Credo, VPI Industries, Emm Labs, Meitner Audio, Van Den Hul, Kimber Kable, Falkenohr | AXPONA 2019


AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies
AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies

CHICAGO (PTA) — Credo’s latest loudspeaker model (Cinema LTM) was presented for the first time at Axpona 2019. Together with Van den Hul, VPI Industries, EMM Labs, Kimber Kable and Falkenohr the system was epic. In case you missed it, the European premiere of Credo’s new loudspeaker will take place at the High-End show in Munich. Second chances.


The Story

Credo, based in Basel Switzerland, design high-performance loudspeakers. Each are hand-made in-house in their own factory. What makes the Credo Cinema LTM loudspeakers part of a special group, is how they control a Cylindrical Waveform. Basically, a line source speaker will create a wave-front of sound pressure that is cylindrical at particular range of frequencies. It’s idealized shape is actually like a section of a cake, and the wave-front surface area, as it expands only in the horizontal plane, doubles in area for every doubling of distance. This equates to a 3 dB SPL loss of level for every doubling of distance. While with spherical sound propagation a loss of -6 dB SPL occurs for each doubling of the distance. To put it simply, the line-sound-source has a much better efficiency than the point-source with greater listening-distance. The drivers are stressed much less and you need less amplifier power. The Cinema LTM yields the following result: at a distance of four meters from the loudspeaker, 36 watts are required for 95 dB SPL (no headroom included). A point-source with identical efficiency at one meter distance, would require 143 watts at four meters to reach that same 95 dB SPL.

The Cinema LTM is a passive filtered 3-way floor-standing speaker, in a line-array configuration. Each tower comes with 32 ring radiator tweeters. Fourteen 4-inch Kevlar diaphragm mid-woofers feature with proprietary high-pass filters, so they play with low-distortion levels at high SPL and down to 100 Hz. From there four passive 12 “sub-woofers take over the bass regions. The cabinet is milled from 120 mm (4.7”) hardwood.

The VPI Industries HW-40 direct drive turntable had to be the star of the show, as it brought along VPI founder Harry Weisfeld to present the system. Equipped with a JWM-12 “Fatboy” tonearm, which is included in the price of the HW-40 turntable, and is standard. The HW-40 has benefitted from forty years of refinement as it now carries an updated and upgraded direct drive motor system, Nordost wiring, and an all new VTA Base on the fly. The start and stop time of the all-aluminum 12” platter is calculated to be less than one second. When driving forces are spec’d at 2.68 Nm/sec of direct-drive motor-torque delivered directly to the platter (which weighs in at 25lbs), you know wind-up and throw are going to be quick.

When it comes to the update and upgrade of the HW-40 turntable as a whole, including its motor design and speed control, give credit to Harry Weisfeld’s original motor design being perfected by Mike Bettinger. The addition of Mike Bettinger to the VPI family has resulted in tremendous gains, which in the HW-40 equate to better noise isolation, better motor control, and computer aided speed controls. Mike’s engineering elements and design philosophy permeate through the new VPI direct-drive turntable, and consistently produce statement level sonics.

The Sound

A VPI direct-drive turntable will spoil you. The motor torque, speed, and noise free operation are to die for. The new HW-40 is likely my new favourite turntable. Zooming up to full-speed in what seems like less than the stated one-second figures. As the platter spins away, I trying slowing it down with the friction of my fingers; the HW-40 laughs at my attempt. The Credo loudspeakers resolve all of the promises made by the VPI turntable and Emm Labs electronics.

The best part about my time at the Credo/Emm/VPI exhibition, was that it was Sunday, and Harry was still lively and energetic and ready to spin record after record. Taking request after request. Even when the crowds were dwindling down, the excitement was still high. Great room, and great mood.

The System

EMM Labs

– DV2 Integrated DAC – $30,000 USD

– DA2 Reference DAC – $25,000 USD

– TX2 CD/SACD Transport – $25,000 USD

– PRE Reference Preamp – $25,000 USD

– MTRX2 1kw Monoblocks – $85,000 USD


– Cinema LTM Loudspeakers $170,000 pr USD

VPI Industries

– HW40 Ltd Edition Direct-Drive Turntable – $15,000 USD

Van Den Hul

– Crimson Black Cartridge – $7,500 USD

– Grail Special Edition Phono Pre – $20,000 USD


– Cabinets – $20,000 USD

Kimber Kable

– Silver Select (power, interconnects and speaker cables) – $80,000 USD

AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by the LSA Group