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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

TORONTO AUDIOPHILE 3 | Two Amps, A Whisky Cask Turntable And The Biggest Speakers You've Ever Seen

By Anthony Kershaw on February 17, 2017

Toronto's Audiophile brings you news of the most recent high end audio hardware and software, much of it available for audition in Toronto.
Toronto’s Audiophile brings you news of the most recent high end audio hardware and software, much of it available for audition in Toronto.

Today we have wonderful new products and a musical gift from Facebook for you. As always, follow the links for more information. Where applicable, I’ve provided a Toronto link where you can audition the gear and music.

PS Audio Stellar

Boulder, Colorado has become a hotbed for companies producing cutting edge design. One such company, PS Audio has some of the finest designers in high end audio working for them, including audio legends Bascom King, Paul McGowan and Ted Smith.

The products PS Audio produces can be very pricey — amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and DACs chief among them. Interestingly, they also manufacture the Sprout, an all in one amplifier, preamp, DAC, phono stage for less than CAD $1,000. Read a review here.

To fill the gap between Sprout and its top kit, PS Audio engineers have developed the ‘Stellar’ line of electronics. Stellar will initially consist of three models:

Stellar Gain Cell DAC combines an updated version of our analog Gain Cell technology with a full-featured DAC that can play the DSD output from the new DirectStream Memory Player. MSRP USD $1,699.
Stellar S300 Stereo Amplifier combines a Class-A Analog Cell input stage with a high-power Class-D output stage. Warmth and slam in one product, with 300 watts/ch into 4 ohms. MSRP USD $1,499.
Stellar M700 Mono Amplifier combines the Class-A Analog Cell with an even more powerful Class-D output stage: 700 watts (into 4 ohms) of spectacularly rich sound that will drive any speaker made. MSRP USD $1,499/unit, $2,998/pair.

Knowing PS Audio owner Paul McGowan’s predilection for trickle-down technology, the Stellar line will be giving you much of the sound of PS Audio’s more expensive kit at a much lower price.

Available to audition at Toronto Home of Audiophile

Rega Brio-R Amplifier

Rega Research is one of my favourite high end companies. Based in Southend on Sea, England, chief designer and owner Roy Gandy has produced incredibly good turntables for many years. The company is also receiving good press for its speakers and electronics, chief among them the Brio-R Amplifier.

For some reason, the Brits call ‘integrated amplifiers’ amplifiers, leaving the most important descriptor out of the equation. The Brio is a full featured integrated including amplifier, preamplifier, moving magnet phono stage and a high spec headphone amplifier.

Housed in a half size case, the powerful, redesigned Brio will suit all your amplification needs at a relatively modest price.

Price: CAD $999.00

Available to audition at Bay Bloor Radio

Linn LP12 Sondek (Whisky Cask Limited Edition)

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first production LP12 turntable, Linn, Scotland’s premier high end company, is producing a limited run (40) of the Sondeks with the plinths made from Highland Park Whisky casks.

The turntables come full spec and with a special bottle of the famous whisky. Does it improve the legendary sound of the LP12? For £25,000, I hope so.

Linn website

Facebook Live

Many orchestras and chamber groups are now broadcasting live concerts on Facebook free of charge. Facebook will even send you a reminder.

Recent London Symphony Orchestra concerts, including Noseda/Verdi Requiem, Rattle/Mahler 6 and Pappano/Nielsen 4 were all broadcast live. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe recently relayed its Philharmonie de Paris concert, and I watched the opening of the fabulous Elbphilharmonie live from Hamburg with the NDR Symphony. Carnegie Hall offered several of Barenboim’s recent Bruckner cycle, including the 9th, with the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Some of the concerts are available through MediciTV and Arte. To get timely updates, subscribe to your favourite orchestra’s Facebook page. And download the MediciTV app. You do not have to purchase a subscription to view many of the live concerts.

As the cherry on the cake, you can stream the concerts from your iPhone (I’m assuming you can do this on Android/Google) directly to your AppleTV. Mine is hooked up to my main living level lifestyle SONOS system. I get a totally immersive experience. For free.

Wilson Audio WAMM Master Chronosonic Loudspeaker

This is the latest loudspeaker from Dave Wilson of Wilson Audio, the WAMM Master Chronosonic. Wilson is famous for making some of the finest high end loudspeakers. They even have entry models that use much of technology of the Master Chronosonic that sell for less than USD $16,000/pair, a bargain when you consider the price of the WAMM — USD $685,000/pair!

You can only hear Dave Wilson’s magnum opus at his home in Provo, Utah. Only 70 pairs have been manufactured. Happily, you can audition all the wonderful other Wilson Audio loudspeakers at Audio Excellence in Markham.

Keep Up with Toronto Audiophile HERE.

#LUDWIGVAN

Anthony Kershaw

Anthony Kershaw is publisher of Audiophilia, the leading online magazine since 1997 for high-end audio and music. Anthony has performed as flutist or conductor with the finest ensembles in Europe and North America. He was a scholarship student at Trinity College of Music, London, where he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, and won the Chamber Music Prize (awarded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin) and the Guild Prize as the conservatoire’s Gold Medal winner.
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