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Marlen Mogliever of Blueberry Hill Audio astonished crowds with his Rhapsody in 4D and smaller Nocturne in 3D loudspeakers, bipolar Fostex designs in Baltic birch.

On opening day he demonstrated the sheer power and wide dynamic ability which the bigger unit can achieve. It threw an enormous detailed soundstage and with its powered sub was quite capable of bringing full weight and depth to the bass. The second day the slightly smaller version played and proved a more optimal room match, showing very similar virtues with even better attack and focus. An uncommon design with uncommonly good sound to go with it. $25.000 and $15.000 respectively for the complete packages.

ASW had their large $28.000/pr Magadis floorstander ...

... fed by an intriguing Kronos turntable sporting counter-rotating platters and a slung suspension all mounted on a prototype stand.

This went through a Zesto Audio Leto tube preamplifier and Acoustic Arts Amp II. The disparate driver elements of the ASW proved seamless, speaking with a single voice smooth and balanced.

Bernard Li of Charisma Audio brought out a good helping of his considerable stable. The recent addition of Vicoustic acoustic treatments was on display, offering considerably more visual appeal than the traditional industrial variety.

On opening day the Italian Cappricio Continuo monitors and bass modules were front and center backed by Audio Exklusiv electronics and a Well Tempered Lab table.

Shanling CD transport and the new Calyx Femto DAC just reviewed by Paul Candy provided the front end and a Revox tape deck rounded out the analog end. On the second day Charisma showcased the tall and slender German Audio Exklusiv P 3.1 electrostat.

That combination showed all the traditional virtues of the breed with superb definition and a transparent midrange plus the bonus of unusually potent and deep bass. Very promising under show conditions!

Other displayed products included the Scheu table, lovely AudioSpace monoblock amplifiers and the Polish GigaWatt line of power conditioners.

Toronto Home of the Audiophile brought out their big guns. Gershman Black Swans were married to a PS Audio source through hefty Pass Labs preamp and monoblocks. What emerged was rich, deep and detailed with the imaging of a mini monitor and the ability to change performance scale to match the recording. The high pedigree system gave sound to match. On the lower end of the scale Ofra Gershman debuted the new $3.000/pr baby of the line, the small Idol floorstander matched with Cambridge Audio components. While it couldn’t capture the sheer mass and scale of its big brother, the Idol was remarkably communicative with expansive soundstage, expressive midrange and decent low end - a smaller offering for rooms with smaller systems but presenting excellent pedigree in its own right.

Patrick Sareault of Cabasse Canada who just signed Esoteric US as their new North-American import house demonstrated the Pacific 3SA speakers supported by Esoteric electronics. French Cabasse have a long history of design and manufacturing innovation dating back to 1950 and created its trademark coaxial driver in 1952.

This model is available passive for $16.000 or semi active for $22.000 and a departure from their exotic satellite/subwoofer designs clothed in more traditional floorstanding threads. The virtues of this curved extended-range coax proved much in evidence and presented a large sweet spot with a cohesive image cut from a single cloth, warm, informative and capable of getting you deeply involved in the music. The system revealed nuance rather than exposing flaws. As a result recordings were simply better or not as good but always enjoyable.

Canadian Focus Audio was out with a full lineup of loudspeakers and new integrated amplifier. Their Prestige series FP88 SE was making lovely music with their 35wpc Liszt Sonata integrated. Priced at $7.000/pair and $12.000 respectively, the combination achieved wide deep imaging with a palpable midrange, good definition and deep bass.

Coherent Loudspeakers was back with two models this year, the Model 10 and 12. Looking as stunning as last year they were paired with all Audionote electronics and a Baetis Audio music server doing front-end duty. This approach allowed for not only music files but also high-quality music video to be enjoyed. The Coherent system proved to be as adept at musical nuance as it did with powerful attacks, throwing out a vast soundscape with focus and detail.

Tash Goka's Reference 3A loudspeakers were seeing duty in several rooms. In their own room the Grand Veena combined with a Copland system of CTA305 preamp, CTA506 amp and CDA823 CD player, making a dynamically lively performance that was controlled, incisive and articulate. Sitting on the sidelines were Antique Sound Lab amplifiers and an intriguing Yiel magnetic levitation device.

In the Audioscape room Usher speakers were making a strong showing. On the second day a different model was fired up and running but the sonic signatures between models was remarkably consistent to suggest solid engineering by Usher and very good system matching by the Audioscape crew. Their Primaluna line was showing well and the turntable contingency was represented on both ends of the scale with the Dual line for those who want to listen to their vinyl and by Nottingham for those exploring the higher reaches. Mr. Skubinski of JPS labs was on hand with his fine cables.

In Angie’s Audio Corner the massive Acapella hornspeaker with its legendary ion tweeter was supported by Audio Research electronics and an Esoteric front end. It played sophisticated, transparent and was capable of prodigious output and dynamics.