High End 2016: Kondo and Kaiser, sublime elegance in sound


If you are anywhere close to the sound of tubes this was among the best rooms of the show. Legendary Japanese manufacturer of tube amplifiers Kondo paired with a pair of Kaiser Kawero speakers for a sublime sounding room.

As a source there was an older Esoteric CD/SACD player, but I doubt anyone payed particular attention when sitting on top of the rack there was the amazing Kondo Ginga turntable fitted with custom Kondo/SME V 12 inch tonearm and IO-M cartridge, connected to the new Kondo GM-10 phono stage. Despite the growing number of ultra high-end analog offers this remains a dream analog system like almost nothing else out there.

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The Kagura parallel single end monos using two 211 tubes per channel pushed the Kawero speaker with grace, top extension was airy and transparent thanks to the ribbon tweeter, bass was more than adequate for the room with the pair of woofers (active and passive radiator) placed at the back of the cabinet and a flock of visitors and journalists filled the room from opening till closing every day. Musical selections went from Muddy Waters to classic Decca records, everything was delicately reproduced. A dream system.

About Panagiotis Karavitis 212 Articles
Doctor and Editor @ Part-Time Audiophile Publisher @ Audiohub.gr


  1. I have to say that even on the YouTube clips from the show this system was the standout (and yes, I know you can’t make proper judgments using this limited method).
    Incredible on piano & strings, my only caveat against Kondo amplifiers is that they aren’t really all-rounders. If you want some Bowie,Talking Heads or Kraftwerk I think there are many lesser priced rivals that do better; but if you are exclusively classical — poss. with a bit of jazz thrown in — this combo is audiophile crack.

  2. I hate my Kondo Ongaku… Every time I play it I am paralyzed and cannot do anything else…

  3. That’s a dream system indeed Panagiotis. Would have loved to hear it in person. Thanks for the glimpse into this room!

  4. dopey equipment, made for show, not actual audio technology. How many times can the same ckts be re packaged, resold, and re hashed.

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