Montreal Audiofest – A Success!

There comes a time when the show must go on.  After two years of Covid related cancellations the Montreal Audiofest opened their doors yesterday at the Place Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal.  This year marks the 33rdedition for what is usually an annual show. While the show is somewhat smaller and the crowds perhaps thinner, there was an unmistakable energy on day one and a relief, that after so many months, that colleagues were seeing each other in person, some for the first time in years and audio fans were finally able to connect with their favourite brands while relishing the chance of discovering something new.

The show has a reunion feel and reinforces that nothing comes close to in-person listening.  Show owners Sarah Tremblay and Michel Planet have created a tight offering that splashes live entertainment via the Focal recording lounge with a strong marketplace selling new and used vinyl along with listening opportunities from some of the biggest names in audio. 

What follows are some photos from day one of the show.  The Montreal Audiofest continues through the weekend of March 26 and 27.  

While the show is a celebration of recorded music, live entertainment is also on display. The Audiofest kicked off the day with a performance from Vincent Belanger performing tracks from his latest album “Tout east dit” with Les 9 de Montreal. The album is a release from Motet ART et MUSIQUE
The show not only celebrates house-hold names but also start-ups such as Harmonic Audio who showed off custom-built tube amps using reclaimed woods all sitting on a gorgeous teak credenza.
Mask-wearing audio enthusiasts line up to enter the show at Place Bonaventure Hotel
A large room is dedicated to seekers of vinyl records. Just visiting the vinyl marketplace is worth the price of admission
Yamaha Music Canada display the NS-3000 for the very first time in Canada. This is a smaller bookshelf version of the $20,000/pr. NS-5000. The NS-3000 are constructed from Japanese birch and feature a proprietary dampening absorber that reduces the need for any sound absorbing material. The drive units are made of Zylon, the same fibre that is used in Formula One for crash protection. $13,000/pr shipping now.
A cutaway of the Yamaha NS-3000
Always stylish with their booth construction, Totem Acoustic have dedicated the show to highlighing the KIN by Totem brand. The Montreal Audiofest is the first opportunity to hear the KINPlay Tower floor standing active speaker
One of the most popular categories in audio are portable bluetooth speakers. This gorgeous speaker is from Danish brand Dali called the Katch G2, distributed in Canada by Lenbrook.
While past audio shows have a habit of showing every product a manufacturer has to sell, this year’s edition has a focused approach like this room from Lenbrook showing their high-end NAD M23 amplifier paired with the flagship PSB Synchrony T600 tower speakers that sell for $11,000/pr.
Motet distribution has set up a listening bar for personal audio including the latest releases from HiFi Man headphones and this gorgeous amp from German company T + A
Throughout the day, local musicians take to the stage at the Focal studio. For many it will be the first taste of live music in over two years.