Roald Mikkelsen operates both Renaissance Audio the audio boutique and Renaissance Audio the cable manufacturing firm out of his native Bergen on Norway's western coast. The Asian audio mag front cover for his trademark blue oil-filled cables dates back to 1998. Since then, a personal accident interrupted operations for many years.

A fall from a 6-meter ladder during a pro-audio installation created serious complications because Roald had driven himself to the hospital instead of calling an ambulance. Not accounting for certain hidden injury potential, the medics had failed to run all necessary tests. Gangrene and stomach injuries then took Roald out of commission well past healing broken bones. Steady work went on hold for five long years.

But, as of this April he's back with a smiling vengeance. During our visit, he in fact built cables at night to fill orders for his previous Hong Kong importer. Folks in the know were obviously thrilled to learn that Renaissance Audio had risen again. There was thus more to his company's name than Roald could have suspected when he launched his cable and retail business those many moons ago.

Mutjaba Hussein had suggested that Roald who carries his KingRex, John Blue and Trafomatic Audio import brands host a little promotional customer affair in his Bergen shop. Having arranged an Oslo magazine interview for Sasa Cokic to accompany the world premier review of his new Trafomatic Audio Experience Elegance 6550-based integrated amplifier, the Serbian designer and his partner would be available to attend as well. Learning this from Sasa, I contemplated a nice excuse to visit Norway which we'd never been to before. When a formal invitation from Roald arrived, we had the basis for this little report in place and off north we went via Amsterdam while the Serbians arrived from Belgrade via Munich and Oslo.

Roald's shop is a few steps down but accessed from inside the downtown Telebutikken which sells mobile phones, iPods and related items. Only a little sign in the shop window next to the entrance hints at an audiophile treasure trove tucked away farther back.

From his mix of brands alone, career audiophiles would recognize that Roald operates both outside the mainstream and has a keen nose for value products.

Not only due to space constraints but that same nose, the most obvious lines I've listed are carefully cherry-picked.

But I also spotted costly surprises, particularly the American Messenger preamp and a pair of Avalon Isis. Though very new, multiple NuForce V3 contenders with their new heavily bulked-out face plates already were in place too.

To maintain this convenient store location for his eventual recovery, Roald had paid rent throughout even though for three years, he wasn't open for business at all. Last weekend's little event must have been doubly significant then. It quietly formalized the second coming of Renaissance Audio via the general audio press which we'd represent for the occasion.