Ultimate Sessions Extreme

The Ultimate Audio Elite mini show in Porto

By Roy Gregory

Traveling half way across Europe to visit a dealer event might be considered as – in cycling parlance – ‘not normal’. But then this was no ordinary event and no ordinary dealer. So perhaps we’d better start at the beginning, with the obvious questions…

Who is Ultimate Audio?

Ultimate Audio is an established Portuguese dealer/distributor with a comprehensive portfolio of high-end brands, including the likes of Wadax, AvantGarde, Burmester, Gryphon, MSB, Taiko, Brinkmann, DS Audio and many, many others (as you will see from the systems listed below). These brands are presented in two stores, one in Lisbon and a smaller (but barely less impressive) branch in Porto.

What is Ultimate Sessions Extreme?

These started out as store-based presentations of important new products. I reported on just such an event – celebrating the opening of the new Lisbon Store and Gryphon’s 30th Anniversary – way back in 2015 (https://www.theaudiobeat.com/visits/ultimate_audio.htm)

But since then, the concept has grown and evolved into mini, multi-room events, located off-site in local hotels. In what looks like becoming an annual event – possibly alternating between Lisbon and Porto – the company took five large conference rooms in the Sheraton Hotel to showcase top-flight systems for their customers and other interested visitors. The combination of large rooms (most of them with empty rooms in between) and a three day event made for relaxed listening, giving visitors the opportunity to spend time with both the systems and the many manufacturers present.

So what was on show?

The easiest way to do this is to list each system in turn. Sadly, one late withdrawal was the Acoustical Systems A*Stellar turntable, a product that would have justified the trip on its own. Even so, there were plenty of other really worthwhile products to enjoy. In no particular order, the systems presented were: