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Audio and video equipment exhibition

PGE Narodowy
Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel
Hotel Golden Tulip

Date: 4-6.11.2016



hen, at about 10 p.m., I was leaving Jean Michael Jarre’s concert in Katowice with a crowd of other fans, I was aware that representatives of most of the companies that had had their presentations during this year’s Audio Video Show exhibition had either just got in their fully packed cars and were intending to go home or were still packing. It was Sunday, November 6th, 2016.

Jarre’s concert at the Spodek sports and entertainment arena in Katowice was part of his Electronica concert tour, promoting the double album that earned him our most important award – the GOLD Fingerprint and which is officially going to be given the HF Best Sound 2016 award of the year already at the beginning of December. One may not agree with these decisions, but even if I had ever had any doubts, the abovementioned concert made me forget about them. The French musician looked incredible – I would like to look like that when I am his age – he danced, enjoyed his fans’ reactions and celebrated the performance. It could be seen that, above everything else, he sees himself as a DJ and that dance is an important part of his life, but also that music is the most important thing for him.

The Twentieth

Something that forms the basis for perfectionist audio, the world of hi-fi and high-end was within my reach – something that made the second Audio Video Show exhibition (or the twentieth, if we take the previous editions of the Audio Show into account) such a tremendous success. These are big words, but without any exaggeration. This time, however, I am using them more consciously than ever before (HERE you will find an exclusive interview with Adam Mokrzycki who talks about the reasons for changing the exhibition’s name).

The exhibition was opened with a press conference at the PGE Narodowy Stadium, conducted by Piotr Metz.

Each year we refer to data according to which the exhibition in Warsaw is growing, becoming similar, in terms of the number of visitors and the scale of the event, to the most important point of reference in our domain, i.e. the High End exhibition in Munich, organized in the M.O.C. exhibition halls by the High End Society (you can find our reportage from this year’s edition HERE). It is getting better and better every year, thanks to which the Audio (Video) Show has been the second major audio exhibition in Europe for the last few years.

We have been happy about this, as it is a proof that we have been doing things well and that there is a large group of people in this part of the world who want to listen to music the way the artist has intended for it to be listened to. On the other hand, however, hiding behind the back of someone bigger and stronger used to be comfortable, as it was the High End exhibition that was under fire and we were able to do things our way. Apparently, “our way” has played a major role in giving the twentieth edition of the exhibition completely new quality. Let me explain...

A few words about Munich

The name which suits the event in Munich best is “fair”. While it is used interchangeably with the term “exhibition”, it does not mean the same, as it refers to a place where people do business, above everything else. It is where manufacturers and their distributors from all over the world meet, where (literally) all audio and video journalists go, and where contracts are signed. Of course, the exhibition aspect of the event is extremely important and it is Munich where the majority of important products have their premiere, but it is of equal rank to business, at the most. The business character of the event is clearly noticeable in rooms and corridors, at restaurants and places where one can drink beer – people talk business everywhere.

Thanks to this, Munich is the centre of the audio world – even if the CES exhibition in Las Vegas is larger. This proves to be a blessing for our domain, as without doing business we would wither and shrink, becoming small isolated islands of purist audio for two – three clients per company. Thanks to Munich, our domain is doing better than ever before, contrary to what catastrophists had been saying, seeing a threat to high-end sound in video games, headphones connected to mobile phones and Bluetooth speakers. It has been exactly the opposite: young people want something more thanks to these gadgets.


However, let us get to the point: the exhibition in Warsaw has taken on its own character which makes it unique – different from any other event of this type and, therefore, incredibly attractive. It is an exhibition which is unanimously referred to as “full of music” by journalists, manufacturers and guests from abroad. It clearly differs from the event in Munich, as the AVS is an exhibition rather than a fair, but its distinguishing feature is music.

One might say this is normal, as audio exhibitions aim to popularize equipment that reproduces music and, therefore, music itself. High End exhibitions are just one example of how completely different the reality is. It is because any audio exhibition is created not only by the organizer, exhibitors and journalists, but also people – perhaps even mostly by them. From the point of view of a person who has been to a lot of such events, I can say that people who come to AVS exhibitions are different than anywhere else.

I can justify my opinion not only with my personal experience but also on the basis of conversations with my friends, acquaintances and other people from all over the world who came to Warsaw. They all repeated what I have already mentioned above: people in Poland listen to music, they are curious about music and, most importantly, have good knowledge of music. Most of my interlocutors emphasized our musical competence, saying that they have learnt a lot and that it has given them new energy.

They explained that in different ways, but most often they mentioned the unique musical culture of our country, referring to Chopin and the International Chopin Piano Competition in the first place. However, many also talked about modern music, i.e. Penderecki, Kilar, Górecki, Anderszewski, Zimmerman, Komeda and Stańko.

So, the atmosphere at the exhibition in Warsaw was incredibly good. To prove it, let me quote a conversation between Doug Schneider representing the SoundStage Global portal and Ken Kessler, the editor of “Hi-Fi News &RR”, overheard by chance (we were simply drinking beer nearby):
Doug: Hey, are you coming next year?
Ken: Of course, naturally!
Doug: Warsaw rules, doesn’t it?
Ken: It’s really cool, I’ll be there for sure!

The atmosphere that is so full of energy, enthusiasm and zest makes Warsaw the place to visit for people who want to be up to date. The AVS may likely become as influential as the exhibition in Munich, but in a different way. Warsaw is where more relaxed and free aspects of audio are more emphasized. Without the necessity to apply any rigid business protocol, manufacturers and journalists can pay their attention to music and, no matter how tricky it may sound – to audio equipment. So, Warsaw is a place for meetings that are more friendly and personal. As a result, stronger bonds are created between people.

Seasoned high-end audio experts will not find a single sound here that will surprise them in any way – this is simply impossible. However, they can find presentations that will interest them for other reasons. Other visitors will see and listen to devices that they have only read about and meet their creators who they have only heard about, which means gaining invaluable experience.

The best of the best

However, since such an exhibition is a kind of a “beauty contest”, everyone asks me which devices produced the best sound and what I liked most, after the event comes to an end. I never know how to answer such questions, since it is just an exhibition and it does not enable us to test the full capability of any device. Exhibitors put a lot of work and effort into their presentations, not to mention money, which they deserve our respect for. However, physics is physics and what we can hear in a hotel room or even at a bigger conference hall, is just an approximation of what we may hear at home..

However, it is the abovementioned approximation that makes us pay for tickets and want to attend the exhibition. According to tradition and in harmony with myself, below I give you some examples of presentations that were worth focusing on, as I want to draw your attention to the companies, products and people that, in my opinion, most successfully dealt with the obstacles. The presentation is divided into three parts and you will find over 120 photographs in the gallery below. I did not go everywhere or visit all the rooms, but it was completely impossible.

However, what comes first is something that probably everyone has been waiting for: awards. I have divided them into two groups – the first one is the Best of the Best in absolute categories. It not only refers to sound, but also to the cognitive value of the winners. The other one is mostly a clearly subjective choice of the most interesting presentations that we have given the Best Sound Audio Video Show 2016 award to. There are more of them than last year, which reflects the scale of the event and my refusal to remove someone from the list just because it is too long. If necessary, please blame me for everything!


Ayon Audio, Lumen White, Siltech
Organizers: Nautilus, Ayon Audio, “High Fidelity”

I had been wondering whether this was not too strong self-promotion, but only for a while. I think that everyone who attended the “Master (Re)Master” meeting with Jacek Gawłowski, with me as the chairman, learnt something new. The Krakow Sonic Society presentation (#106) attracted a lot of interesting people who were officially able to listen to Polish Jazz compositions from high-resolution files (both 24/88.2 and 24/174.4) for the first time. The system included the new Ayon Audio S-10 file player, the Conquistador preamp and the latest Lumen White speakers.

After the presentation, Jacek answered questions, explained things, talked about his Bauta speakers, etc.

Chord Electronics, Cabasse, Cardas, Rogoz Audio, Studer
Organizer: Voice

This is the system in which we listened to a copy of the analog master tape of the Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles, with a new version of the Cabasse Le Sphère CTA speakers in the foreground, a digital crossover, as well as Chord Electronics equipment and the Studer A807 tape recorder in the foreground. The presentation was organized by the Voice company, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The tape that we listened to was used to press LP discs in Jugoton. The presentation was conducted by Piotr Metz and Tomasz Zeliszewski.

Tomasz Zeliszewski, a member of the Polish band Budka Suflera and the owner of the tape, pressing the “Play” button. Before he did that, he shared his personal experience of listening to the master tape, and the discoveries and emotions that resulted from it.

Please note that both of the presentations mentioned above are going to be described in a separate article.

THE PREMIERE OF THE T.LOVE: Muniek Staszczyk, Jacek Gawłowski, Hirek Wrona
Wilson Audio, Dan D’Agostino, MSB, Symposium Acoustics, Synergistic Research
Organizer: Audiofast, ZPAV, Warner Music Poland

The most expensive system at the exhibition, costing 2,000,000 PLN, attracted both visitors, as well as TV crews, celebrities and musicians. Its most important element were the Wilson Audio ALEXX speakers (the successor of the MAXX3), but one can also see the Dan D’Agostino Progression power amplifiers and the MSB Select II DAC worth 90 000 USD in the background.

The official premiere of the T.LOVE album took place in the Audiofast company room. The photo presents Muniek Staszczyk and Jacek Gawłowski (in front of Muniek, a leader, sitting), the album’s co-producer, also responsible for mix and mastering.

Yayuma Audio, Vitus Audio, Unison Research, hORNS by Auto-Tech
Organizer: Yayuma Audio

Yayuma is a Polish brand new company which now offers one product: an analog signal processor. It operates on the basis of the idea of translating the speed principle of microphone operation into the “language” of loudspeakers. I listened to the device for 15 minutes on Sunday morning, before the exhibition opened, but the presentation (i.e. the explanations and sound) made a great impression on me. The processor opened sound to new information, without making the sound sharper or emphasizing details – there was simply much more of everything. The system included the CD Vitus Audio player, the Unison Research amplifier and the hORNS by Auto-Tech speakers. We are giving the award in advance, but I feel that it might be an important step towards sound perfection.


Sennheiser, Accuphase
Organizer: Aplauz

A minimalist system worth 300,000 PLN :), including the Orpheus HE-1 headphones and the Accuphase SACD DP-720 player. No other headphone system can so accurately simulate the presence of sound sources in space. Never before had I heard space presented in such a realistic way in headphones. The tone was excellent, but other top-class headphones also perform very well in this respect. The Orpheus HE-1, however, come across as outstanding when it comes to sound freedom and the total disappearance of the headphones. One Sennheiser system has already been purchased by someone from Poland..

Blumenhofer Acoustics, Cary Audio, Ypsilon
Organizer: Audio System

The source in the system with the Blumenhofer Acoustics speakers was the Cary Audio DMC 600 C player. It is called the Digital Music Center as it has digital inputs, as well as a Bluetooth connection. However, its main role is to play CDs. Amplification was provided by the Ypsilon E 300B power amplifiers, based on two 300B tubes per channel (in the background). The system played very fast and accurately, without tube influences.

Wilson Audio, Dan D’Agostino, dCS, Acoustic Signature, Soundsmith, Symposium Acoustics, Synergistic Research
Organizer: Audiofast

The Wilson Audio Yvette speakers were driven by top-class products: the 1000-watt Dan D’Agostino Progression power amps with the Pre preamp. There were two sources: the dCS Vivaldi 2.0 system (this is the latest software version) and the Acoustic Signature Ascona Mk II turntable with the TA9000 arm and the Soundsmith Hyperion cartridge. As always, the room was a little too small for the Wilson speakers, but the Yvette model handled it really well. It was big sound with swing.

ESA, Mastersound, Avid
Organizer: ESA

Mr. Andrzej Zawada – dignified and full of enthusiasm, as always – with the ESA speakers. Keeping pace with the times, Mr. Andrzej has prepared an anniversary version of his speakers from the 1990s – the Continuum XXV Anniversary model (on the left). The sound of the system was incredibly coherent and smooth. What I focused on was the sound and not the devices themselves.

Elac, NAD
Organizer: Audio Klan

After Mr. Andrew Jones, formerly a constructor for the TAD company, had joined Elac, the firm produced a lot of incredibly interesting products, also including some inexpensive ones. The photo presents the BS403 model in nice natural veneer. Despite loud noise, the speakers, driven by NAD electronics, made a very good impression on me.

FM Acoustics, Vertere
Organizer: Natural Sound

I also heard excellent sound in the Natural Sound room where they had FM Acoustics speakers and electronics, as well as the Vertere RG-1 Reference Groove turntable. We drank some wine with its constructor, Mr. Touraj Moghaddam, and danced to the music played from a few 12” maxi-singles with music from the 1980s. It is very precise and accurate sound with excellently captured timing.

Hegel, Xavian
Organizer: CAMAX & Premium Sound

A new distribution company – Camax – made its debut during the AVS 2016. It has made a strong entry into the market with the excellent Hegel brand. At the exhibition, they mainly demonstrated the Röst, an integrated amplifier with a streamer. The presented speakers are the Xavian Stella model. It is an example of how beautiful sound can be obtained in a minimalist system.

Dynaudio, Accuphase, Octave, Transrotor, ZYX, Siltech, Base
Organizer: Nautilus

One of the rooms with the best sound at the exhibition, with the Dynaudio Contour 20 speakers. The system was set up according to assumptions that guide me during tests, i.e. the electronics – here: the Octave HP700 preamp, the Octave RE230 power preamps and the SACD Accuphase DP/DC950 player (a test in January 2017) is many times more expensive than the speakers. I listened to a few recordings, but I liked the Yuri Tashiro Piano Trio Digital Explosion LP best. It is a rarity – digitally recorded music which sounds as if played from the master tape. The new ZYX C-1000 Carbon cartridge with a carbon fiber cantilever hugely contributed to the success. Bravo!

Equilibrum, Naim, Enerr
Organizer: Audiothlon & Media4Home

The Black Orchid speakers, created by the Polish company Equilibrium, were driven by Naim electronics and the combination was excellent! The Enerr company provided power supply and the whole system was set up by the Audiothlon & Media4Home company. To tell the truth, it was one of the best presentations of Naim electronics in recent years, even though the central figure of the system were the Equilibrium speakers.

Pylon Audio, Fezz Audio
Organizer: Pylon Audio, Fezz Audio

The Pylon Audio Opal 23 speakers cost only 2200 PLN/pair! Together with the Fezz Audio Silver Luna amplifier, they produced really nice sound. To be honest, I could have selected the Emerald Touched by High Fidelity speakers to be given this award, but it seems to me that obtaining such good sound from speakers as inexpensive as the Opal 23 is even a greater achievement.

YG Acoustic, Audionet, Townshend Audio
Organizer: CORE trendts

One of the best-sounding (as for a hotel room) systems of the exhibition, consisting of products that we have tested: the YG Acoustic Carmel 2 speakers and the CD Audionet Planck player (both tested in HF), accompanied by a Watt amplifier and an Ampere power supply. Mr. Kerry St. James, the head of sales for YG Acoustics, who had set up the speakers at my home before the test, told me at the exhibition that he needs to visit me more frequently to make more album compilations to be played during exhibitions – he left my home with several “must have” titles…

Monitor Audio, Cambridge Audio, The Chord Company
Organizer: Audio Center Poland

A stylish, minimalist, clean and nice system with components that produce good sound – it is simply the system prepared by the Audio Center Poland company, consisting of: the CXN file transport, the CXC CD transport and the CXA-80 integrated amplifier – all from Cambridge Audio, as well as the Monitor Audio Bronze 6 speakers and The Chord Company cables.

Avatar Audio, ReVox
Organizer: Avatar Audio

The Avatar Audio company always prepares interesting presentations, but this year something really “worked out” as the sound was exceptionally beautiful. The wonderful, warm sound was obtained both thanks to an analog copy of a master tape played from a ReVox reel-to-reel tape recorder and the Holophony Model Dwa speakers (a test in HF) – here an improved version created on the basis of our test – “mission completed!”

Thrax Audio, Döhmann, CEC, Furutech, RCM Audio
Organizer: RCM

The Thrax Audio Lyra speakers (a test in HF) were presented with their dedicated Bassus subwoofer in Munich, but it was Warsaw where we saw their version for production that not only sounds but also looks good. The speakers, driven by the Thrax Audio Teres amplifiers, performed extremely well, aided by the sources: the D/A CEC TL0 3.0+DA0 3.0 transport and converter (a test in HF) and the Döhmann Helix 1 turntable (a test in HF).

At the end, I would like to thank all our readers, greet those that I had the opportunity to meet and those who did not dare to talk to me :) See you next year!

  • A side view of the Aequo Audio Ensis speakers that we had on our cover in July. The amplifier is the hybrid Trilogy 925 integrated amp (a test in HF) and the source is a Lumin file player.
  • Celebrities are also interested in top-class sound – the person in the picture is Kacper Kuszewski, mostly known for his role as Marek Mostowiak in the Polish TV series M jak Miłość, with the Sennheiser Orpheus HE-1 headphones.
  • Such shapes cannot be missed. An incredibly successful presentation of Vivid Audio speakers, with a special focus on the Giya G2 model (on the left).
  • Our news section editor Bartek Pacuła next to the cover of the February issue of “High Fidelity”, where we put a photo of Seong-Jin Cho that Bartek had taken.
  • Our cover with the Naim Mu-so Qb could be found at the Stadium in the Audio Center Poland company room.
  • The Monitor Audio Platinum PL500 II speakers driven by the Naim Statement amplifier were something exceptional – not only as an exhibit at the AVS 2016, but also in a universal sense, in terms of absolute sound.
  • The Avantgarde Acoustic Duo XD speakers produced fantastic sound – it was excellent, indeed! The system, consisting of the Avantgarde Acoustic XA Integrated amplifier, the SACD Accuphase DP-720 player, the Transrotor Max turntable and the Accuphase C-27 preamp must have helped them. The system was powered by the Base Power power strip. The person who set up this system in such a beautiful way was Radek Pasternak (in the photo).
  • The system with the Avantgarde Acoustic Duo XD speakers included the Siltech Ruby Mountain II power cables and the Power Base power strip.
  • A very colorful and dynamic system in the Audio System company room was filled with electronics from the Greek company Ypsilon. The photo shows the PSE 300B power amplifier based on two 300B tubes per channel.
  • One of the recent distribution purchases of Nautilus – the American Acoustic Zen company. The cables connected to the Power Base strip are the popular Gargantua II P-3060 and the Absolute P-5060.
  • The Dan D’Agostino Progression monoblocks are simply extremely beautiful and they also have 1000 watts of power, so they will drive any speaker.
  • Mr. Russell Kauffman holding the Russell K. Red 50 speakers that have been given the Best Sound 2016 award by our magazine.
  • An interesting presentation of the Definitive Technology BP9080 speaker system. These tall speakers have an active subwoofer, two passive membranes, as well as midrange drivers and tweeters in the D’Appolito configuration. As they are equipped with a digital signal correction system, the speakers sound really coherent. They were driven by Musical Fidelity electronics and power supply was provided by a GigaWatt conditioner.
  • That might have surprised the participants in the competition in which one could win the Pylon Audio Emerald High Fidelity speakers – the cover of the December issue of our magazine. It presents the Kalista Métronome Technologie transport (part of a CD source) costing €69,000.
  • Something for “normal” people, i.e. the first product from the new “mini” Advance Acoustic series – the Smart BX1 power amplifier. The series will also include an integrated amplifier, a file player and a DAC.
  • This presentation always attracts people’s attention, both in Munich (High END) and Warsaw – the photo presents the hORNS by Auto-Tech Universum 3-way speakers driven by My Sound Cube power amplifiers that were given the Best Sound 2016 award by our magazine.
  • A novelty from My Sound – the Pre Cube preamp, with separate power supply, control and amplification sections.
  • Our friends, members of the Krakow Sonic Society: Birgit Hammer-Sommer from the German Sommelier Du Son record label (on the left) and Dirk Raeke from Transrotor (in the background). Apparently, they were having good fun in Warsaw :)
  • A source different from any other: an all-in-one SACD drive, D/A converter and digital preamp – the McIntosh MCT450 + D150.
  • The photo presents one of the most expensive systems at the exhibition (that was not, however, too intensively advertised), including new Tenor Audio products and the Hansen Audio Prince speakers. The source was a digital system consisting of an Aurender file transport and the Accustic Arts Drive II CD transport, connected to the D/A Soulution 560 converter. You can also see Franc Audio Accessories rack and platforms in the system.
  • Air Tight and Accustic Arts devices are interesting in themselves, but this time it is all about Paweł Skulimowski and the new Franc Audio Accessories shelves that are standing behind him. Paweł says that he has applied all of his company’s most important solutions in them, but the price of the shelves will be reasonable, anyway. The shelves will be scalable and it will be possible to start their construction with only a single platform.
  • The Cabasse Le Sphère CTA speakers had their European premiere at the AVS 2016. This coaxial point sound source consists of as many as four converters, including a 550-mm subwoofer.
  • The Chord Electronics crew. Mr. Robert Watts, the engineer behind the Dave converter, is in the centre of the photo and Mr. John Francks, the owner of Chord, is on the right. As they told us, they will soon surprise us with completely new products. What is interesting, they are now preparing a new Compact Disc transport. As it turned out, both gentlemen share my faith in this format.
  • The AVS 2016 was a place where one could see and listen to speakers from the new 800 Bowers & Wilkins series. The source was the CD Simaudio Moon player, while amplification was provided by two-piece Pass components.
  • A miniature model of the housing of Magico S7 speakers – it is worth paying attention to the all-aluminum construction and internal reinforcements.
  • One of the rooms at the Stadium, taken by the Suport company that distributes the products of JBL and Harman/Kardon, among others. Such companies made it possible for this year’s AVS to gain momentum.
  • A new version of the Ambilight Philips system, with micro projectors instead of standard backlight, combined with OLED screens is something I would like to see at my home.
  • One of the nicest presentations of the exhibition, prepared by the Samsung company.
  • Technics and its greatest hit – the refreshed and refined SL1200 turntable. In Warsaw there was shown the only exisiting specimen from the limited version of this model, labelled with the number 0000.
  • I am really glad that the EIC company decided to show so many products of the Japanese Esoteric company – the photo presents the SACD K-03 player with the VRDS-NEO VMK-3.5-10S transport.
  • In Japan, equipping speakers with a supertweeter is like knighting them. Tannoy offers one of the better-looking tweeters of this type, the Prestige GR.
  • Although our attention mainly gets focused on the American Von Schweikert company’s Unifield 3 MkII speaker model and the KR Audio Kronzilla integrated amplifier, the most important element of the system was a turntable created by the 440 Audio Czech company which we wrote about in our reportage from Munich.
  • 440 Audio – the G6 model with a wood and composite base, an acrylic plate and a Jelco arm.
  • Each element of the CD Acoustic Plan DriveMaster + DigiMaster player is the size of a larger pencil case, which is a reference to products of the Japanese 47 Labs company.
  • Everyone must have wanted to see them live – the Bang & Olufsen Beolab 90 speakers. Each has 18 Scan Speak converters and 18 ICE Power amplifiers with the total power of 8200 W. It is both a high-end speaker and a designer product.
  • The ZetaZero Orbital speakers were accompanied by Nagra electronics and an Avid turntable. The D/A Nagra Classic DAC and the top-class HD Amp power amplifiers were presented.
  • Another nostalgic return – the Cyrus One integrated amplifier in a new form. Next to it, there is its first version from the year 1984. In the new version, we will find a Bluetooth apt-X connection, a headphone amplifier and a phono stage. The Speaker Impedance Detection (SID) circuit measures the impedance of the connected speakers, adjusting the capacity of the amplifier to them.
  • A very pleasant presentation of Amare Musica electronics standing on an Audio Philar rack. In the foreground, there is the Trinity Diamond power amplifier with four EML300B-XLS tubes in a parallel single-ended connection. The output transformers are wound with silver wire.
  • A new version of Audio Philar racks have plywood worktops. As you can see, Vibrapod Isolators are used to decouple the racks’ tops. As there are a few models of Vibrapod Isolators that differ with regards to weight range, one can precisely adjust a rack to the weight of devices that are going to be placed on it.
  • One of the rooms where one could see the Audiovector QR3 speakers, here with Pro-Ject electronics. Elegance, nice sound and not too high a price – these are key elements of the audio domain.
  • Audiovector QR series speakers have been designed by Mads Klifoth (in the background).
  • If I were to choose a Polish brand whose products cannot be distinguished, when it comes to the quality of construction and finishing, from the products of its best western competitors, that would be Zontek. At the exhibition, the company’s turntable and preamplifier were used with Air Tight electronics, the ATC-2 preamp and the ATM-300 Anniversary Version power amp. The speakers are the Cessaro Horn Acoustics Wagner I horn loudspeakers.
  • An enormous hall where headphones were exhibited, under the auspices of the MP3 Store. This year, for the first time at the Stadium, the exhibition was also organized in rooms on the other side of the pitch.
  • This is the Rafko company stand where one could still find the first versions of the HiFiMAN HE-1000 and Edition X headphones. In HF, you can already find a test of the V2 version. Here, the HiFiMAN headphones were driven by a Pathos amplifier.
  • The Japanese Final company, via its Polish distributor – Fonnex, presented two of the most expensive pairs of headphones of this year’s AVS exhibition. The photo shows people listening to the Sonorus X models.
  • Nothing can compete with these little things, however. This is the Final LAB II model of 3D-printed earphones with a housing made of powdered titanium, resulting in the openwork design. The price: almost 18,000 PLN.
  • Another high-end novelty worth 20,000 PLN: the Ultrasone Jubilee 25 Edition headphones. This is a limited edition of 250 pairs :)
  • Mr. Michael Zirkel representing the Ultrasone company, holding a pair of the Jubilee 25 Edition headphones.
  • One more look at the Jubilee 25 Edition headphones, this time without the shell – directly at the membrane and the ULE circuit protecting the earphone from electromagnetic radiation, giving the sound stage a unique shape.
  • I have not seen the K2 S9900 speakers in this colour version yet, but they look great – with the Sapphire Blue Metallic varnish. The source was the multi-format (CD + files) Mark Levinson No 519 Audio Player, the No 52 preamp and the No 519 monoblocks. The electronics was placed on a Rogoz Audio rack.
  • A quick look from the outside at the part of the exhibition where records were being sold – “The Vinyl Zone” that was organized under the auspices of HF.
  • As you can see, we are full of pride –Bartosz (the News section) on the left and me on the right.
  • Another cover, this time with the Tara Labs Omega Evolution and Zero Evolution cables.
  • Our friend from the Natural Sound company prepared an interesting presentation with AudioTekne electronics and a Vertere turntable. The La Primavera loudspeaker column model that he has constructed have speakers driven not by magnets, but electromagnets. Their power supply units were placed next to the shelf with electronics.
  • A novelty from Mr. Sikora – the small and compact Starter turntable. As we can read, “the basic assumption behind the Starter turntable is to make our top-class products reach a wider group of audio lovers. The fact that we have reduced the number of materials, while retaining high sound quality, has considerably lowered our production costs.” In the backround there is the Reference model that has been given the Award of the Year 2016 by our magazine.
  • An extremely rare specimen of the Burdjak & Sikora power amplifier which shook the Polish audio world in the 1990s. This particular one has been repurchased and renewed by Mr. Sikora.
  • Matej Isak, the editor-in-chief of the online “Mono & Stereo” magazine. You will find an interview with this interesting man in the HF archive.
  • I think that this was one of the most expensive digital sources at the exhibition – the four-piece Kalista Métronome Technologie Compact Disc player that will decorate our December cover. Apart from it, the system also included the Dan D’Agostino Momentum S250 power amp and the Wilson Audio Sabrina speakers. The presentations were led by Mr. Jean Marie Clauzel, the CEO of Métronome.
  • As it can be seen, the Kalista transport looks like a spaceship and has a CD on the top. Next to it there is a DAC, while power supply units are situated below. We can place the transport and the DAC one on the other and additionally buy high feet that we get with a source which looks like a large Transrotor turntable.
  • In the Hi-Ton company room with T+A products, my attention was attracted by a conditioner (in the photo) characterized by an extremely refined design. You will soon read more about it in HF.
  • Presentations in the T+A room were led by the company’s founder and CEO – Mr. Siegfred Amft (on the left). We are standing together next to the Solitaire CWT-1000-8 SE speaker.
  • The T.LOVE album premiere. Hirek Wrona was one of the people who liked the vinyl presentation of the album more.
  • A live interview for the Polish television – everyone could see how it was conducted and smile, hearing what the journalist told Muniek: “Let’s say it’s Saturday, as we are going to broadcast this tomorrow” :)
  • The Audio Anatomy crew with people from the Pathos company.
  • A really successful combination of classic and new elements in audio: the Notte Sound Labs company room. It housed the iconic JBL speakers from the 1970s (the 250Ti model) and the source was the Wadia SACD player which also performed the function of a D/A converter for an Olive file player. However, the most important element was amplification: the Notte Line Preamplifier NLP 01, the Notte Monoblocks NMB 01 and the Notte Power Amplifier NPA 01.
  • “High Fidelity” readers should be familiar with the elinsAudio manufacture – the Best Product 2014 and 2015 awards, as well as excellent products speak for themselves. We saw a novelty at the exhibition – the mains and battery-powered MC phono stage.
  • Ivo Sparidaens – a Concept Manager, i.e. our acquaintance from the Aequo Audio company, standing next to a reproduction of a HF cover. As he said, having listened to Lava from a Porcupine Tree album in my system, he plays it during all his presentations.
  • A really nice Combak Corporation presentation with the Encore ENC-5 speakers, the Reimyo KAP-777 power amp, the CAT-777 MkII preamplifier and a CD source including the D/A Reimyo DAP-999EX TOKU “High Fidelity Edition” converter – we have tested all these elements in HF.
  • The Hegel Röst is an integrated amplifier with 75 Watts per channel, integrated with AirPlay, with an ethernet and digital inputs.
  • The little thing on top is the Bryston BDP-π file player. Signal can be sent to it via an ethernet connection or a USB cable. The device allows Tidal streaming.
  • Auris Audio is a company from Serbia, offering incredibly good-looking products with wooden and leather finishing elements. The photo presents the Poison 3 speakers, the Largo SE preamp (with a D/A converter) and the Forte 150 power amps with two KT150 tubes per channel.
  • The Retro Audio room was filled with top-class vintage devices. What attracted my attention was the extremely beautiful Luxman M-6000 power amplifier with a 1 kW (!) transformer.
  • The Rossofiorentino Siena speakers driven by the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 amplifier and the CD Nu-Vista CD player, with Siltech cables.
  • The Audiotrendt store, where I chaired the presentation of the Pylon Audio Emerald High Fidelity speakers, promoted QUAD company electronics – the Artera Stereo amplifier and the Artera Play CD/preamp. The speakers had been supplied by the Swiss Piega company (the Classic series). An important role in the system was also played by GigaWatt conditioners.
  • Polski Klaster Audio is a group of Polish producers offering sophisticated products. This room housed the Dream Reference #001 system consisting of Bodnar Audio speakers, an Egg-Shell amplifier and a Pre-Audio turntable, with Audiomica Laboratories cables.
  • Another room with Polish products: the hORNS by Auto-Tech Mummy speakers, Egg-Shell amplifiers and a Pro-Audio turntable.
  • HF was the first magazine in which Pre-Audio turntables made their debut. One of them was presented on our cover. The photo presents the ASP-1501 model.
  • During the AVS 2016, a prototype of the “regular” version of the Pylon Audio Emerald speakers was presented.
  • Another premiere from Pylon Audio – the Ruby series, still in their prototype phase. Completely new loudspeakers have been used here, with plait more lightweight and rigid than glass fiber plait – for the very first time.
  • Our magazine cover with the Pylon Audio Emerald High Fidelity speakers in an appropriate setting :)
  • Finally, the right Emerald HF speakers with the Fezz Audio Titania amplifier – I think that some of the magic that we managed to put in them was also felt by our visitors.
  • Another point to gain for the visitors who took part in the competition – the cover of the January issue of HF, with the Fezz Audio Luna amplifier.
  • As always, a lot of things happened in the DIY room. The number of visitors did not make it possible for anyone to listen for a longer time, but I am really glad that Polish DIY products represent such a high level of quality.
  • DIMD is a young brand that made its debut at the AVS 2016. The photo presents its first product, the PP10 integrated amplifier. There are EL84 tubes in push-pull at the power stage, controlled by the ECC83. Carefully finished wood and aluminum contribute to its beautiful look. This is another product which looks as if it was made in Scandinavia or Japan.
  • Beautiful little things! We awarded the Chartwell LS3/5 speakers this year, giving them the Best Product 2016 title. Norma Audio electronics – the D/A HS-DA1 converter, the Revo IPA-140 amplifier and the CD Revo CDP-1BR player were part of the system.
  • The new Audionet series is not only better made, but also produces much more sophisticated and multidimensional sound than before.
  • This year, the Baltlab Endo 2 amplifier sounded exceptionally interesting, probably because it played with the Trenner & Friedl Osiris speakers (a test in HF) and the D/A Exogal Comet Plus DAC converter (a test in HF).
  • Block Audio s.r.o. has a name similar to the German Block company, but these are completely different products. The Czechs offer top high-end devices. The photo presents the Line Block preamplifier.
  • These are retro speakers, but they are being manufactured today – Old School, the Studio Monitor M2 and the bigger Classic One models.
  • That was really excellent sound! Broadpand converters from CubeAudio and the Bliss C speakers. Even though they look like Lowther speakers, they are made in Poland!
  • These are speakers from the Czech Republic, also with broadband converters. Our attention is attracted by one of the nicest diffusers I have ever seen.
  • Audionet was present at a few roll up photos, but I captured this particular one because of the harmony between the color of the background and one visitor’s sweater.
  • Luxman electronics, including the L-590AX MARK II model that we tested this month in our magazine, played together with Wilson Audio speakers.
  • Haiku Audio in a hybrid (the Bright Mk3), semiconductor (the SOL III) and a tube version. The hybrid Bright Mk4 amplifer had its premiere during the exibition. The amps were used with Wigg-Art speakers.
  • The crew of the HiFi Station company – Patryk (on the left) and Grzegorz.
  • HiFi Station prepared a presentation of a system consisting of different brands: the Audiovector QR3 speakers, the two-piece Audio Analog Puccini amplifier, the D/A Hegel HD 30 DAC converter, the Auralic Aries file player and Cardas cables. The sophisticated set costs 51,900 PLN.
  • The fact that Fram (a new brand dependent on Ancient Audio) was established, came as a surprise – also to me. It is going to include products that have already been created, i.e. the P-3 signal processor, but also new products, including amplifiers with a processor and a new series of small speakers. I will also offer an audiophile “soundbar”, naturally equipped with a processor. Fram is to become a platform for modern audio systems.
  • A presentation of the new Ancient Audio A-1 amplifier, a smaller version of the great A-3.
  • The Nomos company, offering repairs and reconstruction of vintage audio products, is developing well, getting more and more new people to practice the art.
  • The Lenco L-75 turtable modified by Nomos was presented in a reproduced picture with our September cover.
  • The inside of the beautiful Aqua Audio Formula digital-to-analog converter. You can see the actual digital-to-analog converter based on discrete elements on the right side of the photo.
  • Paweł from the Nautilus company, presenting an item from the Stockfisch company catalogue.
  • One more stand with records – Naim Records, run by Bartek: our webmaster, graphic designer and friend.
  • The “toadstool” is a subwoofer from the Monitor Audio Climate series. It is used to amplify sound in open spaces – one digs it in the ground, leaving the “mushroom” only above the ground.
  • At the Tulip Hotel, one could find our May cover presenting the TechDAS Air Force Three turntable with three arms.
  • The photo presents our friend, Dirk Sommer, the editor-in-chief of the portal and owner of the Sommelier Du Son company, talking about different ways of deploying microphones. During the presentation, we listened to three arrangements and could vote for the one that we liked best because Dirk made it clear that there is no single “appropriate” solution.
  • Dirk’s presentation took place in the Nautilus company room that was supervised by our another acquaintance, Gerhard Hirt, the owner of Ayon Audio. Music was played from high-resolution files.
  • Since the Polish Forza Audioworks company was established, I have been using its Noir cables in my headphones. Now I am looking forward to their new version to be used with the HiFiMAN HE-1000 V2 headphones. Together with the owner of Forza Audioworks, we came up with the idea that the headphone cable plug connected to the amplifier will be detachable (balanced/unbalanced), but we will use the fantastic Lemo plugs for that purpose.
  • The RCM Audio company had prepared a prototype of its flagship phono stage. As it can be seen in the photo, we will have access to settings on the front panel, using a knob and a display.
  • This is the top version of the limited edition Kronos Pro turntable. There is an additional power supply module at the bottom. The presented turntable had the number 132/250.
  • The exceptionally beautiful Vertere RG-1 Reference Groove turntable with the Reference Tonearm.
  • Mr. Touraj Moghaddam, the owner of Vertere (previously known as Roksana).
  • Mr. Florian Cossy, the CEO of CH Precision – a Swiss manufacturer of SACD players and high-end amplifiers
  • At the AVS 2016 exhibition, CH Precision products were matched with the German Göbel HighEnd speakers. Their special feature is the midrange tweeter planar speaker.
  • A very pleasant presentation of Sveda Audio loudspeakers accompanied by the Italian Audia Flight company’s amplifier (Strumento No.1 + Strumento No.4), a CEC CD player and an Avid turntable. The cables (apart from power cables) were supplied by the company.
  • The power supply in the Sveda Audio system was provided by a powerful conditioner and power cables manufactured by the Polish Camel Studio company whose owner has his own recording studio where he has probably already modified everything…
  • Almost at the end of our journey, we stop to say goodbye to a giant of the audio world – Mr. Franco Serblin and take a look at his “posthumous” Accordo speakers. Placed, as always, in the Grobel Audio room and looking like a musical instrument, they produced exceptionally beautiful sound.
  • Our last picture is an insight into the future, presenting the iFi company’s new two-in-one headphone amplifier and DAC. As it can be seen, small size has been given up in the name of better functionality.