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The first room we entered was occupied by the Polish Devialet importer at whose doorstep we were met by Thierry Massoubre of the French company. The Polish distributor also handles Wilson Audio so a pair of Sashas were no surprise. What was a surprise was the use of a gigantic Shunyata Research power cable which soon was replaced for a more conventional sort much to Thierry’s relief. He really was pleased with their new Devialet AIR software v5.7 which he previewed for us and which was due for release two weeks after the show. The new version allows for more control of the AIR streaming features from a mobile device.

The crossing over from pro to consumer audio was aptly shown by Musictoolz who demonstrated with Mytek systems. More and more this brand can be seen outside studios and related pro environments. Music streamed from laptop and converted by the Mytek DAC played back over active Polish Sveda speakers. Though still very early—their website was still under construction for instance—this company showed great promise.

A TW Acustic Raven One with a Koetsu Rosewood cartridge on a big Copulare rack was followed by a Thöress phono stage then a Jadis integrated amplifier for a good front end. The finishing touch was a pair of stand-mounted Italian Franco Serblin Accordo speakers. We had read Polish colleague Wojciech Pacula’s review of these but this was the first real encounter in the flesh and a pleasant one at that.

Next came a large room with Ascendo System M-S speakers and Soulution electronics. A bit hidden between the larger equipment sat an Aesthetix Romulus CD player whilst a static display had various other brands.

Yet another large room was partly dressed as a lounge bar including a jumbo-sized bottle of Black Jack. This was home to Tomasz Rogula and his brand Zeta Zero which is proud to do everything on a scientific base. Rocket science is almost peanuts to Mr. Rogula. His loudspeakers and amplifiers are all special in one way or another and this transcends mere looks. His loudspeakers all sport three ribbon drivers, one as a super tweeter and two as mid-frequency drivers. Besides loudspeakers of various sizes, Zeta Zero also offers electronics. These are distinguished by size. Even though the brochures boast about unlimited power and extreme power handling, the amplifiers are very small and very light. At 12 x 22 x 33cm weighing just 7kg, the amp is able to put out 1100 watts into 4Ω and no, it’s not a class D circuit. Gotcha! Us too.

Our next surprise of the day came in the next room where brand-new Polish brand Pancin Art Technology had settled in. The first impression of course were the stunning looks of their VZ1, a 4-driver 3-way with external crossover quickly followed by the sound which really was deep and enveloping even in such a big room...

... We learnt that Pancin started 5 years ago with Marcins Stelmach who wanted to build not only a functional but also beautiful loudspeaker. His inspiration for the form factor were jet engines. The actual design is made by Radoslaw Sentkiewicz. It took the team of friends who have known each other from childhood a lot of effort and time to finish the project in time – meaning up until the night prior to the Audio Show 2012. Some paint on the displays was still wet.

The drivers were all Scan Speak Illuminator series units including their Beryllium tweeter. Crossover frequencies are 400Hz and 2.100Hz and the external crossover makes bi- and tri-wiring/amping possible. Other parts are high-quality Mundorf issue. Impulse response is guaranteed not only by the 2nd-order filter but the time alignment of the drivers sitting in MDF housings. The following pictures only show a little of what the speakers actually looked like.

More Polish craftsmanship was on hand at Sounddeco. Upon arrival we were surprised by a fine piece of Hadouk Trio music. That's our kind of fare and it sounded very good too. Driven by a pair of good ol’ Quad amps we listened to a pair of Alpha F3 speakers. On top of those sat the price tag: 8.999 zloty or 2.250 euro. No kidding. Now we got to talk to Grzegorz Matusiak of Sounddeco’s R&D department. He told us that the complete design, development and production only took them 5 months. Upon asking what drivers they use, he introduced us to their maker...

...What a surprise meeting David Stephens here in Warsaw. David shown below with Sounddeco owner Jan Zamiar is the former VP of Scan Speak and Vifa. A few years ago he and the majority of the Danish Sound Technology team started a new company, SB Acoustics. To make a long story short, they now design drivers in Denmark and have them built in Indonesia. It appears that their quality is at such a high standard that rejects are very rare. The Indonesian company produces literally millions of small and midsize drivers for Pioneer, Sony and the like and also high-end models that rival or exceed the big names in the speaker arena. These units are now used by Sounddeco...

... On display was a range of SB Acoustics drivers and they all looked solid and very well finished. But Sounddeco is not just any company. It is part of Witowa, a renowned woodworking establishment who design and make almost anything from wood - doors, kitchens, libraries, you name it. One Witowa designer also works on loudspeakers. Emilia Cieśla (the blond lady above) thus was responsible for the black and white loudspeaker shown.

Scottish Art Loudspeakers brought the old Alnico magnet back to life. Driven by an Art Audio Diavolo, the Alnico Reference sounded like the good old days - warm but not overly so and very pleasing not in the least as vinyl was the source via a Systemdek 3D with Audio Origami arm and Transfiguration cartridge.

And that was the last room in the Golden Tulip. Whilst walking back to the Jan Sobieski across the busy street, we passed a poster announcing an Anna Maria Jopek concert.

Too bad it was in December. After spending most of the day indoors, a walk through the refreshing air did wonders. For November, the 12°C temps were very welcome and also insured that the hotels did not have to turn up their heaters. With the many smallish rooms in the Jan Sobieski and so many attendees, this was very welcome.