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French manufacturer Atoll Electronique paired its CD player and integrated successfully with a pair of Elac speakers to produce a huge warm soundstage that spoke with a tube signature despite its Mosfet design.

Grant Fidelity had its share of problems on opening day due to a delayed shipment of hardware. Despite that fact initial offerings like the little desktop Quinpu Omni speaker intrigued the crowds until the bigger and shinier fare arrived. Ian's Rita 880 amplifiers and RBS-1 reference monitors were warming up later in the day with an assortment of impressive product on display.

Ian Grant

Audio Note UK product could be found in two areas, one on the second floor displaying kits, the other on the sixth floor in a full-fledged system. The active setup was in AN’s standard corner-placed location with a simplicity of electronic setup and cabling. The sonic signature was natural, wide of stage and dynamically lively.

D2MK Solutions was showing off the Waterfall Audio glass speakers with Cary Audio electronics to considerable effect. The Cary 200.2 transistor amplifier drove the setup with wide dynamic swings and bass power that belied the driver compliment. It could easily fill a room with disarming authority.

In the Bentwood Horns room were some richly finished wideband and horn designs. Playing at the time was the imposing and elegant The Angel loudspeaker powered by a tiny 2-watt Spark 743D integrated tube amp and sporting a serious outboard crossover. Here was a setup that played big and lifelike with good authority and dynamics.

Blueberry Hill Audio/Audio Zone had an intriguing design called the Rhapsody-in-3D making some serious music. Intricately constructed, this speaker offered very wide dispersion with an engaging character. Certainly worth more than a casual show listen.

Audio Physic Avantera speakers were teamed with German-made Trigon electronics and the Acoustic Signature turntable. Unfortunately I only had a brief exposure. The quality of what I heard would have merited a longer session.

In the Hampstead room the 250lbs heavyweight Euphoria speaker showed great promise supported by a bevy of tubes via Atma Sphere amplifiers and Allnic Audio preamp plus an impressive  analogue front end supplied by Canadian manufacturer TT Weights Audio who were showing their line of Gem Duo Drive turntables and accessories.

Zu Audio was playing their $3.500/pr Omen Definition speakers in the Parklane room with Samuel Furon's Ocellia valve gear whilst importer Worldwide Distribution had a phalanx of  Volent speakers awaiting their turn on the side.

On the cable and accessory front, new faces were to be found interspersed with established names. In a second floor booth, Audio Sensibility was showing some well thought-out cables and custom machined connector housings.

Onda Systems occupied a room on the 6th floor and demonstrated their substantial cable line with Vandersteen speakers and Accustic Arts electronics.

Centrally located on the second floor was a bastion of musical software. Vinyl, SACD, BluRay, hi-rez DVD and CD  were much in demand and  lineups at the cashier were long. Here was also my last chance to amass more music for my collection and join the queue.

By now the sun had set. The booths closed down and the show entrance was roped off as the last exhibitors left for the night. Weary but happy it was also time for me to head out, collect my thoughts and notes and reflect on the past two days. By the end of the second day TAVES had been pretty much deemed itself an absolute success. The quality of the exhibits brought out the audiophile crowds in strong numbers but it was the enthusiasm of both exhibitors and attendees that kept those numbers growing. Sometimes a leap of faith lands on solid footing. Congratulations to the organizers and participants of TAVES 2011. This marks the auspicious beginning of a new Canadian show tradition.