HighEnd Stockholm 2017


I visited the Stockholm HighEnd Hifi show which took place in Stockholm 18-19th of February 2017.

This is a reoccurring event that always gathers some interesting designers, distributors and people from many well-known HigEnd manufacturers and Hifi shops.

I focus mainly on the loudspeakers and as always, it’s hard to evaluate a loudspeaker design at a Hifi show, but you can at least get a general impression on how they perform and sounds like.

Here’s some short comments and photos from the show:

The new Divine Alpha from XTZ  Nicely built cabinet with a massive aluminum front baffle.  Mid-range and tweeter from Accuton and dual 10″ woofers from SEAS.

The extremely small floor-stander IOTA ALPHA from Neat Acoustics. The larger speaker to the left sounded quite nice.

To the left the gigantic Heco Direkt Dreiklang from Heco. A lot of bass, but in my opinion they didn’t sound good in this setup.

The A.C.T One Evolution from Wilson Benesch. I’m sorry to say, but this speaker didn’t impressed me in this setup.

The Radialstrahler mbl 101 E MK II from MBL. One of the best sounding speakers of the show, even though the bass was a bit problematic in this very large listening room.

The Expression ESL13a from Martin Logan. Nice sounding Electrostatic speaker.

The Lawrence Audio Violin from Lawrence Audio and RED 100 from Russel K playing on a nice sounding and normal priced tube amplifier from Fezz Audio and the combination did sound nice. Also, a very nice touch playing some live Cello music between the listening sessions.

The new Homage Tradition series from Sonus Faber.

Nice loudspeaker craftsmanship, but a bit overdone for my taste. I’m sorry to say, but the sound in this setup didn’t impress me. It would be interesting to listen to them in other circumstances.

The XS-85 from Gold Note.

Super expensive loudspeaker. I only had a brief listening session and I can’t really tell if the sound quality match the price of this large loudspeaker.

The Reference 5 K and Reference 9 K from Canton Solid performers, but in this price range there might be better alternatives, like the new Dynaudio speakers below.

The new Contour Series from Dynaudio

In my opinion, one of the most interesting speakers of the show. Not only do they sound very good, they are also very well built and beautiful looking. I had a chat with one of the manager of Dynaudio and I’m very impressed by the work and commitment Dynaudio dedicate to development and making their own drivers and cabinets in house.

Some loudspeaker driver “porno”.

I would die to get my hands on a pair of these very competent drivers!

WBT Nextgen terminals and Aluminium baffles seems to be the “fashion” among speaker Manufakturers today.

To the left Monitor Audio PL500II and QRS Sky High. The Monitor Audios offered a wall of sound, quite impressive, but requires a very large room. To the right Mingus Quintet from Marten. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Marten speakers, but the Quintet sounded ok in this setup. 45.000€, crazy amount of money. If I had this kind of money, I would probably buy something else.

The Blade Two from KEF running on electronics from Hegel. I just love Hegel. No nonsense High-End with a moderate pricing.

The KEF Blad Two sounded very nice in this large room together with Hegel equipment. The Hegel equipment demo and presentation was also very interesting.

The Element Earth from Totem Acoustic. Using this mid-woofer configuration paired with a cross-over “free” mid-woofer section made me suspicious, but I have to admit that they sounded nicer than I thought possible. It would be interesting to see some measurements of this loudspeaker.

To the left a new co-axial speaker from Technics. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to this speaker.

The Reference 5 and LS50 from KEF. I love the KEF co-axial drivers. The best Hifi co-axial drivers in the world.

The very large GIYA speaker from Vivid Audio. The design is not for everyone. Interesting drivers, but unfortunately the sound didn’t really caught on to me. Perhaps another listening session would change the first impression.


The new FM-50 2.5-way speaker from Gato Audio using drivers from SBAcoustics. The short listening test showed great potential and a taste for more.

The Sasha from Wilson Audio running on a tube amp. Not so sexy loudspeaker feet, but not so shabby sounding! 🙂

The Duo XD from Avantgarde. Exotic looks with a low WAF factor. Fun, but not really my type of loudspeaker sound.

The Dynamis from Diapason running on a nice tube amp from Line Magnetic. Nice, but misused drivers from SEAS and ScanSpeak. A cross-over point of 4.6kHz between the 7” mid-woofer and tweeter is a good recipe for disaster and it didn’t sound good in this setup. The  Dynamis loudspeaker costs 45.000€.

Open baffle speakers from PureAudioProject. I really like the idea with this semi DIY loudspeaker approach. The aluminium frames can be bought separately for DIY experimenting. Even though convenient, 1300€ + VAT is way too expensive for the frames.

Full-range hard cone drivers from the Swedish EAD in DIY setups. The left pictures show the E100, a 5″ full-range driver in a wide enclosure. I’m not a fan of full-range speakers, but this speaker sounded nice. In the future, I might  pick up some EAD drivers and test it myself.