Newcomers from Astell&Kern included the AK70 and AK300 portable players.

Open and expressive with a clearly defined vintage feeling was obviously what the designers of Old School speakers aimed to achieve. At MHES they showed with Plinius amplification from New Zealand.

As I learned, Old School is a brand of Arslab who in the Audiomania exhibit showed their new Arslab Classic 1.5 speakers.

Beside an amp, a luxurious pair of Tidal Contriva Diacera G2 speakers and other devices, the flagship New Ambience system boasted a Helix One turntable especially flown in for the event.

This Helix One designed by Mark Döhman, creator of the legendary Caliburn, was one of the most remarkable items of the New Ambience room.

The setup presented by Hi-End Centre was a rare example of playback reaching the level of live music. Obviously this outstanding experience owed a great deal to the partnership of Peak Consult's Zoltan speakers premiered for the Russian audience and Mastersound's Evolution 845 amplifier. Nevertheless one mustn't underestimate the other components: TW-Acustic's Raven Limited turntable with 10.5 tonearm and RPS-100 phono stage, Ikeda 9TT cartridge and step-up transformer, Acrolink's Mexcel cables and isolation transformer power conditioner.

This Evolution 845 functioned as power amp in tandem with a PHL-5 preamp.

Simple Distribution premiered the Yamaha NS-5000 speakers to our Russian audience assisted by an Oppo BDP-105D digital player and Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 integrated amp.

The popularity of Oppo is clearly growing. This system consisted of their BDT-101CI Blu-ray-player and Sonica DAC in conjunction with simaudio Moon amplifiers and Vienna Acoustics Liszt speakers.

The capabilities of Schiit, a younger US brand presented at MHES for the first time, could be appreciated not only in a full-scale system with their Ragnarok/Yggdrasil combo but also by means of a pair of headphones. In the latter case the setup consisted of a Gungnir DAC, Mjolnir valve headphone amp and Oppo PM-2 headphones; or a Jotunheim DAC/amp.

A perfectly balanced and profoundly musical high-end system came from Gong-AV. In a small room the monumental PBN Montana WAS Special speakers surprisingly didn't sound cramped. The system also featured a Weiss Jason transport, darTZeel NHB-108 amp and MSB Select DAC.

The name Forgotten Sound partially explains the philosophy behind one of the most interesting high-end manufacturers from Russia. Having listened to a wholesome and exceptionally musical system one may conclude that this sound is not forgotten but surely inspired and blessed with unique talent. Vadim Oganesyan obviously realized his motto music without embellishment or mascara.

Here we look at the 94kg Hi-tech turntable from Forgotten Sound.

Versus Audio
showed the P Clock Edition digital transport assisted by…

a Rockna Wavedream Signature DAC, Technical Brain TB-Zero amp, TAD Compact Evolution One speakers and ZenSati Cherub cables.

At MHES Audio Note demonstrated a typical one-brand setups consisting of their CDT-5 CD-transport, DAC-5 SE DAC, Meishu amp and AN-E/SPe speakers.

The musical potential of AudioStandArt components designed by Anatoly Ostroushchenko was very high. His system with excellent balance was comprised of a 4-way 3-cabinet loudspeaker, active filter and his own amps.

Leonid Burtsev of Wagner Audio Lab presented his unique notion of reference sound. He designs products which are then manufactured by Germany's Etalon Sound company. At MHES 2016 his latest products were the R2R DreamDAC, True Mono monoblocks and Metropolitan flagship speakers equipped with Siegfried drivers (bell bronze basket with cellulose membrane and suede suspension).

Components from LSA Systems were the fruits of Sergey Fomin's creativity. His setup featured 3-way omni-directional speakers and a passive preamp/switcher with built-in 2x10-band equalizer. Natural staging saturated with acoustic oxygen owed its properties mainly to the speakers. In summary, the fifth MHES installment featured a lot of interesting devices teeming with creativity and music; just like before.

aa @