We really enjoy the Salon Hifi Home Cinema et Technologies d’Interieur and yesterday’s event was no exception. An early (3am) start and a long journey home to rural Brittany makes it an exhausting day but it’s well worth the effort.
The first room we went in was Waterfall whose little Hurricane speakers were playing when we were there and for such a diminutive and elegant loudspeaker they are very impressive indeed being fed by Devialet electronics. We’ve got a review of Waterfall loudspeakers due soon so watch this space.
AV Industries room had the Elipson Planet LW loudspeakers on whilst we were in there and, like last year, they’re a great looking and sounding loudspeaker. Lots of “Lifestyle” type products in the room which was generating a good bit of interest. The Planet M Gold looked suitably bling.
Audio Quartet had Peachtree electronics on show as well as Some Sonus Faber Olympians fed with a Wadia Intuition 01 amp and wired using MIT cables. The sound was very nice indeed throwing a lovely wide soundstage.
Into the Devialet room next and it was certainly proving to be a popular room. The guys running the room were great! Really warm and welcoming to everyone and allowed us to play a CD or two…thanks for that! I really like the sound of the Devialet kit and wasn’t disappointed today – gave a great impression of the live space the “Great Reunion” CD we played was recorded in. The 170 amp feeding a pair of LEEDH E2 loudspeakers was very nice indeed and something I’d be happy with at home. Whilst the Devialet kit is beautiful to behold (and the remote a joy to use) it’s a swine to photograph in the dark so apologies for the pics.
The next room had the same speakers playing as Devialet (as did the Neodio room) along with electronics from AVM and LUA. Plus a rather splendid looking and sounding Trans Rotor turntable. Nice room!
Brodmann Audio loudspeakers really are beautiful in the flesh and our pictures really don’t do the finish on the speakers the justice they deserve. The smaller Festival FS were playing when we were in the room and for such a small speaker in less than ideal conditions I was really impressed. A huge soundstage and a “un-hifi” (in a good way) sound. Icos CD player fed a Benchmark DAC and Bryston amp.
MW Distribution had the Adam Pencil MK 3 loudspeakers playing with Benchmark 2HGC DAC. The Adams are active so no external amps needed and the sound was pretty tight and controlled. Sadly the room wasn’t ideal I’m afraid but I’d love to hear these in a bigger room where they can really be allowed to sing!
We reported a few days ago on the Neodio Origine CD player (€35 000) and we were both intrigued to hear what this player could do. The Neodio is made in France and designed by the incredibly passionate (for his product) Stéphane Even who went to great lengths to explain the thinking behind the company’s products. Basically everything is designed to be very inert/dead and tapping on the CD player and their amp certainly displays this inertness. The company also make cables with the same philosophy. The sound was VERY detailed and very natural and life-like sound particularly on the strings playing whilst we were in the room. Also very evident in the reproduction was the sense of the recording space. Dynamic and fast were two words that I scribbled down. I’d have loved to have more music with less explanation of the products’ philosophy and I’d really love to have this kit in the house for a while!! Again speakers were the Leed E2s.
Jo Sound and Voxative we know well and always enjoy their room. In our rush to get round the show in the time we had we, yet again, missed the Voxativ speakers but were treated to their amps and pre amp hooked up to the Total DAC. The sound is natural sounding with a huge soundstage. We got them to play some house (Ralph Lawson – not your usual show fodder I’m well aware) and the sound was fast with a lovely rendition of the bassline – no one note boom here!!
Now we’re fans of Avantgarde but at Munich we never really got the opportunity to hear what their Zero Ones were capable of – Munich is hectic where this show is a little more intimate. If you don’t know the Zero Ones they’re a horn loaded (Mid and Tops) loudspeaker with a reflex loaded “cab” for bass. Not only a loudspeaker though – the Zero One is the company’s “…new speaker, our new DAC and new amplifier!” as they have onboard amps and DAC. Just plug them in to the mains, add a source (in this case a Micromega CD) and Robert’s your Mother’s Brother!! Playing Oscar Peterson the sound was very impressive indeed offering up a nicely integrated and balanced sound with nothing really taking over. Next up was some José Carreras singing along with a choir in a church. The Zero One’s gave a fabulous idea of the recording space and a very pure sound. Now at €10, 000 for the AV version or €12, 000 for the “audiophile” version they certainly aren’t cheap but then you don’t need amps, you don’t need DAC and you don’t need boxes all over the place. Pretty much a one stop solution. Could I live with them? I definitely reckon so sonically…but I also love lots of boxes of electronics, so perhaps I’m not their intended market. However given that the first production run sold out on pre sales and the second batch are already 80% sold Avantgarde certainly have a product here that targets its intended market very efficiently!!
Atohm always deliver in my opinion and today was no exception whilst using a Devialet amp. Great overall sound and nice to hear you guys not playing Pink Floyd as always has seemed the case in the past when I’ve visited. Nothing wrong with this kit at all!!
On to Accuphase electronics feeding some Fostex GW 250 MG speakers. Despite us walking in towards the end of the session (we couldn’t return) the set up was certainly impressive. The Bassocontinuo racks really set this room off!
Dali was an interesting room and the funky speakers outside looked great in their distinctive paint jobs. Inside the room were playing some Dali Kubik Free loudspeakers that are desktop/small room Bluetooth ready that, whilst I only listened for a short while, sounded great. Ideal for a bedroom or a small office system – I imagine they will be popular with “the yoof”.
Cyrus’ room, along with Meridian and Vienna Acoustics, was great and we were treated to a glimpse of the new Cyrus Lyric – a lifestyle product that when fully launched should appeal to those wanting a great sound in an all in one unit. Bit of a trend this one and one we’ll be following closely!
And with that, apart from our random pics below was it for us. A really nice show with some great kit on view. Personally I’d like to see less AV kit as this meant that there were a couple of large spaces that really didn’t register on my radar.
Thanks go out to SPAT for making us feel really welcome at the show (lovely pastries for breakfast) and we look forward to partnering you for the show next year.