Warsaw Audio Video Show 2018

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["Hifi Collective"]
Audio Video Show 2018
Hi Guys,
Just back from the Warsaw Audio Video Show in Poland. What a bonanza! For those of you old enough to remember the UK Heathrow Hi-Fi Shows of the 90s - Warsaw was a great trip down memory lane. There were plenty of exhibitors and plenty of people milling around and all with smiles on their faces. The show had an amazing atmosphere. So many brands and products that even I hadn't heard of. The Polish Hi-Fi industry is incredibly buoyant. Many brands showing off amazing products staffed by enthusiastic and helpful people.
We at HFC are primarily focused on the DIY market and there really wasn't a lot of DIY exhibitors. However, chatting to many of the exhibitors they were fully aware of the importance of component selection. In fact, many of the boutique valve equipment and speaker companies were either aware of Hi-Fi Collective or were actual customers. So that was reaffirming to hear.
Often the Warsaw Show is referred to as the second biggest show in Europe following the Munich Show, but what with the lower cost to exhibit and the lower entrance fee I can see why this show is so popular. I know which I preferred and would strongly recommend it to any Hi-Fi tourist with the added bonus of being in Warsaw. The Polish capital has plenty to offer and well worth a visit in its own right.
The fab 3
So here we have the crew, Ty Lucas (my son, left) along to support, Jonny (middle) who has nearly been with us for a year now and myself, Nick Lucas. We are pictured here with a model of the of the National Stadium PGE Narodowy in the background.
The Warsaw Audio Video Show is set over 3 venues. Upon our arrival on Friday 16th November we headed straight to the Stadium via one of the many Uber drivers flying around the city. The stadium focused on more well-known brands such as JBL, Denon, Technics and Panasonic with a plethora of headphone makers and lots of Polish ladies welcoming visitors with shiny plastic bags full of product literature. This was a slightly more glitzy affair and reminded me slightly of the Munich format.
Michael Jantzen and Nick Lucas
One of the big reasons we visit hi-fi shows is to meet up with our suppliers. Here we have Michael Jantzen from Jantzen Audio who we have been partnered with for many years now. They specialise in all things speaker - inductors, resistors, capacitors, wires, acoustic materials etc.. So I spent a couple of hours chatting, great to hear that their new copper capacitor will be coming out spring 2019 so looking forward to that.
Mag Lev Audio Turntable
On with the show, just to point out a few interesting items. The Mag Lev Audio turntable stand had a levitating platter on show that spins effortlessly and looks very futuristic. The only downside is the 15 seconds or so that you have to wait for the platter to stop rotating - don't worry they are working on it. Supporting legs will magically appear from the base allowing you to change your record.
A new look for loudspeakers the MBL Radialstrahler, the MBL Reference Line from Berlin offer the complete system. Incredibly expensive but they look stupendous.
Davone Grande Loudspeakers
Within the various rooms of the Stadium exhibits were mixes of various pieces of hi-fi brought together in one system. Rooms owned by various hi-fi clubs and dealers. I particularly liked the design of the speakers. The name escapes me so if anyone recognises please let us know.
De Vore Fidelity
Rather reminiscent of the Audio Note AN-Es this room really did have an incredible sound.
Audio Video Show 2018
DAY 2: After a healthy dinner, a few beers and retiring early, letting my younger companions explore the nightlife of Warsaw, I felt well rested. So I took the 50-minute walk from old town through the financial district to reach the rather imposing Radisson Blu Hotel. Let the fun begin, this was definitely the heart of the show.
I must tip my hat to the organisers of the show. It was well presented with plenty of helpful staff. With 8 floors of exhibits, the show flowed brilliantly in the Radisson Blu.
Tonsil loudspeakers
The ground floor of the Radisson consisted of static stands. Manufacturers chatting to people about their products without having to shout over the music of a demonstration. Lots of vinyl sellers and a great little coffee machine that kept delivering free reasonable coffee. The picture above is product from a rather strangely named maker called Tonsil. A Polish company that produce solid and strong looking 70s feel loudspeakers.
Toroidy, a rather aptly named Polish company that make bespoke toroidal transformers for the audio Industry, so a great place to buy. Needless to say, I had a little chat with them. Great guys and happy to help.
TAGA Harmony
TAGA Harmony seemed to have a very large presence throughout the show with their extensive range of valve equipment and loudspeakers. I wasn't complaining mind they certainly had a great sound and beautiful styling.
Khozmo stepped attenuators
I had a quick meeting with Arek from Khozmo, the Polish stepped attenuator maker, we forgot to take a picture, sorry Arek. Needless to say, he has been busy with new products like the above relay selector and a 64 position stepped. Watch this space we will be getting them in soon.
RT Project
Above the ground floor were a further 7 floors of the standard demo room format rooms filled with serious system setups. Like RT Project, again from Poland - do you get the theme, showing off their new DAC One. Great to see that the covers were removed exposing lots of Hi-Fi Collective parts like Elna Silmic electrolytics, Jantzen superior Z-Caps and Amtrans AMRG resistors. Also see the new JBL retro looking loudspeaker in the room.
Manron had the hotest room in the hotel, literally. With their all new Delta SE150m monoblok, Featuring the GM100 valve. Each monobloc delivers 150 watts, priced at 250000 EURO a pair... One word - Awesome springs to mind. They also make many other beautiful amplifiers and pre-amplifiers and loudspeakers. Worth having a look at their site.
Gravelli Loudspeakers
A new look of concrete loudspeakers from Gravelli caught our interest. These active speakers just need a source and you are up and running. These friendly chaps are looking for a UK distributor if anyone is interested.
8MM Audiolab speakers and Lampizator valve euipment
8MM Audiolab produce exquisitely crafted loudspeaker combined here with an array of Lampizator pre-amplifier and amplifiers. Lampizator had a massive presence at the show. An amazing sound emanated from this room.
Cube Audio
Cube Audio
Worthy of two pictures are the Cube full range speakers. I have never heard such a complete and controlled sound from a full frequency driver. I had a good chat with Grzegorz the designer/owner and if all goes well we will be selling them through Hi-Fi Collective shortly. Partnered up with Cube were Artisan Audio Devices showing off their stable of equipment such as Greek amp makers Tsakiridis and the popular Lampizator. This by far was the best sounding room.
Path Audio
Pictured with me here is Witold Albecki from Path Audio and Loudspeakershop.eu who make the Pathaudio copper clad 10W crossover resistors. New parts on the block are the 15W version similarly for crossover use. Excitingly he is also developing a 2W electronics version so we are looking forward to that.
Audio Alto
I was pleased to meet Sasa Burian from Audio Alto, Slovenia. Who mentioned his new pre-amplifier, shown here on the top deck, uses the Elma jumbo stepped attenuator with remote control.
Sky Audio
A fabulous room featuring Sky Audio OTL valve amplifiers and a Tentogra Oscar record player. This is a perfect example of how each room was a treasure trove of equipment and there are 7 floors of it.
Audio Note
A show is not a show without Audio Note and here is their rather humble room staffed by their Polish distributor. Probably the first time I have seen an Audio Note room without Mario being the tune master.
Polish hi-fi makers were aplenty, Qualiton gave their designs a classic look. What a fabulous sound.
Sulek Poland
Sulek had a spacious-sounding room. Using an eclectic range of valve equipment with a pair of Audio Note ANEs.
Tri-Art Audio
Tri-Art Audio, a Canadian based company had some very interesting looking Hi-Fi. Using bamboo as its enclosure material for its dampening benefits.
Aida Acoustics
Here we have the beautifully crafted Galatea and Thasis loudspeakers from Aida Acoustics.
Deep Time
Deep Time offer these amazing 3D printed speakers, small in size but they packed a hell of a punch. New tech for me, they are made from sand.
Lucarto Audio
Proudly displaying "hand built and Made in Poland, you do get the feeling that the Poles are very passionate about their country and what they produce. Hats off to them, they do make some exceedingly excellent hi-fi. Lucarto Audio was no exception. Building up a whole system is a great achievement and what a sound.
Sotto Voce Audio
Sotto Voce are a new Spanish speaker maker offering a beautiful sound. I was very impressed with this room and what lovely people.
DIY Audio Poland
www.diyaudio.pl is a non-profit DIY forum with true do it yourself enthusiasm. Their room was full of hand made / upgraded wonders. This band of brothers do collaborations and create all sorts of kits.
Ciarry Audio
A room featuring Ciarry Audio's dipole loudspeakers together with some very interesting valve amplifiers with valves on the tilt. I can't tell you what they are, sorry, there seemed to be a lack of logo and descriptions for them.
Ayon Audio
After 6 hours of pacing the Radisson Hotel we took the short 5 minute walk over the road to the Hotel Golden Tulip. With only one floor taken with 8 large rooms the Tulip focused on very large systems. Each demonstration room could seat 50 or so people. Plenty of big sounds to be had here.
Audio Video  Show Poland
So to wrap up this show report I had to include a picture of one of the free cloakrooms to illustrate how well attended this show actually was. I cannot recommend it more. if you do get the chance to go or even exhibit then definitely do! Look out for the announcement date of the next show.
Happy DIYing
Nick Lucas

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