Veni Vidi VAD.
A Report on the Dutch United Audio Distributor's
Annual Hi-Fi show
by Marja and Dr. Longbeard
The Little River Band accompanies us with
Its A Long Way There as we speed towards Holland's southeast. The lyrics are to the point as traffic is heavy and it takes almost two hours to cover the 120
The location where the Hi-Fi show is taking place looks somewhat like a monastery with the monk's cells built around a couple of patios. The
"cells" now act as listening rooms. We are lucky to visit the show
during the special dealer's day. This means more room to listen and talk.
The atmosphere is relaxed and though the exhibitors have been on the show for more than three days, they look remarkable
refreshed. Another noteworthy aspect of this show is the lack of leaking noise from the listening rooms. When music is played 'at volume' the doors are closed and work quite well
at insulating the sound from disturbing other rooms. Enter without so much as knocking is the motto except for
special - and there are quite a few - SACD multi-channel demos.
To help find your way in the maze-like building, a thick catalogue contains a
map and there are also maps placed at strategic points within the venue. This really works
well and many other shows also offer such maps to help attendees to find
Preparing our visit we already noticed a new trend... Just like our fellow Japanese audiophiles who started years ago, now more and more brands offer professional equipment for the home environment. In Japan it I not
unusual to find a complete Meyer Sound array in the tiny living room fed by
single-ended tube amplifiers that output only a few milliwatts into the very high efficiency
(+110dB/w/m) loudspeakers. At the show GamuT and PMC are just a few examples of professional meet audiophile.
The first 'cell' we visit is Audionord's. Next to Magnepan and E.A.D., the Danish
brand GamuT is on demo. The Danish background is clearly visible in the way the name is spelt with a capital 'T" at the end just like fellow Danish TacT. And speaking about TacT, we miss AND at the show. To compensate, Ole Christensen the genius behind GamuT tells all about his remarkable amplifiers. These powerhouses are all built around proprietary MOSFET transistors. This allows the amplifier to be built using
few components - less is more. And the MOSFETS are capable of delivering 500 watt
and peaks of 300 amperes. Opening the box there is another surprise! Many connections are
hardwired. Hardwiring is still the choice of building high-end tube gear and GamuT is using the technique to avoid overheating and other problems of the small tracks on printed circuit boards. The soldering of the wires is all done by
hand. Expensive? You bet, though worthwhile sonically and insures a solidly
Talking about solid. Next visit was Terrazzo Fidelity. The Dutch speaker builder uses the old art of terrazzo work - polished concrete with lots of little pebbles worked into it. The results are very solid and heavy
loudspeakers. Enclosure resonances are said to be cancelled by the massive stonework. At the show
was a new prototype of filter that sounded very natural, although we think the size of the
components will force the makers to have the filter outside the loudspeakers. In a nice terrazzo enclosure, perhaps?
Audio Connections International (ACI) had the PMC loudspeakers on display. PMC is one of the favorite monitor suppliers of
recording studios. In many of their transmission line loudspeakers, PMC is
employing an inverted bass driver. The frame and voice coil are placed in front of the cone. The amount of bass control is so great that every time the demo played a closing church door (and a big one that is!), the audience could not do anything but produce
big laughter as seen above.
Another trend we spotted is that many exhibitors dressed up their rooms and
booths more than usual. Some Dutch show exhibitors used various colorful posters. Joenit, for example, dragged in half the surrounding woods to accentuate their Cross of
Speakers as seen above! More Music, on the other hand, was inspired by Egypt
(seen below). Mummies, sphinxes and pyramids surrounded the best sounding setup. In our ears the combination of Pass Labs - new in Holland - amplifiers and Audio Physics loudspeakers connected with quite some Siltech cables was absolutely best of show. Open, lively and well balanced.
more... absolutely true. Small is beautiful? Not always in my eyes. Eltim
demonstrated a small Morel surround sound system. Morel is known for their high quality tweeters and their
demo setup featured these small dual-orb monitors in an interesting little
tweeter/midrange loudspeakers. The demo started and sounded quite good. Unfortunately,
Mr. Distributor turned up the volume and in came the distortion in the lower
frequencies. This equipment, when setup properly, should be able to play very
satisfactory up to certain volume levels.
Within a home theater environment was one of Sony's interesting
new LCD video projector. The VPL-HS1 is a small and handsome looking projector with a reasonable price tag. The amount of lumen is sufficient for daylight viewing,
though like most projectors it performs its best within a darkened room. Sony put a correction lens in the unit so the projected image is not out of
shape within various mounting positions. This angular projecting system makes it possible to have all the benefits of LCD projection even in a small room.
Of course we have to make a selection of rooms and setups to audition. The next Dutch
Hi-Fi show will be in April at Rotterdam. There is expected to be many live
music events too! That should do well with all the forthcoming beautiful NuVistas and the always-surprising KR setups (drool, drool).