Audio Note REORG @ SPI ( March 25 , 2020 )
What was in the cards from many months ago with the dropping of several hints , is that AN would be disappearing somewhat from SPI anytime soon. We do carry much in terms of AN gear, at all levels . Now and sooner than later will be the time that we will create a division between what is available on our commercial floor and what will be privately held AN reference level gear. However what will be seen commercially will still be quite expensive.
In our Polytek Street location, much in terms of amplifiers , power and otherwise and cables will be seen. Perhaps we will still maintain a Xmas client appreciation day, god knows we will all need this after such a terrible year for us all worldwide. Still much will be had on our shop floor, AN would be just streamlined.
To be sure, one area that will be affected, will be our website as well as certain lines. I am certain that some have noticed that Lounge376 is the only page to have survived the COVID drama . We can only suspect that a great many new clients are affected more financially through this tragedy. I have further taken measures to reduce cost associated with buying products. We are equally simplifying and streamlining our lines in such fashion as to limit associated import cost as well . We equally shall push the idea of a higher end all in one box phono / pre and amp and remote with power to spare that cedes no way to AN what so ever: Our Copland amplifier.
We are extremely lucky enough to be able to organize with our clear heads our new business model around our new realities rather than gasping for air in survival mode like so many around us... another human tragedy of epic proportions.
There will be more changes in how we do business (some necessary and some where we have no choice) , simply doing what needs to be done. Its complicated and we will need to see where this goes in the weeks to come. Rome was not built in a day.
On this note, changes are happening as we speak with our flagship brand, and more will follow with others. We should be at destination by mid summer.
Stay safe and healthy folks. See you all later in the year... quite literally.
About L3 (Lounge376)
Lounge 376 was supposed to be worked in in late 2020 or a tad later. It is a return to our original sources. It was where I was going to retire in years to come. Selling the worlds best at a reduced pace with people I had known as friends and clients from my home. I now suspect these plan will need to be brought forth sooner than later, as I dont expect the consumer to ever be the same for years to come after COVID 19.
As we head towards this end, the key word will be, when ? Quite frankly, I dont know. I will see if its possible to salvage our Stereo P assion after this fiasco. Retail had turned a new leaf and turned much meaner than ever before, but I will continue with some of my crew at my side when we decide to go there.
Of course, we will continue, but perhaps, at the level where we once were way before we became accessible to the public. Stay tuned, as we all deal with new levels of realities that no one ever experienced ever before. This is a 9/11 that will be breaking bad. More on this in the course of the year.
Lounge376 represents the exclusive and private side of our business. In a way, Lounge376 represents high end audio of the highest order.
Cobra, coming soon
Audio Note stock
For those new clients, this AN line up represents amongst the highest we offer. Not only have we been representing the line for over 20 years, our longest help and sold line, we also maintain very high level of stock considering the Canadian marketplace.
Every Xmas or beginning December, we always or nearly always place a client appreciation day, with 9 times out of 10, an AN systems display. Always well attended, its also a day where our clients shake hands and wish each other well over a red or an imported beer. Of course we shall never touch this. I am looking forward too change the mix this year, rather than display, upper levels of AN , maybe its grand time to play the lower levels of AN. By the way, this levels will not give way to anything to its bigger brothers. The older well established folks will need to make way for the younger folks... as I smile, the older folks will be delighted top make room for this one special day.
Its not an event, its actually a special day... it just so happens that we surround ourselves with music. Its still in 9 months, why chat now about this now... well, our new clients will need to know this one thing. This event is as much for them as it is for our older clients... CLAIM YOUR SPOTS ;-).
This special day always takes place beginning December.
"The end of an era... which may have already passed"
Just as we are about to move forward this March with our last Audio Note event, we suffered water damage that may well give us a few headaches for some time. These issues were rectified just in time before it created even further damage, but it will cause our crammed shop to be even more crammed in the following months. This problems will remain suspect till late Spring minimum. Consequently, it may be that we provide this last event as we retire in the years to follow.
Ending these long held activities with our last years November 23rd 2018 privately held event for our old warriors, and our just recently December 19th 2019 that ends all shows with a bang and a cherry on top, is not a bad way to end such activities when one thinks about it.
Because we have so many things on top of us and their after effects for quite some time, should there be a last event, we will advise you all when it happens. Thanks for understanding folks.
We have 2 different models and levels of the Audio Note Meishu on display
WE have 2 different models of the Audio Note OTO's on display
Audio Note pricing is given at time of demonstration only. Emails asking us about pricing will be referred to OUR INFO page.
Audio Note event in late 2019
Our AN clients will receive exclusive invites for this rather Audio Note event in late year. Of course libations and foods will be provided. A special Canadian first as far as what will be heard. A first ever in Canada will take place on this evening. Only our Audio Note clients are to be invited in this rather exclusive event.
Show systems descriptions and other important details will be sent directly several weeks before hand, where those invited will need to confirm their presence.
Clearly an Oxford level set up will be on demonstration. Serious audio, seriously right, for serious fun only.
Yes its for real folks !
Our mascot, Marius Maximus reflection, overseeing my picture
Some of you called us to task about having 2 Meishu's available and on display. Why you say? Its just not something you see anywhere! So I write back and state : "As stated countless times, I permit no BS on this website. We do have these".
When will they arrive at the shop, please don't hold your breath, why you say, both need substantial burn in, and especially the top of the line Meishu !
Having taken time to carefully listen to the Meishu Silver Signature phono, yesterday evening, it will need plenty of burn in hours. They are both resting one on top of another in my listening room ( real pictures to follow on this website ), Summer is my listening time, its when I have theoretically more time to listen... I did say theoretically ! Another thing I said... you folks are keeping us busy.
Audio Note is not for everybody, granted, and certainly not these amps, but in many ways it's our mandate to properly demonstrate these, and so this means only when they are ready. We will try to rush one of these Audio Note Meishu's post haste in early Autumn.
I hear you all screaming... "Luccccc stop keeping these just to yourself you mofo". My oh my, I do have the knack for pissing my clients off. My wife says, "not just your clients Luc, pretty much everybody Luc". At least I excel at one thing guys !
Its true and its for real, its refreshing that in an environment that is constricted that an Ottawa borne retailer can have so much Audio Note.
SPI has 9 Audio Note amplifiers on actual display
SPI is fully loaded in AN cables
From here to there... what are we doing with 2 different Meishu's
When we received our first AN Meishu, we were barely able to achieve 100 or so hours on it before we had to move on with other gear to burn in. Of course, we will have to get back to this burning in of our Meishu Line. No sooner than our thought process is wrapping up around its new sound signature ( some if not many folks will not bother to read the date of on line reviews, so should you have read an older review, older Meishu's do sound different than newer Meishu's ). Since the Meishu is approximately 25 years old already, there are "3" versions of it.
Out of the box the Meishu Line ( Basic model ) the sonic signature sounds warm and inviting... from the get go, it lets go of the note. After the first 10 or so hours, the Meishu Line becomes highly involving with what can be better described as the space and the silence between the notes, especially the former. Its a breathy amplifier, basically music comes out gushing at you like a tidal wave, folk, Chamber, well crafted pop, symphonic, you play it, better get ready to have and hear that same music delivered to you in a natural and a very expansive real way. Where the Audio Note Meishu's come at you in the macro dynamic level, this would not be so scary, if it were not in its exemplary Micro approach to music that equals its Macro level of play. One senses become in a way, overloaded and jubilent at hearing so much. Of course one assumes you are placing a equal quality source.
Where this amplifier has a grandeur about its delivery of music, The Audio Note Meishu assails you in a bigger way with the "small stuff", its micro dynamics. It is here that upon hearing these Meishu's, any one of the newer models, one senses has a tough time at first, in trying make sense of the veritable sonic buffet that is assailing ones sense. It takes a few hours to calm down in a way after you start listening, and yes even if your used to working in the audio world all the time stuff, one understands why in quite quick fashion, why they still make this amplifier 25 or so years later. I cannot explain nor will not write about everything this does (make sure you attend our next by invite AN show), but without much thinking, one ultimately knows that the Meishu is a real special product. The Meishu is not for everyone, to be sure.
Speaking of being sure, just as some of you are blinking hard with what I just wrote, well, the Audio Note Meishu Line is the starting point in the AN Meishu series. There has never been a Meishu fronting any AN show here. Nearly happened, but not enough burning in and by our April 2019 AN show. I am quite rigid on playing only gear ( any gear ) that is fully burned in within our company walls.
So here walks in for the true prima donna it is, the top of the heap Meishu Silver Signature Phono. Quite literally, what was implied above with the basic model, well, I can assuredly attest, it will be 2 or 3 times the sonic results, with added silence, inner detail that is somewhat bewildering and a kind of scary dynamic that ressembles the Audio Note Jinro on a smaller scale. Yet we are dealing still with a "mere" 300B tube.
Some may have read on line that the OTO Signature is as good as a Meishu Line. I say, "Yeah, go ahead, think that". We all know how the OTO is great, any OTO, from basic to OTO signature. As special as the OTO is or any SORO's are, they are not... Meishus. How do we know, well we also have a basic OTO and an OTO Signature on display and equally have sold a few SORO's in our long past with AN, yeah right here in Ottawa... how do you guys like them apples. The Audio Note Meishu stands apart and actually should btw!
On display as well
Now back at our Meishu's, one or both are bound to be within our shop wall this year. They are massive big beasts, and can easily become either part of a swan song system or a retirement systems as old audiophiles make one final statement about their life long love of audio and musical paths. Actually what I just stated here is not a light statement. Being a special component in high end, is if your lucky enough, quite special. Deciding on what is really special and making this part of your life, is more than really special, its a damn fine place to be at in one's life.
The Audio Note Meishu's is really just a beyond word special product that makes one stretch in your listening chair as you prepare music, and place your hands behind your head, and think, life is good... no kind folks, I can wager you will be thinking... its beyond damn good.
PS: For those that demand better, well, we even have better Audio Note than our top of the line Meishu, and yes those that like to have everything proven, let us prove how great both our OTO's play at... maybe you people will be entitled to be the same feeling that life can be damn fine for you as will.
Our April 2019 Audio Note show !
Better late than never I say. We barely had 2 weeks to get ready for this first time event, why many did not get invites, why we concentrated on folks who had AN in their DNA ( for the most part ), and we did keep about 7 spots for the public to roam in by RSVP of course. Since so many think this line up is scary, no one from the public chose to venture in to meet either Vincent Belanger, Mario or myself here. Good thing, because it was a tight fit throughout the day for all the visiting brothers. Those that came in were already the converted. We were sort of lucky, the 15 or so that were invited did come. It made it that we were tight as we had to rearrange our main set ups and place the added stock from our main room elsewhere.
Those who say doctors, psychiatrist's, psychologist's, translators, lawyers, specialist's, musicians, business types, technicians, retirees, have no sense of humor, you would be dead wrong... all were giddy and childlike... we all had a great time. This was a highly active show like we used to do them a long time ago. They are very labor intensive, I know this first hand.
The system at hand comprised of Level 3 and level 4 and 5 AN system, including ISIS cables throughout, from power cord through speaker cable, including a specially made AN ISIS power bar. Doing powering duties were an M 3 pre and a rather rare and most outstanding Conqueror Silver Signature. Delivery boy as in speaker, was a HEMP version of an AN-J in a very beautiful finish ( these are the AN-E's little brothers ).
As seen, the AN boy... Mario... follows a clear path of simple is better. Believe me when I state, it pays off.
Below are some of the pics of our event, from what was a wickedly fun and superbly crafted Audio Note system, including pictured is Vincent Belanger playing, Super Mario playing DJ and AN master and... I will leave you guessing as to what I said to Vincent when all 3 of us were pictured... great pic I think. Vincent is blushing for good reason...
The system we had was part ours and part AN UK, and it continued to change till nearly the very last minute before the invitees showed up...and show up they did, short a few minutes after opening time at 3PM... it did not relent until I kicked the last man out... then all 3 of us ended up eating, drinking till midnight at a nearby restaurant... as we had the night before. Friday was clean up day. Less fun, lots of work, our work began when after our AN boys left. Yet again Kris and his mule PA, had to contend with completely reorganizing our store on Saturday. Hours upon hours were taken to make sure all was right.
We did end up with a top 3 sounding system... which made me think while the evening was in full swing, that we would need to call back some of our old purist ways again with our commercial venue. We are now fully operational in this new/old front, but we need to test some more. Delayed by late catastrophic events, and most know why...we need to catch up and formalize our new/old ways.
Considering the lack of time we had to get this ready both Kris and his mule side kick, PA, well worked hard prior and after this event, we did good (( visit our show key for more info )). Why we would like to thank everyone that came and conquered and drank and ate on the house on that day. Our next year, we will have a lot more time to prepare I promise.
Remember, our yearly December AN show is now transferred to a Spring show.
Thanks for making us so happy to be of service guys... the pleasure was ours.
Our AN April show.
This was a first with combining our efforts with AN UK. Some of the gear that was supposed to be brought was sent to the USA instead of here in Canada. Not to worry, as I has stated, we had plenty of gear as well. But what is unique about this show, is that we will be combining a first on a few levels.
On our end, SPI has created a first with combining an M 3 pre, with a Conquerer 300B Silver ( twice some of you heard an M 3 with a Conqueror Silver Signature ). I was looking a more dynamic with what follows. The push will be two folds, a CD 4 level player and a TT 2 turntable followed through some surprises by the AN boys.
We also decided to play this system as per the usual AN play book. Since our shop is packed, we needed to prepare our main wall, which meant having Kris and Philippe Andre remove and prep the 2 remaining stands for this event. Another first is the introductions of our AN-K speakers, being front row and center pushing things along for the day. AN was also thinking of adding the AN-J speakers for the day. Unsure about this but it may be in the cards.
Cables will go to the usually insane levels, no surprise there folks. Our test of last Saturday after our set up was ready to play was that the AN-Ks filled our rather large size listening room with little power. We had no concern whatsoever.
Mario will be in charge of music, Vincent will be around to sign CD's and Vinyl and he will be playing after our downstairs neighbors close for the day. Its a quick turnaround day, not one likely to be seen for quite some time. I hope you will have all had a great time on this rather special day. Pictures will follow.
Next show, likely our last for then year, will be around VTL, Triangle Magellan level speaker etc, but lets leave this for now.
For those that came to our show, a sincere thanks is in order fella's.
Luc and his crew
April 4th 2019 : So here we are already, a unique musical event with many introductions. See our Audio Note page for more information
Vincent Belanger Cd's and Vinyl will be on hand.
We have some on his vinyl and CD's on hand, but we plan on having more for those who will be coming. Vincent will be signing those that want to purchase a copy of his work(s).
Aside from playing live, in front of a Reference Audio Note system , we will be coming at you in several ways. Imagine how Vincent will be sounding with our 11 feet high ceiling acoustics, something to remember.
Something for everybody folks
Did I say we are excited guys ?
Did I say that Vincent Belanger will be here in Ottawa playing his interpretations on his Cello for a first time in Ottawa. Dis I say that it will be a first time collaboration between AN and SPI, and further, a first, an Audio Note TT-3 will be playing, a first in Ottawa. Much info has been uploaded to our Facebook page.
Audio Notes own Super Mario will equally be assisting us here. We expect to be swamped in a big way. Our clients know first hand that we have much by way of Audio Note gear. Still, we will see more on this evening. What a way to start our 27th year in business.
Dates will be figured out very soon between us, our AN clients will have first pick of those limited places within our company walls. We have chosen April as a viable date, as our winter should be close to over by then, god knows Ottawa has been hit hard by lady winter here.
Many pictures will be uploaded after this event, and yes, BTW, our Audio Note web key stays. It was supposed to be completed last December... sorry.
Come and meet... this guy
..... and this guy
... and a few other AN fans of ours own. A real special line for special people.
This promises to be quite the special event. Seating limited.
Details to come in a few days. This event takes place in April. There will be many firsts. This is a first time collaboration with Audio Note and Stereo Passion International. Uploads and info will follow about this special event in just a few days.
Vincent Belanger will also be performing his Cello pieces at this event.
Seating is very limited, refreshments served.
This is the month where Triangle were seen and heard and burning in. Three substantial floor standers, including the Signature Alpha's. They were driven by Audio Note amplification, Aqua DAC, Audio Note CDT 3 transport and reference level Nordost.
We transitioned into Line Magnetic, Tannoy Revolution XT 8's and Atoll Cd player ( read section dedicated to THIS exact system in our RIGHT NOW page ).
In our main room, we shifted into and from Triangle speakers to Revel Concerta series. One see's our shift into more palatable and affordable speaker systems. No one will be able to say that we dont try ;-)
As of this month, we have decided to focus only on turntables costing approx. 1500.00 and or more. Our affordable line ups have been reduced to 2 lines : Adcom and Atoll. The latter is doing extremely well for us.
On display : Lounge376
On display : Audio Note M3