We had anticipated to pay the Zontek room a visit but alas, the room was closed and a video screen blocking the door though it did show a turntable animation.

Another premier was the Polish introduction of Raidho’s XT loudspeaker with all electronics from Soulution’s Series 5. The Danish loudspeakers and Swiss companions did very well together and the sound gave away no clue that these were speakers of very modest size. Even at—and this was quiet unique this year—modest volumes, the sound had depth and texture. For auxiliaries Franc Audio provided equipment racks and a new passive power filter where a massive wooden base houses all internal wiring which connects the central input IEC to the two output blocks bracketing it. The construction is solid enough to cope with the most stubborn power cables without tilt or getting airborne. How he does his passive filtering was answered by designer Pavel's silent smile.

Germany's AVM and France's Davis Acoustics combined next. The latter are one of the bigger unknowns in the audio industry. Their line of speakers is still mostly known in their native France but slowly gaining traction abroad. Nevertheless, most audiophile have already heard them. That is, the Davis Acoustic drivers. Davis are one of the main driver suppliers for, hold on, Goldmund, Avantgarde Acoustic and MBL. That's the real deal. To keep prices acceptable, Davis outsource their cabinetry to China. Over to the Germans now. AVM’s streaming DAC, the Evolution SD 3.2, combined with the matching Evolution MA 3.2S 420wpc monos. It is quite a relief to see a manufacturer with equipment names which are understandable like Streaming DAC and Mono Amplifier, then simply abbreviated. Sound wise we noticed nothing wrong here and this combination was certainly an interesting proposition.

Loudspeaker manufacturer ESA are Polish and they presented their latest called the Red House. This sleek model named after Jimi’s song sports 3 x 32" ScanSpeak woofers in an open baffle construction. With such a name, the accompanying electronics just had to include vinyl.

For this they commissioned the Avid Acutus Reference. Mating electronics came from Avid as well and more specifically, their all-new Reference Series. As with most open baffle systems, the sound was lively in the vivace sense. Because our photo is somewhat dark, we borrowed one from Avid's website to show their gear.

Another French brand here was Advance Acoustic. Their loudspeaker Paris X-L 1000 consists of three independent enclosures where a 30cm woofer and 20cm midrange driver are topped by a ribbon tweeter cab. Electronics too were from this Paris-based company and named accordingly with the 220wpc integrated Paris X-i1000 and the Paris X-cd1000 with BB PCM1792 converter and tube output stage.

Guitar maker Gibson have acquired a stake in the hifi scene as well. At the show their Les Paul Reference monitor range was on demo. Perhaps demonstrated is not the right word. Molested hits closer to home. All of these Gibson monitors are active. For example, the largest Model 8 is a bi-amped contraption rated at a total 247 watts with attainable max SPL of 118dB. And that number the demonstrators in this room were certainly aiming at. 'nuff said.

Where it’s really at was demoed in the Rega room with an all Rega setup of source and electronics capped off by a pair of RX-3 loudspeakers. Simple, budget friendly and a sure bet to enjoy hours and hours of music. Isn’t that what we all want in the end? And that proved to be the last sky box on the top floor of the Stadion Narodowy. A swift elevator ride took us to the lower ring of sky boxes. 

Back to a German brand, T+A aka Technology and Application presented a setup of R-Series 2000 equipment against a warm red background. Analog source was their G 2000 R and speakers were the Criterion and Solitaire SE.

Another European show premier underlined the growing importance of Warsaw in the EU hifi environment.  Here it was the Magico S7. Unfortunately we were not able to hear them as the crew running the room had some problems even 2.5 hours after show opening. Things happen. We can only mention that the S7 was intended to play with Ypsilon electronics. Magico use all new drivers in this 5-driver three-way. Notable is the use of graphene in the carbon nano-tube midrange cone. The tweeter must do with a pedestrian diamond coating on its beryllium cone. Magico are quick to exploit all of these hi-tech materials and there’s no doubt that other manufacturers will follow.

Polish Zeta Zero entered the omni-directional ring with their 360 Orbital loudspeakers. In a quite dark but large room they teamed up with Polish cable manufacturer Audiomica Laboratory. On top of the speaker's cylindrical bass enclosure sits an extension covering the omni ribbon tweeter à la Raal Eternity. The Orbital is available in three sizes and can be combined with amplification ranging from 300 - 1250wpc to match room size.