Show Reports

Dutch Audio Event 2022


Trevor Butler reports on the first full-scale hi-fi show in The Netherlands post-pandemic which saw a huge turnout from both exhibitors and visitors over two days. With the former X-Fi show now replaced by smart, new branding for Dutch Audio Event, the Konginshof conference centre outside Eindhoven witnessed a lively weekend of not only new products but also a handful of new brands as well. Before the start of each day there was a queue stretching back across the venue’s car park; on the Saturday organiser Caspar Bunge said it was the longest he could remember as eager audiophiles waited patiently for the doors to open.

Audiotweaks 1

The first people I bumped into were the friendly team at Audiotweaks who were creating a wonderful sound with the Oscar Motel Choir’s Cantate Domino (on the Swedish label Proprius) which has become something of an audiophile-reference at shows. Certainly here, via the €45,000 Fyne Audio F1.12 speakers with SPEC electronics, the soundstage was immersive and so involving that I lingered a while.


Sounding Oriental but in fact from the Netherlands, Ikigai Audio was proudly displaying a new range of cables, everything from power cords to interconnects, USB leads to speaker cables. Owner and designer Jeffrey Dam is a former Phillips employee, as are many in this area, who launched his new venture just as Covid hit so this became his official launch. He’s used his professional engineering knowledge to create the new products.


Fyne’s speakers were also in use next door, this time the Vintage model on Townshend’s Seismic plinths, and being played diagonally across the square room in an effort to improve acoustics. With amplification from Sivian Acoustics and a walnut-finished New Horizon turntable the results were impressive. These conference venues are far from ideal when it comes to creating impressive sounds, but the team here are to be commended for their achievement.


Passing a bustling area selling all manner of accessories, headphones, new and second-hand LPs, reel-to-reel tapes, CDs and even music-related board games (including a Beatles version of Monopoly) I came to another good-sounding room.


French electronics from were combined with Polish transducers by Intrada in the form of a three-way with twin woofers working alongside the mid and treble units. To the cabinet’s rear is a large letterbox port as part of a hybrid design “between an infinite baffle and a bass reflex” using a transmission line for the LF output between 30-94Hz. This Maurice flagship model is €27,900 a pair and was in use with new B. Amp mono together with the B. Dpr EX, the company’s new reference DAC with integrated streamer and preamp.

Ilumnia JefNuyts

A prototype subwoofer enticed me into the Ilumnia room where close attention had clearly been paid to the acoustics, with temporary treatment applied to the walls. With active analogue filtering and a crossover network between the main speakers and the bass extender, it is likely that the new subs will sell for around €15,000 a pair when released. Rather than relegate them to the corners, designer Jef Nuyts placed them in front of the main speakers for best sound.



While many rooms brought outrageously expensive systems, Innuos decided on their entry-level system to partner the €9,800 Sonus Faber Olympica Nova II speakers driven by the Devialet Expert 220 Pro at €7,990. Innuos combined their new Pulse streamers with a PhoenixUSB reclocker and the Phoenixnet switch to deliver highly melodic sounds.

Richard Boutmans

New products are exciting but new brands even more so. Modus Audio unveiled its initial electronics range to drive Magico S3 three-ways. Before deciding to use the speakers, the team had to overcome room issues and made their own absorbing acoustic panels to tame things down sufficiently. Based near Maastricht, Richard Boutmans has spent almost ten years refining his designs before bringing them to market. Based on Mosfet Class A/B circuitry for both driver and output stages, the SPA01 power amp (€29,500) produces 60W/ch and is accompanied by the €26,500 SBR01 pre-amp with a DAC in development. All are available in bespoke finish options.


These substantial Klipschhorns were driven by Western Electric’s 91E and a Melody preamp although, perhaps surprisingly for a tube-based system, there was no turntable but just streaming. This, nonetheless, was one of the most enjoyable systems at the event.

designers 1

It is always lovely when enthusiasts club together to take a room at a show and it’s surprising when the smaller rooms create the biggest news. Such was the case with Chris Camphuisen who shared some of his work on motional feedback, based on the original Phillips patent from the 1970s. Also here was Henkjan Olthuis and a DSP project using 4-channels to supply not only a conventional subwoofer but a rear sub fed with a delayed and inverted signal to tackle standing waves. The output plots were available to view and the engineers more than willing to discuss their work with visitors. Next to this was a new design created in The Hague, a planar prototype which we are bound to hear more about as a company is formed to take it to market. The name Wrinex is already being mentioned. A model on demonstration which is available was the €9,150 OmniBMR Mk 1, an omnidirectional floor-stander from Just a Perfect Sound.


A Studer A810 reel to reel recorder provided one analogue source, along with a Kuzma turntable, to create a vividly impressive sound which managed to fill a large room with a taut, fast bass and astonishing dynamics from Avalon PM3.2 speakers powered by a Vitus Audio solid-state Class A SS103. Floor-to-ceiling curtains on all walls did a great job at damping the otherwise rather ‘live’ acoustic.


There were several examples of open-baffle speakers on demonstration at the event. One which caught my eye, as well as my ears, was from Pure Audio Project. The modular architecture created a very open, transparent sound with fast transients and a vivid soundstage from the €16,000 version demonstrated. The range begins at €7,500 a pair with prices reduced due to direct sales and DIY assembly.

big boys 2

You see some sights in the international show arena, and the use of hotel coffee cups by distributor Big Boys Toys to space their laptop from the heat of the valve amplifier below caught my eye. Another open baffle speaker here, too, using a ribbon tweeter – the Swiss sound of Kaos. The room also saw the launch of the €1,294 Mano Ultra Mk III Farad streamer.

Rik Stoet

I recall the launch of the Dutch turntable from Rik Stoet at a previous Eindhoven show. Well, he’s done it again and we now have the Takumi 3.1 turntable to add to the 2.1. It harks back to the 1970s by placing the arm-lift lever at the front of the plinth rather than on the side of the tonearm. The man has been busy because there’s also a new loudspeaker, the DASL M.One was unveiled, a thin-walled two-way stand-mount design with the cabinet veneered inside and out along with internal damping from bitumen and sheep’s wool. The paper-coned woofer features an Alnico motor (aluminium nickel cobalt) while Audax were commissioned to create the tweeter.


Lindemann has their new Roon-ready all-in-one box which combines a streamer, integrated amp with MM phono stage, headphone amp and Bluetooth in the €4,500 Musicbook Combo which is hand built in Germany. It sounded so good that I need to get my hands on one to try at home. With the app enabled there’s the ability to access internet radio as well. In the same room were Dutch electrostatic speakers from Final. The Model 12 was on demonstration, a full-range panel in acrylic because it has the right properties. They are milled, under water, before being precision printed (on a commercial Italian inkjet printer) to form separate treble and bass sections. The eight-model range can be used with subs and there are active versions with DSP. Maarten Smits is not resting on his laurels though, with products under development including headphones with internal amplifier, and an electrostatic soundbar.


Another new company launching at the show was Vonschloo, in the hands of its marketing company I Am Living, already known on the Continent for its gardening products. Products at launch are the €16,500 L10 loudspeaker and SmartAmp at €6,500. The former is a three-way with ribbon tweeter and bi-polar woofers on the rear baffle. It has no crossover and a frequency range of 25Hz to 28kHz. Sitting on an angled frame it’s neither floorstanding or standmounted as such. Designer Henk van der Hilst has gone for a no-compromise approach. The streaming-amp is also unusual in that it has neither capacitors nor relays, relying instead on DC coupling. This gives it a predicted lifespan in excess of 30 years.


No Dutch show would be complete without a visit to Grimm Audio where technical director Guido Tent was proudly demonstrating the latest products with some delightfully refined musical selections. The brand’s MU1 streamer and LS1 speakers were on show and creating a very clean sound. The products are made only a short distance away from the show venue and have a loyal following. Because of the room acoustics, the motional feedback subs were moved away from the footplates and closer to the side walls.


On home soil were KAD Audio, creating a beautifully wide, deep and realistic soundstage along with remarkable bass clout and a sweet treble from the diamond tweeter playing Simon & Garfunkel. The K7evo is a €37,500 three-way floorstander featuring four speaker groups. The secret, I learn, is in the cardioid dispersal bass system which fills the room with detail. Like other speakers at this event it has a DSP crossover.

o audio

From Norway came Sveinung Mala of ø Audio and his Icon floor-standing loudspeaker with horn tweeter. After searching, in vain, for some speakers he decided to make his own. Their 93dB sensitivity makes them ideal to partner with low-powered tube amps while response is quoted as 27Hz-20kHz. Their asymmetrical cabinet design, with no parallel walls is said to create very little resonance and reduce internal reflections. The results were pleasing.


Crossing the border from Germany was Hoffner Audiosysteme, playing the fully-active H10 bass reflex speaker, a two-way standmount with passive radiator for improved performance, price starts at €13,200. The ‘plus’ version is a three-way infinite baffle design from €19,800. Output was dynamic with a well-detailed sound allowing the music to be enjoyed.

Arpeggio 1

Using Audio Research electronics, Dutch brand Arpeggio Acoustic demonstrated their larger Opus I (€13,950) and small Opus II (€12,000) loudspeakers. With a 91dB sensitivity (8-ohms) the designs are easy to drive. They produced delightful HF with a really involving and musically-pleasing sound. Even the off-axis response was superb.


Organisers have heralded the Event an enormous success and the best ever; I endorse that. It’s incredible to think that there were over 300 pre/power combinations playing at the same time in one place. There were over 5,000 visitors with more younger faces than before thanks to a ticketing incentive. As is typically Dutch, there was a wonderful atmosphere at the show which welcomed many international guests, staged more lectures and live music sessions than ever, and made sure that everyone had a good time. As the dismantling began, thoughts have turned to next year’s Dutch Audio Event which is already in the planning stage. Here’s to it.

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