Nagra had brought examples from their Classic line. Avid supplied the Reference 3 turntable and Stenheim delivered their Alumine Five loudspeakers. Except for the turntable, this was a Swiss party. The loudspeakers were 4-driver 3-ways sporting two 10" woofers, a 6.5" midrange and 1" tweeter, the two latter with neodymium motors. Instead of wood or composite, Stenheim champion aluminum for cabinets. This speaker model has 4 internal chambers, two sealed ones for the midrange and tweeter, two vented chambers with front ports for the woofers. All this internal structuring adds to 100kg per speaker.

Bang & Olufsen are not afraid of idiosyncratic shapes. In a static display at the end of a corridor in the National Stadium, they showed off  some examples. The disc on a tripod was the Beoplay, an active 5-driver affair with Wifi or Bluetooth. Beosound 2 was the taller cone-shaped omni-directional music system. It must be obvious that these speakers/systems are a step away from conventional stereo. It might be interesting to follow this trend. B&O are a big innovative player.

Fact Finestria was the name PMC gave to their latest loudspeaker. Combined with a wealth of Esoteric electronics from the Grandioso series topped off with an Oracle Delphi turntable, the 1.7m tall speakers still stood out. Six drivers in a 3-way architecture strongly focus on vibration elimination. The most visible expression of that focus was isolating the midrange and tweeter on a separate baffle, with the tweeter further mounted on a silicon suspension. Two ‘laminar' vents for the four carbon fiber woofers terminated the signature transmission lines of the PMC company.

Retro was back and orange the new brown at least in one of the JBL rooms. Here the 'new' JBL L100 Classic presented to the public. In fact the L100 dates back to the 1970s when it was the utopian speaker for all whose budgets doomed them to Philips drivers. Only a happy few could fork out enough dosh to own a pair of these legends. Loads of bass and funky Quadrex foam were key attractions back when. Now the legend was back sporting JBL orange for the foam grille and, not unimportant, now is made by the Harmon conglomerate which is why the speakers demonstrated with another Harmon brand, Mark Levinson. Part of the festive (re)introduction in Warsaw was a recital by violinist Marta Pioro.

Wherever possible in the vast National Stadium, there were areas where visitors could retreat to demo headphones. In Poland Hheadfi is extremely popular and exhibitors in this line of work could not complain about lack of interest.

Ditto the MBL room. Getting in without throwing oneself on the crowds was impossible. Taken a clean shot wasn't in the frame. Standing on a chair, camera raised high, was the only way to capture the massive setup; or doing a knee to exploit a breach.

It may have seemed that we're bashing Wilson Audio but we're not. We simply know of only one man who sets them up to our liking – Frank Vermeijre. Unfortunately he was not in Warsaw and we had to endure someone else's setup whose pièces de resistance were the new Dan D'Agostino monos designed to put out up to 6KW into 2? to weigh a quarter ton each. Speaker were the Alexx. Should we say something about the sound quality apart from being loud? Best not.

More to our liking were the Rockport Technologies Lyra loudspeakers with VTL amplification and a VPI turntable with Lyra cartridge.  Two Lyras in one system were a nice coincidence. The speaker is a very special construction. It basically shoehorns one aluminium cabinet inside another, then seals the air space between them with foam to prevent ringing. The visible baffle is part of the inner cast. Next to weighing much, such heroic constructions costs accordingly. With an all-tube VTL TL-7.5 III preamp and VTL Siegfried II power amps and that VPI Avenger with the other Lyra, we happily added this room to the select list of proof that it can be done properly – make good sound at a show.

Audio Solutions and Hegel joined forces in the next room. The Lithuanian speaker manufacturer showcased their Figaro L. Amplification was outsourced to Hegel's H590 integrated. Some 5 years ago we reviewed some early loudspeaker models in their Rhapsody series and must say that they've made nice progress since. On passive display sat models from the 5th anniversary Vantage series and the cosmetics were good.