Angie's Awesome Audiophile Affair

I was invited this week to a friend's party celebrating 40 years in the audio business as well as five years in her new location and a very special birthday. Three birds with one stone. To Toronto I was called, to Toronto I flew. 

The celebration was magnificent. The celebrant, Angie Lisi, has been in this crazy business 40 years, owned and operated several of the very best high end stores in Toronto, including Angie's Audio Corner (12261 Yonge Street, NE corner of Yonge and Stouffville Road), which recently merged with her other superb store, American Sound of Canada. What a powerhouse of the very best in high end audio.

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Angie represents Audio Research Corporation, Focal, Jeff Rowland, Boulder, Bergmann Audio, Sonus Faber, Esoteric, Avantgarde, Sutherland, Bel Canto, Transparent Cable, Audioquest, Phasemation, Meridian Audio, Rega Research, Basis Audio, Audio Physic, Questyle, to mention a few! Recently acquired: Brodman Acoustic and EgglestonWorks loudspeakers. 

Focal loudspeakers with one of the Jeff Rowland 925 monoblocks in the foreground. 

Focal loudspeakers with one of the Jeff Rowland 925 monoblocks in the foreground. 

More Focal Loudspeakers, this time from the Sopra Series.

More Focal Loudspeakers, this time from the Sopra Series.

Bergmann Audio Magne Turntable. 

Bergmann Audio Magne Turntable. 

Sonus Faber. Italian artistry in sound and workmanship. If you've not heard a Sonus Faber lately, I think you may be surprised. Much like Wilson Audio and Focal, there has been a Paradigm Shift in sound design. Modern, dynamic, refined, superb!

Sonus Faber. Italian artistry in sound and workmanship. If you've not heard a Sonus Faber lately, I think you may be surprised. Much like Wilson Audio and Focal, there has been a Paradigm Shift in sound design. Modern, dynamic, refined, superb!

Avantgarde Acoustic horns, sounding amazing with Phasemation tube electronics and Bergmann Audio Galder Turntable.   

Avantgarde Acoustic horns, sounding amazing with Phasemation tube electronics and Bergmann Audio Galder Turntable.   

If you're an audiophile old or new and in Toronto, you should treat yourself and make the pilgrimage to the corner of Yonge St. and Stouffville Road.  

The party was very well attended. Few audio businesses have such loyal customers as Angie. Even the competitors show up for Angie's parties. People flew in from all over as well as a throng from Southern Ontario. Reviewers (incl. Audiophilia, The Inner Ear Report, and Stereophile), newspaper music columnists, distributors such as Don Rhule of Kimbercan, Vince Scalzitti from Tri-Cell Enterprises, and manufacturers Jim Thompson from EgglestonWorks, who flew in from Memphis and Trevor Doyle of Massif Audio Design, maker of gorgeous exotic wood stands and racks. And talking of superb stands and racks, HRS was also in attendance. It was also great to see Ron Harper of RJH Audio and Leslie Gizur, longtime Toronto sales professional and Rega setup man extraordinaire. If I missed you in all the excitement, please forgive me and post up a comment. Thanks.

Trevor Doyle (left) of Massif Audio Design and Jim Thompson of Eggleston Works with his Andra Viginti Limited Edition loudspeaker (USD$39,999). I listened to this speaker a lot over my three days. A wonderful dedication to the company's original Andra. Hoping to do a full review at some time. 

Trevor Doyle (left) of Massif Audio Design and Jim Thompson of Eggleston Works with his Andra Viginti Limited Edition loudspeaker (USD$39,999). I listened to this speaker a lot over my three days. A wonderful dedication to the company's original Andra. Hoping to do a full review at some time. 

Angie feeds her friends well. The food and drink was wonderful and plentiful, including great wine and coffee -- what other retail store do you know that has a wine centre and a wine fridge, with Nespresso downstairs, and a full service espresso machine upstairs? And candy bowls everywhere! 

Artisinal pizza, Mexican, and dessert food trucks. 

Artisinal pizza, Mexican, and dessert food trucks. 

Wine centre, with lots of beer and soft drinks, too. Olga, our excellent bartender kept the wine flowing. 

Wine centre, with lots of beer and soft drinks, too. Olga, our excellent bartender kept the wine flowing. 

The other main course was the incredible music and sound. I heard the new Eggleston Works Andra Viginti Limited Edition Loudspeakers, Sonus Faber Cremonese Loudspeakers, Jeff Rowland Model 925 monoblocks, Bergmann Audio Magne and Galder turntables, and other wonderful speakers by Audio Physic, Avantgarde Acoustic and Brodman Acoustics. 

One of my favourite German Loudspeakers, Audio Physic.  

One of my favourite German Loudspeakers, Audio Physic.  

Brodmann Vienna. Gorgeous workmanship and a delight in its very musical presentation. 

Brodmann Vienna. Gorgeous workmanship and a delight in its very musical presentation. 

Angie is one of Audio Research Corporation's most important and influential dealers. One of my true loves of high end audio. The legacy company of our avocation. 

Angie is one of Audio Research Corporation's most important and influential dealers. One of my true loves of high end audio. The legacy company of our avocation. 

If the Audio Research rack wasn't sexy enough, Angie has many stuffed racks with exceptional kit such as these beauties from Esoteric and Boulder. 

If the Audio Research rack wasn't sexy enough, Angie has many stuffed racks with exceptional kit such as these beauties from Esoteric and Boulder. 

Angie has a superb sales force, incredibly patient, knowledgeable and kind, including Leyland, Arnold, Ashraf, and the maestro of analogue setup, Jody Hickson. Any of the gang can point you in the right direction and get you the perfect piece of kit for your setup, but, of course, every one wants to bend Angie's ear. I've not met many in this business who understand the idea of equipment synergy like Angie. 

Jody gave me a superb and very effective demonstration of MQA -- not only did the setup honour the sound differences, but his explanation of the phase shift correction MQA delivers and its effect on timing was very clear and coherent for this most non techie of musician. Sold! But, under the right conditions. I did hear a demo recently that was almost unlistenable. Certainly nothing to do with MQA. As always, expertise makes the difference.   

Bel Canto Design 'Black'. This magnificent Integrated (almost ridiculous calling it an Integrated as it does EVERYTHING -- caps intended) shone in the MQA demo.  

Bel Canto Design 'Black'. This magnificent Integrated (almost ridiculous calling it an Integrated as it does EVERYTHING -- caps intended) shone in the MQA demo.  

Folks popped in casually through the late afternoon and evening listening to the great kit or the three live music stations -- Deen Peer, bass, a jazz trio and a string quartet. Audiophiles and music lovers (Angie, BTW, has a superb collection of vinyl and CDs for you to peruse in addition to a dedicated headphone section upstairs) looked through vinyl bins, sat in the many comfortable listening chairs and generally had a wonderful time. 

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The great lady.  

The great lady.  

Congratulations, my friend, on your very special birthday, the five year anniversary of your latest store, and, of course, for your amazing forty year anniversary in the avocation that we all love so much.  

More photos.  

That's lunch! Angie fed me like a champion during my three day visit. 

That's lunch! Angie fed me like a champion during my three day visit. 

Another example of exquisite Sonus Faber design and implementation. Stradivarius would be proud.

Another example of exquisite Sonus Faber design and implementation. Stradivarius would be proud.

Always at the store, Angie's gorgeous little pooch, Stella.  

Always at the store, Angie's gorgeous little pooch, Stella.  

Bien! Jacques Riendeau's iconic Oracle Turntable in its Delphi 6 incarnation. The best speed change design in the business.

Bien! Jacques Riendeau's iconic Oracle Turntable in its Delphi 6 incarnation. The best speed change design in the business.

Listening nooks everywhere.

Listening nooks everywhere.

Raffle time. And the winner is?

Raffle time. And the winner is?

Bella!!

Bella!!

You'll never see better fit and finish on tube electronics. Audio Research Corporation.

You'll never see better fit and finish on tube electronics. Audio Research Corporation.

Furutech DeMaga demagnetizer. Even the choristers look baffled! 

Furutech DeMaga demagnetizer. Even the choristers look baffled! 

Get yer electronics, here!

Get yer electronics, here!