Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


During High End 2023, I spent a fun hour or so in the AudioSolutions room checking out the company’s Figaro M2 speaker. We listened to a bunch of cool music that was right out of my forever playlist. And it was all on vinyl. In my report on the room, I mentioned that the source was the Immersion II turntable from Poland’s BennyAudio, but I didn’t go into much detail other than to throw in a photo.

I’m a linear thinker. AudioSolutions. Deal with the task at hand and move on. But the Immersion II lodged itself in my brain’s turntable nodule, and I found myself thinking about it now and again over the past year. I recall looking at the tonearm and admiring how well it was machined, how well-thought-out it looked.

This year, I made a point of seeking out the BennyAudio room to give that ’table a more thorough examination.


It got better. High End 2024 marked the premiere of BennyAudio’s new €29,520 Odyssey turntable (all prices in euros, including VAT, unless otherwise noted). It looks like it’s one of those rare ’tables that makes an effort to address the core issues with analog playback, without getting overly ginormous.

It’s a chunky turntable, that’s for sure—solid, slab-sided, and densely constructed. But the Odyssey still retains a reasonable footprint, though it’s a little on the tall side. And it’s a hefty guy, despite its compact proportions, weighing in at 130 pounds. There’s lots of material here—layers of machined aluminum separated by POM (polyoxymethylene), which is a rigid thermoplastic. The stainless-steel bearing shaft is a chunky 15mm in diameter, housing a bearing with an inverted sleeve and 10mm sintered carbide ball. That bearing supports three platters (one POM, two stainless steel) that have a combined weight of 37.5 pounds.

In talking with Tomasz Franielczyk, the designer of the ’table and CEO of BennyAudio, I discovered that the company has put much thought into the Odyssey’s motor and drive system. The motor has a soft start to help extend belt life, and it adaptively reduces the torque as the platter comes up to speed. An open-loop system monitors and adjusts speed after each revolution. BerryAudio claims that these corrections are inaudible.

I challenged Franielczyk. “Prove that it works,” I said. He pulled out his Android phone and booted up the RPM Wow and Flutter app, the same one I use at home. He sat it on the record clamp and pushed Start. After a tense 30 seconds, it finished its cycle, and the wow sigma number registered at 0.03%, the lowest I’ve ever seen. Very impressive.


BennyAudio’s 14″ tonearm is a unipivot, and—importantly—the facility for damping is at the bearing end. The headshell is detachable, and BennyAudio offers two choices—titanium or carbon fiber, their different weights allowing for optimization of cartridge compliance. VTA is adjustable on the fly, which seems like an unnecessary luxury, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, says this VPI user.

The headshell is brilliant. Overhang and alignment are adjusted separately—why hasn’t anyone else thought of this? Hanging off the end of the Odyssey’s headshell (carbon fiber, but also included is a titanium version) was a Hana Umami Red cartridge (€3390).


This year, BennyAudio was once again sharing exhibit space with Lithuania’s AudioSolutions. The demo system partnered the Odyssey with a pair of seven-driver, three-way XL2 floorstanders from AudioSolutions’ Figaro line. Power was by way of the extremely cool Java Hi-Fi Double Shot integrated amp ($12,995 in the United States).

We started off with “Heartbreaker” from Led Zeppelin II, played loud. The system delivered a rock-solid center image with a silky top end—that’s hard to get with Zeppelin, but it’s there on the record, Bonham’s cymbals sliding aggressively across the soundstage. And Page’s crisp, edgy, jangly solo, biting as it should be, made for a wonderful combination of high-frequency reproduction.

Led Zeppelin II was my choice. Franielczyk followed it up with his choice: the Chick Corea Elektrik Band’s Eye of the Beholder. This is a beautifully recorded, enveloping record full of clever percussion tricks. On this selection, the system retained that silky top end, adding a juicy bottom.


The BennyAudio Odyssey looks like a complete, finished, very well-designed turntable that seems appropriately priced—maybe even a bargain. The Odyssey isn’t overloaded with features, but it does have the important ones—starting with outstanding speed consistency, which is perhaps the most important job of a turntable.

I came here to talk about the BennyAudio ’table, but at this point, it’s appropriate to discuss the €21,000-per-pair AudioSolutions Figaro XL2, as it’s the front man in this system, and High End 2024 is its first showing. This tall speaker is loaded with four 8″ woofers and a D’Appolito’d mid-tweeter array.

It’s being shown in Munich in its bespoke trim. This is a brave act, showing these speakers in peacock blue—a dramatic color choice, but not something I’d choose. Point being, AudioSolutions can build these speakers in any color you want. They have a newly developed app for that—it’s a configurator that lets you choose combinations of color for the front and the back, feet, connectors, and metal trim. Also, you can specify the internal cable. Very cool indeed.

GroupTomasz Franielczyk (BennyAudio), Martin Bell (Java Hi-Fi), and Gediminas Gaidelis (AudioSolutions)

An all-analog room. There was a CD player, but they didn’t use it while I was hanging with them. How brave, I thought. After listening to the Odyssey, it just felt right.

Jason Thorpe
Senior Editor, SoundStage!