Chicago’s annual audio show, now the biggest hi-fi gathering in North America, relocated to a new venue for 2018 and Trevor Butler went Stateside to find out how the move went down with audiophiles. Rather amusingly referred to by some of my BBC friends as ‘the one-ten volt show’, Axpona is an acronym for Audio […]


Technics have clearly been encouraged by the success of the new SL-1200s and have been inspired to build a new version of their top turntable from back in the day, the SP-10. The new SP-10R has a composite platter with a 10mm thick brass top layer to bring mass up to 7.9kg, a coreless direct […]


Way out west, that’s where you need to be on the penultimate weekend in February every year. Head for the Marriot Hotel in Bristol and you will find it awash with sound systems and audio enthusiasts clamouring to hear them. That at least is the impression you get on the Friday morning of the show […]


Scandinavia boasts a number of well-known audio brands as well as many more whose products are often not seen outside the territory. Trevor Butler went to Stockholm to investigate the high-end scene at the annual High-End Mässan [fair] held over a wintery weekend. With the snow falling outside the warm welcome of the region’s largest […]


International man of mystery Trevor Butler continues his tour of the Holiday Inn, Hamburg in a quest to bring you first hand info about great sound and cool hardware at Germany’s second biggest show. See also part one of this show report. I felt rather at home with the re-conditioned Otari MX55 (€2,600) reel-to-reel recorder […]


The snow fell outside but inside the Holiday Inn tower block on the outskirts of Hamburg there was a real buzz. Long before the official opening the corridors were crammed with keen audiophiles who had flocked to this dealer-organised event.Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage – or North Germany Hi-fi Days – is arranged by local retailer Hifi Studio […]

Ilumnia floating cone speaker XFi 2017

Electronic music filled the Ilumnia room, a new brand with a loudspeaker that has been in development for the past seven years. From across the Belgian border, Tom Nuyts was proudly showcasing his speakers featuring the world’s first electromagnetic floating cone driver. Worthy of an entire feature article [hint to the editor!], this passive design […]

guitar lessons with Richard Deyn

Richard Deyn of Ipswich Guitar School was giving short guitar lessons and recording the results which PMC  sent out to each pupil after the event. He made it so simple that even the musically incompetent like myself managed to produce an almost tolerable if very straightforward blues rhythm line, who knows perhaps there’s hope yet! […]


Exploring the labyrinth of corridors that make up the biggest specialist audio show in The Netherlands, Trevor Butler discovers what’s hot at this year’s XFi near Eindhoven.Each year, the XFi show seems to just get better and better. The atmosphere is relaxed, the sounds [mostly] sublime and, with Belgian beer on tap, an enjoyable weekend […]


The Indulgence show in London entered its second year last weekend and proved a highly entertaining event. The Novotel venue near to Hammersmith Broadway was packed with exhibitors showing serious sound systems and headphones alongside so called Pure Pleasure brands with the likes of massage chairs, artisan gin and even some fancy cars and motorbikes. […]


Iconic images come to mind as soon as Sydney is mentioned: the Opera House, a cricket ground which has seen so much England misery over the years, famous beaches and that bridge. All picture postcard stuff.  Less well-known is the InterContinental hotel that hosted the 2017 Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show, featuring more stereo and […]


If High End is about anything it's radical hi-fi, so here are some of the more extreme systems and components I encountered at Europe's greatest audio exhibition, and a few of the more affordable alternatives for balance. Blumenhoffer Gran Gioia horn system, 99-100dB/W, 16inch woofer, macassar veneer: €50,000. Metronome DSC1 streaming DAC €18,000. Vivid designer […]