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We hereby invite you to celebrate the year 2016 – we are doing it the best we can, pointing out the most interesting products, albums and projects. We hope that the list below will help you order information and return to products that we have overlooked. Please feel welcome to read on!

POLAND | Cracow/Warsaw


The “Special Award” category is partly like the “Best of the Best”, except for the fact that, apart from sound, we also take into account the idea, the people engaged in the given project and the influence of the product on the audio world. So, it is no coincidence that I personally know the people behind all the three awarded products and that I deeply respect both them and their work.

Digital-to-analog converter

DAP-999EX TOKU „High Fidelity Edition”

Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi-san, the owner of the Combak Corporation, offered to prepare his top-class digital-to-analog converter after our magazine gave its basic version the RED Fingerprint award. The red stamp on the front panel refers directly to our award symbol. This has never happened before, so we are especially proud of the outcome of Mr. Kiuchi’s efforts – TOKU “High Fidelity Edition” is an incredibly beautiful device designed only for one purpose: to convert digital signal from Compact Discs to analog signal. It is perfect in what it does and does not cost a fortune at all.

Test: No. 146 | June 2016, read HERE
Award: GOLD Fingerprint

Super Audio CD player

Ayon Audio

The audio world is dangerously heading towards price absurdities. The more expensive a product is, the more people write about it. Some of these devices are really worth paying attention to and truly make us understand sound better, but most of them are just manufacturers’ attempts to earn a lot of money.

Gerhard Hirt, the owner of Ayon Audio, has a different idea. He thinks that it is more important for as many people as possible to be able to buy a high-end product without ruining their family budget to the sixth generation. It is for them that he has prepared his new top-class source – a player that has been ostentatiously called the CD-35, even though it also normally plays SACDs. Its secret lies in refined upsampling of PCM signal to DSD signal, the results of which have never been so good before. The device, which costs less than €10,000, can be freely placed next to players that are three times as expensive and it will not necessarily be the loser. The following are a must-read:

Krakow Sonic Society, meeting #105: No. 151 2016 read HERE
Test: No. 152 | December 2016, read HERE
Award: GOLD Fingerprint

MUSIC | Remaster

Polish Jazz | REMASTER 2016
Jacek Gawłowski | Polskie Nagrania

We have written about the revitalized Polish Jazz series many times and each time we emphasized that when it comes to CDs, most of their new versions are much better than the original ones, while some are simply outstanding. Also vinyl discs, in most cases remastered for the first time in a few dozen years, may sound remarkably good, although the emphasis of the Remaster 2016 was on digital versions.

The series is a monument of Polish music and, as such, deserves whatever is best. In this case, it was the person of Jacek Gawłowski who remastered the material, as well as people responsible for graphic design and texts that we can find in the booklet. The people who coordinated the project deserve applause!

• No. 149 | October 2016, read HERE
• No. 147 | July 2016, read HERE
• No. 146 | June 2016, read HERE
Awards: RED Fingerprint | BIG RED Button


The “Statement Award” category aims to point out the products that become the point of reference for other products. It is something of a “benchmark” in the given category, regardless of the price. Here we can find products that have enchanted us and can be placed in any system, no matter how much it costs.

Preamplifier + power amplifier

FM Acoustics
268C + 711 MkII

As I wrote in its test, the Swiss system made a very big and a very good impression on me. It is so transparent and it modifies signal so slightly that it could play the role of a reference amplifier in a remastering studio of a good company – not in order to emphasize flaws, but to show sound in its complexity, faithful to source signal, with richness that is usually sacrificed in the name of selectivity in professional systems.

Test: No. 142 | February 2016, read HERE Award: RED Fingerprint

Digital-to-analog converter

DA0 3.0

The CEC source, including the TL0 3.0 transport and the awarded DAC, presents music in a way that makes it close to an analog master tape. It shows everything in an incredibly attractive way, without attempting to change the musical message. Its sound is dense, but transparent; it strongly focuses on the midrange, but you never get the impression of euphony. Here, space is different from what can be obtained from classic digital sources or turntables. The closest point of reference is an analog reel-to-reel tape recorder.

Test: No. 148 | August 2016, read HERE Award: GOLD Fingerprint

Interconnect + speaker cable


It is hard to find other cables that would show the world in such beautiful colors as the Tara Labs New Evolution series. Even the most hard-nosed audiophiles and the most hardcore purists will sit in front of speakers, deeply engaged in listening to albums that they have known before. There are cables in the world that provide better distribution and resolution, but are they more beautiful because of that? Personally, I doubt it.

Test: No. 146 | June 2016, read HERE
Award: GOLD Fingerprint


HE-1000 V2

It is not true at all that the more expensive something is, the better it is. In the case of these headphones we can be sure, however, that we pay for top-class sound. The transparency, tone, frequency extension and even space – everything is of the highest quality. Connecting the headphones to the Ayon Audio HA-3 amplifier, for example, makes us feel at home…

Test: No. 151 | November 2016,, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Compact Disc Player

Métronome Technologie

At the very last moment, we got one of the best Compact Disc sources available on the market – the two-piece Kalista player from the French company Métronome Technologie, to be presented in the December issue of HF. It is an example of how to combine design and sound, and it shows the sound of albums in an uncompromising way, going further in this respect than other similar sources.

Test: No. 152 | December 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint



LS 3/5

Another version of the iconic BBC LS 3/5 speakers and another success. The design has been the centre of attention of music lovers for a few dozen years, but what makes it so special? The Chartwell company version, prepared by Graham Audio, demonstrates that it is all about the loudspeakers’ musicality, smoothness, honesty and wonderful shape. These loudspeakers are little things that might actually be called MONITOR speakers, without putting the word in inverted commas.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Aequo Audio

The Dutch loudspeakers do look different than ninety-nine per cent of other audio speakers, but it is enough to listen to them for a few minutes to come to the conclusion that they allow us to eliminate many problems that classic designs cannot handle effectively. Additionally, the loudspeakers are really universal and their active bass section makes it possible for them to be adjusted to a given room.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE


As we wrote in our test summary, the X44 can be used in very big rooms and do not need a powerful amplifier for that, as they are quite easy to drive. They are different from Dynaudio loudspeakers from recent years. They are supposed to give us *fun**, generate it and provoke users to listen to loud music. Thanks to their high power, they will survive wild house parties and attempts to emulate a concert – with ease.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE

Pylon Audio

These are loudspeakers that cost less than 1,400 PLN per pair, but sound like professional speakers. If we buy them with the company stands, we get an aesthetically sophisticated product that will give us a lot of joy. If you want to buy a little more expensive floorstanders, think of purchasing Opal Monitor loudspeakers instead and allocate the savings to buy an amplifier. As a result, you will get much better sound.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Russell K.
RED 50

Purity and broad-scale sound do not go hand in hand, especially when it comes to lower price ranges. These two elements can be perfectly obtained only thanks to outstanding resolution and phase coherence, but that usually means spending a lot of money. So, Mr. Russell deserves respect for what he has achieved in cooperation with Polish engineers. The RED 50 are excellently made loudspeakers providing big, pure and very dynamic sound.

Test: No. 150 | October 2016, read HERE


The QR series is a kind of a new beginning for the Danish Audiovector company. The person behind the loudspeakers and their sole creator is Mads Klifoth, the son of the founder and CEO of Audiovector. He has excellently accomplished his task, as the Danish loudspeakers that we get look gorgeous and sound equally good, at a reasonable price. If the audio industry follows this path, there is a chance it will survive :)

Test: No. 150 | October 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Ubiq Audio

It rarely happens that a product supplied for a test remains at my home for a few months. It was so with the Model One loudspeakers manufactured by the Slovenian Ubiq Audio company. The loudspeakers seemed to have been created for me since the moment I saw them – it is a large, three-way closed design (i.e. no buzzing bass-reflex), with a horn on the top and a large paper woofer at the bottom. I listened to them with a few different amplifiers, getting delighted each time, to finally conclude in my review that this is “perhaps the best debut of any brand that I have ever heard. I have found no symptoms of childhood diseases, no imperfections, details to be corrected, flaws or weaknesses.
These are perfectly made and finished loudspeakers that can be proudly placed even in an elegant showroom. And when they start to play music... €12,500 is not a small sum, so these are not loudspeakers for everyone. However, even if you can spend twice as much, the Ubiq loudspeakers should be one of the models to listen to before you make a purchase."

The review was published in the second half of December 2015, but then it was too late to give the loudspeakers the Award of the Year 2015. Additionally, considering that they remained at my home for a few more months and assisted my in several tests in the year 2016, which made me value them even more, they exceptionally receive the Award of the Year 2016 even if, formally, their test was conducted last year. They fully deserve it!

Test: No. 140 | December 2015, read HERE



I still cannot explain why I did not give the AKG N60NC headphones our editorial RED Fingerprint award. It must have been a kind of an eclipse, a temporary slowdown of my brain’s activity. They are an exceptional, nice and functional product that sounds great. It is equipped with the remarkable Noise Cancelling (NC) technology that intelligently separates the listener from noise (e.g. on the tram). We are not talking here about simplistically raising the midrange or bass (this is how various systems of this type often work), which really wipes out sounds from our surroundings. The N60NC model is so good that I use it regularly with great pleasure. I cannot imagine going out or travelling without these headphones anymore. BP

Test: No. 141 | January 2016, test HERE


Mu-so QB

Having tested this integrated system, I asked myself: “Is there any better example of an intelligent form of life on Earth than Mu-so systems?” and then replied: “I don’t think so.” What I meant was that everything that a person who listens to music or information every day needs these days has been included in such a small product. The Mu-so Qb looks fantastic and sounds great, which it owes to the intelligent application of signal correction in the digital domain. The user is not aware of it, but he or she gets a device resulting from forty years of Naim’s experience and an incredible amount of money spent on research.

Test: No. 144 | April 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint



AbysSound enchants the listener with a combination of “old-fashioned” sound with modern resolution and bass control. Velvet sound, as well as great bass and loudspeaker control – these are a few of the most important features of this amplifier. The Polish amp offers full, dense and saturated sound. As I wrote in its test, it is “High class!”

Test: No. 141 | January 2016, read HERE


The E-370 is a classic Accuphase amplifier, i.e. wonderfully equipped, having a solid design and offering sound which combines energy, power and smooth lower midrange. As a result, we get a full and strong musical message with clear strong bass and smooth treble. It is an amplifier which will work equally well with both small monitor speakers and big floorstanders, both with rock and jazz. It also offers a high-class headphone amplifier.

Test: No. 144 | April 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Audio Alto

I do not personally know the creator of the awarded amplifier, Mr. Saša Burian, but I can tell something about him, having used his amplifier for the first time. He is a perfectionist who does not willingly compromise. He also has a clear vision of what the amplifier should sound like: it is an amp for people who value the dynamics of a piece of music above everything else, no matter if we are talking about classical music or rock. The Audio Alto produces amazingly clear sound, which frees us from the necessity of listening to a recording very carefully in order to identify changes. For a transistor amplifier from its price range, it offers faultless spatial organization and a perfect design.

Test: No. 144 | April 2016, read HERE


New companies in the audio world are like an influx of fresh blood and we welcome each of them with joy. However, only few of them succeed in preparing products that are mature enough not to be called “working prototypes”. Mr. Mariusz Jaglarz from the SinusAudio company is one of the creators who instantly knew what they wanted. The result of this is an inexpensive amplifier which can successfully become part of a system with loudspeakers that are even twice as expensive and we will not even feel that. Its housing is not too sophisticated, perhaps, but this is why the amp costs less than 4000 PLN and not 6000 PLN or more. A great debut!

Test: No. 144 | April 2016, read HERE

Ancient Audio

As demonstrated by this year’s Audio Video Show (2016) exhibition, the path the Ancient Audio company has taken towards medium-price range products has been well though-out. Expensive products are what we get excited about and something everyone wants to read about. However, devices designed for a wider group of people give us the most joy, as they simply play music in many systems and not only look attractive in photos.

The A-3 is an amplifier which sounds equally sensual and dense with any loudspeakers. Its sound has everything that we value in tube devices, i.e. golden treble, strong and dense midrange, and full bass. The depth of sound and of the soundstage is exceptional. Even the quite soft “inside” of sounds from the bottom of the scale is typical for a device with a tube soul. The transistor drive adds a broad sound scale, saturated deep bass and high, though unnoticeable dynamics working “underneath”. Other amps at the same price do not sound so good.

Test: No. 146 | June 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint


It is good that there are companies like Egg-Shell, offering devices other than their competitors. The tube Prestige 9WST Mk2 amplifier has a classic shape, but only at first sight. The large circle that we use to adjust volume, the gyroscope remote control and tubes arranged at an angle so that they resemble a car engine – we will not get this anywhere else.

It is an amplifier for those who like pleasant tones and prefer a further perspective that is so natural for acoustic recordings (classical music and jazz), but do not want to sacrifice the possibility to play other kinds of music. What they get is a beautiful color palette, high dynamics, saturated lower midrange and a nice bass. It is a device which allows us to play a record after a record for many hours, without getting tired or irritated.

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint


The SOL III is for those who value coherence, dynamics and truth in music. Its sound is accurate, dynamic and sonorous. It is also very well saturated and colorful. It does not conceal anything, but does not focus on the flaws of recordings, either. The slightly raised lower midrange is a move into the right direction in this case, as it gives recordings swing and depth. It is a really universal device that is worth trying out in any system. Wiktor Krzak, the SOL’s constructor, can be proud of it.

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE

Fezz Audio

If you are looking for a classic tube amplifier, you should listen to the Fezz Audio Titania. It is an amp which offers outstanding tones and shows an incredibly rich harmonic structure of recordings. High output power makes it possible to use the amplifier with different loudspeakers and we do not need to be afraid that it will not drive them. Additionally, it does not cost a lot, which is an invaluable asset considering the high sound quality and a solid design.

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE


My Sound

I think that every year there is at least one device that deserves the Award of the Year among the Polish products that I listen to. I can also give the award this year, thanks to My Sound Cube monoblocks. As I wrote in my review: “Let me end this review the same way I began it – it is really great to see that our countrymen create such high quality and beautiful audio products. The market share of such amplifiers is and always will be rather small.

I think, however, that many people looking for a musically engaging, beautifully sounding amplifier who do not mind spending some time looking for proper loudspeakers might find that the Cubes are exactly what they need, as the EL84 tubes, as it turns out, do not necessarily sound warm and slow. They may sound clean, resolving, detailed, with very good micro- and good macro-dynamics.”

When it comes to design, the Cubes can compete with products that are much more expensive. Their design is original and really successful, and the sound is excellent. So, these amplifiers have had to be rewarded! MD

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE

Audia Flight

I must admit that the power amp of the Italian Audia Flight company was added to my list at the very last moment, as I carried out its test for the November issue of “High Fidelity”. It was my first encounter with this company’s product and it rarely happens that I am absolutely amazed by the sound of a transistor after listening to a device for several minutes. It does occur in the case of high-class tubes, but when it comes to quartz-based devices, this does not really ever happen. However, the FSL-4, which costs quite a lot, but still not as much as products of other companies, sounded so good from the start that I could not stop listening to it.

Its sound actually has everything that it needs – there is the transistor kick, dynamics, fantastic control of the loudspeakers, speed, drive, incredible energy, but there is also outstanding smoothness, fluidity and some kind of almost tube-like natural sound smoothness. What is surprising is that there is also wonderful space and naturalness of sound, as if it was coming from excellent tube amplifiers. The best SETs add better holography, tangibility and even better, more intimate contact with music, but even in this respect the FSL-4 is almost as good (when supported by a tube preamplifier and a tube DAC). It is a well-deserved Award of the Year. MD

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint


Advance Acoustic
X-cd5 + X-i75

Let us respect companies that still want to invest in inexpensive classic audio devices, as sooner or later the pendulum will swing towards high-end audio and, until then, these companies have to be the depositaries of these values. Experience will be the necessary asset for audio companies to return to. Advance Acoustic, together with NAD and Marantz/Denon, is in an excellent position to become such a confidant. The sound of the system is warm, dense and fluid, but very dynamic and with beautiful bass. The functionality is very good and the devices look really nice.

Test: No. 146 | June 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint


CD/file player + clock


The dCS Rossini has inherited a new digital platform that has been created for the flagship Vivaldi system. We get all of that, however, in a compact housing. This is one of the top digital disc players, regardless of how they have been coded, and its sound is incredibly full and energetic.

Test: No. 141 | January 2016, read HERE

Digital-to-analog converter/preamplifier


Chord belongs to so-called “engineering” companies, i.e. those that believe a product must be technically competent before one can start working on its sound. The company’s high-class DAVE DAC shows that if this is done by talented people, the results are excellent. We get a high-end DAC that costs two times less than such sources used to cost not so long ago. It is also a sign that progress in the domain of decoding digital signal has recently accelerated.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE

Compact Disc player

Vitus Audio
SCD-025 MkII

May the Lord give other manufacturers the ability to construct such sound sources! The design, equipment and sound altogether give us a CD player we can stay with forever. Ironically, it was launched when the format had already started to become a niche, similarly to vinyl and SACD. Such things happen, however, and I hope that there will be people who will be willing to cultivate it in the future. Even if it appears that this is the decline of CD, it is better to go through it with a player such as the SCD-025, especially because we can always connect a computer or a file player to its digital input to obtain sound that is very close in tone and equally dense.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE

Digital-to-analog converter


To me, the Comet Plus DAC from the American Exogal company, along with the abovementioned Chord DAVE and the Reimyo DAP-999EX TAKU “High Fidelity Edition” converters, is a sign that “the new is coming”. Nowadays, quite inexpensive digital devices sound the same as top-class products used to sound until recently, even though the latter cost a few times more. Additionally, the Comet is a device that can play almost all types of audio files (apart from extreme versions of DSD) and will do it very well, with grace. It has amazing dynamics and its sound is incredibly open to information (not details). All recordings sound better and more natural with it, a bit like from an analog tape.

Test: No. 143 | March 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Analog-to-digital converter

Projekt Nostromo

Testing the Project Nostromo DAC was a very interesting experience. For little money, Mr. Marek Kowzan has prepared a DAC that will improve the sound of all inexpensive DVD and Blu-ray players, as well as will sound good with CD transports. Powered by an external power supply unit (the Nostromo 12 V), the DAC is an exceptionally mature product. It looks unpretentious, is nicely made and really user-friendly. Its sound can be described as “analog”, as it does not emphasize a sharp attack and fills rather than stiffens. Its strong and very pleasant bass will prove useful in the case of 99% of contemporarily manufactured discs, but older jazz will also sound extremely engaging with it. It is an inexpensive great DAC that will work well both in systems from the basic price range and those in which an amplifier costs 5,000 PLN and more.

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Compact Disc player


The Planck Compact Disc player from the German Audionet company, which can be found on the cover of the November issue of HF, is a special product. It has been created in times when the CD is regarded to be “old-fashioned”, but shows that files still have a long way to go before people start talking about them with respect. The mechanical design of the device is especially well thought-out, while its digital inputs make it more functional. If we want to improve its sound, it is enough to buy the Ampere external PSU.

Test: No. 151 | November 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Digital-to-analog converter

PS Audio
NuWave DSD

PS Audio is a company that focuses on DSD signal – and this is what the NuWave DSD sounds like: its sound is beautifully arranged and the device plays music in an effective way, which will make systems from this price range sound more natural and emotional. The DAC will not hinder the performance of more expensive systems, either, but will even let them sound more “analog” (I have used the inverted commas on purpose).

Test: No. 150 | October 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint




The RPM5 Carbon turntable not only looks, but also sounds exceptionally good. It is a combination of high resolution (especially in the midrange) and melodiousness. All recordings will sound nice with it, which makes it a very universal design. I have not heard the new “carbon” RPM91. and 10.1 versions, but, based on my experience so far, I will take the risk and say that the RPM5 Carbon has the best quality-to-price ratio in the whole series, thus becoming its “sweet spot”. What is more, the turntable looks gorgeous in red. Provided that we are ready to clean vinyl discs, it is going to be a long-term purchase.

Test: No. 150 | October 2016, read HERE


J. Sikora

The ultra-stable sound that this turntable guarantees means that we are able to examine music as closely as technology allows us to. It is a design which, together with Kuzma products, makes recordings incredibly differentiated. Such turntables should stand at all places where new record releases and pressings are assessed, i.e. in mastering studios, archives and the houses of music lovers.

Weaker recordings gain a lot from reading small pieces of information, but we also get what is given to us. The Air Force One does it differently – it civilizes recordings while maintaining incredible resolution, allows us to listen to any given pressing with the awareness of what is “right” and “wrong” about it, without discouraging us from listening to it. The Reference stops on its way and has its own idea on what the musical message should be like – without emphasizing, it shows the weaknesses of a recording with no restraint.

It is a top-class product of a sophisticated company, which can be placed next to other top-class products offered by the biggest manufacturers.

Test: No. 141 | January 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Turntable + arm


The mechanical design of this turntable (both the base and the arm) gives us food for thought. It would seem that we have known all the elements before, but this is the first time we have seen such an interesting combination of all of them. The Sparta is a turntable which produces dense and saturated sound characterized by high resolution. If someone is looking for classic sound from vinyl, this design should be the first position on a short list, as it beautifully combines design, workmanship and sound – the perfect trio.

Test: No. 147 | July 2016, read HERE

Turntable cartridge


Hana cartridges show us the better face of music, concealing the flaws of older pressings a little, not paying too much attention to the fact that almost all new discs and reissues are based on digital remasters; they do not bring us down by focusing on problems. This is a departure from neutrality, but it is justified, especially considering the price range that we are talking about (the price of a turntable).

The high-level EH version is more universal than the low-level EL version. It will harmonize with most turntables more easily and any phono stage can be used with it. The EL version is more demanding. We will achieve better results with it than with the EH version, but we will have to invest in a better turntable and phono stage.

Test: No. 147 | July 2016, read HERE

“Vintage” turntable/modification

Lenco by NOMOS
L 75

The L 75 is a classic turntable from the Swiss Lenco company, with an “idler” drive – i.e. an intermediate wheel. Its mechanical design is so good that such mechanisms still work really well a few dozen years after they were manufactured. So, the base is used by many companies do create new turntables. The version produced by the Nomos company from Warsaw is really good. If what you require from music is mostly musicality and emotional communication with the listener, then it is going to be hard for you, after you have listened to the turntable I have tested, to return to any modern design – the difference is going to be too big.

Test: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE


AC power cable

SMT ‘TAKUMI’ Maestro

The new cable created by Mr. Kiuchi-san made an incredible impression on me. It made recordings sound emotional, naturally soft and full-blooded. The cable finds a lot of music even in the case of recordings whose remastered versions have not been tuned in any special way and shows why analog master tapes are so incredible. It does not correct or add color to anything. One piece is going to be mine.

Test: No. 151 | November 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Interconnect + speaker cable + power cable

KBL Sound

The Zodiac is a cable system with its own unique features, in which each of the elements supports the remaining ones. It gives us dense, low sound characterized by a lot of details. It shows differences in music really well, but does not go to extremes or make problems seem bigger than they are. It can be used in various systems, without the fear that it will spoil anything in them.

Test: No. 144 | April 2016, read HERE

RCA interconnect | AC power cable

Acoustic Revive
RCA1.0 Triple-C FM (1.8 x 1.4 mm) | POWER REFERENCE Triple-C

By coincidence, I use both of these cables in my system – the power cable powers my CD player and I connect the interconnects to a headphone amplifier. I do it for a reason. The Power Reference power cable has demonstrated that its manufacturer is making considerable progress in the field. The 1.8x1.4 interconnect represents a very high level of quality, mostly because of the way it fills the tone, saturates the 3D images of instruments and adds energy. It is a case when we have more “music in music” than before. Bravo!

Test: No. 145 | May 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint


Anti-vibration feet

Pro Audio Bono

The PAB ceramic 5 N + are the first anti-vibration feet that have given me as much satisfaction (at all levels), while I listened to music, as the ones I had been using as a reference product for many years. The full color and their peaceful character, as well as naturalness have made me use them more and more often with time. For the first time, the feet that I am holding in my hand have as high-quality features as my previous reference model. They are nicely made and smartly packaged – everything is in place.

Test: No. 152 | December 2016, read HERE


Best Recording 2016

Drony, Compact Disc + SP CD

Record label: ART2 Music

The Waglewski duo recording brings music that is wonderfully produced on the one hand and sounds great on the other hand, but is mostly “dense” – full of text and rhythm, with “groove”. The recording is extremely beautiful, as it is fleshy, but at the same time open and rhythmical, not afraid of pausing and silence. Bass quality, as defined for this type of music, is excellent here. It goes really low in the extra single, which will allow us to examine even the largest loudspeakers. Bravo, bravo, bravo!

Review: No. 152 | December 2016, read HERE
Awards: RED Fingerprint, BIG RED Button

Wandering Flecks, Compact Disc

Record label: For Tune

I really like such sound, even though the resolution is not too high. It is hard to point out the most important instrument, as all of them have been equally treated. We can hear the guitar most often, but it neither dominates, nor tries to catch our attention – it is the leading instrument, but does not cover the remaining musicians. It is another beautiful For Tune album, as both the sound and music are of really high quality. The consistency, good taste and courage are admirable, indeed!

Review: No. 148 | August 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

Live Finland 1972, Compact Disc

Record label: GAD Records

Listening to this recording is an extremely pleasant experience, not only because of the breath, “shift”, attack and dynamics, but also because of the fantastic music. This is excellent progressive rock music that might have been promoted all over the world, on an equal level with the best musicians representing the genre. The fact that it did not happen is simply ironic.

Fortunately, we have recordings and this one is special. Let us listen to how good the bass sounds. It has no low bottom, but it is selective, clear and very individual. We listen to it as a component of the recording, one that is active, important and characterized by specific tone. The instruments (mostly the electric guitars) are shown close to us and nicely laid out within the panorama. This is really panoramic sound – not almost monophonic, as in the case of most Polish bands from the 1970s and 80s. It is a wonderful concert that is very nicely framed.

Review: No. 145 | May 2016, read HERE
Award: BIG RED Button

LIZENZFREIE RESTWÄRME oder: Die Klaviatur Des Quadrat, CD-R

Record label: Karl Records

It is hard to assess music that does not fall into any specific category. This is experimental electronic music that one listens to each time as if for the first time. The limited number of copies makes this recording a unique rarity. Listening recommended!

Review: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE

Works for flute, Compact Disc

Antonina Styczeń, flute
Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Wojciech Rajski

Record label: TACET

This is a beautiful recording of very interesting music. A combination of Mr. Spreer’s skills, taste and experience with the skills of the Polish musicians and the conductor, as well as surprisingly well captured acoustics of the church in Sopot have contributed to the creation of a unique album that we will listen to many times, confirming its top quality each time..

Review: No. 152 | December 2016, read HERE
Award: RED Fingerprint

T.LOVE, 2 x Compact Disc

Record label: Warner Music Poland

I have not heard such well-recorded rock music for a long time. Thus, it has incredible impact, as strong Muniek’s lyrics are perfectly reinforced by music that is not only beautifully recorded, but also produced in a really modern way. The “modern production” is not a technical trick, however, but a skillfully adapted blues idiom which, by some chance, is released in the second decade of the 21st century. To conclude, I will just emphasize the outstanding sound quality again.

Review: No. 152 | December 2016, read HERE
Wyróżnienia: RED Fingerprint, BIG RED Button

Record label

Lo-fi in hi-fi, or the sound postcards of the 21st century

AltanovaPress records convey an anarchist and anti-system message (if the “system” is understood as an audiophile or hi-fi idiom) in which all stages of making a record are equally important, including the cover. In times when the physical medium is disappearing and the role of the cover is becoming less and less important, this is a strong voice FOR the medium, for printed materials and for the relationship between the artist and the record label. PUNK’ƨ N0T DɆAD¡

Text: No. 149 | September 2016, read HERE