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Hear Everything distributes CEC and Guru loudspeakers. Teamed with products from Holographic Audio, Music First and Tentlabs they offered one setup for pure analogue and one for digital playback. Guru loudspeakers are wolves in sheep’s clothing with their lifestyle exteriors. They look harmless and docile but roar when needed. Upcoming is a Junior loudspeaker of which a prototype was on display. Noteworthy too was Music First’s Aurora system that includes an MC stepup transformer based around their renowned TX 103, their valve phonostage and Music First’s flagship Baby Reference preamplifier.
Speakerland has been… well, a landmark for already 27 years. Budget-conscious music lovers know where to find good quality at a reasonable price especially when assembly and finishing are DIY. In Veldhoven Speakerland presented a variety of models from small to large and explained the finer details of speaker building with your own hands. The large crowd in the room proved that DIY remains hot.
AudioSense imports Australian DEQX and demoed for the first time the new HDP4. This is a stereo digital processor that can be used as preamp besides its DAC functionality. The processor corrects frequency-related timing and amplitude errors. By taking measurements first of the speaker and later of the room, the combined outcome can be aligned such that timing, phase and amplitude are made as linear as possible. The room sported AudioSense’s own three-channel amplifiers to steer the AudioSense 5-driver 3-way open baffle loudspeakers.
D&D is the Benelux distributor for Devialet, Siltech, Crystal Cable and now also Cabasse. At X-Fi this resulted in a French party. Christophe Cabasse came over from Brest and presented the audience with music streamed wirelessly from a laptop to a pair of Devialet D-Premier in dual-mono mode. From there the signal traveled further via Crystal Cable to a combination of Cabasse Baltic and Santorin subwoofer. Visual very elegant and light this had the bouquet of a great Bourgogne.
Reis Audio presented ME Geithain loudspeakers. Originating from the former East German town of Geithan these loudspeakers all feature a number of unique concepts. First the drivers are assembled in a multi-concentric way whereby woofer, midrange and tweeter are stacked atop each other to form a point source. Then each driver is fed by a dedicated amplifier to make the speaker fully active. Finally most models allow for placement as close as 20cm to the front wall. Digital to analog conversion was compliments of the WiFi only UFO-shaped La Rosita Alpha. This was a remarkable concept where to keep signal paths as short as possible wireless became the only acceptable input.
Aspera Audio brought a system completely built around Acoustic System International (ASI) equipment. Tango R loudspeakers were driven by an ASI Grand Stereo power amplifier. Sources were the Wadax Pre 1 phonostage cum DAC cum streamer cum preamplifier in combination with the TW Acustic Raven turntable. This room was filled to capacity the entire time and some visitors stayed very long clearly mesmerized by what they heard. Was it the sound or the fact that complete symphonies were played – or more accurately streamed from the Wadax? Javier Guadalajara of Wadax was present to fine-tune the DSP settings for the correction of the analog input. The Pre 1 uses a sophisticated algorithm to correct minute discrepancies in the linearity of cartridges based on actual measurement feedback from a calibration record. Many visitors came back for seconds as they clearly appreciated what was served up here.
BS Audio not only presented the Piega Premium 7 active column loudspeaker equipped with an LDR ribbon tweeter, 13 cm MDS midwoofer and 4 x 13cm MDS woofers but also a design by owner Bouke Seelemeijer. Baptized Libera Uno the loudspeaker with the remarkable grill claims to be the end of acoustical problems with loudspeakers. Each driver is equipped with its own amplifier adjustable by what BS Audio calls non-linear frequency phasing. High frequency response is handled by a Heil air motion transformer in addition to three pistonic drivers on the front and one on the back of the enclosure.
Triple M presented in a room decorated a bit like a museum of nice audio stuff and Pink Faun gear. A Windows-based music streamer developed in house by Pink Faun output to the DAC 3.24 which fed a D-power integrated amplifier and then the stand-mount Bach or floorstanding Triangle loudspeakers. All Pink Faun products are simple and clean designs aiming for music without hoopla. The Triple M shop has a large stock of around 50.000 NOS and new tubes and one of the decorations in the room showed a fine sample of these actually glowing beauties.
Here our limited report of X-fi 2012 ends. We really returned home with a very good feeling. Our Low Lands have launched a fresh new audio show in a familiar environment. The young rascals have shown talent in organizing a smoothly running event which proved their skeptics wrong twice over. We hope this show uses its momentum and that next year’s installment will also host those distributors and dealers who missed the opportunity this time around.