It’s that time of year again, Christmas and New Year celebrations are over and everyone is getting back to work.  We have had a brilliant year at Hifi Pig Towers, including plenty of traveling all over the world to find the most interesting and best Hifi for you, our readers. Of course none of this would be possible without the ever growing core team of Pigsters, our exceptionally talented and knowledgeable writers and reviewers.  Team Hifi Pig and every Hifi Pig reader out there, we salute you!

So what better to do than to take a quick look back over Hifi Pig in 2017 and mull over what we think 2018 will bring for the Hifi industry?



January kicked off with the usual flurry of new product announcements from brands exhibiting at the annual CES in Las Vegas, including Mark Levinson’s first ever turntable, the N°515, created in collaboration with VPI Industries.  I think that the collaborative way of working will become more prevalent in the coming years with Hifi manufacturers finding ways of working together more and more.

We also saw the iconic British Brand, Harbeth launch their 40th anniversary year, with limited edition products in January and throughout the year.

The first Outstanding Product of 2017 was awarded to the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond interconnect and speaker cables


February saw the unveiling of a pretty incredible set of loud speakers from Wilson Audio.  The WAMM Master Chronosonic, which costs well over $600,000 has been described as Dave Wilson’s Magnum Opus, the culmination of his life’s work. Sadly though, later in the year, we found out that Dave Wilson was suffering from a rare form of bone cancer. We have our fingers crossed for his recovery.

February is always the month when the UK has its biggest Industry show in Bristol. This year the weather decided to make it especially tricky for attendees and exhibitors alike with travel chaos and high winds. It didn’t put a damper on things though and we had an excellent show with plenty of Team Hifi Pig in attendance.  We also got a sneaky preview of the new Tannoy Legacy range of loudspeakers.

We also brought you the long awaited review of the Volya Audio Bouquet loudspeakers with their highly impressive sound and stunning Ukrainian folk art decoration, very deserving of an Outstanding Product award.


March was for Headfi with the Headroom show in London, reported on for us by Jay from our partner site Gadgety News.


April brought us shocking news about what could happen to the UK’s vinyl industry, post Brexit.

Plus we visited APURNA, a new company in Valence, Southern France, that make highly exclusive amplifiers that start at 200,000€ for the stereo pair, and are finished by the same craftspeople that work on Hermès and Cartier.

In the USA our American correspondent, David Blumenstein, visited the April AXPONA show for us.

And Dan Worth and Dominic Marsh caused cable controversy by awarding an Outstanding product award to a Ziro Audio power cable.


If it’s May, it’s Munich! This year we celebrated some of our best British exports, with our Great British Brands at Munich advertising feature. The British Hifi industry is going from strength to strength and our brands remain consistently popular both at home and abroad.

The High End Show itself turned it up to 11 with a show that was even busier and exciting with hifi exotica from all over the world.  Of course it is a major meet up place with industry friends from around the world to see and we met some fantastic fans of Hifi Pig… read all our coverage here! Get ready for High End 2018 whose dates are 10 to 13 May 2018 at the MOC in Munich.


We were back at Cranage Hall for the North West Audio Show 2017. This time it was for two days over the weekend and was excellent.  The show is in a wonderful setting and the exhibitors lived up to it with excellent sounding and looking rooms.  It will stay a full weekend event in 2018 with the show on the 23rd to 24th of June, there will be returning exhibitors, plus some new very big brands!


 There was plenty going on Hifi-wise but July was also a time of celebration, with landmark birthdays for Mr Hifi Pig and his mum, who has become known as Grandma Hifi Pig. Part of the celebrations involved a trip to Silverstone to see Lewis Hamilton win the British Grand Prix, which inspired an article about F1 and Hifi.



August saw Hifi Pig favourites Avantgarde Acoustic, of Germany, announce an even more luxurious and technically updated version of their Trio loudspeaker system, the Trio Luxury Edition 26 celebrates the brands 26th anniversary.

Not to be outdone on the luxury front, we saw the launch of the Technics Reference SP 10R turntable.

Plus also, making it a very High End month, Estelon released more information about their Estelon Extreme Rolls Royce edition loudspeakers.


As the Whittlebury National Audio Show had relocated to Birmingham this year, plenty of brands instead decided to launch products at the Indulgence show in London.  In it’s second year we were proud to be media partners with the show who had put a lot of effort to make improvements where they were needed after the debut last year.  Hope fully 2018 will see Indulgence grow further becoming even bigger and better.


October opened with the sad news that Gérard Chrétien of French loudspeaker and headphone brand, Focal, had passed away, he will be missed by the whole Hifi industry.

We were soon back in London again, for the launch of the Chord Electronics Poly, which now accompanies their Mojo headphone amp/dac to give many more connectivity options.

After the sumptuous surroundings that Chord treated us to, we also managed to squeeze in a visit to Spiritland with their Living Voice bespoke sound system.


Our feet didn’t really get chance to touch the floor in November. We visited the High End Swiss show in Zurich. We also had plenty of photos from the Salon Arts & Hifi in Lyon, France, thanks to one of our readers Sylvain Blanchoud.

Simon Jelffs covered events in London for us including the iFi Nano idsd Black Label product launch and was back at Spiritland for the dCS 30th anniversary celebrations and discussion on the future of music playback in the home.

We also brought you coverage of the Athens Hifi Show courtesy of Tony Pothiitos.

The main event of November though was the Audio Video Show Warsaw 2017, almost rivalling Munich in size, the show manages to capture many vibes over its three venues and is rapidly becoming our favourite show to go to.  Stuart and I were there to cover the show along with Hifi Pig’s Ian Ringstead and his wife Heather. There really is something for everyone and we saw plenty of families and couples there for a day out. The city centre is easy to get to and it’s a great place to go out and eat, plus not expensive at all. If you visit one European show in 2018 then give Warsaw a go, you seriously won’t regret it…be sure to wrap up warm though.

Debuting at the Swiss show were the new Music First Audio Senlac SJE Monoblock amplifiers which Janine Elliot wrote the exclusive world first online review of for Hifi Pig…watch this space as Janine was so impressed they are now about to have their second review to see if they make it onto the Outstanding Product list!


It was time to catch our breath after all that but we still brought you plenty of news and reviews.  Bristol opened it’s own Tokyo style Hifi bar and restaurant called Edit, which we shall be visiting soon.

So, what to expect in 2018 from the world of Hifi?

Probably more high end and high quality all in one devices like the new AVM range of which Dominic Marsh reviewed the Inspiration CS2.2. Portability and connectivity will continue to become more important both in the home and out and about, I think that people are looking for quality with clever products like the Chord Mojo/Poly and Dynaudio’s Music, that fit with your lifestyle and can be used as you want to use them but still deliver audiophile quality sound.

Hifi is becoming a much more accessible and ‘lifestyle’ product, brands like Shinola Detroit are cleverly making headphones and turntables a desirable lifestyle choice, again with the emphasis being on lasting quality and design. Collaboration, as I mentioned earlier, is key.  Sharing knowledge is much better than trying to reinvent the wheel yourself.  Hifi Shows are also reflecting this shift in the industry’s target market with shows like Cranage and Indulgence, in the UK, appealing to a wider variety of visitors and overtaking some of the more ‘traditional’ style shows.

The Tokyo style Audiophile bars and restaurants springing up in the UK are helping to close the gap between the traditional audiophile and people who don’t know about hifi, but love music. Great audio sound and great looking hifi is will be more accessible to all, but without ‘dumbing down’ or loosing quality. Of course though there is always going to be room for the extreme and the exotica, the recent announcement from Metaxas & Sins of their new reel to reel tape machine shows that 2018 will still have plenty of the crazy, wonderful, bonkers hifi that many of us reading this love to see and hear!

So, I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and musical 2018, from myself, Stuart and all of Team Hifi Pig, remember Hifi Pig Loves You!

Linette Smith




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