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 […]


Karl Heinz-Fink is the man behind the remarkable Q-Acoustics Concept 500 so I had to hear his Finkteam WM-4 (€65,000) that was previewed last year. This is a sculpted beauty that runs a pair of BMR style flat midrange units, seriously big 15inch paper bass drivers and a Mundorf air motion transformer tweeter. It sounded […]


Leema’s co-founder Lee Taylor likes his guitars, so much so that he brought three of them over to decorate the booth, he even bought guitar amps but restrained himself from playing them. The newcomer for Leema at this event was an Anniversary version of the Hydra power amp (below), this has been given the same […]


The High End is normally a pretty hectic affair, you are assailed on all sides by towering loudspeakers and gigantic turntables and that’s before the oompah band starts up in the concourse. This show has become the biggest in Europe and, according to many, the best in the world, all I can say is that […]


The global capital of fashion and design is a most appropriate place for a high-end audio event and, not surprisingly, the Milan show was buzzing. Among the visitors was our Special Correspondent, Trevor Butler. Organiser Stefano Zaini from Sound of the Valve is rightly proud of his Milan show staged at a five-star hotel in […]


It was wood, glorious wood as Czech brand RD Acoustics displayed the smaller Euphoria and larger Evolution speakers, the latter with changeable diffuser/waveguide. Both looked amazing, were extremely tactile and made great music. Stand-by, I was told, for the launch of a third model at May’s High End in Munich. Voxativ showcased its new ‘born […]