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Dutch United Audio Show

Veni Vidi VAD.
A Report on the Dutch United Audio Distributor's
Annual Hi-Fi show
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 Km!

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 various rooms.

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.

GamuTThe 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 built product.


Terrazzo Fidelity

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?


A God Time Had By All

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.


Eltim LoudspeakerLess is 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).



































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