TAVES Consumer Electronics Show Coverage by Douglas Brown

2016-11-22T18:23:25+00:00November 22nd, 2016|Audio Video Show Coverage, Features|39 Comments


Editor’s note: Last week, we posted TAVES 2016 show coverage PART 1 and PART 2 from George de Sa.  Today we invite you to read about some of the high-end hifi exhibitors explored in detail on the show floor by NOVO magazine’s Douglas Brown.

Audio by Mark Jones

CH Precision is an ultra high-end audio company that’s based out of Lausanne Switzerland (CH). While a number of different exhibitors at TAVES 2016 used CH’s components, only Audio by Mark Jones had a design engineer from CH Precision on hand to answer technical questions about their gear. Raphael Pasche travelled all the way from Switzerland and was generous enough to sit down with me for about 20 minutes to chat about CH’s gear at this year’s TAVES.

In a breathtaking 2-channel system, Mark Jones used a Kronos Pro turntable ($38,000 USD), with a matching Kronos Black Beauty tonearm ($8,500 USD), and an Ortofon A95 M/C cartridge ($7,000 USD) as their vinyl source.


Along with a CH Precision solid state P1 phono stage ($31,000 USD), a CH L1 dual mon-aural pre-amplifier ($35,000 USD), CH’s pair of M1 mono-block amplifiers ($95,000 USD), a pair of Nordost Valhalla 2 interconnects ($9,000 USD), and an 8 foot pair of Valhalla 2 speaker cables ($16,000 USD), these components drove a pair of Magico S5 Mk#2 full-range loudspeakers (pair in use came with the upgraded M-Coat finish $42,000 USD). Across the entire frequency spectrum, the sound of this system was as cohesive and 3-dimensional as any that I heard during the entire weekend.

CH Precision also brought their D1 SACD / CD drive ($38,000 USD) and their C1 DAC ($33,000 USD) as a 2-channel digital reference system.

All of CH Precision’s components are based on modular designs and can be “tailor made” to the needs and demands of any 2-channel system. The C1 DAC, for example, can have an asynchronous USB-input board ($3,000 USD) and/or an Ethernet streaming board ($5,000 USD) installed for use with digital streams and/or Ethernet-based sources.


DVL Audio:

DVL Audio’s ultra high-end 2-channel system featured a Kronos turntable ($36,000 USD), a matching Kronos Black Beauty tonearm ($8,500 USD), and a Haniwa low inductance M/C cartridge ($8,000 USD). DVL also brought Swiss CH Precision’s D1 SACD / CD transport + player ($38,000 USD) and a CH Precision C1 Reference DAC ($33,000 USD) as their digital source.

For its Canadian premiere, DVL debuted CH Precision’s P1 dual mono phono pre-amplifier ($31,250 USD) and X1 external power supply ($15,000 USD). A Viola Labs Bravo 2-channel stereo power amplifier ($59,000 USD) rounded out their components. The gorgeous equipment racks were from Spanish Artesania Audio (prices range from $2,600 USD to $3,690 USD). They used a full loom of CH Precision’s own in-house brand cables.

DVL showcased a floorstanding pair of Magico S7 full-range 3-way loudspeakers in a stunning ‘Lamborghini Orange’ [my words… not theirs] colour ($64,000 USD).


When I first walked into DVL Audio’s room and spotted the Kronos ‘table, I assumed (incorrectly) that they’d chosen vinyl as their source. I was wrong. This was the only room at the entire TAVES 2016 extravaganza where I mistook a digital source for an analog one. So… kudos to DVL for getting such a warm and natural sound out of their digital gear.


EXA Sound

With a history of releasing ‘cutting edge’ digital products, EXA Sound of Toronto gave TAVES 2016 the world premier of two new DACs: 1), their brand new flagship e32 two-channel DAC ($3,499 USD); and 2), their new e38 multi-channel DAC ($3,849 USD). Both DACs are based on the 4th-generation Sabre ES-9028 digital chip. All of EXA Sound’s components are designed and built entirely in Canada.

Set-up in a 2-channel system with EXA Sound’s PlayPoint Network Audio Player ($1,999 USD), the e32 DAC, a Pass Labs X350.8 solid state power amplifier ($19,900 CDN), and a pair of Magnepan 3.7i loudspeakers ($5,995 USD / pair), the sound was clean, dynamic, and, to my ears, decidedly non-digital.


Focus Audio

Focus Audio has been based locally out of Markham Ontario for 20+ years. Focus brought a Metronome Technologie Kalista Signature CD transport + DAC ($85,000 USD) as their digital source in a 2-channel system which proudly showcased their Liszt Concert integrated mono amplifier ($25,000 USD). Combined with a full loom of French Absolue Créations cables (approx. value $10,000 USD), Focus Audio’s massive 6 foot tall Master Two BE speakers ($45,000 USD) that weigh-in at 220 Lbs each(!) provided a HUGE soundstage with an equally impressive placement of individual instruments within a 3-dimensional sphere of sound.

In my notes, I wrote: “Fast transients, ultra-clean detail, with superb PRaT, massive soundstaging, and impressive dynamics.” The Focus Audio room easily made my list of ‘Top 5’ two-channel systems at this year’s TAVES.

Gerr Audio

Providing custom acoustical measurement services to both the pro-audio and consumer electronics markets, Gerr Audio of Toronto promoted their Smaart V8 software packages to bench techs, professional audio engineers, and audiophiles alike.

The V8 version of their Smaart (System Measurement Acoustic Analysis Real-time Tool) offers multi-channel real-time measurement for both Windows and Mac O/S operating systems (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions). Priced at $1,900 CDN for the full software, microphone, and interface kit, Smaart V8 can run multiple / simultaneous spectrum and transfer function measurements.

Also carrying a full line of Audio Precision’s APx Series audio analyzers, APx digital I/O interface options, and Classic Series audio analyzers, Gerr Audio is the one-stop shop for professional audio engineers and home audio enthusiasts alike in the broadcast, communications, bench-tech, and production environments.

HiFi Man

With a proud tradition of manufacturing ultra high-end headphones, headphone amplifiers, and ancillary headphone related audiophile products, HiFi Man brought their flagship HE-1000 V2 headphones ($4,000 CDN) to Toronto for the Canadian premiere of these reference-calibre ‘phones. The new asymmetrical planar-ribbon drivers used in the V2 version feature what HiFi Man calls “…the world’s 1st diaphragm [with a] nano-meter thickness.”

The thinner outer-casing has decreased the HE-1000 V2’s weight from 480 grams (16.9 ounces) in the V1 version, down to 420 grams (14.8 ounces) in the V2.

The CNC-machined fit and finish of the HE-1000 V2s truly places them in the “reference calibre” category. After a good listen, I concluded that these are one of the best sounding headphones which currently exist on this or any other planet.

I also auditioned several of HiFi Man’s more reasonably priced headphone models which start around the $300 CDN level. All of them produced impressive sonics with a smooth and musical sound.

With a high sensitivity of 103dB, HiFi Man’s Edition-X v2 headphones were designed to be used with smart-phones, portable Digital Media Players, and high-end portable audio devices. Listening to Hi-Rez digital files from an Astell & Kern AK240, the sound quality of the Edition-X v2 open back planar-ribbon headphones ($1,799 CDN) was stunning. If you’re an audiophile who uses portable devices a lot, do yourself a favour and audition a pair of HiFi Man headphones.


Kennedy HiFi

For TAVES 2016, local Markham Ontario based purveyors of high-end audio/video systems Kennedy Hifi had a multi-channel home theatre set-up.

Using a BlueSound Vault-Two 2TB hard-drive + CD-Ripper ($1,400 CDN) as a source, Kennedy brought Toronto the Canadian premiere of Paradigm’s new Anthem 2-channel S.T.R. solid state integrated amplifier + DAC ($4,995 CDN). Providing a healthy 2 x 225 watts into 8 Ohms, the clean, detailed, and surprisingly warm sound of this solid state integrated amp was a pleasure to listen to. They used AudioQuest cables throughout their multi-channel system.

Driving Paradigm’s just-introduced, reference Persona 9H hybrid loudspeakers ($38,000 CDN), the synergy between the S.T.R. amplifier and the Persona 9H speakers brought a tactile realism to movie soundtracks that was simply remarkable to hear; and feel.


Krell + Oracle + Reference 3A

The Krell / Oracle / Reference 3A / Gutwire room was a tale of four superb ultra high-end 2-channel audio companies combining their individual areas of expertise to bring a sonic synergy that was a pleasure to hear.


Jacques Riendeau and Stephane Maddau own Oracle Audio. Oracle has their own machine shop in Sherbrooke Quebec and every one of their exquisite turntables and phono stages is designed and built entirely in Canada. For TAVES 2016, Oracle brought their flagship Delphi Mk#6 – 2nd generation turntable ($9,000 CDN) that was outfitted with an SME-345 tonearm ($3,750 CDN) and a Cardas wiring harness.


Monsieur Riendeau was particularly excited to tell me about Oracle’s new “entry levelOrigine turntable, which comes equipped with a uni-pivot arm for the modest asking price of $2,000 CDN. Oracle also debuted their PH-100 ($900 CDN) and PH-200 ($1,800 CDN) solid state phono stages to the Canadian market.


Since TAVES started in 2011 six shows ago, this was Krell’s first visit to Toronto. Rondi D’Agostino (yes… that D’Agostino) bought Krell back and, as their current Managing Director, it’s clear that Krell’s commitment to ultra high-end 2-channel sound is stronger than ever.

Designed and built entirely in the USA, Krell proudly showcased their new solid state Illusion pre-amp ($20,300 CDN) and Solo 575 mono block amplifiers ($30,800 CDN per pair). Krell also brought their Vanguard DAC ($8,300 CDN) and Digital Vanguard Streamer ($6,800 CDN) to Toronto.

Venerable owner Tosh Goka of Reference 3A took the time to explain, at length, all of the advanced engineering work—in fact… two full years of research and design work—that went into Reference 3A’s new Reflector stand-mount monitors ($12,000 USD / pair).

Featuring adjustable tension rods to control the Reflector’s internal anti-vibration bracing and constrained layers fabricated out of real glass which have been laminated to the top and sides of the speakers over High Density Fibre-board (HDF), to my ears, the Reflector was the best sounding bookshelf / stand-mount monitor at this year’s TAVES.

It was a privilege to see (and hear) Krell partnered-up with Oracle and Reference 3A. From my notes, the sound I experienced in their room was utterly mesmerizing. The smooth, organic, and captivating quality of Oracle’s vinyl rig mated particularly well with the rich, deep, and powerful sound of Krell’s solid state pre/power components. Reference 3A’s new Reflector monitors allowed me to hear all of the subtle micro & macro sonic details, harmonic richness, and hip-swinging PRaT that this system produced. A full loom of cabling was supplied by Gutwire.



Based out of Ottawa Ontario, Muraudio brought their flagship Domain Omni PX-2 electrostatic floorstanding speakers ($79,500 USD) which feature a “…360 degree array of continuous curve ESL panels” to Toronto. These amazing speakers offer listeners all of the sonic benefits of lightning-fast transients and the breathtaking PRaT which traditional ESL panel speakers do, but with a vastly increased “sweet spot”.

Combined in a 2-channel system with Sim Audio’s Moon 750 CD / DAC transport ($14,000 USD), Moon 820S A/C power supply ($8,000 USD), Moon 850P stereo pre-amp ($30,000 USD), and Moon 870 mono-block amplifiers ($44,000 USD for a pair of amps), and a full loom of Shunyata’s eTron cables ($21,000 USD), the Muraudio room had an amazingly full, warm, and cohesive sound. Given my 35+ year long love affair with Quad ESL-57s and ESL-63s electrostatic loudspeakers, it was a delight to hear a new take on electro-static panel speakers.

  • About the Author:


    1. GreenGoogle Mar 10, 2019 at 11:21 am


      […]here are some links to websites that we link to due to the fact we assume they may be really worth visiting[…]

    2. Sns nails scottsdale Mar 11, 2019 at 8:09 pm

      Sns nails scottsdale

      […]Here is a great Weblog You might Discover Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

    3. stroker Mar 11, 2019 at 11:04 pm


      […]here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to due to the fact we think they may be worth visiting[…]

    4. breakout of rut Mar 12, 2019 at 9:28 am

      breakout of rut

      […]just beneath, are various totally not connected web pages to ours, even so, they may be certainly really worth going over[…]

    5. Penis pumps Mar 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Penis pumps

      […]Here are some of the web-sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

    6. Nintendo subscription box Mar 14, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Nintendo subscription box

      […]Here is a superb Weblog You may Discover Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

    7. Clitoral vibrator review Mar 14, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      Clitoral vibrator review

      […]The data mentioned in the article are a few of the very best out there […]

    8. doc 1830 Mar 16, 2019 at 2:12 am

      doc 1830

      […]Every the moment inside a whilst we choose blogs that we read. Listed beneath are the most up-to-date internet sites that we opt for […]

    9. 2008 Final Exam Mar 16, 2019 at 8:50 am

      2008 Final Exam

      […]please stop by the web pages we comply with, including this one particular, as it represents our picks through the web[…]

    10. nfl merchandise Mar 16, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      nfl merchandise

      […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless genuinely worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular discover about Mid East has got extra problerms as well […]

    11. bondage restraint kit Mar 16, 2019 at 11:50 pm

      bondage restraint kit

      […]The facts mentioned within the report are several of the best available […]

    12. Belt force requirement Mar 17, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      Belt force requirement

      […]although sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they are in fact worth a go through, so possess a look[…]

    13. adam and eve ben wa balls Mar 17, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      adam and eve ben wa balls

      […]usually posts some incredibly interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

    14. dual stimulating vibrator Mar 17, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      dual stimulating vibrator

      […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

    15. http://ttlink.com/montu4891

      […]below you will locate the link to some websites that we consider you should visit[…]

    16. Chicago SEO Mar 19, 2019 at 2:39 am

      Chicago SEO

      […]that may be the end of this report. Right here you will come across some web sites that we feel you will appreciate, just click the links over[…]

    17. detox tea Mar 20, 2019 at 8:43 am

      detox tea

      […]check below, are some totally unrelated web-sites to ours, on the other hand, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

    18. Criminal Defense Lawyer Richmond, VA

      […]below you will find the link to some websites that we think you should visit[…]

    19. learn guitar scales Mar 27, 2019 at 8:38 am

      learn guitar scales

      […]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I like but really don’t get quite a bit of link love from[…]

    20. mobile phone repair near me

      […]here are some hyperlinks to internet sites that we link to for the reason that we consider they’re really worth visiting[…]

    21. adonis extension Mar 30, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      adonis extension

      […]The facts talked about in the post are several of the most beneficial accessible […]

    22. plus size sex toys Apr 1, 2019 at 8:34 pm

      plus size sex toys

      […]very couple of sites that happen to become comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

    23. bullet and egg vibrator Apr 5, 2019 at 8:58 am

      bullet and egg vibrator

      […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

    24. evolved wild orchid video

      […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get quite a bit of link really like from[…]

    25. dildo review Apr 7, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      dildo review

      […]The details talked about in the post are a number of the ideal available […]

    26. remote control vibrator Apr 8, 2019 at 10:32 am

      remote control vibrator

      […]Here is a good Blog You may Discover Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

    27. Check Here Apr 8, 2019 at 11:55 pm

      Check Here

      […]Here is a great Blog You may Obtain Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

    28. leak detection services near me

      […]The information and facts mentioned inside the write-up are several of the very best out there […]

    29. work from home full time Apr 11, 2019 at 9:02 am

      work from home full time

      […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link enjoy from[…]

    30. detroit seo Apr 11, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      detroit seo

      […]very handful of web-sites that come about to become detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

    31. can i get home Apr 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      can i get home

      […]very couple of sites that take place to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly worth checking out[…]

    32. best anal toys Apr 18, 2019 at 10:08 am

      best anal toys

      […]Here are some of the websites we advise for our visitors[…]

    33. Advanced Rabbit Vibe Apr 18, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Advanced Rabbit Vibe

      […]here are some links to websites that we link to because we think they’re worth visiting[…]

    34. Mom Apr 18, 2019 at 11:02 pm


      […]just beneath, are a lot of completely not related web pages to ours, having said that, they’re certainly worth going over[…]

    35. male enhancement that works

      […]The facts talked about inside the article are a few of the most beneficial out there […]

    36. vibrating pleasure balls Apr 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      vibrating pleasure balls

      […]we like to honor several other net sites around the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

    37. vibrating strap on for couples

      […]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but really don’t get a whole lot of link appreciate from[…]

    38. 188bet Apr 22, 2019 at 9:20 am


      […]we came across a cool web site that you simply might delight in. Take a appear in the event you want[…]

    39. fun88 Apr 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm


      […]the time to read or visit the content or websites we’ve linked to below the[…]

    Leave A Comment