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Vancouver 2018

  • The 2018 Vancouver Audio Festival (VAF) had a charm about it that most shows lack, and that’s not because AXPONA, or RMAF don’t have style or class, or great people, vendors, and attendees… it’s strictly a size issue. A massive show is just that: Massive. There’s usually more than a hundred demo rooms, a large Expo show-floor area, and an included headphone-centric ballroom or atrium, so they tend to overwhelm many, and require focus, and concentration from show [...]
  • For those attending Hi-Fi Centre‘s Audio Festival this year, there were some familiar brands to hear new gear from, new brands with new gear to hear from, and then there was Gryphon Audio who’ve never demoed here before. I’ve had the opportunity to hear their gear at RMAF, and in Munich, and always been impressed with the combination of frequency linearity, low-end grunt, and musicality that the company has wrested from a solid-state integrated amplifier like their Diablo 300 [...]
  • Sonus Faber is an Italian loudspeaker brand with a storied history, and designs which have been lauded as timeless classics. Bryston is an award-winning Canadian high-fidelity manufacturer with decades of experience in amps, pre-amps, speakers, and electronics. What do you get when you put them together? As I found at Hi-Fi Centre during the Vancouver Audio Festival, you get a musical pairing that seemed to balance each other out quite nicely. Like many Sonus Faber speakers I’ve heard [...]
  • Walking into this room at the Vancouver Audio Festival was a bit like turning the fairy tale Beauty & The Beast into a visual audiophile metaphor. Scoping out the massive McIntosh Labs MC 1.25KW mono blocks quietly hulking between a pair of sleek, black, polished YG Acoustics Sonja 2.2 loudspeakers one felt that here was a reserve of untapped sonic power. Being fed a mix of computer audio, and CDs via a McIntosh D1100 Digital Preamplifier, and MCD550 CD/SACD Transport, and sewn-up with [...]
  • Some think they’re beautiful, others feel they emulate what artificial intelligence will look like in the far future. I’m in the former camp, and have always admired what Bowers & Wilkins do design-wise because the are a form-follows-function company in my eyes. Every line of the 800 D3 loudspeaker on demo during HiFi-Centre’s Vancouver Audio Festival is there for a reason, this is not an abstraction or pursuit of superfluity, this is modern industrial design at its core: [...]
  • I can remember seeing my first pair of Klipschorns many years ago, and being entranced by their majesty, their size, their build quality, and most importantly their sound. A sound which seemed to be calling across oceans of time from an era when immediacy, speed, and tone were heralded as the gods of high fidelity, and seven watts of 300B amplification would get you wherever you wanted to go. Fast forward to this past weekend at the Vancouver Audio Festival here in Vancouver which was hosted by [...]
  • What a difference a day makes. In the weather at least, because despite going from a torrential downpour to blazing sunshine, and blue skies, there was no difference in the turnout at the Vancouver Audio Festival. Saturday’s dawn broke with yellow rays of warmth slanting through my bedroom blinds, and a smile that spread slowly across my face as I became secure in the knowledge that the onslaught of greyness that has plagued the Wet Coast this spring seemed to finally be at an end. [...]
  • First the rain came straight down. Then the rain came sideways. Then it seemed to be coming up at me from the ground as I ran from a coffee shop to make my way to Hi-Fi Centre for the opening of the Vancouver Audio Festival late Friday afternoon. I was reminded of a scene in Forrest Gump where he describes similar rain experiences in Vietnam during his time in the war, and I was silently thankful to be taking shelter from the storm in warm, and cozy environs with like-minded audiophiles. If [...]
  • Time is rapidly approaching for Vancouver-area audiophiles to get their sonic freak on with Hi-fi Centre  once again hosting the Vancouver Audio Festival which runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday evening, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. This year, Hi-Fi Centre owner Igor Kivritsky has helped to curate 10 demonstration areas featuring bleeding-edge high-fidelity equipment legends like Devialet, Focal, Naim, Bowers & Wilkins, Sonus Faber, McIntosh Labs, Clearaudio, and YG Acoustics [...]
  • Hi-fi Centre is playing host once again to the Vancouver Audio Festival from April 20th, to 21st. This is the second time the downtown dealer has stepped into the void left by the cancellation of the Vancouver Audio Show by Chester Group. Owner Igor Kivritsky said it was a “no-brainer” after a successful trial run in 2017. “We were extremely pleased with the attendance and reactions we received last year and have decided to make this an annual event.  There are two main [...]