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Soulution from Switzerland makes truly world-class—and expensive— transistor gear even a tube fancier like yours truly can love. They also played good music. David Orlowsky's Nessiah really rattled my cage. To not forget to obtain my own copy, I photographed the cover. I recommend you too investigate this neo Klezmorim. He's very good.

Spendor and Roksan.

A Japanese Sun Audio amp.


Symphonic Line from Germany, the genetic pater familias of Klaus Bunge's Odyssey Audio.

System Fidelity from the UK.

The Thesis Audio Amalthea turntable from Italy.


Thorens makes some of the best hifi electronics in the world. Seriously. Yet the company's history and core focus on turntables has very few investigate their Frank Blöhbaum-designed tube preamp and hybrid monos with the proper respect. Given that Thorens' first foray into electronics was rather ill-fated, those who remember it perhaps regard this second wave with justifiable suspicion. That's life. It's also a really big mistake.

These Tonian Labs PHY-based two-ways with ribbon tweeter were the hammer. For a system in a real-sized rather than palatial room, this was my favorite sound of show. Naturally, the Thorens gear didn't hurt one bit. Too few speaker companies use Bernard Salabert's superior drive units (Auditorium 23, Musical Affairs, Ocellia). If more did, the 'single-driver' movement would get a serious and much-needed kick in the arse - forward. To my ears, properly implemented PHY drivers do things—more important things—their Lowther and Fostex equivalents don't. Given the scarcity of PHY demonstrators, this state of affairs is unlikely to change, however. As with Thorens, this remains a secret tip for the very few who trust their own ears and don't mind traveling the extra mile to book an audition.

A Serbian Trafomatic Audio amp in gold trim but still ensconced in the old 'pre-WLM' woodwork. A planned visit to Bergen/Norway later this month will report on the formal relaunch there of the entire new Trafomatic Audio line.

Triode Corp. from Japan. I'm told that 3wpc headphone amp "which drives the Zu Druid with aplomb" is now discontinued.

Triangle paired up with Naim.

Unison Research with Duevel.