HighEnd Stockholm 2018


I visited the Stockholm HighEnd Hifi show which took place in Stockholm 17-18th of February 2018.

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, with unknown music sources and Hifi equipment. I assume that the exhibitor did their best to match the electronics with the loudspeakers and if it sounds bad, it’s probably a less successful loudspeaker design and if it sounds good, it’s probably the opposite.

Anyway, you can at least get a general impression on how the loudspeakers performs and sounds like.

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


The W11 from Boenicke Audio. Using full-range drivers and it sounded quite nice in this setup.


Robert from AudioConcept always bring some interesting equipment to the Show. This time he demonstrated the fully active 3-way Zero 1 XD from Avantgarde Acoustics. It sounded nicely dynamic and could fill the very large listening room well. The massive and super expensive high-power battery pack S5000 from Stromtank stood for the pure power feed.


Speaking of Avantgarde Acoustics. The huge Trio XD . Not my kind of loudspeaker, neither in sound or looks, but impressive.


The Ones from Genelec. Some very nice fully active 3-way co-axial studiomonitors. The sound is nice, but the design is perhaps more focused on studios rather than a living room.


The Sabrina from WilsonAudio. The Sabrina sounded nice in this setup.


The M2!5 from PBN Audio. A refridgerator sized loudspeaker using JBL drivers. I’ve used the JBL 2235H woofers in the late 80;ies and they are nice as woofers, but this is not my kind of sound or loudspeaker. I guess it needs a larger room than the one it was demonstrated in.


The Serafino from Sonus Faber running on electronics from Audio Research. The combination sounded good.


In the same room as the Sonus Faber, the Adante AS-61 from Elac.I don’t know if this loudspeaker was paired with the wrong equipment, but in this setup it sounded bright and harsh.


The Q10 and Junior from Guru Audio. Always nice to see a Swedish designed loudspeaker on display. Sonically the Q10 was the clear winner here.


Another Swedish design. The RAW 12 from Lukase. A total of 8 full-range drivers, 1 upwards firing Mundorf AMT tweeter, 1 backwards firing dome tweeter and a 12″ sub-woofer with a 12″ passive radiator. The front and back baffles are made of 25mm aluminium.


The Swedish “Deep Space 1” from oido audio with an open enclosure design made of steel and using an 8″ co-axial plus four 10″ woofer drivers. Interesting concept, but the bass struggled some with a less than optimal room.


The Model T from Bryston. Not surprisingly it had some issues in the vertical plane due to the unusual tweeter and mid-range driver layout.


From Line Magnetic a remake of the Altec Lansing loudspeaker from the 30;ies. It both look and sounds the 30;ies.


The very interesting waveguide S400 loudspeaker from Buchardt Audio using a 6.5″ aluminium mid-woofer from SBAcoustics and it sounded very nice.



The Blade 2 and the Reference 5 from KEF. I only had the chance to listen to the Blade 2 and it sounded beatifully running on equipment from Electrocompaniet.


The Twenty5 and Twenty from PMC. I listened to the stand-mounts and even though I think they sounded a bit on the bright side, they had qualities and filled the room quite well.


The S3 MkII from Magico. I must admit that this was the first time I really enjoyed a pair of Magico speakers. It sounded really nice in this setup.


Futuristic looking loudspeakers from Estelon and some cool looking equipment from AllUXITY.


The Reference 9 K 2-way stand-mount from Canton. This is a very well engineered and nice sounding speaker for a reasonable price.


The Zeth B full-range driver loudspeaker from Voxative. Nicely built cabinets, but this isn’t a loudspeaker for me. Sorry, despite how hard I try to enjoy and listen to this kind of loudspeakers, I always end up with listening to its shortcomings.


The Special Forty from Dynaudio running on electronics from Hegel. Dynaudio seldom make you disappointed and I liked what I heard!


The Music flagship loudspeaker from Vienna Acoustics. Expensive, but for a flagship model, competitive in this price segment. Very nice build quality and the sound was really enjoyable in this very large demo room.


The Bowers & Wilkins product line. Beautifully built, super quality finish and advanced driver technologies, but…. despite how much I try to like their speakers, they sound like they are missing their true potential. Usually the treble is excessive and you don’t get a coherent sound image. It sounds like the mid and tweeter have their own life and they don’t blend optimally. Some models are better than others, but my impression remains.


The Scala Utopia Evo and the new Kanta from Focal. Detailed, clear, nice sounding and beatiful to look at.


Some unsorted pictures….