Avantgarde Acoustics of Germany have overhauled their popular Uno entry-level spherical hornspeaker model with the same dual 12-inch woofer bin as the Duo.

The Uno now also has their 19-ohm Omega driver tech.

In further news, all of their electronics will henceforth include sophisticated DSP to perform sub 500Hz room-matching equalization.

As happens with many an affair, the soundkaos Swiss thang had a brief Korean one-night stand with Bakoon's new AMP51 at 17:00 on show Saturday. This preview showed very steep promise for the long-awaited more powerful Bakoon.

Here's a sneak peek at its assets.

Bespoke Audio Co. is Harry Sullivan, previously of Music First Audio. His TVC linestage is fully configurable relative to RCA/XLR i/o, top cover, silver/gold detailing and more. It's his attempt to take the transformer passive concept all the way to the top. The parting with MFA was perfectly civil so any rumours to the contrary would be pure lies. Not all divorces get ugly.

Serbia's Beyond Frontiers Audio showed with Zellaton and Schnerzinger to debut their new direct-coupled valve hybrid technology. Instead of capacitors or interstage transformers, their solution uses three microprocessors to control their tubes' behaviour.

Asking about pricing, I was told that it would be decided after the show. This suggested that rather than being priced on a standard raw-cost multiplier, our Serbians might pursue a "what we compete against" position based on show feedback. And that could spell death for a newer unestablished brand. If you're hungry, it often simply seems like the faster route to quick money. You price your stuff based on what the market will bear. Here we already know that said bear can assume Grizzly proportions. I admit to harbouring suspicions about anyone who attends a trade show without final pricing. This is basic stuff. One ought to have that sorted well prior. If not, it's hard to avoid wondering whether one deals with peasants or horse traders rather than a bona fide business. Post show, I learnt that the 600-watt monos will sell for €65'000/pr, the 300wpc integrated for €30'000. The show silence was due to a prior agreement with Zellaton not to discuss the subject.

I chatted with Chord subcontractor Robert Watts about PCM and DSD, why the latter can't throw depth and his latest work leading to Dave, the company's new statement DAC. It's an advanced converter, digital preamp and headphone amp all in one. Its LX75 version of the Spartan 6 FPGA is 10 x more powerful than the Hugo's to allow for "significantly improved timing and the best noise-shaper performance of any known DAC". The new Robert Watts filter has 164'000 taps with 256 x upsampling and massively paralleled computing power with 166 separate DSD cores just for the filter alone. The output stage sports a new 20-element pulse array and 2nd-order analog noise shaper feeding XLR and RCA outputs plus a headphone amp. The full-size LCD display shows input, sample rate, volume and setup/config options. The name is short for digital to analogue veritas in extremis. Because the unveiling of Dave wasn't scheduled until 17:00 that day, I didn't get to see the black cover come off. Hence the following stock photos.

Like Shanling, Consonance/Opera Audio from China had an attractive DSD-ready portable player with docking station and analog/digital outputs to conveniently charge and interface with a stationary rig.