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AUDIO SHOW ⸜ report


Date: 27-29th October 2023
GOLDEN TULIP ⸜ Warsaw/Poland

2D Bolkowska St., 01-466 Warsaw

» WARSAW/Poland


translation Marek Dyba
photos by Tomasz Lechowski, Tomasz Folta

No 235

December 4, 2023

AUDIO VIDEO SHOW IS ONE of the world's most important home audio exhibitions. Its first edition took place in 1997. From the beginning, its organization was handled by ADAM MOKRZYCKI. This was its 25th anniversary edition.

T WAS 25th WARSAW AUDIO VIDEO SHOW 2023 this year, which made it a nice anniversary. Spread over three venues, the Warsaw event is the second most visited show of its kind in the world of perfectionist audio in Europe. As the journalists from all over the world who attend it agree, echoed by manufacturers from more than a hundred countries, it is the biggest show where people actually listen to the music - Munich, having the upper hand in terms of tickets sold and invitations and passes issued, is, above all, the place where business is done.

⸜ One of the more interesting events of AVS 2023 was the premiere of Fezz Audio's D/A converter, prepared by Lampizator; on the photo: Maciej Lachowski (Fezz Audio) and Łukasz Fikus (Lampizator)

This year you will read a report by two Toms, people from the Krakow Sonic Society - TOMEK FOLTA and TOMEK LECHOWSKI. Tomek F., because that's how we sign him in the KTS reports, is a frequent visitor at Audio Shows and so he was a guide for Tomek L., for whom this is his debut in "High Fidelity". Below you will find their impressions of this year's show.

Let us remind you, that the first subjective impressions from the Show were presented by WOJCIECH PACUŁA, editor-in-chief of "High Fidelity", in the Editorial to this issue of the magazine. The text is accompanied by a photo report, which you can find → HERE. You are welcome!




WHILE I have been INTERESTED in audio equipment and music for a long time, I have a good system and a lot of records, never before have I been to this show. I had come close to doing so several times, but other matters interfered each time before. Now I had more motivation and a veteran guide - Tomek Folta of KSS, who had only missed the event once, its first edition in 1997. This time, however, he had, exceptionally, only one day for this event, namely Friday. So we had to somehow visit the whole Show in one day.

On the one hand, I perceived the event as one big exhibition of many stores, without having to move around the country to visit them, and on the other hand, as a bonus, it gave me an opportunity to talk to distributor representatives, as well as designers and brand owners. Many products could be listened to in different configurations in different rooms which allowed me to assess which combination suited me better. Due to the fact that it was Friday, the rooms were not particularly crowded. I had very little time for everything, so I may not have been able to assess the sound completely objectively, but whenever I heard good sound I stayed and listened longer.


We started our tour at the PGE Narodowy. The first top system and one of my types for the sound of the Show turned out to be Aavik electronics (P880 power amplifiers, C880 preamplifier, and SD880 streamer pre-release), along with Børresen M6 ˻ 1 ˺ speakers. I had a chance to listen to the Aavik I880 integrated amplifier during KSS meeting and I liked the sound very much. The set was complemented by a Nagra Reference Anniversary turntable (70 units were produced for the company's 70th anniversary). Unfortunately, listening to vinyl records was scheduled at another time, so I'll have to rely on what I heard from others about the sound it delivered.

⸜ Aavik setup with Nagra 70th Anniversary reference turntable

Despite the large number of turntables, during the whole day I managed to listen to black disc only at J.Sikora and MoFi, but I listened to two reel-to-reel tape recorders. In most rooms though it was streaming that reigned, followed by CDs.

Not every room listed the models on display, and this is a very useful custom, because not everyone can get close, and sometimes the markings are only visible from the back. Some put placards next to each piece of equipment, some presented a large visible board or a list printed on a piece of paper of what we were listening to, to be taken along with the catalog. I thank them very much for this, as I was able to concentrate on listening, talking to the brand representative and taking one picture of the whole room.

We were glad to see the large presence of Polish manufacturers of equipment and accessories, for example: J.Sikora, Lampizator, Ancient Audio, Graphite Audio, Diora, Sveda Audio and many others.

It is not only expensive high-end equipment that this show presents. There was quite a lot of equipment for the average Kowalski, from every segment. From headphones and wireless speakers, to inexpensive "all-in-one" systems, or popular turntable brands.

At Dual's booth, known for its automatic turntables from years ago, I was able to see something new, another step for a new generation of black record lovers. The CS 529 turntable, which can be controlled using an app on one’s phone (speed selection, play, stop and repeat functions), and the sound can be sent via the standard built-in or external preamplifier, but also via Bluetooth. Just as the showcase of direct drive is Technics and its immortal SL-1200, other manufacturers have both such and traditional belt driven designs in their lineups. Thorens introduced the TD124 DD anniversary model, Pro-Ject showed The Dark Side of the Moon edition, and MoFi the Fender edition with a finish familiar from its Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass guitars.

After many years we witnessed a reactivation of our domestic Diora that presented new, quite extensive range of speakers, both small and large, passive and active designs, with extensive cabinet finish options.

⸜ Accuphase and Estelons - a very successful combination.

Moon introduced their new products, the North series that impressed us with its sound and attractive design. I listened to their new Model 791 file player with a built-in preamplifier, paired with a 761 power amplifier, Audiovector R6 Arette speakers and Nordost cabling.

A large area in the stadium was reserved for the McIntosh brand, whose showcase was personally hosted by Piotr Metz, whom I appreciate very much, and also a letter he received from Mick Jagger was on display. Being a big Rolling Stones fan, this made me very happy. In addition to the listening room, there was a room something like a gallery in a museum, where models on pedestals were proudly displayed, and at the entrance, a huge wall with VA meters and logos shone beautifully against a black background. I loved it. It was very pleasant and atmospheric to see with that green corporate illumination.

I was able to listen to some music at Luxman room with large and small B&W speaker systems, and surprisingly, despite the large room, I liked more the presentation of the stand-mounted Bowers 805 D4 Signature, paired with the Luxman L-509Z integrated amplifier. It played very pleasantly, non-technical and without obtrusive treble, just as I remember recent B&W auditions with other electronics. So it came out a very good combination.

In the aisle, Krakow-based Nautilus presented its range of Transrotor turntables, and they were presented and answered questions by Mariusz, a great vinyl enthusiast.


THE NEXT STOP was the Golden Tulip, where there were only eight rooms, but each of them presented a high level. It was a great relief to the ears and a change after the Stadium. I may not have liked the sound in the Natural Sound rooms with Audio Tekne and powerful horn speakers, although I was very curious to see how the entire system there was built.

⸜ Gerhard Hirt presenting the Lumen White Kamea speakers driven, of course, by Ayon Audio electronics.

Thanks to Grobel Audio, I listened to the Destination Audio GM70 along with the Destination Audio Nika from an Ampex 440B reel-to-reel tape recorder. There was also a Jadis JA170 waiting in the room for its turn. It played very naturally, pleasingly. One could spend a long time there. This room had the soul of analog sound. The room was packed and yet I couldn't hear any conversations.

Nautilus, whose offer I know and whose showroom I visit regularly, occupied two rooms here. The first displayed Accuphase's flagship set (DP-1000/DC-1000 split player, C-3850 preamplifier and A-300 monoblocks) along with the Forza Anniversary Estelons with gold finish. In another one, Gerhard Hirt with Ayon and Lumen White Kamea speakers, presented equipment and music from a streamer and CD. The listening sessions were held periodically, and once the room was full, it was closed and the next eager people waited outside, so that no one would be disturbed during the approximately thirty-minute demonstrations. Both sets from Nautilus delivered a high-end sound. The choice between them would be based on sound preferences, and for many the all-important look.

⸜ Ampex 440B tape recorder - it was a beautiful, truly analog sound!

At the RCM I attended a lecture by Wojtek Padjas, so I can’t say anything about the sound of the big Vitus amplifier paired with Gauder Akustik speakers. At the side of the room stood sources such as Acoustical System A*Stellar and Kuzma turntables, as well as a Studer A807 reel-to-reel, a C.E.C CD transport and many others. The question was how much of this to show and how much to listen to.

Great applause for the room in which several Polish brands met, i.e. Sveda Audio, Lampizator Poseidon, J.Sikora, KBL Sound. The room was full and I had to listen standing up. I wanted to listen longer here, however, time was short. I will definitely make up for it at some point.


UNFORTUNATELY THERE WASN”T MUCH TIME LEFT FOR SOBIESKI, and there I collided with seven floors and many rooms. Tomek took me to several rooms worth seeing, but time got in the way and we didn't manage to see everything that was planned. We didn't visit the most expensive set of this exhibition, the 8 million zloty Audio Note.

⸜ Wilson Audio Sasha from the other side

We waited until one room opened for another presentation - a newcomer to the Nautilus portfolio - Audio Note Japan and their Kondo Gakuoh II monoblocks paired with Avantgarde Acoustic Duo GT G3 horns. The equipment here was presented by a representative of the company from Japan together with Marcin Oles.

The gentlemen spoke very interestingly, both about electronics, the company's philosophy and the music they served us. The question was raised about how much the voice of the lady we are about to listen to is worth to us, without looking at the equipment she is playing from. Then our Japanese guest pulled out one of the albums they always listen to when designing equipment, Ginamaria Hidalgo’s Concierto para una Voz. He also told us that their motto and mission is to create equipment that faithfully reproduces music without adding anything, so that we can interact with it as it was recorded in the studio.

Hiroyasu Kondo, the brand's founder and designer, was able to listen to the what was recorded at CBS Japan, where he worked as a sound engineer and modified equipment in that studio, so he had a reference point for the sound he wanted to achieve. I look forward to a longer encounter with this legendary brand.

At Sobieski, Audio Group Denmark presented a cheaper setup from its portfolio than Aavik, the Axxess electronics, a small amplifier with streamer, along with the smaller Børresen X2 speakers. This set was reasonably priced and will certainly reach a larger audience than the far more expensive, but also at a far higher level, Aavik.

Since all my life I've been listening to music at homes in small rooms, I was lured into a room with tiny Audioform M50 monitors driven by a More Audio CS100 amplifier. I looked there for a subwoofer, but didn't find one. These little guys can amaze you with what bass they are able to generate.

⸜ Peak Consult and Extraudio.

Despite huge financial investments, some companies did not use their chances. The sound in some rooms was loud, jazzy or flat and bland. Some exhibitors focused on showing off equipment rather than demonstrating the sonic qualities of their products. Maybe they didn't hear it play poorly, I don't know. The good thing is that it was mostly correct, and many were very good or top-notch, because that's what you come here for. As an added bonus, there were many covers/paintings signed with the "High Fidelity" magazine logo around the venues, and in the Nautilus/Audio Note room, we could see sculptures by Marta Mulawa.

I wish I'd had time to attend the lectures and workshops, because it was a great added value to the Show. I recommend every audiophile to visit such an exhibition at least once.

» My picks for best sound are:

˻ 1 ˺ Aavik and Børresen ⸜ Audio Emotions
˻ 2 ˺ Accuphase and Estelon ⸜ Nautilus
˻ 3 ˺ Ayon and Lumen White ⸜ Nautilus
˻ 4 ˺ Destination Audio and Ampex ⸜ Grobel Audio



WHEN I WRITE THESE WORDS exactly a quarter of a century has passed since the day I visited the Audio Show for the first time. I remember the exact moment when I crossed the thresholds of the Sheraton Hotel and headed to the room occupied by Audio-Klan, where the ProAc Response 3.8 loudspeakers were presented along with Krell electronics.

Despite the fact that at that time, in November 1998, I had already owned Arcam electronics and Dynaudio Audience series loudspeakers purchased from Zena Studio in Krakow for several months, it was that moment that I remembered as my first contact with truly high-end audio. The music I encountered there was, to put it mildly, strange, I wouldn't even describe it as "audiophile", nevertheless, that few minutes of listening to some bizarre, purring overbearing bass trumpet, sank firmly into my memory and, of course, left a considerable mark on what happened later in my life.

I did not have the pleasure to participate in the first edition of the Audio Show in 1997, but starting from the second edition I came to every single one, despite the three hundred kilometers separating me from Warsaw. I sometimes wonder myself why I have so much maniac stubbornness, how it was possible that for 25 years nothing has ever happened to prevent me from going to the Show and force me to break this tradition. Even the organizer I met two years ago in the garage of the National Stadium joked that probably he missed more of them than me.

I have watched the evolution of the Audio Show over the quarter of a century. I didn't cry after it left the Sheraton, but I did when it left Bristol Hotel - I regretted the somewhat "exclusive" atmosphere that prevailed there, the view of Krakowskie Przedmieście from the room where Avantgarde Acoustics horn loudspeakers were presented, or the well-equipped wine-bar on the first floor, where I enjoyed bubbles in between auditions.

⸜ Two latest releases from AC Records

Undoubtedly, a milestone was moving the event to the National PGE and attaching the "Video" to its name, which happened in 2015. Undoubtedly, this move helped popularize the exhibition in non-audiophile circles, caused people to visit it with their whole families. As I have also been going to High End in Munich since 2011, the most important exhibition of audio equipment on our continent, which, however, should be correctly referred to as a "trade fair" due to its business character, so it is easy for me to grasp these differences, manifested primarily in the age structure, but also in the gender structure, of the visitors.

For several years I have been treating the Audio Show as more of a social event than an audiophile event, an opportunity to meet in one place and time with all my "audio friends". To have enough time not only for listening but also social life, so to speak, I always came to Warsaw for two or three days. This time I could only be there on Friday, in addition, it fell to me to co-create for you this photo-report, which implied a completely different nature of the visit than in previous years.

Visiting the Audio Video Show on Friday has many disadvantages, and I would consider the most annoying ones to be the shorter opening hours than on Saturday, and often „fresh” systems not yet sounding at 100% of their potential. However, there is one big advantage to being there just on Friday, and that is the much lower attendance than on the other weekend days. Thanks to this, Tomek Lechowski and I, who went to the Audio Video Show for the first time, were able to visit many more rooms than we would have been able to on Saturday or Sunday, as we didn't have to push through crowds or wait in lines to enter the more popular areas.

⸜ May we interest you in some discounts?

Given the aforementioned time constraints, our coverage is very subjective, but after all, on the other hand, most visitors spend just one day at the Audio Video Show, so it's not unusual not to be able to see everything, and certainly not to listen to everything, for that even three days would be too short.

" My picks for best sound are:

˻ 1 ˺ AAVIK i BØRRESEN ⸜ Audio Emotions
˻ 2 ˺ AYON AUDO i LUMEN WHITE ⸜ Nautilus
˻ 4 ˺ PEAK CONSULT i EXTRAUDIO ⸜ Quality Audio

See you next year!

  • The Dark Side Of The Moon - a special edition of Pro-Ject’s turntable
  • Transrotor’s tonearms
  • Mariusz Goluch present Transrotor’s lineup
  • Technics - continuation of the brand’s reactivation
  • Musical Fidelity monitors
  • Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista
  • Martin Logan loudspeakers with Anthem electronics
  • Dual CS529 turntable controlled with an app
  • PMC - COR analog amplifier
  • Anthem electronics and Paradigm loudspeakers
  • MoFi turntable
  • Limited edition Fender MoFi turntable
  • Thorens TS124 DD turntable, SPU 124 – 140th Anniversary
  • NADNAD C 3030 – an iconic amplifier in the 1970ties – company just released a new version for the 50-th Anniversary – NAD C 3050 LE
  • The Sennheiser’s booth encouraged people to enter with a smile
  • Dali Epikore 11 paired with UNISON RESEARCH Absolute 845 SE and Marantz sources
  • Shunyata Research Omega SP speaker cables
  • Nagra IV-S tape recorder
  • A huge quantity of Anzus cables reminded me of a cobra snakes cluster
  • Nagra 70th Anniversary turntable
  • Awe-inspiring at the Munich High End Show, the Spanish Wadax also came to Poland
  • Awe-inspiring at the Munich High End Show, the Spanish Wadax also came to Poland
  • A letter from Mick Jagger
  • McIntosh
  • Piotr Metz – the McIntosh ambassador in Polsce
  • Very cool wireless speakers by Cabasse
  • Moon's new design (North series) attracted a lot of interest from potential buyers
  • Moon electronics from the new North series became available for sale three months earlier than announced at Munich High End Show - here the
  • Chord power amplifiers with cool illumination
  • Chord D/A Converter aroused interest in unusual form
  • Monitor Audio Hyphn speaker
  • Cambridge Audio Evo
  • Arcam’s new look
  • Electrocompaniet and Rockport
  • VTL and Rockport
  • J.Sikora Reference SE turntable recognized in Stereophile
  • T+A
  • New incarnation of Diora
  • Gato Audio
  • Nagra set
  • Zoom-in on Nagra – Swiss precision
  • AC Records test-presses on their stand
  • All new Empik SACD titles available off-the-shelf
  • Accuphase electronics
  • Ayon accompanied by Transrotor
  • Wojciech Padjas at RCM
  • Acoustical Systems A*Stellar turntable
  • Kuzma turntable
  • Studer A807
  • Jadis’ beautiful inside
  • Sveda Audio, Lampizator, J.Sikora and KBL Sound – a great showcase of Polish audio
  • Lampizator Poseidon DAC
  • Aries Cerat Ithaka, Kharma Exquisite speakers, Polish file transport XACT S1, as well as the venerable, Swiss Goldmund
  • Destination Audio with Jadis
  • Lyngdorf – a digital amplifier with speakers
  • Fezz Audio and Pylon
  • Muarah turntable
  • A turntable with tangential tonearm
  • Acoustics workshop - Bartłomiej Chojnacki
  • Mytek
  • Tonsil
  • A less expensive proposition from AGD – Axxess Forté 1 with smaller Børresen speakers
  • Axxess Forté 1
  • Audioform M50 monitors and More Audio CS100
  • Jarek Waszczyszyn - the designer and owner of Ancient Audio and Fram
  • Audio Phonique
  • Krakow-based Circle Labs with Dynaudio Confidence 50
  • Audio Reveal Junior amplifier and Ayon S-10 file player
  • Sculpture by Martha Mulawa
  • Kondo amplification with Avangarde Acoustic Duo GT horn speakers
  • The Japanese representative of Kondo presents the setup and music
  • The Japanese representative of Kondo
  • Kondo cartridge
  • Isolation platforms – a novelty in Graphite Audio’s lineup
  • Horns loudspeakers with beautiful David Laboga’s cables
  • David Laboga Custom Audio cables – wood and leather
  • Hegel and Elac
  • Streaming amplifier Rose RS520
  • Dan D’Agostino’s amplifier
  • Zoom-in on Nagra;s turntable
  • AGD’s room ;) or Audio Group Denmark’s – Aavik, Børresen, Anzus hosting Nagra
  • Luxman with the new D4 Signature series by B&W
  • McIntosh – an entrance to another room
  • McIntosh electronics and speakers
  • CH Precision’s electronics and Vivid Audio Giya speakers
  • An american team - MSB electronics driving Magico speakers
  • Epo Sound speakers – combining the beauty of natural wood with innovative epoxy resin, customization is possible
  • Gold Note
  • Lyngdorf speaker from up close
  • Kondo and Marcin Oleś
  • Fezz Audio and Pylon
  • Fezz Audio – new products developed in cooperation with Lampizator