* October 21st will be a special events day for our Jean Marie Reynaud brand. JMR Canada will also be attending. It must also be said that more companies are being introduced this day and the following week as well.
* Important dates to remember for the remainder of 2017, the above, October 21st Jean Marie Reynaud event, November 4th for Revel and Sim Audio and yes, the almighty December 2nd, for our 25th year as well as our Audio Note December event.
* IT HAPPENS EVERY 7 YEARS, OUT OF RESPECT FOR OUR VETERANS AND THE PROVINCIAL LAWS, WE OPEN AT 12 NOON ON SATURDAY NOVEMBER 11 th
* We close on the 16th of December, Saturday, at days end for our Xmas/New year holidays.
In this picture, one sees Bruno having taken care of business with Kris, including placing ground breaking KORE units, quite the relevant reference ODIN speaker cables and a panoply of cable of our own. As many know, as a business, we have more than 175,000 dollars of cables. Our friends at Nordost also brought some of theirs!
Bruno also prepared Nordost Q and Kore technology that blew many away. How could these little marvels do so much. There are technical reasons, but like Buckley syrup, they work. Yes, even in a system designed too offer much resolution like the one folks listened on that day.
Unfortunately, we lost one of Bruno's pics, and we only have his back side (...and a beautiful backside he has, which of my boys took that picture..... KRISSSSSSSSSS ;-)
The show took in planning and yes a great many hours to conclude. Counting preparation time on our end, a whole weekend for Bruno and his lovely wife and and drive back home in Toronto, and yes, Steve and Kris. I would want to thank them again and again for this successful show. But most of all, thanks you all for attending this show despite the horrible weather.
May 6th 2017, flood day at home... and our Nordost show !
Quite the day, just as the heavens was coming down on the home front and that I was tending to my home, our friend Bruno had come down quite late Friday evening in pouring rain for this show, late into the evening, too late to cancel the show as we spoke while he was driving at 10 pm or so, loosing much time to get into Ottawa with an accident somewhere ahead of him in Kingston, and yes, he was coming down with a cold, lovely, just lovely. We persevered and said, lets just do it.
What he only found out next morning is I was not able to attend, but no worry, my team was there, Bruno was in great hands, I knew it and Bruno was about to find out. You were all about to find out, more than 20 of you in this historical significant rainy day... many still showed up.
What many don't know, and now you will, is that this was the first Nordost KORE show in North America, and Bruno thought maybe the worlds first.
The system I designed for Bruno was based on 3 key fronts ; One of simplicity and resolution and one based on offering high levels of musicality. The front end was based on Sim Audio NEO DAC and Transport. Their DAC offers multiple connection platforms, perfect for a show of this kind. The NEO transport is now the worst best kept secret, in perhaps the best digital transport in the world today under 4-5,000.00
As to the amplifier, well that one was based as well on simplicity of use and when we say, we love TRIGON, it was equally a statement that we also trusted TRIGON to manage well between both speakers and source. It offered 150 wpc of high current power, with a control and nearly extreme nodal precision for an under 10,000.00 cost. Many commented on how marvellous the system we designed sounded but also how and when Bruno changed cables, that the system immediately followed by leaving NO ONE guessing as to what Bruno was doing. This was extremely important. Even Bruno was clearly delighted. In my view, I did not want a kilo buck system where folks would say something like, " well its got to do sound good because of this, that and other things".
I wanted people not to think that at all. But I also wanted a system that was neutral enough to say, et voila boys and girls.
Where I was somewhat torn was my decision on speakers. Was I going to choose our reference caliber Volents or Revels. I know the sound I wanted, but I also wanted to be extreme enough so folks would not have to guess what Bruno was doing. I chose Volents Paragon 3.5. Very expensive, yes, but equally a speaker that takes no prisoners. Driven by this new company called TRIGON, did I take a chance... absolutely not.
Bruno was able to demonstrate what we have been saying for years, a properly balanced system included a balance of equivalent cable technology, not only is this given, but a necessity in order for the client to maximize ones investments.
The rest is history and the story telling is late as you guessed for reasons that are mine. What surprised most is that I was not there, Bruno and the my boys took care of you all to perfection, barely no one drank or ate, and that yes, no later than I had prepared our home and spoke to Bruno to thank him past 4 pm, did the flood start coming into our home less than 5 minutes after.
To my surprise, many came on that very dreary and rain soaked day. The winners of 3 prizes we just announced, congrats to Yvon, George and Jean Luc.
Our shows, there are 2 different types of shows... and...
We equally have quiet show cycles which we tend to pencil in way ahead of time. By the end of 2017, we will have organized on average 1 show event every 2 month. Some show events are passive, like our Sim Audio ACE and REVEL this coming week of November 4th, but recall, we had an Oxford set up of Sim Audio in early 2017. Then we have the type of set ups show events like our upcoming JMR event in less than one weeks time.
Roger and I will be working on something special on the actual process that such shows take in time and labor. A first on our website. They are fun but laborious and, no, they do not make business sense when one accounts for the expense involved. But somehow we have made these work in our favor.
When these are Oxford set ups /events, I take the time to touch base with our clients to remind them that such laborious events are taking place. Something I don't like to do, disturbing folks on their home turf. But since there are plenty of firsts on this very website this year, I may well tell you fine folks the following ; Shhhhhhh, be quiet guys ;-)
Where there are many shows in a year, like in 2017, the following year tends to be on the quiet side. 2018 will be quiet. The only untouchable up to this time, is our Audio Note Xmas party, which this year, we equally are celebrating our 25th. So in a way, our December 2nd show, our first 2 for 1 event will be our last show for quite a while.
Shows and events are really part of our DNA, we love doing these on your behalf. But that train does take a lot of resource's to make sure all goes fine. When one see's the level of change in the retail landscape, it would be foolhardy to say these shows will never be touched, diminished and or cancelled outright. For the time being, we love doing these, but as our audio retail landscape is being " brutalized ", we are seeing new pressures to deliver to an ever increasing audience. The pressures are changing if not increasing ever still, even after 25 years.
The fact that shows that take a day or a planned week means we cannot accept RV's to demonstrate other lines while these take place.
My brother has been working for close to 40 years, he could retire now but he wants it to be when he hits 40 years in the banking system. Blame him for implanting the very thought of retiring only when he makes 40 years this coming July 2018. My company will be 25 this coming December... hmmm. What does this mean ! Maybe our 25th is equally a good time to phase out these show/events. Hmmm, food for thought, thanks Leo ;-). Fact is, I am not there yet.
This may mean why Roger and I will be adding that something special soon enough on our website, so one see's the amount of work it takes to do these and hence the reason most folks will understand when we pull away from such venues.
By all means, take advantage of these events in 2017, these are likely to get rarer in the years to come. The future will decide for us. December 2nd may be the perfect date to retire such events... hmmm.
Enjoy yourselves at our expense, do a bottoms up on us, while you can !
Who we are @ 25
Well remember this at the end of this blurb, @ 25 we at old enough to drink, we are even old enough to R&R and, well, remember December 2nd...
Just a few short days ago, a client stated, like so many other clients and friends, that when he researched lines to ponder, he more often than not saw our company amongst the representatives and companies he was researching. He thought it was interesting because we clearly work and live in a small metropolis. Yet, we clearly have much inventory, enough to represent by far some of the largest American cities ! Many of our fan base have noticed throughout the years, that we make eye contact with the devil when times get tough, that if and when things go south with ethics or loose business directions with others, that we will continue our exacting nature in order to serve our well established clients right.... and yes, every time.
Too say that the last several years have not presented challenges for us here, would be a lie. But when you " stare down the devil " every time, the above way of dealing with challenges have really worked out in our favor. When one considers that I have an added " cross" to bear, and this one cross I carry is the way I tend to be loyal to all our lines. So when dismissals are pushed through, well its kind of like firing your own son.
Several years ago, when this occurred, this would have an effect on the business. Of course, then, when the companies were told to leave, it was " out there " that it was my personality traits that were the cause of these little dramas. Fast forward several years later today, truth be told, now if and when these occur, these dramas have virtually no effect on SPI. Don't ask me why, but I do have a clue, but its a guess and not a fact. Now folks say from what we hear, is, " well the boys must be doing something right, there still in business ! " or something to that effect.
Your SPI has in the last years become bigger, bolder, robust all the while staying in the confines of the limitations we have set for my company, somewhat away from public eye, out of the way locations, select hours, select and extremely loyal client base, high and near exclusive focus on high end audio, constant events and shows since our beginning, demanding and having staff that specialize in several particular things and in my view of them, how I see them as walking on water for me, an operation that is service oriented and so on. Despite all that is going on in the world in today's retail sector, SPI has continued to march along its merry way on a path well proven.
Its not about my personality anymore, or the stories that have been amplified of public lore of past, it's about what we have to offer our clients and what they think about us. This " mistress " of mine does represent many personal attributes on the way how I think business should be conducted, dare I say, you folks have decided that you liked that very formula we work everyday...since our beginning.
As my company, my mistress I tell my wife, is just about to celebrate our pending 25 years love affair, it dawned on me that I am having trouble organizing our many demo times far ahead time wise. Fact is, we simply have too much, but I don't care because I have a sickness for this audio stuff. The first one's to state that I have a mental illness are my own staff for god sake. Guilty as charged, even in these tough times, I have managed to feed this sickness on loving gear and what it does. It just so happens that I equally love to share this insanity with you folks. No medication will help, its like the show Hoarders on A&E... instead OUR reality show should be called Crazy Mo-fo Hoarders R Us International... com ! I like that name, don't you guys ? The fun part is actually knowing our gear and where it belongs. That is a real challenge for sure, but it's one we must not, never or ever forget. The right box for the right application and to the right person.
The second one is never loosing sight that we must maintain love of music... why else live this insane lifestyle, like for real.
So where is this going, my god, here is Lucster running at the mouth again and again ( if you would only know that alone, I am a quiet, pensive introvert... really !!! yes really !!!!! I swear ;-). Well in a way, what I am saying is that in this business world of ours, the name brands are usually never the problem, its usually the people that run the show behind the brand. We are here to provide solutions and not problems.
Secondly, as we are nearly 25 years old by a hair, and we have covered much pavement behind us, and may have less before us, well, where has the time went, my god. The fun we all had together my staff and I, and yes, you ! The amount I spent on great coffee in that quarter century must be astronomical. Gaaaaddddd, don't want to think about this one folks !
Lastly, as I ponder my companies involvement and future in this industry, with the future that remains before us here in Ottawa, I can only think that drinking my 20 year old Scotch before me with my wife and son at my side after retirement, well, those 25 years that are before us, will have made me solid and satisfied if not content in the very thought that we did not prostitute ourselves with ANYBODY. Obviously this accounts for something at the simplest and most humble level, for me anyway. My team that think the world of the place they work and laugh in, and it seems for you folks as well, our clients drive down from all over to visit us. On that count, this fact continues to amaze me still, I still, think we are lucky to have struck such a cord with you folks from the near get go. Hindsight is 20/20, and how many times I could and would have stopped caring... about caring, it would have become simpler but I wager that would have been the gravest mistake of all, we would no longer be alive and well.
The problem with this business is that few are capable of walking the line of a business man all the while reading a beautiful poem one just wrote. Trying to be both a hard core business type with the heart and mind of an artist, or musician or poet, in my outlook, was always easy, right in feel and yes, damn fun.
I am writing this on the morning of the worst mass shooting in the USA, what a world we live in. What I, I mean, what MY TEAM tries to do is, is to add musical value into YOUR lives, everyday.
As reading and uploading is about to take place, we add value and happiness by working hard on your behalf. Our Jean Marie Reynaud show will also take place October 21st and the week that follows. We will have never introduced so much new gear than ever before, even now this October. We have not nor will we ever slow down. When we do, it will be time to retire.
On December 2nd, with Audio Note on display, we will celebrate our 25th. There you go, I said it.
Hope we remain here for a while yet, as long as it remains fun, for you folks and for us and I actually mean this. So come raise a glass on our behalf and on us and of course we can R&R and party everyday ( as the KISS song sings it so well ).
On that day, let me remind you why we have not ever slowed down, despite some harsh realities in the world today. Its not in my nature to do so.
Happy 25th to my company, oops, sorry, our mistress, on December 2nd... She and we will be waiting for you !
Thanks for your support.
Luc and your SPI team.
Lots going on in 2017.
Some are asking about how long shows take to prepare. I will tend to respond that it " depends". Our upcoming JMR show or our Audio note event takes from beginning till end approximately 8-10 hours. That is from planning stage to end of day and next day dismantling. Then we need to add separately our marketing of these shows for Roger and I ( which tacks on more hours ). We will actually add some pictures of us starting to prepare our Roksan and Jean Marie Renaud event on our website very soon. A first.
Where these events are being organized around a sound and vision of sorts, well, it takes more time. Some of our simplified events, take 3-5 hours. The more serious events, where measures are taken outside the "system" parameters in order to maximize performance take a lot more time. Yes, we actually test all our system before they start running with the crowds. The 2 main actors as it were where shows are concerned, are Kris and I. As far as it goes, 2 weeks before, I will tell Kris what we need to do regarding tweaks and cables and actual system preps. Kris then runs with it.
Events, some of our fan base have noticed, are planned way ahead of time. There are reasons for this. The main one is giving a chance to our client base to make time should they want to visit and listen. Our plate is full this year, and as of December 2nd, where we will celebrating our 25th year and our annual Audio Note system ( 2 for 1 event, our first ), we will have committed our 262nd event since we began.
When one sees the word OXFORD systems on such events, we always go all out, and the planning stages can go up to 15 or so hours because our marketing time is counted in our planning of these.
The maximum people we received ever, was I believe in the year 2001, where we entertained 118 folks, then in May 2002 it was followed by 85. Our last show on Churchill Avenue in February 2010 brought in 87 folks. In 2012, we had perhaps the most intense show, where we demonstrated over 250,000 dollars of Audio Note and Tannoy products. It took us over 30 hours to organize and tweak our system, and all hands were on deck, myself, Kris, Steve and Roger. Up until that time, shows could last till 1 am, yes that's right. We did go ALL out then, and we needed to stop such insanity and yes to be sure, now things are more reasonable. When all is said and done, we see these shows as an obligation to promote ourselves and yes the lines we have. Its a team effort I say, and being I actually have one of the largest staff as a high end company, then I can go ahead and do this for you all. I loose the staff, you loose the shows and events. These may cease one day, with the exception of our annual Audio Note day in December, but for the time being, I feel good about investing in such venues... for the time being. Its something most have never seen with Canadian audio retailers, not even remotely close, I know this for a fact. For sure, these make us stand out like a sore thumb. I like that guys ;-)
Our new website that should have taken shape this summer was not to be. Roger and I are still hoping to get this going, but we have both much to do. We were both affected by flood waters in May, the effects still linger on even as I write this in mid October.
We welcome new companies such as Adcom audio, Jean Marie Reynaud, Roksan audio as well as Dracoustique cables. A hearty hurray, welcome aboard fella's.
On another note, please remember that on Saturday November 11th, we will open at 12 noon out of respect too our veterans, and yes, its law as well.
Equally in the month of November, we take part of a Saturday off for our staff Xmas party. Its a joyous time for the boys and girls to have free food and booze and also provide yours truly with free abuse all day long. It's also the only day I take the abuse without defending myself. November 11th is the tentative date. We may close the entire day, more on this later.
What will be interesting this year is the fact that we will also be closing early for our Xmas holidays and just before that, a Linn streaming system will be set up right after our Audio Note event.
Sooner than we can say attttchew, our JMR October show will have taken place. Enjoy our labors of our shows, invite yourselves, have fun, bring music, and let us add some joy to this silly world of ours at this time. Bottoms up.
All Oxford level set ups, particularly the newly introduced, must go through a stringent burn in process, yes, in the excess and for close to 1,000 hours before I approve their introduction. Of course during this time, when burn in occurs, my attention is focused on how each and every components behaves at specific time points. In effect, its our job to know.
In this case, as we go this process, I start to assemble a set up in my mind way ahead of time that will sound, not just right or on cue, but superlative and at a very high level. Remember, when all is new, it takes time to draw that mental map to organize a system or these events.
On October 21st, there will be 2 systems that take place on that day. There is a main one in our Orange room and there will be a second system in our green room. The latter will pick up the play, the following week. It will be totally tube based from phono stage, DAC, pre and power section.
The first Oxford set up will be on display basically on the 21st only and the following Saturday the 28th. Minor changes may occur in setting up, but things should remain as planned.
Today is D day, it is the day where I start packing up the desired toys from my home that you will be listening to. I will be bringing these toys, including very specific and world class leading cables that are brought in our shop but for these special occasions. Our JMR's Abscisse Jubilee are, as some of you already know, a world class transducer. JMR has more relevant, important and serious dealers in Europe than most substantial brands in Europe. Even their choice of Canadian distributors are a close proximate of what we represent here in Canada, meaning, intense, very professional, and taking all audio at this level very seriously. Its a lot of money what we do everyday for you all, we cannot afford to make mistakes.
The JMR Abscisse Jubilee will surprise most if not all of you upon hearing these. What one will see as what is, a medium smallish 10,000.00 speaker will be meant with what is a gargantuan sound, a huge soundstage with a wicked sense of dynamics and drama. The bass they reproduce takes no prisoners. They will have no problem inundating our entire shop. They permit and play well with all types of music. These in a very equal sense, have the capacity to impress as much as a Volents 3.5 Paragon.
Making equal apparitions will be our new Roksan Blak amplifier, Linn streaming, and phono stage, JPS Aluminata throughout the entire system ( over 50,000.00 in cables alone on this system ). Sources will be from Acoustic Solid tables and Audio Note CD player ( level 4 ).
Our follow up system will still be quite the system for your eyes and ears, and yet again, on JMR Cantabile Jubilee speakers. We would like to keep a little of the info so some of you will remain surprised upon arriving on this Saturday. But suffice it to say, Copland, Audio Note, Funk Firm analogue, and Roksan will be locked and loaded and ready to play.
Invites via email will be sent beginning of October. Those who cannot make it in October, will be able to see in the coming months, full operational systems by Sim Audio and yes, our usual last Oxford systems display on December 2nd, a full Audio Note system.
Hoping you enjoy the fruits of our labor these coming months.
Stereo Passion Int'
Many audiophiles that are beginning to amass grey hairs, or that have plenty of these or no hair at all for that matter, will all recall a line up that was and that became synonymous with affordable high end. Adcom had one major problem, they did not know where they belonged in the scales of things ( like that little squirt who fights with the school yards biggest bullies, and won every time ). The ADCOM phenomenon was in fact striking musical fury the world over. It was the school's yards badass in many ways. Further, few Adcom's ever broke, Adcom's performance sheet in this regard, was in fact flawless. At another level, reviews were gushing with praise, the world over, from Stereophile, Absolute Sound, etc etc
We are proud to represent this line and also happy that we can offer something special for those wanting to have a lot for less. Models have been tweaked, and improved as well and they are even more musical than ever before. By the way, even today, something tells me Adcom will remain a badass.
Welcome aboard badass.
Our May 6th Nordost events winners are : We have picked out the lucky winners from a manual draw completed on September 15th. The main winner will receive a Nordost Blue Heaven power cord, 2.0 meter length, a 379.99 value.
Congrats to Yvon Audet, winner of the Nordost power cord.
The 2 follow up winners receive Nordost coffee mugs, a 25.00 value each.
Congrats to George Hargrove and Jean Luc Leblanc, winners of Nordost coffee mugs.
Thank you for attending our May 6th Nordost show, hope you have all enjoyed yourselves.
Your SPI team.
Our events planned out in 2017.
1) August/ September
We have had 2 shows already in 2017, would have had more, but my family and I had to contend with flood water induced damages on the home front. No more than we had finished dealing with these pesky things, did I start planning our Autumn with such events.
Some of you noticed that our end of August and a few weeks left in September, were taken by what we deem is truly a remarkable line ups, all 3 were new to SPI, Jean Marie Reynaud Cantabile Jubilee ( what many deem is truly one of the best speakers in the world today at the 6-8 ish mark ), alas played and now gone at time of writing. Then our new line up, the Magnepan's speakers in September that need NO introductions at all, all fronted by what we also deem the new kid on the block in our electronic line of TRIGON audio. Of course there are several sources taking embrace to these systems, streamers from Cyrus and analogue by Funk Firm.
Please check out our calendar page for time of play for all these events.
2) October 21st, the last of the 3 main shows in 2017
This show is the formal introduction of Jean Marie Reynaud and Roksan.
I decided just a few days ago that an Oxford level set ups ( 2 in fact ) were going to be displayed on this Saturday October 21st, a first for us if memory serves me tight !
This one Oxford show will be setting a record actually for the most new stock being introduced in one day. In one of our main Oxford set ups will be the Jean Marie Reynaud Abscise Jubilee. Then there will be what we would deem is a mid level in high end terms, Roksan BLAK amplifier. Both are burned in I write, but being enjoyed at home ( sorry guys ! ;-) ). Now you know why so many want to be my friend, just joking folks !!!
Sources for this one system will range with streaming via Linn's latest units, Linn LP 12, Linn Uphorik Reference phono stage.
The second system will be on a new formal introduction as well of Jean Marie Reynaud Cantabile Jubilee. We also welcome new line ups by Copland amplification, Copland source DAC, sources by Audio Note and new Acoustic solid Analogue rig, and yes there is more to be introduced. One of the systems will be maintained on the last week of October. We will be sending invites on this show, but for those who cannot make it, the following week will still be available.
November, by Sim Audio EVO and NEO. Fronted by REVEL.
Rather than a show that is limited for a few days, we dedicate for the partial month, our Reference Sim Audio brand. Two systems take place, and Kris will be using all his skills to make something special for you all. In March, our EVO system had something to sing about, but just when it was Revels turn in May, we had to take that one back for the misfortunes we suffered at home. The Concerta 2 series is where it starts with Revel.
This demonstration will take place over an entire 2 week period on November.
Lastly, our annual and nearly only Audio Note X-mas event ( Saturday December 2nd )
If there was ever an Oxford set up this year, this one will be IT !!
An entire Audio Note system for the masses, with a bit of Xmas cheer to boot, wines and beers and.... premium coffee on the house as always. Our way to thank you all for your support, and this has been part of our constant annual days for many, many years, a little earlier than usual. Many new things are happening with Audio Note, dare we say, quite the AN set up will be laced out for our clients. On this day, mostly all new Audio Note will be heard.
In 2017 we will be closing early, but also opening earlier in 2018. It's in the hope that you will enjoy these events which we happen to know are extremely rare as many audio shops are closing or simply unable to promote as wildly as we do. Though I wished I was able to diminish these events ( they do take quite of bit of time despite having the preps down pat, I realize that these are equally part of our normal everyday DNA ). These are for the time being -untouchables.
I equally and also believe that these events keep us in tune and in touch with our clients and potential clients. As we hear that many audio colleagues are indeed having a tough go at this time and that many suppliers are taking themselves out of the game by going on line and loosing responsible dealers that stock and demonstrate their stock, we have seen a clear increase in the momentous increase in the activity levels in our little corner of the world.
Without my team to back me up, the above would be impossible dare I say myself. I am aware you must fully appreciate your clients that support you, but let be said that I must also thank at the same level of appreciation the team behind " the man " that spouts off on this website. It is for they, that we can maintain the ever flow of activity day in, and day out.
We are at your service, and we can only hope that you will appreciate one of our shows that appeal to you this year.
Bottoms up folks.
Coming soon - Audio Note Meishu
On Display - Audio Note Oto
On Display - Audio Note an-e
On Display - Audio Note
Linn Servicing agent: Linn has proposed that we could service our Linn clients either for in and out of warranty service or that we may be able to supply new Linn components to our Linn clients. For the latter, we may be able to help. Should you have any questions, please visit us in person. We do have Linn on display and for your listening pleasure.
Funk Firm GETT On display