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(All prices in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.)

Montreal retailer Filtronique assembled a system of products whose collective warmth and presence filled a large room with sweet music. Ayre MX-R mono amps ($16,500/pair) drove Sonus Faber Elipsa speakers ($20,000/pair), which we first heard at CES. A rack and table off to one side of the room housed the rest of the system. The preamp was an Audio Research Reference 3 ($9995), with an ARC Reference CD7 ($8995) spinning CDs and a VPI Aries 2 turntable ($4200 CAD with VPI tonearm) for LPs. Interconnects and speaker cables were from Siltech, with a mighty Shunyata Research Hydra V-Ray ($3995) smoothing out any wrinkles in the hotel's power.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that Marc Mickelson enjoyed the sound of this system and uses the Audio Research Reference separates and Shunyata Research products at home.


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