I've been working on our Chicago/Axpona coverage and realized, I haven't wrapped up Montreal yet! We are going to take a quick break from our deep dish pizza and get back to talking about some poutine! As mentioned in a previous post, last October at the TAVES show VPI announced our partnership with Bleu Stereo!
This is our second time at the Montreal Audio Show and over the past year we have developed a strong relationship in Canada. Dany Poulin, founder and owner of Bleu Stereo is a huge part of that! Formerly one of the champion salesman at Filtronique Dany is no stranger to VPI. Dany started a new venture with his company Blue Stereo to expand the reach, accessibility and education of VPI in Canada.
In a short amount of time Dany has changed the representation of VPI in Canada especially Montreal. This year's Montreal show was his first time taking a room for Blue Stereo and we could not have been happier with both the sound and representation. Dany played some of the best music with a VPI Prime in walnut finish, VPI Analogue Drive System / ADS, Mofi cartridge, Balanced Audio Technology,Elac speaker, and more! Truth is, I can't stand the music everyone plays at the audio shows (including our own rooms)! I used to love "Hotel California" and Diana Krall but over usage of the same demos killed some of my favorite albums. With Dany in Bleu Stereo I was able to discover new albums I never heard of before (Dany, if you read this please feel free to post your play list to share with all!)
Besides the room sounding great, it was a musical discovery for show attendees to ask that question "wow I love this album! What am I listening to?"
Also on static display was a VPI Avenger and VPI Player. Now I'm sure you might be asking,
"but Mat, why would you play the Prime rather than the Avenger".
Thanks for asking!
Dany ran the Prime over the Avenger because he was shooting to have a balanced system which made sense both in sound and cost. The system was not an entry level price tag or performance, but it was far from being out of reach for someone to run in their home. The Bleu Stereo room was shooting for "best bang for the buck" with their representation. Having both the Player and Avenger on static display showed where you can start with VPI and where you can shoot for with VPI.
Other components include Isotek, which we personally have running in our VPI listening house, and Luna Cable. We are new to using Luna cable but were certainly impressed with the sound they brought to the table (so to speak!)
If you are a dealer interested in carrying VPI in Canada, or a customer living in Canada make sure to reach out to Dany to help bring VPI into your home! Looking forward to being back in Montreal to visit again.
Now in French! (by Google Translate)
J'ai travaillé sur notre couverture Chicago / Axpona et réalisé, je n'ai pas encore terminé Montréal! Nous allons prendre une pause rapide de notre pizza au plat profond et revenir à parler de la poutine! Comme mentionné dans une publication précédente, en octobre dernier au salon TAVES, VPI a annoncé notre partenariat avec Bleu Stereo!
C'est notre deuxième fois au salon audio de Montréal et, au cours de la dernière année, nous avons développé une relation solide au Canada. Dany Poulin, fondateur et propriétaire de Bleu Stereo en est une grande partie! Auparavant, l'un des vendeurs champions de Filtronique Dany n'est pas étranger à VPI. Dany a lancé une nouvelle entreprise avec sa société Blue Stereo pour étendre la portée, l'accessibilité et l'éducation de VPI au Canada.
Dans un court laps de temps, Dany a changé la représentation de VPI au Canada, en particulier à Montréal. Le spectacle montréalais de cette année a été sa première fois dans une salle pour Blue Stereo et nous n'aurions pas pu être plus heureux avec le son et la représentation. Dany a joué une partie de la meilleure musique avec un VPI Prime en finition noyer, VPI Analogue Drive System / ADS, une cartouche Mofi, une technologie audio équilibrée, un haut-parleur Elac et plus encore! La vérité est que je ne supporte pas la musique que tous jouent aux spectacles audio (y compris nos propres chambres)! J'aimais "Hotel California" et Diana Krall, mais l'utilisation excessive des mêmes démos a tué certains de mes albums préférés. Avec Dany dans Bleu Stereo, j'ai pu découvrir de nouveaux albums dont je n'ai jamais entendu parler auparavant (Dany, si vous lisez ceci, n'hésitez pas à publier votre liste de lecture à partager avec tous!)
Outre la qualité de la salle, c'était une découverte musicale pour les spectateurs de poser cette question «wow j'adore cet album! Qu'est-ce que j'écoute?
Aussi sur l'affichage statique était un VPI Avenger et VPI Player. Maintenant, je suis sûr que vous pourriez demander, "Mais Mat, pourquoi joueriez-vous le Prime plutôt que le vengeur". Merci d'avoir posé la question! Dany a dirigé le Prime sur le vengeur parce qu'il tirait pour avoir un système équilibré qui avait du sens à la fois sonore et coûteux. Le système n'était pas une étiquette de prix d'entrée ou une performance, mais il était loin d'être hors de portée pour quelqu'un de courir chez lui. La chambre Bleu Stereo tirait pour "la meilleure frappe pour le buck" avec leur représentation. A la fois le joueur et le Vainqueur sur l'affichage statique ont montré où vous pouvez commencer avec VPI et où vous pouvez tirer avec VPI.
D'autres composants incluent Isotek, que nous avons personnellement courir dans notre maison d'écoute VPI et Luna Cable. Nous sommes nouveaux à utiliser le câble Luna, mais nous avons été impressionnés par le son qu'ils ont apporté à la table (pour ainsi dire!)
Si vous êtes un concessionnaire intéressé à transporter VPI au Canada ou qu'un client résidant au Canada, assurez-vous de contacter Dany pour aider à mettre VPI chez vous! Dans l'attente d'être de retour à Montréal pour visiter à nouveau.
There were rumors about the standing of New York store Stereo Exchange with their recent move. Last night's reopening put all minds at ease with a solid presentation of quality equipment/brands. Among those brands (besides VPI) were Totem Acoustics, McIntosh Labs, Transparent Cable, Roger's High Fidelity, MyTek, Rogue Audio, and many more! The new location is an apartment/loft listening space shooting right for the cool factor. Featuring three main systems, Stereo Exchange is capturing the "good, better, best" listening experience in a home environment.
We got there nice and early with both a VPI Prime Scout and Prime. The Prime Scout, with a Grado Gold drove the "better" system and the Prime with OrtofonQuintet with the "best" system. Jane Weisfeld from the picture below clearly approves. Wired with Transparent cable and fed through McIntosh equipment, the system hit the right spot with easy setup. We can give all the credit to Transparent's Jon Zimmer's motor plugging in skills (pictured above).
We are very excited for this new chapter for Stereo Exchange and VPI. Former salesman, now manager Ron (don't remember his last name and I forgot to take a picture of him!) is clearly running the show with a solid vision to move the store forward.
Last month while VPI was at the Montreal Audiofest show we extended our visit longer for a factory tour with our friends at Simaudio's MOON. It's very exciting to see other company's factories and how they operate. Also for the learning experience and sharing ideas to improve production process. Walking in the door we were immediately greeted by a lovely receptionist followed by Simaudio's MOON Champion Costa. I didn't take a picture of it but you have to check out their desk, it is shaped just like an amp!
Costa gave us the grand tour starting with their conference room where we had possibly the best coffee I've ever had in my life. Go to Simaudio's MOON for the quality engineering and experience, stay for the quality coffee! After starting the morning with a nice caffeine fix we made our way into their service department. Very impressed with their procedures, you can see dedicated technicians servicing product and repairs from before I was born. It showed the long legacy and historySimaudio's MOON has and their ability to take care of long time customers. Very organized and intuitive with their process, they gave us some ideas for improving upon the VPI repair department.
We continued our tour to the production floor meeting the team that puts together the Simaudio's MOON electronics and makes the magic happen. Seeing another company's quality control, workflow, and dedication makes me feel more connected to a brand.
After assembly, all units go through their testing run times and quality control checks to make sure the unit is running at spec. We learned more about theSimaudio's MOON product line and saw how much of the work they do in house. Each room we walked through was filled with audiophile history including a museum like wall of original products bearing the Sima Electronics name!
Once they test and package the product, units are sorted by their appropriate voltage and destinations.
I got to see a shipment heading over to one of our share distributors.
This brings us to their sound and training room. Very impressive system with Rockport Speakers and Nordost Wire. The room treatment was custom made and built entirely by the Simaudio's MOON engineers. It was certainly well worth it because this room was a perfect compliment for the system. There was no "please excuse the room" comments here! This was a custom built room that most audiophiles and music lovers dream of! We are proud of our VPI listening house but we might have to visit Montreal more often to borrow this room!
Our timing couldn't have been better! As we walked into their listening room they were wheeling in the 888 power amplifiers. They were larger than we expected and looked like they could eat the already massive looking mono blocks.
Though their 888 might be a bit too hefty for us, we are excited to get some Simaudio's MOON gear fired up at the VPI listening house and have more collaborations with a dedicated team that prides itself on professional, quality product made in Montreal!
We loved our visit and look forward to coming back to spend more time with our friends from Simaudio's Moon.
This was the best pleasant surprise of the whole show! Not for the show attendees, for the VPI staff and me! Knut Skogrand, owner of Skogrand Cables, has been bugging us to make the Prime Signature in Rosewood since he used the Classic 4 in Rosewood back at RMAF 2016. Knut has great taste just like us and appreciates a good wood finish. We haven't had access to a proper Rosewood for a longtime. We have been trying to find a new source since discontinuing the Classic Signature in Rosewood. We weren't sure if it would happen again until we found a wood worker to step up to the plate! The week before the show our wood worker drove two samples to our factory and we were blown away by how gorgeous they looked.
The moment we saw it we knew we had to show it at Axpona 2017. My Prime Signature artisan Jan, who loves Rosewood, was more than happy to make these two turntables and have them ready in time. Staying in a hotel that was close to the show, we overnight-ed them and I carried them over. It was so worth it!
The LL Banks Room at Axpona
Sporting the JMW 3D-R 10 tonearm, it wasn't long before the Prime Signature was up and spinning away. Great minds must think a like because all partnering companies brought out their wood in both sound and style. As I finished setting up the Ortofon Winfeld on the Prime Signature, I noticed how well it matched the solid wood rack from our friends at Massif Audio Design. Electronics by Modwright Instruments we had the expected warm sweet power of a tubular driving force and amplification. All connected together Skogrand's high-end cable with Daedalus Audio at the end of the chain with their handcrafted flagship The Poseidon speakers.
At first the room/system was a bit too polite but after a day of punching it you could hear the system warming up. All respective companies made tweaks and adjustments to the system until we had it dialed it in just right! Except Trevor from Massif, his racks sat there holding us all up and looking sexy! ;) The system combination ended up surprising us with elegance, refinement, but still the right kind of kick. When we were not spinning the Prime Signature we were enjoying some tape time thanks to J-Cord.
On Sunday it was an act of sacrilege to take apart this system being stunning both in sound and appearance. This won't be the last time you see this combination at an audio show! Honorable mention to our dealer Viva Hi-Fi who is going through a major move with his store but still found time to help us run this room!
Before anybody thinks I'm crazy, there is a method to my madness! This year at Axpona people were disappointed I didn't attend with my lovely better half Jane Weisfeld. However, whenever I go to shows and Jane can't make it she always packs a suprise keepsake in my luggage. I try to take pictures of this keepsake at the shows so Jane knows we are all thinking of her! Personally, I like to think of this mini Batman as an approving audiophile enjoying the music who wanted to dress up for the show! Enjoy the pictures!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.