Audio Video 2015 pt.2

The Audio Video is not only about obscure brands and vintage kit, the National Stadium featured nearly all the big brands in the business in 60 rooms. There were also a lot of headphones and a good selection of ‘real world’ products alongside some wild esoterica. Here’s a taste of what was on offer and in action.

The Angstrom Reasearch Stelja is an Italian amplifier with a pat pending circulatron circuit that creator Roberto Garlaschi makes great claims for. The stereo chassis houses a dozen EL34 pentode tubes and sounded great playing a Steve Howe solo from the Yes Album, even without the monster subwoofers (one shown) switched in.

Final Audio from Japan was the only headphone company using a turntable, so once I'd persuaded them to take off the Cyndi Lauper picture disc I had a listen. The Sonorous X range topping headphones sounded beautiful and got me thinking that headphones took away a major source of distortion for vinyl, air vibration. More investigation is required.

A wall of Accuphase, not something I've seen anywhere for a long time.

Gibson is cashing in on its heritage with a sunburst finished range of speakers dubbed Les Paul. What next, the Stratocaster soundbar?

The Chord Electronics distributor gave the new Dave and Mojo DACs a bit of competition by playing an original master tape of Sergeant Peppers on this beautiful Studer A807.

One of the many real world offerings was this selection of attractive portables from drive unit maker Vifa.

Lukasz Fikus of Lampizator showed two hard core headphone amps, the Big 7 (top of page) is a variation on his 300B OTL design with an additional tube for headphone drive and optional output transformer, this will drive all but very low sensivity models for a respectable €7,000. The Amber is an integrated amp with onboard DSD DAC, EL34 tubes and a direct connect connection between DAC chip and tubes for €4,000.

Bowers & Wilkins had the new 803 D3 speakers in Warsaw and the distributor had combined them with multiple Devialet amps to impressive effect.

Grobel Audio combined a Revox reel to reel with Jadis tube amplification and Franco Serblin Ktema speakers from Italy to delightful effect.

As mentioned in part 1 you get some unusual brand pairings in Poland, Naim and TAD being one of the more effective.

Electrocompaniet and Wilson benesch also proved to be well matched.

Brodmann's distributor was using this Luxman PD-444, a Japanese classic that proves there's nothing new in huge turntables.

If he thinks he's putting these in the house... The DC10 Gottenburg Odin combines a Lowther full range with Alnico driver with a 31.5inch bass driver in some fancy cabinet work for a challenging $169,000.

Jason Kennedy