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It felt a bit strange entering a room full of Reimyo gear and hearing the familiar signature sound yet not also seeing the friendly face of Kazuo Kiuchi in the front and Mrs. Kiuchi in the back. However the Polish distributor had assembled a complete Reimyo/Harmonix system of CDT-777 transport, DAC DAP-999EX, CAT-777 MK2 preamp and KAP-777 power amp. Speakers were the Bravo! Consequence, the 35kg 87dB three-way four-driver larger brother of the dual-concentric Bravo! two-way. Even that smaller version would have been able to lock with and rock this room. Of course room treatment, stands and cables all came from sister brand Harmonix.

The Norse design of Hegel’s electronics nicely matched Amphion’s Finnish speaker designs. In this room we encountered the Hegel P30 and H30 pre/power combo adjacent to their CDP4A CD player and matching transport. Amphion’s Krypton³ is an 89dB efficient ported three-way system with twin midrange drivers surrounding a wave-guided tweeter just reviewed by our Polish colleague Wojciech in these pages. The sidefiring 10-inch woofer is hidden from view behind a panel grill. What makes these speakers different are the ribbed papyrus midrange cones responsible for the lightfootedness of the speaker’s response which still offers a fair amount of drive in that all-important band. Perforated triangular zones on the cheeks help create a cardioid radiation pattern to allow close-boundary placement without the usual punishments. Amphion’s director Anssi Hyvönen came over to say hello and express his happiness with the show.

A streaming Naim server got on pretty well with Martin Logan electrostatic loudspeakers. Amplification was by means of B.M.C. gear.

Vincent’s T.A.C. V60 tube amplifier was matched up with Harbeth 30 monitors on a sturdy stand.

NuForce electronics combined with Amphion in the next room. A choice of combinations were on hand for live action, ranging from streaming an Apple laptop into a NuForce DDA-100 power DAC with Amphion Ion+ to a setup with a NuForce Icon HDP do-it-all driving Amphion’s Helium 410. All equipment sat on anti-vibration platforms and/or feet from Poland’s Franc Audio Accessories. Cables were from Polish company Audiomica Labs. We not only liked the sound here and how the room was dressed, we also liked the directness of the guys running the room. Pawel Skulimowski offered us a few samples of footers and cables to assess in our home environment: a case of grabbing the bull by the horns so to speak.

More head-fi came from Audio Technica. Just like everywhere else listening in private is also popular in Poland as the large amount of visitors to this room proved. Especially the ATH series of headphones seemed hard to resist.

One room we skipped by not being directly related to audio was the Epson room where video ruled. A nice detail though was the big touch screen just outside where younger visitors could eat their hearts out drawing finger paintings without ruining furniture or wallpaper. With the hotel’s higher floors covered, it was time to get down to the ground floor’s larger suites. As we all know, these types of exhibits traditionally have the most difficulties. Exhibitors want to make grand statements and tend to go over the top. We were curious how these challenges would get worked out in Warsaw.

In the hallway connecting several bigger rooms we encountered a colorful row of dummy heads sporting Ultrasone earphones. On a separate table an EVE Audio system had our attention. This company is an Adam Audio spin-off and the SC204 on display was an active 2-way system originally meant for studio use. A 10cm SilverCone woofer with a large magnet and 2.5cm voice coil gets assist from a well thought-out square port. Around 3000Hz an air-motion transformer tweeter takes over. The built-in electronics are DSP based and can be fed directly from the built-in A/D converter. No further processing back to analog is required due to the PWM amp inside each box. These 4kg German monitors proved capable of putting out a really big sound even in a hallway with remarkable bass extension. Here was yet another product that crossed the blurring line between pro and consumer segments.

A clever use of a big room is to divide it into multiple listening environs so visitors can compare complete systems under more or less the same acoustic conditions. Such a setup was in place with a Harbeth, MBL and Avalon-based system. The Harbeth rig used the Monitor 40.1 in combination with MBL’s Corona C31 CD player and Corona C51 integrated amplifier. The centrepiece of the room was the MBL system that used MSB Tech for source and D/A conversion followed by a Spectral DMC-30 Reference preamp and two Spectral DMA-360 monoblocks to feed the MBL Radialstrahler 101 E MkII. The third system was built again with the MSB CD transport and matching DAC for digital media and an Acoustic Signature Ascona statement turntable for vinyl. From these sources the signal went either directly to Constellation Audio's Virgo preamp or first to a Cary PH302 MkII phono stage. Power amplification was in the hands of a 250wpc Constellation Audio Centaur. The piece de resistance were the Avalon Isis loudspeakers. All cabling in the room was Tara Labs or Van Den Hul and power regeneration and conditioning via PS Audio's models P5 and P10.

The recently launched Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 in combination with Primare CD32, DAC30 and Pre32 assisted by the Primare R32 phonostage for the Pro-Ject 10 EVO and power amplifier A34.2 had a hard time connecting with this heavily draped highly absorbent room. There was only one spot in this space that clicked and the visitors in the photo were the lucky ones in it.