TENOR AUDIO

"I founded this brand in 1998, alongside Michel Vanden Broeck and Robert Lamarre. But that is not why I use it and show it off in demonstrations. Throughout my career, I have been able to directly compare Tenor to a large selection of competitive brands, and I have confirmed its musical superiority.

The line and phono preamplifier, as well as its amplifiers, are quite simply in a class of their own. Just a few minutes of comparative listening are all it takes to be convinced.

Created in the heart of Montreal by detail-obsessed devotees, their reliability is irreproachable and their worldwide distribution is limited in such a way as to make their few elite owners the envy of all other audiophiles."

KRONOS

"When I first met Louis Desjardins, the designer, I still had doubts about the relevance of a counter-rotating turntable for resolving a problem no one even knew about. Convinced that I was making a mistake, Louis graciously took the time to demonstrate the near-hypnotic effect of the second counter-rotating platter. Needless to say, my personal reference of a super massive bodied, linear tonearm and air-cushioned turntable didn’t last more than a few minutes in comparison to Louis’s machine. The power supply, with its revolutionary SCPS 1 capacitor, completely vaporized my natural skepticism. The Kronos Pro is now recognized as a worldwide reference, as is its tonearm designed by André Thériault, the Black Beauty."

KEF BLADE

"Having resolved the electronics issue with Tenor Audio, as well as the source issue with Kronos, I no longer had to worry about these fundamental pieces of the puzzle.

Thus began a full time systematic study of available loudspeaker technologies. Thousands of comparative listening hours later, I have analyzed 33 models on the same system, as well as many others on various other systems or in major audio fairs around the world. The biggest difficulty in choosing a speaker is the inevitable compromise related to the fact that there is no such thing as an ideal design. One can be seduced by the consistency and spatial presence of an unfiltered full range (source point) speaker, but limited frequency response and insufficient power handling limit its appeal.

 

Large dipole flat panels are wonderful for creating full sound dimension but are limited in spatialization. Ribbon panels are easy to liston to, while electrostatics are impressive in definition but efficiency and tonality are perfictible...

In contrast, source line designs are fantastically dynamic, but have trouble reproducing proper spatialization. Horns pump out dynamic sound, but their multichannel consistency is inadequate, which is detrimental to the naturalness of the reproduction. The addition of an active, passive, or even configurable subwoofer is still an interesting option, but a perfect arrangement alongside the remaining system remains rather utopian. Then dynamic multi-voice speakers must be considered, given their occasional ability to provide the best of all worlds, despite their inevitable crossover limits. Any combination of drivers and enclosures shapes and materials is possible, but frequencies should ideally all originate from the same point in space in order to properly recreate spatialization.

The Kef Blade 2 popped up almost by mistake during my prolonged speaker research and study. I knew that the ideal speaker should be one without diffraction, reproducing to near-perfection this notorious source point for every frequency. However, it was essential that the sound signatures of various drivers be consistent and especially that the power handling be exceptional. I was left rather unsatisfied the first time I heard them in Munich in 2015, and again with two dealers and in two fairs, despite the perfection of their design and construction. I initially refused an offer to try a pair of the ones used at the Montreal March 2018 fair, but I finally decided that I would give Kef Blade a last chance, but this time in my own system.

 

To my great surprise, the experience was the kind that would convince even the most skeptical among us. These speakers showed their true potential once paired with the Tenor Audio: spectral consistency, tonal richness, quasi-hypnotic spatialization, and impressive power handling. At last, I had full and mesmerizing human voice tones coming from my system. For the final check, I returned home after a concert to immerse myself in my listening room for my very own private concert, which was just as vivid as the real thing."

BAETIS AUDIO

"Given similar sound quality, I  prefer an open-type server with an easily modifiable interface, in order to adapt to an ever-changing field. Baetis uses Windows and any other reading program, whether streaming or not. Its special processing of digital signals is outstanding, as one can easily hear. Some of my clients are, in a matter of speaking, slaves to proprietary systems that do not always evolve in the right direction, with specifically sought-after features that are sometimes absent. The need to replace an obsolete device because of changing digital needs is not part of my sales strategy. I am constantly looking to maximize my customers’ long term investments to the utmost extent."

INAKUSTIK

"The important of the electrical connector’s signal or power is often overlooked. Most of the products that I tested in the past few years have suffered from imbalances and it was often necessary to perform hours of rigorous comparative listening in order to contrast their quality. My fortuitous chance of listening to an Inakustik  high-end speaker cable was such a revelation that I quickly put to the test their other product lines.

The Reference series is by all means an exceptional product, providing a perfect equilibrium of musical qualities. These cables’ excellence is obvious from the very first seconds of listening."

MODULUM PLATFORMS

MODULUM VIBRATION CONTROL

"My skepticism of  Jean-François Michaud’s promises, the designer, would be my undoing. His intuition, later verified by scientific analyses, contributed to improving the sound quality of the best amplifiers, speakers and other gear that I have known. Every other shelving system that I have tested provided imprecise and variable results, depending on the components utilized. However, and surprisingly enough, everything that one installs on a Modulum seems to relax, wonderfully reproducing the music played."

 

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