Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio out of Toronto, Ontario is always pushing the boundaries of high-fidelity preconceptions in some way or another. He likes to mix things up at audio trade shows with his presentations. His care, and attention to curating large, over-the-top systems has won him a number of awards over the years for “Best in Show” at venues such as TAVES, the Montreal Audio Show, and AXPONA to name a few.
I got to spend some time with Wong, and a few very special guests during my weekend in Chicago for AXPONA, so please enjoy these short video interviews with not only Wong, but Micha Huber of Thales Tonarm, Mark Johansen of Zensati Cables, Stig Bjorge of Kiso Acoustics, and Jean-Marie Clauzel of Metronome.
Lately Wong has been dabbling in taking the hi-fi system out of the standard hotel room, or ballroom space completely by having a purpose-built audiophile enclosure (think “Booth”) designed, and constructed to highlight the recorded-playback listening experience in a space that can be set-up anywhere. Originally commissioned for the Toronto Interior Design Show last year, the portable unit has proved a worthy investment for him, educating many heretofore uninitiated music lovers to just how great recorded music can sound.
I’ve previously written on the “Booth.” Here’s an excerpt from when it first launched:
“With the crossover nexus of art, culture, design, and music being lifestyle, Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio has chosen to showcase a unique concept space at the Interior Design Show in Toronto from January 18-21. Wong commissioned Arc & Co. to handle the design, and construction of a truly unique listening “room” for show goers to experience what it’s like to be completely immersed in an aural space, but an aural space featuring the powered, wireless, 600-watt, three-way Goldmund Logos Satya loudspeakers, and Thales TTT Compact turntable as an analog source.”
Wong has since taken the show on the road, and while the traditional two-channel setup he put together for Chicago in the Utopia C ballroom was a knockout, most people were talking about Wong’s booth set up in the Expo Hall because it was so completely unique. He has also switched-up the gear list, with Kiso Acoustic supplying loudspeakers, Karan Acoustic providing amplification, and Metronome providing the source.
Experiencing the “Booth” for the first time at AXPONA, I was impressed at how quickly I was transported from the busy show floor, to the relative tranquillity of the music-filled interior. It literally felt like a small oasis of calm – which I’m quick to admit – is always a most welcome space to find oneself in during a big audio trade show. I could see why the experiment was not only popular with jaded attendees, but how it has proven to be educational for those souls not familiar with how great recorded music is capable of sounding.
The big system – which sounded warm without any loss of resolution, handled big dynamic swings with ease, conveyed powerful bass, and had impressive scale to it’s 3D sound stage – was comprised of a Kalista DreamPlay One CD player ($48,000 USD) for a digital source, two Thales TTT-Compact II Turntables handling analog duties ($14,850 USD), one with the Thales Statement Tonearm ($21,090 USD), and EMT JSD VM ($4,995 USD), and one in bronze with a Thales Simplicity II in blue ($9,450 USD) also sporting an EMT JSD VM. Both ‘tables were feeding into a Karan Acoustics KA Ph Reference Phono stage ($23,995 USD), a Karan Acoustics KA L Reference Preamp ($16,995 USD), along with a duo of Karan Acoustics KA M 2000 Monoblocks ($59,995/pair USD) pumping the go-juice into the beautiful Penaudio Sinfonia loudspeakers ($27,000/pair USD). Cables were a mix of ZenSati Zorro, and Seraphim.