Show Reports

Audio Show Deluxe 2024

Audio Show Deluxe 2024

You have to hand it to Kris Sawicki, he knows how to organise a hi-fi show. Having cut his teeth at the North West Audio Show in Cranage the upmarket Audio Show Deluxe is a very pleasant affair to visit and about as smoothly run as it gets according to exhibitors. This year was only the second show at Whittlebury Hall near Silverstone but it was considerably more busy than in 2023, with some rooms being packed for most of the day on Saturday. There were of course plenty of high end delights to enjoy but a few exhibitors managed to make good sounds with systems that some of us could afford. The following are the most of those that we enjoyed, but don’t forget that music comes first, which gave Technics a head start when they started playing Led Zeppelin and Free rather than the usual audiophile favourites, they had a record player too and that always helps. If anything this year saw more physical media than last with streamers being in the minority and vinyl taking the lion’s share of the source selections. There was also cabaret in the form of various artists including the Sweethearts (above), when was the last time you saw this much glamour at a hi-fi show?

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Innuos, dCS, Audio Research & Wilson benesch


Innuos put together a substantial system to demonstrate their Statement server with next gen power supply and Phoenixnet network switch, a dCS Vivaldi DAC and clock did the conversion to analogue while an Audio Research 6SE pre and 160m power amps took a pair of Wilson benesch Omnium speakers in hand to powerful effect.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Luphonic H2 Sens


Auden Distribution is bringing in the German Luphonic turntable range and showed the H2 Sens model, this has a solid surface plinth with foam core and control puck that turns the motor on when placed correctly, it will also change speed when turned over. The RPM is displayed in the plinth itself and this model costs £4,200 including arm. The same distributor also showed the new Reuss DAC (£4,950) from Merason, we got a very good result with the bigger DAC1 MkII from this brand so are looking forward to trying this slimline newcomer.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Merason Reuss
Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Acoustic Solid Vintage


We were surprised to see the Silent Pound Challenger loudspeakers reviewed recently sharing a room with Northern Irish distributor RAD, they sounded rather good on the end of a system fronted by an Acoustic Solid Vintage turntable (£4,950) with a gold plated Titanic Audio Model G cartridge and Audia Flight amplification.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
House of Linn system with Linn Klimax 800 mono amps and ATC SCM100PSLT speakers

House of Linn

Brian and Trevor brought live sound pressure levels to Audio Show Deluxe with a substantial system made up of Linn Klimax DSM/3 streaming preamp, Klimax LP12 turntable, Klimax Solo 800 monoblock power amps and Special Edition ATC SCM100PSLT speakers. Adding low end and space were two ATC C4 Mk2 subwoofers and digital included Melco N1 and an Innuos Statement music libraries.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Fraser Robertson of Airt


Fraser Robertson of Airt was demonstrating the benefits various ancillaries including room treatment with a group of products that sit under the LTNF (Lowering the Noise Floor) umbrella. Most obvious were the Acustica Applicata room tuning devices but equally significant were Stillpoints isolation components and the Entreq grounding system. These were used with a system built around Waversa and Kalista electronics with Avalon Precision Monitor speakers. I couldn’t get a seat but was taken by the aesthetics of the Waversa gear from Korea, the W Slim Pro streaming amplifier, server with phono stage does everything for £13,000, while the Amp 2.5 used for the dem comes in at £5,800.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Waversa Slim Pro
Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Mark Döhmann

Absolute Sounds

Mark Döhmann was having a lot of fun playing records on his Döhmann Helix One Mk3 turntable with Reed 5T arm and Analog Relax EX500 cartridge in one of the Absolute Sounds rooms. The system included an HSE Masterline phono stage, Robert Koda Takumi K-15 EX preamplifier, Dartzeel NHB-468 monoblock power amps and Magico S3 speakers. With an original pressing of Led Zeppelin II on the turntable this was a very revealing and exciting system, it was played at high volume but didn’t shout, rather it revealed the phenomenal detail that’s possible with an LP that’s well over 50 years old.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Dartzeel NHB-468 mono blocks with Magico S3
Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Acoustic Manufacture Skyscraper diffuser
Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Scansonic Q8

Decent Audio

Rhaido were demonstrating the TD2.2s (£39,500) on the end of Audio Analogue electronics in the Decent Audio room but we were taken by the curves of the Scansonic Q series from the same manufacturer. The Q8 has a ribbon tweeter allied to one piece carbon fibre drivers for mid and bass, the latter are built in-house and have high power magnets, the box being loaded by four slim ports tuned to different frequencies, price is £10,000 per pair.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Miguel Carvalho with Kroma Atelier Matilde

Boyer Audio

Boyer Audio had a similar big system to the one demonstrated last year but this time Spanish speaker maker Kroma had brought the Matilde four-way floorstanders (£62,000). These have a synthetic stone Krion cabinet that houses an AMT tweeter and three Purifi drivers which cover mid and bass. With a Wadax source and Engstrom amplification this system was very impressive despite the audiophile cover versions that seemed to be popular with the DJ.

Kroma Mathilde
Aavik 880 and Børresen M6

Audio Group Denmark

Audio Group Denmark brought the big system we saw in Oslo last week in what was a very busy week for the guys who demonstrate Aavik, Ansuz and Børresen equipment. This system is a little unusual in that it combines an Aavik i880 integrated with a P880 power amplifier rather than a more typical pre/power set up. The source was the SD880 streamer and the speakers are the range topping M6 from Børresen, these have tuneable crossovers to suit different room acoustics and their look is clearly influenced by Michael Børresen’s love of sailing.

Kroma Mathilde
Cyrus and Audio Physic Codex

Cyrus/Audio Physic

Cyrus distribute Audio Physic loudspeakers from Germany and had a stack of their electronics driving Codex loudspeakers (£14,295). These are not as simple as they appear and have an internal subwoofer that vents through a slot in the base as well as a ceramic foam material on the inside that acts as a diffuser and stiffener for the cabinet. The latter is built in a constrained layer damped style out of different materials to ensure minimum resonance. Audio Physic also incorporate opposing magnet isolation feet that can be used under speakers and equipment.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Mike Valentine with Sonus faber Stradivari G2


Symmetry joined forces with Chasing the Dragon so that the shy and retiring Mike Valentine could demonstrate his new direct to disc recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The source was a Brinkmann Taurus direct drive turntable with Goldberg Brilliant cartridge (£2,695), but the other Brinkmann was sporting the brand’s new Pi moving coil. This is built around a highly selected Benz generator and fixed with titanium hardware, it costs £3,795.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Brinkmann Pi
Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Stratton Element 12 with Vertere

Stratton Acoustics

Stratton Acoustics joined forces with Vertere to give the first public demonstration of their new Element 12 loudspeakers (£32,000). The cabinets have no parallel sides and sit in a cradle like lazer cut steel stand that wraps around to allow both downward firing ports and hidden terminals. The main driver is not a Volt as seen in the Elypsis 1512 but a custom 12 inch unit with an extremely deep neodymium magnet and double layer voice coil, the tweeter remains a horn loaded compression driver as per the bigger model.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Violectric DHA590 pro


Headphone specialist Electromod is bringing in Violectric headphone preamps from Germany, the DHA590 pro (£3,315), is the range topper and incorporates a 32-bit resampler/reclocker and two DACs per channel. It has outputs for all the key headphone connections as well as in- and outputs in balanced and single ended form that incorporate dip switches to adjust gain in both directions.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024


Newcomer Blackwood from Croatia demonstrated a substantial prototype but we were intrigued by the standmounts at the back of the room. These have an aluminium sandwich mid/bass driver with a ceramic tweeter and a Purifi driver in the back used as a passive radiator, price is likely to be in the €10 – 12,000 region.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Connected Fidelity Six Star

Connected Fidelity

Connected Fidelity unveiled the Six Star mains distribution blocks. These have acrylic cases with optional RF filtering and star earthing as the name suggests. They also showed some new mains fuses which are designed to improve sound quality without breaking the bank, three for £45 seems sensible if they do what it says on the tin. Of interest to followers of Trichord Research was the first siting of the Neo phono stage, the best looking components that Graham Fowler has yet made, price is £3,298 including CM-PSU.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Trichord Neo and CM-PSU
Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Technics system


I mentioned Technics in the intro because they distracted me with good music. They used an SL-1210G turntable and SB-G90 MkII speakers in a system with a total cost of around £18,000 and proved that Technics can rock.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Connecting Music system

Connecting Music

Carlo from Connecting Music took the unusual step of using Sonus faber Maxima Amator speakers (a brand he does not distribute) with a Mastersound Evolution 845 integrated amplifier (£15,950), LDMS Minimax server (£12,000), Bricasti M19 SACD player and M1S2 DAC. Apparently Sonus faber used a Mastersound (both are Italian brands) when developing this lovely speaker during lockdown, so it’s a very natural pairing, it certainly sounded that way at Audio Show Deluxe.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Miles Showell faces the music with Vertere


Vinyl mastering maestro Miles Showell joined Vertere to play a few of his choicest cuts and explain a little about the challenges of cutting vinyl in an age when the mastering lathes required for the job are no longer made. The best lathes he says were made by Neumann but production stopped in the mid ‘80s when it looked like vinyl was nearing the end of its commercial life. When that company was sold to Sennheiser they closed the mastering division down and didn’t even sell off the spares that are essential if these devices are to be kept going. Miles played some great sounding records not least a 45rpm cut of Seal’s debut album which sounded stunning on the Vertere/FM Acoustics/Stratton Acoustics system.

Audio Show Deluxe 2024
Audio Note AN-E SPX Ltd

Audio Note

Andy Whittle has been working on field coil drivers for Audio Note for some time now but we haven’t had a chance to hear the AN-E Spx Ltd loudspeakers (£45,000) that use them. The magnets in a field coil driver require power hence the small black boxes in front of this lavishly finished burr walnut pair. I have to admit that they did sound rather good with a vintage Cannonball Adderley Quintet album.

Jason Kennedy


Whittlebury, England

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