What's in a name? "There once was a biology professor obsessed with all manner of worms. So before the exam, his students learnt everything they could about worms. It was enough to pass. But then the professor asked a student about elephants. The student was struck dumb by the question but survived with this answer: "The elephant has a large worm-like trunk. And the worms are divided into…".

"So Horten too has a few meanings. It's a Norwegian naval base located in the middle of the Oslofjørd. For others it's the final resting place of famous painter Edvard Munch. Most people like sandy beaches, old wooden houses, sleepy marinas. As a sail boat freak, I'm attracted to old steam-power yachts working in perfect condition like the above. But for all serious Scandinavian audiophiles, it's obligatory to meet once a year at the Horten Hi Fi Messen. This exhibition seems to be purely local because during two days only ~700 visitors came. But because the location is just one hour's car drive south of Oslo, the people who did come were very keen on hifi.

Ancient Audio valve gear and speakers at the Horten show.

"This show was founded by two friends who live at opposite ends of the Oslofjørd. By land they're 180km apart, by ferry just a long walk. Terje Nilsen owns Audio Aktøren, Jorgen Gustavsen leads daCapo Hi-Fi. Their exhibition takes place in a nice cozy hotel and is open to almost anyone. Exhibitors merely pay a room fee like regular guests would. Terje and Jorgen sell tickets only to cover advertising costs. There's no monetary profit in this event but it's of course big exposure for their shops."

"This Horten event was my first-ever foreign exhibition due to the hospitality and help of Dag Thomas Sorensen, another lover of music and audio. A uniquely slow show mood, good hotel acoustics, friendly chats and good music all had me come back to each next installment.

"The cabinets of my Vintage Horten are made by Marek Godyn. Typically good woodworking shops stay far away from speaker production which needs more precision than kitchen cabinets but is less profitable. But Marek is also a big fan of music and audio and his office an excellent listening room with very good acoustics. So my Vintage Horten has a back story with a very personal touch."

Vintage Horten cabinet production.

Here is how Horten and Oslo II compare on size. On raw cubic inches, Horten gives us more than double.