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Sound & Vision Show 2020, Athens – Part One




The Sound & Vision Athens 2020 Technology Show (Hxos Eikona Show) is held this January, 25 & 26 in Hotel Stratos Vassilikos at center of Athens and everything from 8K television sets to ultra high end audio to extreme value-for-money active speakers and to all manner of audio and video products were there. This medium sized Show is bridging the upcoming big event of Sound & Vision next year. Co-produced for the first time from audiophile e-magazine and printed HXOS+ magazine of Greece, was a very successful show for us and Greek distribution market, counting almost seven thousand visitors in two days! Supported also by ANT1 Media Group, ANT1 TV and ANT1 Radio stations. We concentrate on high-end audio and televisions, bringing you reports from every show floor. Enjoy !  (-D.Dravopoulos)




Orpheus Audio Grand Hall

Orpheus Audio, Heaven Audio (Orpheus Audio Petroupolis) & Diapason Studio Presentation Hall.

The massive hall of Orpheus Audio was really packed with high end audio enthusiasts. In this hall, three high-end systems were available for listening sessions. On the pics, at the center of the Orpheus universe, Wilson Audio speakers driven by Burmester, Digital source by dCS and analogue from Clearaudio. Soundwise, Wilson’s speakers model Sasha DAW (44.990,-€) partnered great with Burmester 911 monoblocks (23.150,-€) based on Burmester’s V3 racks. The famous dCS Vivaldi line ( ~85.000,-€ for the complete digital products DAC, Transport and Master Clock) needs no introduction in ultra high end world. The analogue source, Clearaudio’s turntable Innovation (9.400,-€) with TT2 (9.240,-€) and Universal 9 (4.780,-€) tonearms, Goldfinger Statement MC Cartridge (13.000,-€) & Da Vinci V2 MC (5.200,-€), was seducing the lovers of vinyl. Also the Clearaudio’s top of the line Statement phono (27.200,-€) was there. All cables came from Nordost top Odin 1 and Odin 2 line (over 35.000,-€ in total).

Burmester partnership with Wilson Speakers created a big and stable soundstage with exemplary fluidity. Top-notch was also transients speed and detail retrieval. This setup’s virtues were also accompanied with world-class resolution. The Wilson / dCS digital / Burmester / Nordost Odin combination has the ability to project a singer or instrumental soloist well in front of the speakers and away from those in the background – when the recording called for it. Some might prefer a more laid-back or ‘creamy’ presentation with Wilsons, for example driven by VTLs or generally from tubes as on previous Orpheus shows, but I call it as far as realistic and exciting a presentation on a show can be!

The Wilson Audio Sasha Dave Andrew Wilson (DAW) retails 44.990,-€ and the USA legend lives on !

Under Clearaudio’s Innovation turntable we can see the new power supply of the platter. The difference with this battery supply ‘on’ is remarkable.

Pro-Ject turntable Heaven by Orpheus Audio. A galaxy of them entered the show hall.

Pro-Ject RPM 10 Carbon with 10 inch EVO Carbon tonearm. A classic value for money.

Beatles or Stones ? The Essential III Pro-Ject turntable with Ortofon cartridge at 599 euros. A tribute to George Harisson, guitarist of The Beatles ! Also a tribute to Vinyl collectors under tight budget…

…and now the Debut Carbon III by Pro-Ject equipped with Ortofon cartridge, model “The Rolling Stones” !

Small footprint, great sound ! The Pro-Ject Audio various value for money amplifiers & sources. Pre Box RS2 remoted preamplifier at the far right, Tube Box DS2 MM/MC Phono stage at 715 euros (tubed, of course), CD Box DS2 T far left and many many more little gems.

Ortofon cartridges – decades of experience and successful products for every taste & budget.

Extreme value for money for this one. The Pro-Ject RPM 9.

More and More Pro-Ject Boxes. The choice for those under limited budget.

Signature 12 is a non-compromise high-end turntable that celebrates “20-years of Pro-Ject Audio Systems”. A highly sophisticated concept combines the mass-loaded principle with subchassis. Magnetic feet decouple the chassis from surface, “Sorbothanepillows” and a magnetic-floating platter guarantee an absolute quiet running turntable. A “flywheel” belt drive system ensures vibration-free running. The new single-pivot tonearm is a genuine Pro-Ject design. With its wide range of adjustment possibilities and the choice of adequate counterweights, nearly all cartridges can be mounted. Signature 12 is an audiophile marvel, that represents our championship in precision engineering and our deep love for music!

ASR Audio Emitter Exclusive integrated from German. The ASR Emitter II Exclusive is a unique product, upgradeable and a class of its own. For solid-state category I’ve experienced a lot. A great, great sounding solid-state that can drive almost any speaker with finesse and reward the listener with great tonal colors.

Audio Exklusiv on static display. Here the tube-preamplification and P1 stereo hybrid power amplifier with one E88CC tube for each channel , below. Driving its own Electrostatic speakers years before on older Sound & Vision Show, this combo produced a huge and dramatic soundstage. The heart, soul and communicative spirit of music was in the room. Hope to hear this combo again, alive and kickin’, next year.

Clearaudio’s Active. The greatness of Clearaudio phono and turntable/tonearm/cartridge in one package. Great value.

Almost the complete line of Audio Physic speakers entered the hall !

Clearaudio’s innovation compact turntable.

Italian made Pathos Classic One hybrid integrated (mk3) to the left and the InPol Remix II to the right. Caprice & finesse.

…more Pathos Acoustics, unplugged !

Wilson Audio model Sabrina. The magnificence of its scale, its coherence, its expressiveness, its musical completeness for its size and price is one of a kind.

Cocktail Audio streamers, transports.

Unison’s Research Performance model from Italy. Dual mono Stereo Integrated Valve Amplifier, Parallel Single Ended, Class A with the use of three KT88 tubes per channel. Static display. Remembering auditioning this amplifier before years, combined with Duevel speakers at Orpheus audio showrooms. Delivered a holographic soundstage with pin point details spot on.

The rather new editions of S6 and Triode 25 from Unison Research, Italy. Always Class A.

Unison Unico Line, also a classic value for money, hybrid solid-state amplifier designs and cd player.

The most powerful of Unico line, the 150 model by Unison Research.

The Emitter II Exclusive with all extra battery power supplies, Version Blue, drives flawlessly the Audio Physic Classic 35 & CODEX speakers.

Another great sounding match this year, the Duevel Bella Luna (9.400,-€) omnidirectional speakers driven by KR Audio famous Kronzilla tube amplification (T1610 huge tubes) and newest Copland tube integrated with KT150 tubes, J-FET phono stage and MOSFET driver stage. The sound was magnificent! The electronics and speaker disappeared and I was enveloped in a cloud of music that had serious realism and dynamics while instantly communicating the ambiance of the recording venue. For once, there was no sweet spot, just a sense of being immersed in the sound. Also, this system strongly magnetized the crowd! The turntable choice here is the Verdier Platine (10.350,-€) equipped with the Triplanar U2 Carbon 12 tonearm (10.900,-€) and Ortofon Anna MC cartridge (6.950,-€)

KR Audio Kronzilla SX (15.750,-€) Stereo power amplifier (2×50 watts) [left] and Copland’s newest CTA 408 (6.900,-€) tube integrated sourced by Italian Unison Unico CD Due (3.950,-€)   [right]. Racks from Solid Tech and cables from Nordost line Frey 2 & Tyr 2. IsoTek AC isolation.

KR Audio’s latest integrated VA 340. KR’s own 300BXLS -one for each channel- special 300B tubes deliver 20 watts RMS per channel. The 300B adrenalin injection !

Another great sounding combination was the Audio Physic CODEX speakers & ASR Emitter ΙΙ Blue amplification with two external power supplies and the extra battery one. The Codex successfully manages this tight-rope act, thanks to its intelligent cabinet architecture and variety of available finishes. Despite its volume, the four-way loudspeaker with its clear contours and slender baffle exudes an air of stylish elegance. Also, the Audio Physic newest Classic 35 rocked the crowd. ASR Emitter II Blue’s ‘brother’ the phono with the battery supply was there also in par with Pro-Ject signature 12 turntable. The digital choice of Orpheus audio for this system was also from dCS, the model Bartok DAC/Streamer. The role of the transport here took Pro-Ject Reference RS2.


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