Monitor Audio GOLD series.
Its just a great start, we are introducing a Golds series from Monitor Audio. Coming in various exotic finishes, now for the first time, all at the same price. MA figured, all their finishes are exotic, so why have different prices.
Much work had been done throughout their design, and this series remains the descendant of the Platinum series, but for less. The lineage and DNA of sounds remain the same.
We already have focused a specific system that will play on our Golds. After burn in ( at my home ), and upon their formal introduction, simply give is a call. We will be super happy to oblige.
Meek, not so mild but brutal just the same.
We offer now several 2 box solutions at several levels. Our Sim 240i with 260T ( transport ) is one of them, and also quite the performer. These 2 Sims stood alone at the 5.5k ish mark. We did have for a while before both were discontinued, 2 TEAC component at around 1,700.00. These played very well, but for our clients, the Sims were key considerations for the most part.
Now with Audiolab we can offer the 6000 series, making use of AL transport and AL 6000 amplifier with internal DAC. No one will argue about esthetics with all our AL gear, but these 2 clock in at around and a tad over 2,000.00 or so (( playing as we speak )). This same amplifier has garnered top honours surpassing in all shoot outs the now classic Rega Brio ( quite the feat, we know, w must of sold in excess of 40 to 50 of those Regas ), AL 6000 did quite the feat, we know first hand.
Then we have the AL 8300 series. Again using the same 6000 series transport however with a 8300 level amplifier. Offering more than just power over the 6000, it add more texture and emotionality to the music. More control as well. Hovering at about 3,000.00 or so. So this makes now 3 offering of 2 box solutions.
So perhaps we should say is our 4rth, is give it to AL to come out not that long ago a AL CDQ all in one CD, DAC, PRE-Amp and a phono stage that is not negligible and further more offering much more than what this implies. Just the CD portion of this machine is a 8300 CD player... with many more bells and whistles.
We have opted to invest with AL power mono blocks. Made to be mated with the above CDQ, la piece de resistance is that both these components were designed to be played together. Absolute power mated with texture and smoothness. The mono's are not meek and mild, their 250 WPC, will make one think of the grip that the likes of Naim, Krell, Exposure and Sugden possess. Does power absolutely corrupt, absolutely it does. Coming in at over 5,200.00 for the pair, they both compete with most of not all 2 box solutions that I know of. The CDQ can also be used with a smaller AL amplifier ( 200 wpc ) or other power amplifiers from other companies. Im looking forward to combining the CDQ with the Atoll AM 200 power amplifier. Something will tell me that it should be another special combo... I will advise at a later date.
On official display once fully burned in. As all that is stated on this website, we have them all on actual display just for you folks.
All present and near future planned system of the month and both spring events are suspended due to exceedingly high demands on our services. These will come back at a later date.
Atoll AM 200 power amplifier.
Extremely substantial, in design, in built quality, in musicality, and yes, in power. Making use of 2 MOSFET transistor in each channel, its sounds substantial and full bodied. It can push upwards and over 200 watts per channel without clipping. It does this though a full dual mono design... are we surprised with these guys, they tend to go dual mono and nearly all levels. This still sounds like the sound of tubes, warm and full bodied. Its can be intoxicating when this warmish-ness and dynamic wallop come at the same time. Upper level extension matches our also unique Roksan K 3 power amps. Where the Roksan K 3 amp comes at you, is its utter transparency throughout the presentational gamut. Its concerned with finesse, while the AM 200 is mainly concerned with control and dynamics. Dont get me wrong the Atoll still competes willingly if not forcefully at this level, but the K3 is king in the area of transparency. This is also offered in the IN 200 integrated amplifier skew. This too as well will make its appearance at SPI in the coming weeks.
It will be ready to demo upon its burn in cycles finished, sometime by late February.
Trigon in Ottawa
It is a relatively new line up at SPI, since 2016. It's placed where it belongs, in the middle to upper high ground of high end audio within our walls. The line up starts at somewhere between 4-5,000.00 and up from there.
In 2017, this one TRiGON line up managed to amass 2 the best shows within our walls where transistor gear is involved. They have fronted 2 Nordost yearly events. The Trigon Trinity all in one, managed to be awarded THE component of the year ( Called POYA awards ) in 2016, surpassing our own Sim Audio Ace. In one of the first Nordost events, The Trigon Energy blew away the entire group of attendees, being backed by nobody else than a Volents Paragone VL 3.5 speakers. People still recall this event and the performance they heard, yes still. One of our crew possesses a TRIGON amplifier, just try to take this amp from Steves dead cold prying hands. As Judas Priest song sing... you got another thing coming
Trigon will now effectively see growth in our main upper line ups. The sound is on the complex side to explain, but think it better to come and see our TRIGONS right here at SPI. Like most folks will have experienced, hearing TRIGON will not leave you indifferent. We promise !
Our nasty winter. About Climate or weather advisories.
A reminder for our clients. Should winter be more than nasty on any particular day or should a catastrophic day (( like the one we saw last September day where 6 tornadoes have touched down in Ottawa )), we do not open the doors for any business as usual activity. The last thing I want is any of my crew to drive in those conditions, including myself... and you folks as well.
These shutdowns are rare, why I need to remind our clients of this. We will do our best to communicate with those that have pencilled in a visit or RV with us.
April event, a hybrid tube approach !
Better known at swinging the kitchen sinks at your collective heads. This is being planned out we believe on April 13th. There may be slight tweaking of dates. This is our last planned event till later in 2019.
We can virtually guarantee that no one else in this country that will demonstrate what we have planned for our clients on this day... no one, nowhere. Put us to the test folks... we are ready ;-)
Several tube types will be heard on this day. We may opt to go much higher than the Audio Note Meishu, again we will know once our planning is polished off.
Fronting these systems on this day will be our Triangles. More on this later.
JMR Euterpe Jubilee received honors
Join us on the fun with several JMR models on comparative display, a real first for us ever. Our Euterpes will be on one system, while both our Abscise and Cantabile models will alternate. Folks will be able to hear what the magic is about with this brand. A unique experience awaits those who come and visit us.
Dates and details to follow very soon.
Bad and good tidings to come in 2019.
Without getting into specifics of our market place and beyond, there will be perhaps onslaughts of surprising news that would not be seen as good. We will deal with this in our usual manner, cut cancers quick and clean. We promise. Were good at doing this.
All we need to state is that we know the denigrating conditions on the audio world worldwide will continue, many will notice that we have maintained our quite heavy investment cycles, our web growth take shape January 9th 2019 (our less is more web "move" of last September was a miserable failure, our website grew back by over 70% in one day Jan 9th), we could not achieve this less is more "vision", we simply have way too much to work with. We also need to let our clients know that we have been lucky and are not seeing nor feeling what others feel. This year will continue too see and witness an increase in events, much new gear, some very high end gear, we will, shows, extension of demo times and make sure we... remain in touch with our client base.
We are now about to open a new port way for our Quebec clients, these web pages will be of a very different feel than that of our English web pages. I assure all. We will be getting very specific on offering extensions to our "by appointment" demonstration's. Overall, we believe you will keep us busy and we will also be keeping ourselves busy. SPI is going nowhere, we stand firm despite the shit storms around us. Just wear glasses and a hat we say... and march forward.
Obviously this is what we are doing, with what can be called a massive introduction of many new components since November. Just to let our clients know... Its all good at SPI, we remain strong, solid and forward looking. Its a pleasure to serve you all.
Plenty has happened while we were away and...
Our website will have seen both a diet and soon to become "transformation". Knowing full well that we have a fan base that is far reaching enough, it will be our first time that we will also need to account for our clients coming from elsewhere that do come in and visit us in our actual shop.
In the coming weeks, our website will disappear for a few hours then come back refreshed if not reinvented. The changes will not be light nor superficial. We are just trying to have an increased client experience from our web platform. We know you will all enjoy the ride, thanks for your patience once this begins to happen btw.
Well another year bites the dust !
You may think we are open once this is uploaded, but alas, we open our doors January 10th. This was written before our departure in December holidays.
One last time, let us start the year and wish all our fans, friends clients, all of you, a happy and healthy new year.
Our year will start off with several brand new systems never assembled before. The new formula gives us a quick succession of systems. Maybe a little too quick, we are not sure, but we will test this new way of doing things.
Our first component will be one of our Product award winner for 2018, our Jean Marie Reynaud Cantabile speakers. This speaker takes effect but for one weeks time.
One of the big news components in 2019 is the introduction of our new Line Magnetic LM 34 IA amplifier. Leading foot forward from this very performing tube amplifier, will be Tannoy Turnberry Prestige products. We are giving these set up's approx. 2 weeks play time in store. I dare say is I never really heard the level of music making for such a low price. By stating a similar sound to Airtight gear, it's a complement.
In our main room, we are also introducing ProAC speakers in our main room. The all new ProAC DT 8 tower speakers. The newest member of the ProAC team and newest addition to our family with the aforementioned Line Magnetic amp, the ProAC's came out in summer 2018, they have already garnered several yearly speaker awards from several magazines. Rightly so, the DT 8 deserve them all. A word to the wise, for those that love vocal, acoustic music as well as Choral music, would be well served by our DT 8's. My time at home burning both these components were relishingly good in the near 2 months I listen to these before Xmas.
Just as January wears down and the 1st half of February takes over, our Kris will be bring in another level of system to our monthly party : Both in expense and performance it must be said. Our Triangle Signature level speakers will be driven with the relentless Roksan BLAK amplifier and Lumin streamer. Get used to hearing about the latter, Lumin products have been world leading streaming technologies, leaving but few unaffected by its sheers grasp on leading this most highly competitive group of companies. One listen, and usually one finds out why they are where they are after 10 or so years.
Please give us a call should you be interested in listening any of these. We can even make these dems private should one desire this. See you soon, more recommended set ups to come in the latter part of February.
2019... a crystal ball look
Last thing we want to hand over is some bad news. We try to minimize this while at the same time letting our clients know what may happen. We expected market downturns starting to affect some of our business partners. We have seen these since 2015, and I suspect we will continue to see this in increased fashion in 2019. Clients are going to pay the price for this. We will do everything in our power to minimize this where our clients are concerned. I truly hope that things will not play themselves out the way I am predicting in 2019.
Where SPI is concerned, is that since 2017, SPI has introduced much new product by way of stronger business partners. Our investments were in fact quite massive. Many will appreciate that our clients will need to back us up with our offerings. I do think that we have much for a city our size. We can support by investing and offering the worlds best. ..folks will need to decide if they want to support the offerings we have invested on display on our shop floor in the last few years. So should this fail, it is no ones fault than ours, we will simply need to readjust accordingly. Let it be said, we do try to make folks excited about audio.
Private and by appointments dem times have been widened in 2019. These will take effect in February, but we now close earlier in the week in order to allow this, as well as Saturdays. More information will be delivered very soon in order to make this clear for our clients. This is a major return to our roots of way back when. In fact, our new and very tweaked web format will make it easier to make these upcoming business tweaks easier to spot in a short time.
So our website has begun going through a much deserved nip and tuck. Roger and I will make the visuals lines much cleaner and easy to read. Far from staying static, your SPI is about to push through much renewal in the first few months of 2019. Welcome back and see you all soon folks.
Here we are already...
Just about to close our doors down for the holidays. Many may have noticed that our website went on a instant diet. It did and it has, its not your imagination. You see folks, I have an idea, it may well work, or it may not. It is that counter intuitive way of ours...instead of showing what we have in our entirety ( something I always stated was an impossibility for us to do )), we will state little of what we have on our website that we actually have on our shop floor ( a welcome relief for those who have been burned by the inverse with other shops ). We can do many things without our website, and truth be told, we can display many pictures on our social media platforms as well as simple pix, and let folks browse. For social media, we have chosen 2 only. Our Facebook is live, and our renewed and regenerated Twitter is live as well right now.
Simply said, by placing our SPI website on a diet, we will be able to have our website reflect monthly activities instead where systems are concerned. Streamlining our website will make accessing this information much easier.
As of December 2018, our little corner of the world has never been so packed with new gear. These many offerings are a clear contradiction of what many people are seeing elsewhere worldwide at this time, both at the retail and distribution levels. The change of negative public impressions are finally happening with the younger crowd, meaning, being drawn like a magnet to a shop because their website seems to offer everything in the world, only to be visually and practically disappointed upon entering said shop premises. Most now dont like to be suckered into driving across the city based on a faulty and misleading website This never happens to us, we assure you all. We have always stated, no one will be quite ready to be hit with the amount of massive choices SPI provides our client base. For SPI, we sort like keeping things close to the vest, and whamo, we assail your senses. Either way, no one leaves disappointed, in fact, quite the inverse.
What we say is the following, even upon closely inspecting our PIX page, there will be no amount of getting ready for us till your actually come in too see us. None. At last count, we had over 50 speakers, approx. 35 CD players, over 200,000 of cables, 4 high end streamers, 8 turntables, we cover more tube gear... more so than anyone in this country by a country mile. Well over 60 tube amplifiers, power amplifiers, preamplifiers etc ! We propose access to ROON, Tidal and over 4,000 songs for our streamer. We have little time to play vinyl, but we do try. We try not being doctrinaire about anything, at this level, everything sounds great.
We do try to offer gear at entry levels and we certainly offer gear well beyond the financially reasonable...right here in Canada, right here in Ottawa. We can even further add, no one audio shop in the history of this city ever, with no exceptions, has even remotely gotten close to what we offer everyday. It's our pleasure to do so backed up with plenty of services and a smile.
Our 2019 looks good for us, and we will make sure that we further make inroads into offering more great gear.
In a way, all the work we are doing and pursuing makes of us... Made in Ottawa, enjoyed by Canadians everywhere.
We invite you for a visit and let us see if your as impressed as many that have come before you. See you all soon.
Luc Morin SPI
Atoll is coming strongly.
There were a few good luck stories for our business in 2018. Atoll came into our region and basically started to get traction in our fair city.
To say that we will not further invest in this line, would be mistaken. Atoll offers much reliability, much power, beyond what is available in virtually any audio line, and its sense of musicality is extremely tube like. Even the less than 1K Atoll IN 50 SE portrays and bestows space and voluptuousness in the lower frequencies.
New products are coming out very soon with Atoll, not to mention a Atoll DAC 300 Signature with a most appealing internal architecture. The internals look stunning, and my spider senses are illuminated. Of course Atoll will be mated with our Triangle line.
Discover why Ottawa has bitten on our Atoll line up like nowhere else . We have further arranged with our supplier a much quicker delivery time effective immediately. This is only just a start, most of our client know this to be true... let us go into overdrive with Atoll.
Life is like that !
I still find it surprising that after a fair bit of time between having sold Atoll for about 6 years before the company lost its Canadian distributor way back when and now, that the story would replicate itself exactly as before.
Atoll made its introduction like the prima donna line it is, a French line, an outsider, being introduced in one of the most conservative cities from an audio standpoint on the continent, and being accepted from the get go from that so called conservative city. It is the only one, with Kron, to have done so. Let it be said that it has happened again but in a more substantive way. The new Atoll now start from the reasonable levels to the high end expensive. It is a way more expansive and inclusive line. Since so many of you have made the commitment to accepting this ATOLL line into your homes already, then we say we think it fair that we commit to the line even more. Give the people what they want we say.
Atoll now goes from the merely affordable to the Reference level.
Atoll is the only line that we have never taken a trade in on. Buyer satisfaction is actually unmatched. When folks buy Atoll, well, it seems it's for life. Equally we have heard about a defect in a CD player (( CD 100 )) last November that decided to die well into its 20 years. It is extremely solid stuff. It's the only Atoll we have heard that went defective in the hundredor so we sold previously in over 20 years time. The Atoll CD 100 was our Product or the year for a consecutive 4 years running, so for our long terms clients, Atoll is NOT an unknown entity. Atoll offers quite literally the following :
* Bespoke sound and build quality : They dont break and they sound like tubes, hard thing to do
* Making historical use of MOSFET transistors
* Hand made in France
* Making use of oversized power supplies even for their entry level gear, then they like also going dual mono
* Premium quality parts throughout
* Reliability with the likes of Linn, Naim etc
* Its an all inclusive line, providing streamers, phono amps, tuners, etc etc
The above points are where they demark themselves from others. For the better part of months before 2018 ended, we were caught between offering more Atoll gear because we must give people what they want, and having little shelve space to accept more Atoll... so we were between a rock and a hard place. Then we saw things for what they were... seeing our supplier as a now rare breed, an honest, caring, soulful man that has not sold his soul to business. With the massive amount of selling of souls in our industry, it is no wonder why we are seeing the mess we are. Its a win-win, a caring supplier and a line we all love right here in Ottawa.
Usually getting lines on board requires leaps of faiths, always. Not this time around. Why, you say ? Atoll stands up to anything we have and more. There we said it. We just dont think this, you do as well. I have stated, lines need the support of the people in order to survive, even well known line ups have not survived in this city... this one has because of its little prima donna ways that seem to tickle people's ears and heart string. Winter 2019 will now see Atoll taking much deserved room and influence... now you folks can applaud we say.
Music to our collective ears !
A word to the wise !
Cables can be fun, they can also be a pain. We have tried not to get into cables debate for at least 10 years if not more. I am glad I can share in on our knowledge base with what we know. I was reminded of 2 things that I stopped elaborating about many moon's ago.
I learned that many will use what they learned on this very website, and buy cables blind to place into their systems at home. I know this happens BUT I had really placed this in the back of my mind. Should I recommend anything cables wise, it comes with one caveat... I have tested the cables on several systems usually at home.
Many cables are great, yes even inexpensive one's, but even at this level, cables can turn a system inside out and sounding not right. This is why I always offer the following few words of caveat... the cables have low compatibility ratio, or medium of high as the case may be. SOoooo, should you be one of these folks that do this, make absolutely certain that I am saying that such and such cable have a medium or preferably high COMPATIBILY ratio. I can speak about cables that are superlative, but that have a super low compatibility ratio.
The last thing I would want is having instilled the idea that great cables are great no matter where they are installed... reality sadly is different than a one size fits all in our audio world.
I hope explaining this aspect of our website helps you fine folks.
The French connections
At the same time we will be showing off our JMR line up in March, what will be driving these will be ATOLL entire system display. Ottawa has once again taken a shine to this French line up. The JMR Euterpe's will be driven via also Nordost cabling. No other than the Nordost Superflat line. This Nordost is our new standard for us, when we want to keep it affordable and real world.
This is taking place on Saturday March 9th, hope to see you guys there.
There are some that companies...
When I say the Meishu is big, I mean big, Jackie my dog is over 20 LBS
... change gear by the year, making it damn impossible to build brand loyalty, and there are some companies that do the inverse. AN is of the latter school of thought, they prefer to work on designing better units while keeping the components architecture intact. The Audio Note Meishu is one of these as with all AN products.
Consistently revered as one of the best tube integrated in the world since its conception about if not over 20 some years ago, its not the kind of amplifier that would win awards in terms of units sold ( even though in absolute terms they still sell many of these world wide ). As in most of AN, its dedicated to a unique individual, and devoted music listening audiophile. This would be a Lounge376 dedicated product, rarely seen on our shop floor and demonstrated privately. The AN Meishu is big, very big, bulky for sure, and a piece one cannot help but notice. It occupies real estate in a big way. Pix will be provided soon, I am not joking fella's.
The iconic Peter Q says in writing, that all Meishu's are made not for technical prowess ( a fact I will come back to ), but they are built for musical capabilities. I would beg to differ respectfully with Peter, I would add to Peters perception, is that his Audio Note Meishu's are so musical in a far fetched sense, that this represents by itself, a technical predisposition of this amplifier.
One may want to know that its a very different breed that any OTO, no matter what level of OTO, we have several of these different levels of OTO's on display. Note that some have stated that our Audio Note system of November 23rd 2018, was thought of one of the best sound in 2018. No surprise really folks. Now, we know this to be a fact, but what will many say once they hear our Audio Note Meishu on that same system... hmmm !
Many may know that our Meishu runs a pair of 300B tubes, but its what AN designed behind these 300B tubes that make the AN Meishu that clearly make it some of the world's best.
I would recommend for the sake of being able to upgrade one's AN system, a AN preamp with a AN Conqueror. It was tantamount to having a Meishu model, but with upgrade options for later on. Its now time to bring it onto another level, take away the upgrade options of the above and just heavily make folks focus onto that one box solution. Of course one can upgrade the tubes, power cords etc. We have been selling AN for a very long time, going on 20 years... we know what works on AN gear.
As we are returning our long established AN line up into the upper scale territory, so it begins that the Meishu will be taking center stage amongst Audio Note giant's that we have on hand and yes, ON DISPLAY. Like all AN products, there is a waiting period as they make whatever you order JUST FOR YOU.
Once burn in is complete on our Meishu, it will be making its formal introduction sometime in March/April.
As a great beer commercial said way back when ... this one is for you. Well, I suppose that how we will all feel on that day.
NOW here in Ottawa ( are we surprised folks ), burning in and soon to be introduced in early 2019. As I like to say, how do you like them apples.
Well... so much for less is more... go figure. Our winter season.
Just as we are turning into what can be called a massive turning of display capabilities, in fact we are actually pumping up the volume in many ways. Right after our private affair on the 23rd, we decided to plug in a Lumin M 1 amplifier with streamer. We ordered some in back up, and we are playing this for 1 week or 2 on our Tannoy Kensington speakers.
A slight change where speakers are concerned for our December 8th Audio Note day. Its a secret, cant say, really. It will be virtually the same system that our friends and clients heard on Nov 23rd. It was a hell of a system I say. ..and they said as well. As stated elsewhere, our 7th and last system before we close for our holidays will happen after our December Audio Note day.
Our start of the new year, will be on Roksan and Sim line up.
Triangle speakers will be highlighted. Something that lies outside this webpage concern is that our website will see one main change quite soon. It will be the first time that we actually open up just how bloody massive we are. Its a first for us, as we tend to operate practically in and under the radar usually.
There is plenty to plan out in the new year and yes, it will be a first, more things will be changing in the way we do operate here. We may well have a very unique page that I am debating uploading on one particular brand, this would require lots of work. ..so I remain pensive about this one. As we are rushing these changes in, in a visual fashion in a web way, we just need to do it right. Tons of new gear has already arrived behind the scenes, ah yes, still more after the holidays, they to will have their 15 minutes of fame. Enjoy our website folks.
Until later folks !
TEST run for our Autumn season.
Roger and I were noticing with great fanfare in a way how websites were going to extreme minimalism in 2018. We were never one to follow the pack, we always did what needed to be done without counting pennies. Sometimes we need to expand and breath out and sometimes the opposite is also very true in our very near 20th website anniversary. The month of September will be dedicated to planning this latter activity.
Honing into our new approach of Less is More, that may take the better part of 6 months to finish off. Better gear focus, expanded lines, but less available lines overall. Our new website, where the templates have remained the same is a first for us. Our "new" website is more focused on our SPI brand and what we do for our clients, rather than the portfolios we represent.
Exploring our website should be easier to guess where we are heading as we start our 26th year with you fine folks at our side.
We stated, that we have too many lines considering the size of our city. Listening too both my Steve and Kris, I think the timing is right. With the mileage we now have under our belts, its time to simplify for both us and your choices. Most people would understand this. Less is more will be more than mere words, both within our walls and for our beloved website... as many folks have already began to notice with the latter already. Our website is being nipped tucked.
Why is this page called JUST WORDS. Well, it is where we have written messages for our clients, and messages that are likely to be forgotten by most in this convoluted world or ours.
With October just starting, we still will be introducing more than several components that were not introduced because we had simply too much to tend. As we prepare for folks visiting us again in droves, we can say we are ready and there is still plenty to demonstrate yet. Our new monthly system key will have at the ready only one system per month rather than multiples that we nearly always managed to display. Octobers system is already on our website. Our clearance key will equally be uploaded very soon. This means that our new clients just starting out in this more than lovely hobby of ours are being tended to by us by both these keys.
November will be a wonderful month for our old warriors. One should keep an open eye for our November monthly system event on the above key as well. Very exclusive and special system. The year will finish off with quite the system in our Orange room.
One thing that will be gone for a time being will be the frenetic pace of our website and the way we love to throw kitchen sinks at peoples heads where demonstration capabilities are concerned ;-). Well, we did have fun doing this hey guys, as much as you enjoyed ducking ;-)
Despite the things we are noticing on the horizons heading our way in this industry of ours, it will affect little in our corner of our world other than instilling the word - Simplify. As to the vision we have globally at this time, Less is more is a beautiful thing for us. The process has begun on our floor as well.
Plenty of world class lines under one roof, expertly done for your musical pleasure.
On this note, thanks for your continuing support folks. Enjoy your listening season fella's.
An important change, from the power of choice too less is more !
To say that we were not ever going there would be a lie. Some of our web fans will remember that we were mentioning those fundamental upcoming changes on our website but in not so many words. In Testing 123 page, it was stated that we would be simplifying, on this very webpage. We further stated since January, we were heading there, and here we are. We were simply awaiting the right timing. Time is right now.
In the coming month, Roger and I will be tweaking our website too show our new realities. What this means as well, is that we will be having in store specials to make it easier breathier within our walls and our Clearance page will be bulging and out this October. So it goes, it will be a good thing for some of you.
It's quite major in fact, because for close to 26 years we have carried 2 much stuff. The further expansion of pre-existing lines will take hold. Fewer lines, however more gear in the line's that stay. We believe this will make it easier for you all, and as too us, well, that too.
In store sale have just begun now.
Our secret... shhhhhh
Bond 007 : "I cant tell you even if you torture me"
Bad guy : "If you dont tell me, things will go bad for you"
Bond 007 : "If I tell YOU, I will need to kill you" ;-)
Lucster : Really guys !
So the story goes, we have been holding a secret quite literally about this one interconnect that we have not spoken about for over a year. We have kept it secret and despite ordering stock last October, we kept it hidden and secret. Only Kris and Stevie Wonder know about it. Forget the why's, not important. The secret is just about over, it has somewhat come out within our walls, we are ready to talk about it .
The name of this cable is ...N--------------. Isn't that odd, my key board failed ! Let try it again folks... The name of this cable is ....N---------------...wtf I say. Well guys, we cant fight technology, Bond 007 just whispered in my ear, it must remain a secret. Should you be looking for a unique cable that is a mere 300.00 is and that plays and behaves like a much more expensive interconnect, well 007 says you will need to visit us. Why?, well if I tell you, I will need to tickle you with sheer joy. I know we shall chat soon .
Lucster : Really Luc ! ;-)
As we insert ourselves with cables...
We will be receiving our first somewhat massive Wire World order, maybe received at time of writing. Even before receiving, orders we placed through for more as sales started. We cover with these WW cables, the near entire line up, and truth be told, I have maintained my own Wire World cables at home. It's a company that we did extremely well with in our past, and its a company that ranks amongst some of my all time faves. Welcome aboard guys.
Then, there is that cable that Bond 007 just loves ( dont ask ok ), Bond says we can only tell you face to face in person... yeah, like this dude is not joking Ok.
There is the reception of one classic cable by Nordost. It may surprise many, that cables, as in speakers, turntables, amps etc etc, have classic designs that have stood the test of time and performance ratio. Bond 007 says its ok to talk about this one. We have taken delivery of our Nordost Gold Flatline 2's speaker cables. We have listened to it already, its as if there is no burn in time with this cable. Reviews already exist, and as one can expect, they cannot deliver everything, but what they do is sublime and worthy of a more expensive cables. They are very musical.
Those that expect the extension and resolution of the upper Nordost stuff, will be disappointed. Those that require a dead ball neutral and musical cables for not a lot, we suspect, will be enamored. Its really that simple.
Holy berjesus !!
One summer that is melting away, as we have our attention riveted on the sun and the heat, we turn our back only to discover that one line up we terribly like here at SPI is receiving more accolades and awards then seen and experienced in our past memory. Add to this, that our Monitor Audio Studio is equally getting rave reviews.
We do have this series on display and at the ready for you folks. Hell, in honor of the above, we will designing a Roksan system around the Roksan K 3 and Monitor Audio. Beginning September it is I say and it shall be done ;-)
Tannoy is back with a new and fresh North American supplier. We do have Tannoy stock already on display, but with the new arrangements now in place, we will be adding to what is a prestigious British line. If we take account with travelling time for incoming new stock, we should see many more Tannoy models on display between our walls here at SPI.
The story of expensive speakers.
During our one week vacation hiatus working around the house, which I tend to love while on holidays, a very close friend of mine retired and so did my older brother. So this means one thing, as we all head there, I am inching closer to that stage of life. My wife and son are asking me to pull the plug as well. I still have much work to do, but with my worsening back problems, I may have only 25 years left of work life in me... zing. I just heard my competitors hearts stop ;-)... collectively.
I have chosen a path of a well stocked dealer nearly at all levels since my beginning and yes, even in the worse business conditions or cycles. This can be achieved, but only with consent of the village one serves. Instead of having one or 2 very substantial speakers few can buy and have an ego trip that ( and the headaches contant ego tripping entails ) not counting that it can be rather expensive. I have chosen more often than not, several expensive speakers priced at where most motivated audiophiles could afford. To me as a business owner, this is a smart path. Still today, in these rather harsh economic times for audio companies, I chose to offer choice rather than ego.
It may be surprising to most, only one other retailer in Canada offers so much in expensive speaker to their clients. Here we are in Ottawa Canada, a rather "small big" city. As is always the case, I do try to offer different choices in terms of different sounds. Any experiment in retail, especially in audio, can be turned inside out and on its head rather quickly. A few short weeks ago, I wrote a blog still available on this website about the amount of speaker we offered that were stand mounts. If I recall we had 14 or so ON DISPLAY stand mount speakers.
In the expensive range of speakers, and we define this as 5 figures and up, we have 5 of these following models. All have a special place sound wise. A new comer from Lounge376 will be added very soon. So we have on display right now the following...
1) Jean Marie Reynaud Abscise Jubilee starting at 10,000.00 and up,
2) a Triangle Signature Alpha starting at 13,000.00,
3) an Audio Note AN-E that begins at this price range and goes way up depending on options,
4) a Tannoy Kensington that end up somewhere at 20,000.00 and lastly
5) a Volents 3.5 Paragone that nearly reaches 30,000.00.
Interesting to note that we have sold many of some of these models, and that 4 of the 5 companies are assisted with many lower and less expensive models and some of the above equally sold in one moment in time. Offering choice is important for SPI.
I am not counting the amount of expensive speakers I have at home.
All the above speakers on working display
It goes without saying, and I have not hidden the fact that this under the radar retailers life is now a thing of the past. Guess what, we even have more speakers that are floor standers between 2,600.00 and under 10,000.00. I my count is right, we have 9 or 10 ON DISPLAY floor stander speakers at those price range. Not bad for an old goat like myself and my ageing crew. Offering so much quality gear goes without saying, that it must be played on top flight gear, and on that count gentlemen, let me assure you all, we have the above 5 speakers covered in a major way and then some.
On many points, our OXFORD speakers page will allude to many more models that we once sold, and all will be offered in pictured form. Models from Merlins VSM's, Aurum, Usher, Focal and the list goes on. This page will be able to prove that we practice what we preach, we have or had it all on display. Good thing I am thinking of retiring in 25 years time, just having way too much fun. Aside from felling giddy, when one invests at this level and above, its not child's play, and despite our willingness to invest at certainly high levels, well, it can only be consummated with the permission of the people. We would like to see all lines take off in our village, but we cannot accept all lines not taking off. Folks must buy into lines and support them. Without this, even superb lines end is failure.
When one adds changing tides in our audio world, we may not want to sustain this level of investments forever it must be said.
In the coming months, well, we will have this OXFORD page on our website soon enough, but also, for a first time, the various system I use to test and prod our knowledge base through out the many years of testing. THIS IS a first ever, and with exception of close friends, most will be surprised at what they will read. Lots to read on our website in the comings weeks and months... with tons of new pictures to boot folks!
Having too much audio stock makes you forget things. Sometimes having too much makes you decide on life's choices on what to work on. Sometimes taking a break from a line let's one equally see what must be good for a line. Cutting one's life line with partners is a hard things to do. ..Ok Lucster, what are you trying to say.
Forgetting and or placing aside, sometimes we must undo a wrong move. Line Magnetic has been with us over and between 3-4 years now, a relatively new line . Press reviews are glowing, reliability is stellar, and musicality is I must say, way up there. The entire staff are huge fans of LM.
As we get into summer, we are planning on having Line Magnetic amplifiers on Tannoy and Triangles, 2 brands that are known for their love of tube gear. LM can get quite expensive it must be added, but what can I say, this is a different and common sense company ran by a common sense and responsible American distributor. Real pro's.
Line Magnetic is along side our Premium Copland brand and our Premium Audio Note. They can easily become premium. Models to be added later in the year. On display and even in stock.
Coming in July on Tannoy speakers.
Triangle Antal EZ, where the road meets the pavement.
( New, Just in and on display )
Simply said, The Antal speaker is the one model that has historically paid for many bills for Triangles. It has been a constant revenue stream in the 25 years or so. Always updated, throughout the years, the Antal's give what that companies sonic signature is without paying a heavy price. Sure there is the Titus, Comete, always a few new models that have come and gone between the Comete and the Antal's, but even they have the sonic's but with a limited window in the bottom end.
The Triangles Antal EZ are not small, nor are they large, they will fit well in a medium and large room. Unlike the Triangle Australe's EZ that are meant to be played in a medium large room as they, are not small. The Antal's will play that Triangle magic in between 3,200 and 3,800.00 depending on finish. Constant 5 star reviews have followed this specific model since it was created many moons ago.
For those needing bigger, the Triangle Australe EZ take over from one of my all time fave speakers of all time. Barely over 1K more than the top finished Antal's. We equally have those in stock and on display.
A word to the wise, as this is beginning to be asked... the "other" French company that we represent ( Jean Marie Reynaud ) possess a french sound, BUT not the delivery of it. I often refer to sound to my clients as either Blue light ( cooler sound ) and or Yellow sound ( more "transparent" sound ). These companies are not the same folks as JMR is Blue and Triangle is Yellow.
Both portfolios amongst our inventories could be defined as well stocked. After a few hundred hours burn in, they will be placed on our play list. Welcome more Triangle models as summer wears on folks.
Vincent hybrid technologies
The Vincent we toy with are as solid as a rock, very musical and classic in design. We have been representing this line combined for well over 12 years time. With as much weight as in authority in musical delivery, adopting Vincent simplifies the choices before you, as all have very powerful but understated specs thereby making choices with speakers quite the minor affair. From headphone amplifiers, powerfully built 800 level amplifiers, to one of my all time fave, the 331MKII power amplifier. We have over 6 components of upper echelon Vincent on display, all to be seen, touched and listened. Tell me folks you are not surprised.
Smash and grab a new affordable line up
Our lower levels line ups have been annihilated by dubious behaviors since 2015. These on line behaviors have in effect killed the joy of audio for entry level folks. Amazon and companies like them are great at killing lines. They may be good at selling boxes but not on servicing and or knowledge base. When this happened with many other lines ups, we moved upstream, for us, truth be told, we simply cut and fished for other baits. Many know we have fun much in deeper waters and are better at our jobs.
But there is an attraction for us in trying to help and offer something special for new faces coming in for a first time. Truth be told, we are seeing a lot more new faces than ever before.
We welcome an old stand by of a line for us that we sold for several years past yonder. We actually did quite well with it to our surprise ( believe me, we all were surprised here ). Then it disappeared from view from a supply line side of things, and reappeared about 3 years ago. We nearly bit last year, even advertised it, but alas we really had no shelve space. The pull that got into us getting back in it is that we had shelve space and its always cool to offer something great that does not prostitute itself on line ( ** upcoming article on this point soon on our website ) is now key critical area for us now. All we know is that we have had 0 problems with what we sold. We sold something like 40 Atoll components in 4-5 years time max, only one came back on trade, but none came back other than a CD 50 that has been used royally for lack of a better term by its owner, and still it was salvageable. Nothing else has really changed with Atoll, except slight cosmetic changes.
Hand built in France is but one key strength, most components do have strong personality musical traits, all good in our books and still has not lost its best attribute, built to last without flaw for a very long time. The rest is gravy.
So let us try again at this entry level, it may well be one last time we try again. Hope is eternal, our Spring is looking brighter for those entry level folks who are looking for quality, musicality and yes, a retail point where service, that is here to stay at your side for many years to come.
What are we doing with a line that is known to privileged few in audio, especially in such a conservative city as ours. How dare we used this very brand so countless times in 2017 with Jean Marie Reynaud. Well, one would say this up until one listens to take notice that TRIGON is exceptional gear. The system that blew so many away in last years NORDOST show was driven by a TRIGON amplifier. One of 2 best systems last year in our now defunct POYA awards, also place a TRIGON system ( see both systems on our website ). The reputation of their phono amps remain untouched from the upper mantles of phono preamps.
Our fan base will know, that Steve owns a TRIGON in HIS set up at home. As I design a system for our forthcoming Nordost show, perhaps shall we place TRIGON yet again as the driving amplifier for this outstanding demo day. Perhaps we should say, make time to come down in the forthcoming months, TRIGON will be busy.
See you soon fella's
Roksan K 3 level integrated amplifier.
Perhaps one of the most powerful if not beautiful in its class to look at. This is not a black box, far from it. Consistently coming in first or top spots in shoot outs and reviews, it tends to loose first place to amplifier costing more. Nonetheless, it has garnered many 5 star reviews the world over. Its internal design is symmetrical all the way, as well its power capabilities contains more than an impressive and constant current. Capable of reaching an astounding 300 WPC with its 550 VA transformer. The case work on all Roksan gear is substantial.
Its sound can be defined as very natural and free wielding, meaning it goes and swing where the music wants to go. All Roksan K3 level gear has a "fresh" sounding delivery, again meaning its sounds very open and unconstrained, something one would expect in a well designed amplifier that has such a powerful transformer. One review states that in the area of the midrange, it ressembles Naim Nait impressive pure delivery but will added subtleties and finesse, we can confirm this... an impressive feat that alone.
What impresses us to a large degree is the speed and accuracy it has in areas of slam and dynamics. The K 3 is not a mild and meek amplifier. No matter what speaker you place, it carries on, but we have equally noticed that it does prefer some speakers a little more than other. Our memory of playing this amplifier and K 3 CD player with Jean Marie Reynaud Euterpe Supreme, was off the charts. It faces off and dares confront to an another outstanding amplifier we did well with, the Musical Fidelity M 5.
Our K3 power amplifier was a POYA 2017 winner last year.
Jean Marie Reynaud Cantabile Jubilee
We have stated that these specific JMR models are called by the Euro press as one of the best pound for pound speakers. The proof is in the pudding we say, and yes, some have agreed and bought this very models. The level of detail, ambience, transparency to the finest degree helps ground the listener inside the music...as in crazy glued.
We like to prove what is said on this website, so later in February and March. Definitively for those that require fervent involvement when they listen to music. Truly one of the best somewhat affordable Euro speakers. On display as well as the entire JMR line up.
Jean Marie Renaud family, sound is everything.
What is not to like about JMR, clearly walking the line between organic and detail.
Our JMR Bliss, the near baby of the line, has in and for the past 3 months through its burn in process amassed a little army of fans. Coming at you at several levels of shadings, open dynamics, transparency, timbral richness and an emotional maturity that comes shining through the music. These we say are unique sounding, and equally at home with good transistors and yes, tubes. Somewhat inexpensive in high end ways, its will be for your emotional listener, and we really think they are superlative on classical and acoustic music, of the highest order.
Their sonic signature of our Bliss as well as our Euterpe Supreme is reminiscent of our much more expensive Audio Note AN-E’s that so many love here in Ottawa.
Our Eutrepe Supreme : As many know we burn in our models near and fully, everyone of them. Unlike the JMR Bliss, our Euterpe Supreme held their secret for nearly a full month of burning in. Once the burn in was nearly and done with, the ES provide quite the homogeneous impression as well as being quite transparent. Spatial information was there in spades we all noticed, room ambiance as well as air around clapping hands. A clear window inside the room and the performance all the while maintaining JMR’s distinctive warmth. It relays abundant texture and a wide array of what some call diverse nodal interplay, something one does not get for the less than 4 k price. Typically French performer, offering spontaneity, naturalness of delivery, and what I hear is incredible nuance within the musical message. We expect to do well with this speaker, and for good reason.
Our Cantabile Anniversary : What many Euro journalist call one of the best pound for pound speaker for the price anywhere. Spatial information and an absolute capacity to lay out everything that the music has to offer. Even if you want it or not. Incredible extension, and elegant in manner, style and precision in all matters of music. Note the word, elegant. For those that cannot afford the best, but who would want to have a hint of what other do at a much expensive level. More dynamic, than our ES, it offers plenitudes of imaging, and a word to the wise, gear begins to matter at this level.
Our Abscisse Anniversary : Touching a tad less than 5 figures, and just when you think you have tempered the JMR line in ones mind, one clearly goes into another level. Think Volent but with less attitude, a more forgiving and organic delivery as well as that pure Volent predisposition to lays pretty much everything on the line... but our AA’s does it with more softness, some would call soul. Sonics play at what would say an entirely different level, and while one listen to our AA’s, one gets the picture why our Cantabiles come in where they come in, these hint at where our AA’s play at. Another level of texture, transparency, ambience, homogeneous delivery, utter extension and a smooth, organic and full midrange without being soggy, and a full and very clean bass line. A word to the wise, only incredible gear need apply to drive these.
Should one be interested in listening to these marvels, by all means, give us a call. All of the above require an appointment with no exception.
Silver 50 / 100 / 200 / 300 Now on display We are pleased to offer nearly the entire series of the most outstanding Monitor Audio Silver series. The work involved is evident from the first musical note one hears. This is their best effort yet at this level. As good as the previous series was and liked by the press and consumer, this new series is about 20-30 % better. No guessing that it's better, just greater sense of musical involvement all around. MA have added new finishes, that pay homage to their prior finishes that were class leading . Now on display as of mid November.
Audio Note speaker series.
AN-E's are one of the worlds best. They have made their introduction once again on a full LOUNGE376 system display December 2nd 2017. From what we know, we are the only North American dealer to offer 3 different pairs of Audio Note speaker level anywhere. What has been a highly prestigious product for 18 years, and our longest non interrupted line up in our history. Strictly by appointment.
We will be receiving our new TANNOY series, 2 series in all to begin with. The new Heritage, Revolution XT and Precisons that we did both have before. I believe we are one of the only dealers in North America that have both Tannoys and Audio Note lines ups, and yes, as we stated before, the mating of the lower AN line up with Precision and or Rev's XT's are a sight to look and listen to. We will be concentrating on affordable Tannoy rather than the Prestige, where we still maintain some models on hand ( Kensingtons ), even the diminutive Mini Autograph on hand. As per usual, demonstrations by appointment.