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But all good things must end. The evening before Rotterdam setup day, our now regular Janssen crew arrived at our doorstep with the empty crates. Once again the Pnoe slipped through the door onto the sidewalk, now simply in reverse gear. With great care the horns were bedded in their crates and off they went to Rotterdam. We followed suit to meet the crew at the Doelen complex for unloading. After dropping our bags at the hotel we walked over to the Doelen where a familiar truck was parked in front of the artists’ entrance. When we arrived at the designated area for Arcadian, the horns had already been uncrated and seemed positively dwarfed by the cavernous space.


As the exhibition spot was part of the foyer around one of the concert annex conference halls, it was wide with full-height glass windows and a polished hard stone tile floor. We wondered whether the Pnoe would prove equal to such a large area or be drowned out by vastness. Tom promised to have a sofa as hotspot ready and true to form a very kinky plush winged couch was waiting. With everything safe and sound, it was time to say goodbye to the transport crew and wait in the hotel for the men of Arcadian Audio to arrive.


Along with Mike and Nikos—short for Michael and Nikolaos—came Georgos who does wonders with fiberglass molds and actually crafts the horns. Somewhere in the life of the Pnoe review pair, one of the rims had gotten chipped and a minute piece of white composite material had gone missing. Arcadian wanted to have the horns in meticulous condition for the event, hence the arrival of Georgos. In his daily life Georgos designs and fabricates huge fiberglass slides for water parks and on the side works with Arcadian Audio whenever his help is required.


At setup day we were in for a few surprises. For Arcadian Audio this audio show proved absolute novelty. They had never yet attended a show and upon entering the ‘room’ where the Pnoe stood quietly we veritably saw the gears turn in Mike and Nikos’ heads: Wow, how could this possibly work? Georgos started with his work right away mixing various kinds of materials into a paste which he then applied to the chipped area and dried with a blower. Once hardened the spot was sanded and polished. After that both horns were completely repolished to perfection. All in all this took 3 hours but the results were obvious.


After placing the horns in just about the right spots, the rest of the set could be built up. With only two pieces of electronics and five cables, that part was easy. After setting the red sofa in the sweet spot we could start the fine tuning of toe-in and width. Though the horns are big, at only 52 kilos each getting them moved about was none too difficult especially on a smooth hard floor.


It was during his first audition that Mike finally realized that the amplifier in use was not a tube affair. When he learnt that the Devialet is a Class A-D hybrid he was shocked. “Please get me a 300B amplifier” he muttered aghast (remember, he builds his own valve amps ). We asked him to take a seat and listen attentively for a while [above]. In the still empty foyer we cranked up the juice and let Mike and Nikos have a listen. Not long thereafter a smile came to both their faces and they relaxed while letting the music engulf them. As can be read here, on day two of the show when Devialet upgraded their unit to a new firmware for the power supply, things got better yet.


During the show Mike and Nikos enjoyed themselves playing music and explaining how the Pnoe came to be whilst meeting for the first time various industry people like Devialet’s Manuel de la Fuente and Siltech’s Edwin van der Kley. The spot Arcadian occupied was smack in the main exhibit pathway so attendees could not avoid passing by. Upon noticing the Pnoe everyone reacted in a physical way. Men came up to the horns and ‘studied’ the material by knocking on the horn, looking inside the mouth and at the back. Women could not avoid smiling. The smooth, organic and definitely erotic shapes appeared to them very attractive. Who would have imagined huge loudspeakers to have such an effect?


During the two show days the red sofa experienced very rare moments of vacancy. Even the upcoming generation was intrigued by the sound and physical shape of loudspeakers. Whether these reactions will result in any sales has yet to be seen but one thing was certain -  the Pnoe had been noticed!


Sunday night we helped take down the system and prepare the Pnoe for another round of shipping back to our place to finalize the review, something we didn’t mind one bit! Once again the Pnoe disappeared in the crates and reappeared in our place where they took their now familiar downstairs spot.


Some time passed until we received word from Arcadian Audio that they had built another run of which a few pairs would be used for future shows. They realized a way to make the Pnoe even smoother and changed the footers such that the speaker became more stable yet looks even more afloat.


This meant the review pair did not have to attend another show. It could now be moved into our main upstairs room tooth sweet. Hurray.

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