You may remember these nice youngsters who introduced their "CUBE" speaker at the show last year, a steel enclosure with a Fostex full range driver, separate woofer, active filtering and integrated class D amps - one of my favourite products then, and still now...
This year, Eden de Vismes and his partner Laure Kasparian are introducing a series of beautiful control and connector panels, building blocks for designing an elegant multiroom system or connecting local sources to an existing system.
Also new, a range of "invisible" speakers fitted into light fittings, the result of a joint venture with Kreon, a famous Belgian lighting company. I was invited to their common showroom Place des Victoires after the show to experience these great sounding wonders. I am not sure the photos will help you figure out where the sound might come from, but it does sound exceptional good, considering that these speakers use primarily 2in drivers (5cm)
A great "coup" for such a young and amiable team!
Vienna acoustics was once more one of the best sounding speakers around. The new KISS model - shown left - was amazingly demonstrated by DJ "extraordinaire" Martial Hernandez, who has spent the last couple of years transferring all his collection of CDs to a Sooloos system, now part of Meridian.
Martial not only has one of the most extensive libraries of
“dematerialised” music, as well as physical records and CDs, but also knows every track in details, down to where the musicians fit in the studio or live venue. He is like a living encyclopaedia of live jazz recordings and the like and his enthusiasm is infectious: it was funny to watch people ready to move to the next stand, and actually staying for hours on hand because Martial promised them to be blown away by the NEXT piece of music he was about to play – and I fell into his trap as well for my own delight! They are distributed in Australia by Audio Active.
These acoustic panels, distributed in France by Axente and very recently in Australia by Radiance, are actually made in Portugal.
Originally a professional product used extensively in recording studios and movie theaters and other similar venues, they are now becoming popular in Home Theater applications due to their performance obviously, but mainly because of their very high WAF index. architects and Interior Designers alike have no problem specifying them as they are 'invisible" enough, but highly effective in taming these reflexions, resonances and other "nasties' which can kill the performance of the best speakers.
I have chosen to review the show in reverse alphabetical order for a change, so here we are starting with W!!!
Wisdom Audio is new to me but have been around for quite a while, 1996 to be precise...
David Graebener is the "eminence grise" behind the company, with 30 years of experience developing planar transducers.
Jerry Hanna - in the photo - is vice president business development and worked at Madrigal for some time (as a few of the executive team members) was very good at explaining and demonstrating the virtues of their planar technologies.
The column you see is a full range device going down to 80Hz on its own!
There is a HUGE subwoofer to cater for the lower 2 octaves (45x90x150cms!!!)
The system claims 100 db/W/m, which together with the cylindrical directivity pattern of the satelites gives a very realistic and precise sound.
Not quite as impressive as the Everest system from JBL demonstrated next door, it was nevertheless the next closest thing to live music.
Quite an achievement, and certainly less unaffordable than the Everest
(Do you need to climb the Everest to achieve Wisdom???...lol!)
Dave Wilson does not need an introduction, as he has been designing "reference" systems for over 30 years.
The new Sasha demonstrated on the stand of its French distributor Europe Audio Diffusion (EAD) is the latest incarnation of a long series of extraordinary speakers on which the most famous would be the Watt/Puppy, a satelite/subwoofer combination, my favourite arrangement as you probably know by now, if you have followed this blog for some time...
It is also a "money is no object" kind of proposition and the reference speaker of the revered Ken Kessler - not an easy treat to achieve!
In good company here driven by Audio Research electronics and next to the latest version of Magnepan panels!
EAD also distributes Macintosh and the new Dan D'Agostino amplifier (unfortunately on static display only...)
This is not for the faint hearted, but certainly one of the best sounds at the Show.
Third award for the Niagara, top of the range for this unique concept of glass cabinet loudspeakers.
Powered by Atohm drivers, another sublime French loudspeaker manufacturer, these original products are both very good to your ears and with a very high WAF index. Waterfall is distributed all around the World and as far as...Australia!
Nadine and Cedric Aubriot are a very handsome couple running the show and they have managed to assemble a diverse range of products well targeted to the melomane as well as to the CEDIA type clients who want a decent sound from a discrete system.
Here I am in Paris again, visiting the Paris Hifi Show, one of the five shows around the World worth visiting - according to Ken Kessler, who knows them all!
By the way, who knows what are the other four? I will answer that in my next post!
Actually, you can spot Ken waiting to get his Press Badge in the photos....
It seems that this is a year of anniversaries: Kef's 50th,
Pro-Ject's 20th, Elipson's 60th, Triangle (although absent...) 30th, and I am sure I am missing a few...
I will be reviewing the Show in details over the coming days, but thought I would give you a glimpse of Day 1 now:
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.