The Haute Fidelité show was a great success for us, not least because this year we actually managed to catch our train and get there in one piece.
It’s a really good show it has to be said and members of the public who attended are clearly very passionate about their two channel replay and their music. On the negative side, signposting to the various floors (it was over three floors) could have been a little clearer.
Sound in the rooms was on the whole pretty good and certainly a step up from the last Paris show we attended a few weeks ago.
Highlights for me were the Swissonar room where they were playing their Bach 12 loudspeakers powered by their modular amplifier system and their modified Thorens TD 124 turntable. The sound was hugely dynamic and very believable. In the same room we had the Leedh E2 loudspeakers powered by 3D Labs electronics and, it has to be said, these speakers sound great whenever I’ve heard them at shows.
In one room there was what I thought was an odd partnering of Tune Audio’s Prime loudspeakers along with Atoll electronics – how wrong I was. I’d heard the Primes at Munich and really wasn’t that impressed with them at all – in fact I thought they sounded awful, but here they sounded very fine indeed!
Another surprise came in form of the room playing a load of Yamaha equipment which sounded great and showed that hifi needn’t be esoteric to sound good.
One of the outstanding rooms for me was a room playing Ming Da’s humungous MC998 monoblocs with their huge 212 valves powering a pair of Enciente Bleue single driver loudspeakers. Massive sound with great cleanness to it.
A few of the rooms weren’t playing music (there seemed to be a strict time schedule in most rooms) and in some others music was playing but you couldn’t hear it for the chatter of the company reps – this is a major irritation to me I’m afraid !!!
The Mulidine loudspeakers room sounded beautiful but too dark to really take photographs – a name to watch out for in future I’d suggest.
Pier Audio, who are a new name to me, created a nice sounding room playing through a pair of unassuming Davis loudspeakers.
Audio Necs offering looked interesting but there was no music playing – it certainly ticks all the boxes on the looks front!
Another new company to me was Tosca who had a few amps, a seriously impressive looking turntable and an equally stunning CD player on their benches. There were also loudspeakers using a single driver but no music was playing sadly.
TAD and MBL electronics made a very convincing sound too.
There were a few standouts and the sounds of the show for me must go to either the Swissonor room, the Enciente Bleue/Ming Da room or the JoSound Cartouche room where the speakers sounded great whether on the end of the Transrotor turntable and valves or the all in one AVM box (which was a pig to photograph).
The Haute Fidelité show is a good one and well worth making the trip – heck, you even get a free ticket when you buy the month’s magazine.