We travelled to the beautiful city of Warsaw in Poland for the Audio Video show 2016. Our Polish partner Audiofast exhibited our pre-amplifier in two of their four rooms at the show.
Our schedule meant we were able to leave England at a sensible time - we've spent plenty of mornings stumbling onto planes in the small hours! We arrived in Warsaw and dropped our luggage off before heading to the show late on Friday afternoon.
When we found the main Audiofast room and walked in we were immediately blown away by the incredible sound of the extraordinary system. We had a brief chat with Audiofast's Jarek Orszanski and it quickly became clear that he had the presentation completely under control which meant we were able to explore the show and catch up with some friends.
The show is spread across three venues: The National Stadium (where we were), The Radisson Blu Sobieski and the Golden Tulip Hotel. We spent what was left of Friday exploring rooms in the stadium and we found the overall level of both sonic performance and visual presentation was extremely high. It was great to see our good friends Frederik and Kresten from Gato Audio in a room near ours. They were showing a system where every component was Gato and, as ever, the sound was great, the design and execution faultless and the professionalism and warmth of Frederik and Kresten an absolute pleasure.
On the Saturday we went to the Golden Tulip Hotel and met Christian Bayer of German magazine Image HiFi who has been reviewing our pre-amplifier. After that we explored some rooms, including an extended stay the fabulous Vertere Acoustics room, before heading to the Raddison over the road. The Raddison is a larger hotel than the Golden Tulip, but the rooms themselves and the corridors are much smaller. This lead to a more frenetic atmosphere in comparison to the serenity of the Stadium or the spaciousness of the Golden Tulip, but the rooms themselves sounded extremely good and it was great to catch up with Tom from Cambridge Audio and Paweł, Marcin and Grzegorz of Audio Connect/Albedo.
On Sunday we spent a great couple of hours with our good friend Matej Isak of Mono & Stereo talking about everything from the industry to the imminent US election. It is always a huge pleasure to spend time with Matej. His enthusiasm is infectious and even by his usual upbeat standard, he was particularly positive about his experience of the show. You can read some of his thoughts here.
After that we still had a few hours left, so took the opportunity to go ice skating in the rink in the centre of the stadium. We don't usually get an opportunity to ice skate at audio shows, but we agreed that our decision on whether to exhibit at other shows in the future would be based far more around whether the show included an ice rink or not.
Finally, after packing down we spent Sunday evening with Frederik and Kreston and their friends from Buchardt Audio. It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.
The main Audiofast room featured the following system and received a BEST of the BEST award from HighFidelity.pl:
Wilson Audio ALEXX Dan d’Agostino Momentum M400 monoblocks and Momentum Phonostage MSB Select II DAC Spiral Groove SG1.2 turntable / Centroid Arm The Bespoke Audio Company pre-amplifier Synergistic Research cables, Powercell Power Conditioner and accessories Symposium Acoustic ISIS rack, Quantum Signature turntable platform and monoblock stands