As always, Franc Kuzma was present here pictured behind a Stabi XL turntable with 4Point tonearm.

Sean Casey of Zu Audio was one of those other familiar faces we hadn't seen in quite some time. In a sound booth Sean did what he likes doing best - spin vinyl. Speakers were his Druid V assisted by the Submission sub for the lowest octave driven by Leben valve gear from Japan. We visited quite early so the famous Zu party atmosphere was not fully deployed yet but no doubt, it would hit the show soon enough.

Working as a static display when we dropped by had KR Electronics tubes confined to safety cages atop their new VA 200 monos. In said cages sat eight KR842 tubes per amp which should be capable of delivering 200 watts for another high-power thermionic option.

The stand next to the Czech KR display had an overview of Dutch STS Digital products. Not only vinyl and CD were on offer but also reel to reel tapes and analog versions of digital recordings. STS managed to create a cozy atmosphere inside an open stand of the 'zoo'. Said zoo aka the four large downstairs MOC halls offered plenty of ops to build out one's personal music collection. Here's a snapshot and yes, orange as the new black was prominent even as dress code.

Then back to Greece it was into a dimly lit booth occupied by TruLife Audio. TLA remain a family-run business. Father Aristomenis Georgiadis is assisted by his sons Velissarios and Aristomenis and various co-workers. TLA's background is in industrial transformer production. That combined with a love of music inevitably led to tube-based audio gear. In the small booth we listened to LP spun on a Danish Hartvig turntable with the 12AX7/12AU7 based Argon phono stage. Further gain came from the Athena 6H30 based dual-mono preamplifier. Finally the speakers hung off Zeus 8xKT88 power tubes worthy of 120wpc. Line conditioning was in the hands of Prometheus with its split outputs for analog and digital devices. With the lights out, the names became blue icons of Greek lore.

Avantgarde Acoustic were in the same room they use year in year out and their eye catcher of the day was a Zero 1 done up by Dutch interior luxury designer Eric Kuster in a shade of gold. How trendy. Of course Armin Krauss was in charge of the sound demos and he confessed that the new DSP possibilities of their XD series loudspeakers had really gotten him hooked. On demo there was the 'entry' level Uno XD. Horns aplenty into this atrium's open area signaled clearly where this brand was and what they're about.

Gryphon are a very innovative Danish company and one of the cost-no-object firms our publisher really admires. For 2016 they introduced their new top-of-the-line-source quad of towers aptly called Kodo. All 38 drivers per pair including the Mundorf AMT are phase matched with extremist xovers. To our eyes, the looks of the 2.30m tall towers were as nothing compared to the delightfully bright orange new Mojo S monitors. Rather than a box, they sport a rakish wrap to finish things off. Imagine the Kodo dressed up like that. Actually they were, in hot-swappable dark blue skins. The lower lighting in the back of the room plus the dominance of the tall concave fronts viewed face on simply made it less apparent.

Like orange? Here's the Focal Sopra 2 in that trendy color. 

Constellation Audio went after big - big amplifiers like the 1.1 kilowatt Hercules II power amps getting their signal from an Altair II line stage. Also big were the flagship Martin Logan Neolith commissioned to activate the air in the shared room. After many exhibits with dynamic loudspeakers, there is always a mental adjustment required to fully appreciate a reproduction with electrostatic speakers. We find that at home as well. With them you have to make a switch of perception into transparent mode. With the huge translucent panels of the Neolith, there was even a visual component to that equation.