Vancouver Audio Festival April 26 and 27

The Vancouver Audio Festival is back for a third year in a row April 26th and 27th with host Hi-Fi Centre promising to deliver more of everything that owner Igor Kivritsky and his staff have brought to this West Coast audio experience since the Chester Group left the city.

Guest speakers this year include Garth Powell from Audioquest, Dick Diamond from YG Acoustics, Kevin Wolff from Bowers & Wilkins, Will Kline from Sonus Faber, Richard Farris from Audeze and Owen Kwon from Astell & Kern.

RA: This is the third year for the show, previous festivals have been a big hit with local music lovers and audiophiles, industry representatives, distributors and manufacturers because of the curated systems you and your team put together along with the laid back atmosphere of the venue. What can we expect  to see next weekend?

New Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo wireless loudspeakers.

Igor Kivritsky: “This weekend you can expect a wide variety of systems that I am confident will impress both the die-hard audiophile and the casual listener.  We we will be launching an entirely new range of products from Bowers & Wilkins called Formation along with brand new speakers from YG Acoustics called Vantage and new speakers from Mcintosh called XRT1.1K. We will also be showing products from Naim Audio including a 500 System with the new ND555 Streamer, Focal Kanta 1 speakers, Audioquest’s new Dragon AC and speaker cables, Transparent Opus, Reference and new Ultra headphone cables, Audeze, Astell & Kern and more.”

RA: With the rise of online sales for gear how important do you think the continuance of established bricks-and-mortar are to keeping the foundations of the hobby accessible and vital and most importantly as a face-to-face opportunity for helping newcomers sort through what many can find a daunting task of putting together a hi-fi system?

IK: “While many claimed that online sales would spell the end of the independent audio shop, it couldn't be further from the truth for us. If you're buying a $200 bluetooth speaker, an in-person audition is probably not necessary and therefore perfectly OK to buy online. However, if you are interested in a complete system or a piece of higher-end audio gear it would be crazy to buy it by clicking "add to cart" without a demonstration and without the support of a local dealer. Each one of our sales staff has 20+ years experience and brings a wealth of knowledge that they are excited to share with customers. Combine this with a state-of-the-art demonstration facility and after one visit it'll be easily apparent why buying from a local shop is a much better idea than online.”

RA: You've got three years under your belt with the show, you'll again be offering a number of two-channel systems and dozens of high-end headphones at different price points for people to spend time with, so far the recipe is a success. Do you have any plans to change the format moving forward?

IK: “The name is Vancouver Audio Festival after all, so we probably shouldn't stray too far from the core model of displaying high performance music systems but when there is something new that we feel would interest our customers we are happy to add it.  For example, this year we will be showing the brand new JVC 8K projector.  We design & install a lot of home theatre systems and this will be the first opportunity to see an 8K projector in Vancouver.”

Hi-fi Centre

Everclear's picture

May be Rafe could review the new B & W Formation Duo wireless speakers? ........ Kinda similar to KEF LSX, which Rafe reviewed :-) ...........

Rafe Arnott's picture
Spending time with them at Hi-fi Centre this weekend.