Starting on the top floor we entered the Muarah Audio room. This Polish company has a strong affinity for vinyl and what combines better than tubes? New this year was the MT-2 turntable equipped with a 12" Jelco arm. Motor speed was in the hands of the controller in the power supply. An innovative new accessory was the platter puck/speed sensor called IntelliClamp. This measures the rotational platter speed and via RF syncs that data with the speed controller. Powered by a battery, the IntelliClamp shuts itself down when it detects no motion and springs back to life when motion resumes.

Each and every year it feels like a party to spend time in Wojtek Szemis' room. His dress code is vinyl and naught else but no musical style is excluded. This year Wojtek brought Kondo's M7 phono stage and the Ongaku integrated running Elrog 211 power tubes. With ongaku meaning music in Japanese, there was real music here. The all analog chain began with the floating Helius Alexia turntable with matching arm and Kondo cartridge while the end was Wojtek's latest creation, a pair of what he calls his B speakers. Like many Audio Note loudspeakers based on Snell designs from years back, Wojtek turned to the model A of this now long defunct American manufacturer. That type of speaker was nirvana back in the day and underwent many iterations and evolutions to remain a popular vintage treasure.

Wojtek found a woodworker able to make the top part of the Model B as flexible as the original while still being rigid enough to avoid resonances. Basically it is built like the body of a stringed instrument. Drivers are from Seas and Accuton. The bottom part loosely couples to the top and a massive absorber/deflector sits between. Due to close proximity with the side walls here, the tweeters were tweaked with a little felt pad. Bottom line: these in combination with the rest of the gear were awesome and heavy metal guitar trash sounded just as convincing as an opera we never heard of before. We were smitten with Penderecki's Les Diables de Loudun. Consider us blond but Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki was a real find for us. The opera is sung in German and based on an Aldous Huxley novel. If interested, you can find this on YouTube. This setup was no budget system but the sound was a memorable reference for what is possible.

8MM Audiolab from Lithuania demonstrated their Piu and Piu Mini speakers. Both flaunt a signature vertical tweeter horn carved out of massive oak baffles. Electronics were by Flare where a subsequent Google search pointed to Rada Audio. From their Valkyrie range we saw the DAC C with tube output stage; and the model 36 R class A integrated amp. The sound with the floorstanding Piu didn't convince and to us was rather dark.

Here we have a rack full of Luxman gear fronted by TAD three-way (dual-concentric) monitor speakers.

Manger P1 loudspeakers and Rockna electronics from the Wavedream series teamed up with an Audia Flight FLS 10 integrated amplifier.

Ubiq Audio demoed their new DAC/amp backed by an exploded view of its innards: lots of solid aluminium for damping, separate SMPS power supplies for the MSB Analog converter and dual-mono class AB Mosfet amps. Cooling is provided by ultra-silent fans. Every time we meet Igor Kante, the man behind the Ubiq brand, he tries to convince us that his system around the Model 1 loudspeakers can play really loud. Our stance is that a good system should be able to play very softly and still sound great. So we listened for a while at our preferred SPL and were not disappointed.

A nice Systemdek 3D turntable or alternatively a Triode CD player on Scottish ART loudspeakers ran off an Art Audio tube amp with Conductor series phono amp as a mate.

Audio Analogue's phono stage played into their Maestro solid-state integrated; or their new tube brand Pegaso's 50A fully balanced integrated amp with PMC transmission-line speakers.

Eryk S Concept are a Polish family business which showcased their new Fire amplifier and Wind loudspeakers. These designs looked very Scandinavian and non-tekkie. Specs for the class D amplifier are 140wpc and it can accept analog via RCA inputs and digital streaming via WiFi. The Wind speaker is a slender 2-way system with a 10cm widebander coupled to a 30cm woofer. Sensitivity is 90dB and bandwidth 18Hz to 22kHz. The speaker weighs a solid 80kg. In the same room ...

... was also a smaller set with their 6wpc class A Superior tube integrated and Superior monitors which promise coverage of 40Hz–20kHz @ -6dB from a single driver in a compact 11x28x28cm box.

The next room felt like déjà vu from last year or perhaps even the year before aka Plinius electronics and Atohm loudspeakers, with acoustic treatment via large German bronze dishes just on passive display.

In the next room KEF supplied the loudspeakers while Qualiton from Hungary brought amplification. The mono amps in the front were so new as to not yet be accompanied by further information.