier, two PS Audio P20 PowerPlants ($14,700 ea.), while Kimber Kable handled cabling ($various).

This system sounded awesome! I heard excellent detail retrieval, high frequency extension, a smooth treble response, a deep soundstage, and a transparent, full-bodied midrange. Imaging and also excellent, while bass was solid and extended. With the speakers pulled halfway into the room, vocals and instruments had a holographic, near-field presence.

Two fantastic sounding systems and a great demo experience hosted by helpful, informative company reps. What more could one want?

PMC unveiled their brand new Prodigy (Canadian Unveiling) series bookshelf speakers (Prodigy 1: $2499) and floorstanding speakers ($3999), and we were thrilled to showcase them. These are PMC's first loudspeakers available at this price range. Additionally, we provided an exclusive first look in North America at the PS Audio Gold Stellar DAC and Preamp. Our goal was to demonstrate the various sound profiles that these products offer, featuring both the PS Audio M700 solid state amplifier and the AudioNote UK Cobra, alternating between them on different hours.

We showcased two rooms highlighting the Eversolo DMP-A6 Master Edition & Triangle. Our main setup, in collaboration with our partner dealer, Elite Audio, consisted of the impressive 40th Anniversary Triangle Cello speakers, Perreaux Integrated Amp, and the Eversolo DMP-A6 Master Edition. This system offered a harmonious blend of dynamics and clarity, capturing the attention of many attendees. In our second room (Knightsbridge), we also featured the Eversolo DMP-A6 Master Edition, the Triangle 40th Anniversary Duetto, and AudioNote UK Vindicator Amplification.

Was pleasantly surprised in the two rooms that featured Triangle speakers.One was driven by Audio Note UK components and the other (I think) with a Perreault amp. Definitely a bright, lively, precise kind of sound but seemingly without harshness. Maybe it would be too much over longer listening sessions, but I thought in the brief time I heard the speakers, they had that bright, lively sound but delivered it with a degree of naturalness that many other speakers didn't.

We can't imagine a show without a dedicated AudioNote room. This year, we decided to showcase a complete Level 3 system with the Meishu integrated amplifier as the centerpiece. The room featured live music performed by Vincent Bélanger and presentations by Daniel Qvortrup from AudioNote.

I’ll begin by echoing the main comment I heard from guests reacting to the live / recorded (on CD) playing sessions:
“It all sounded live!”

We cannot overlook our section dedicated to small form factor and on-the-go products, which includes items from IFI and FiiO. We made sure to bring as many products as possible to demonstrate the wide range offered by both brands. From the Zen series by IFI to the high-end DAPs from Fiio, we truly had something for everyone. Consumers had the opportunity to try out different products and make meaningful comparisons to understand the unique benefits each product brings.

A Big Happy Family!