Arriving at the Munich airport, signs indicating the HiFi present are a welcome sight. To my surprise, it might appear essential here, especially considering that this airport is likely one of the busiest in all of Europe.
I’ve never been to Munich, or Germany for that matter. The streets are clear and protected, bicycles sit in racks on public streets without locks. The trains run on-time like clockwork and also you experience on the respect system with no one checking for tickets. I purchased a three-day move and enjoyed the comfort.
The HIGH END Munich Show is hosted by the HighEnd Society at the MOC Veranstaltungscenter München, a contemporary glass, multi-level convention facility.
Simply accessible from the U-bahn practice system, four halls are related by a continuous spine making for a really environment friendly format. The show happens at all levels with quite a lot of rooms and room varieties. The primary higher halls really feel like an American-style mall, with “shops” surrounding a glass-lit, widespread atrium area. Around each side of the atriums are more intimate listening rooms, the place it might be less noisy, and the rooms used for demonstrations usually sound, fairly good!
Enough concerning the facility…
As I begin, I’m reminded of what sort of present this is – excessive end. That doesn’t imply the show is exclusive, however it does imply there’s something for every enthusiast. Nevertheless, there are lots of many esoteric displays and manufacturers; gear stands, cable lifts, energy conditioners, vinyl cleaning, and so on, and so forth. All these classes seem to exist cohesively, for the widespread good as it have been. Cables of all sizes and costs alongside superbly crafted element stands. Wall-hung acoustic remedy assorted from wooden crafted monumental pieces to panelized techniques. Isolation designs differ from simple ball-bearing lifts for elements and cabinets, to unbelievable complicated cable risers.
In contrast to a lot of the other audio exhibits the place you should purchase music in one area, this present has several places and venders combined inside the manufacturers.
And unlike other audio exhibits, this one has the vibe of a thriving business with enthusiasm and power for the enterprise and way of life that is HighEnd high-fidelity. The manufacturers, distributors, sales and advertising and finally the top consumer share a standard objective, great emotionally charged sound copy. That’s it! In reality, I hear of how rivals truly work together, not solely in sharing gear but in addition ideas and know-how. I actually loved seeing individuals from one company exploring different’s displays and demonstrations for the pure enjoyment. And to listen to them advocate a competitor to take heed to, exhibits the comradely of the business.
Although this present is touted because the “High End” of the HiFi business, there was but loads of modestly priced gear from recognized worldwide venders. NAD, Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Definitive Know-how, Anthem and Paradigm, DALI, Twin, MoFi, Vpi, music corridor, Totem, Supply some terribly valued elements and audio system. If you want to hear or purchase special, hand-built gear costing what most individuals don’t spend on their houses, someone right here can accommodate you.
Still, the present is vast with audio gear and speakers from all corners of the world. For every acquainted identify, there are ten occasions as many I’ve never heard of earlier than. Most don’t export to North America.
Time to get to work.
Oh, one thing about my coverage. If you need all the specs, or a worth for every thing I saw, you might have to research that by yourself, sorry. I just felt within the spirit of the present the place the primary function was to pay attention and luxuriate in, and the breath and scope of the present, that I might cowl extra if I didn’t get bogged down with all the small print. The place it’s essential, I will definitely move on some prices and specs.
I started on the primary flooring which where I discover predominately static shows, although a couple of listening rooms exist behind the displays. One that caught my eye was a German company that made speakers from concrete referred to as Concrete Audio. Superbly shaped and completed concrete that seemed like forged stone. That they had a full range floorstanding speaker along with a stand mounted monitor and a flat on-wall and even a subwoofer. No demo room however beloved the creativity. The mini drivers for the very flat wall-mounted speaker are customized. In the event you don’t like the uncooked concrete, you’ll be able to cover them with perfectly shaped wall artwork screens.
Turntables in all places in fact but this one from German-made Acoustic Signature referred to as Invictus. Nicely north of $100okay, it’s roped off for a cause. A whole lot of elements, hand-made go into this extraordinary turntable.
The acquainted identify in turntable had on display a prototype for what else but a reel-to-reel named the TM 1600. It lays flat referencing their TD 1600 turntables and I admit I instantly beloved the look.
Equally lovely is the Thorens TD 550; belt-drive with a 12” tonearm, carbon fiber tonearm platform and suspended chassis. Th glowing emblem is seductive.
E.A.T. (European Audio Workforce)
The gorgeous Forte Turntable sporting the new F-Observe tonearm, 12” and S-shaped designed particularly for the Forte. What will not be seen from the photograph is a laser diode (beam) to assist in aligning the cartridge. Shell out $7,995.
And for fun…
The brand new upgrade from the SP1000 is the SP2000 digital player/DAC obtainable in each chrome steel or copper. A hefty 15 ounces, the player helps all high res information including MQA. DSD native and DSD/128, DSD/256 and DSD/512 – maxing out at 32bit/768kHz Bit-to-Bit playback. Additionally, 512 GB of storage.
A bit more reasonably priced, the Kann Dice with an 8 channel Twin DAC and 32bit/384kHz playback.
There are various Chinese corporations right here and FiiO confirmed this cute show with the FH7 headphones with a beryllium tweeter and the Q5S digital participant that supports playback as much as 32bit/768kHz and DSD512.
Exceeding even Lenbrook’s expectation is the superbly designed and scaled NAD Master Collection M10 built-in amplifier with built-in BluOS streaming. Michael Galvin is at present engaged on a assessment. Clearly meant to be placed on a counter, the M10 has a fairly giant touchscreen contemplating its smallish format. The other vital function could be the DIRAC Stay, lite-version room correction which uses a microphone to calibrate the M10. For $99 you will get the complete model. I questioned why if the NAD D30-series hybrid digital DAC amps embrace a phono stage, that the M10 does not. Perhaps real estate inside the box is at a premium, this may be one thing for the engineers at NAD to think about. However the M10 provides you with 100 watts (8 ohms), 32bit/384kHz processing and more for about $2,500.
If you would like something comparable, costing less as a result of it omits the amplifier and touchscreen, think about the NAD C658 at $1,500. Though it has a standard component-style chassis, it still comes with a model of DIRAC room correction. And in addition, that phono stage.
Each offers you Bluesound connectivity with the app, but in addition access to your music libraries and embrace: MQA unpacking, high-res information, streaming providers from Tidal, and so forth.
Listening in the Harman Group room, the large shock seems to be the love everyone has for the JBL L100, not solely as a result of it’s merely an impressive sounding speaker ($4,000 per pair) in its personal right, but in addition the retro-look and nostalgia of the previous namesake model from the 1970s. It appears and feels very retro in a good way. The 3-way design consists of: 12” woofer, 5.25” midrange and 1” titanium tweeter with front-controlled MF and HF degree attenuation.
The anchor for the room appears to be the brand new No.5101 SACD participant – aspect notice, if CD’s are lifeless, why are there so many new players at this present? The 5101 is priced around $5,500 if my notes are right. Moreover, within the room was the Mark Levinson gear that features: The No.515 turntable that Jim Clements simply reviewed, the No.5805 integrated amplifier and No.519 audio participant.
It is going to be odd to say this, however at this present, the Harman room has some very economical gear that embrace the 3-way Performa F228Be with the 1” beryllium tweeter at $10,000 for the pair.
I’d had the pleasure of listening to the revolutionary Lexicon SL-1 wi-fi speaker system prior to now but as a undertaking in improvement, I consider this is the ultimate version. Loaded with numerous speaker sizes including passive drivers, 63 to be actual, the control gives an immersive expertise despite it being just two-channel. Its important function is the power to actively modify in real-time the sweet spot using what they confer with as Soundsteer know-how. By system, it consists of not simply the speakers however the amplifiers, preamplifiers and even wires, just plug them in. It’s operated by an app that pinpoints and even widens the sweet spot. Additional, placement inside the room isn’t important at all, in reality it could actually focus the sound behind the audio system due to the 360-degree array design. Regardless of the know-how, the sound is great.
Though the speaker cowl is off, the blue LED lights show the path of the sound beam, continuous means unfocused and open.
Italian-made Sonus Faber showed their new modestly-sized Minima Amator II Monitor speaker. Still superbly crafted, (Hey it’s Italian in fact!) the 2-way speaker features a 28mm tweeter with Damped Apex Dome know-how and a 6” midrange woofer. A pair will set you again 4000 Euros.
Lovely Carrera marble stand.
Close by I needed to have a look at the new Audio Analysis Reference 160S (REF 160S) stereo amplifier. What a beauty, unfortunately it was close to the floor so forgive the pictures. On the heels of the monaural 160M, the 160S is in fact one chassis. The vacuum tube stereo amplifier has twin transparent meters that “float” in entrance of the facility tubes. A small mortgage is perhaps crucial at $20,000, I’d enterprise to say a worthy long-term investment. Higher but for you patriots – American designed, engineered and assembled in Maple Grove, Minnesota. You betcha!
Temporary interlude…racks are lovely! Prime shelf element of a Bassocontinuo rack.
All hail the rack!
Got here throughout the enthusiastic driving drive of the “new” M&Okay audio speaker firm, the charming Lars Johansen, President who resurrected the brand from its Miller & Kreisel days. The history is ripe with excessive profile studio engineers who prefer the M&Okay sound for their authenticity and accuracy. Individuals like George Lucas insisted their mixing studios have been outfitted with M&Okay screens.
I heard their in-wall version of the S150 audio system in one of the few encompass demonstrations here in Munich which was gloriously clean and wealthy. The larger S300 is being shown here too.
I used to be just a little irritated that the Scottish-based Linn Audio demonstration was by appointment only, I signed up for it and returned an hour later. I then knew why as it was a superb presentation of their Selekt DSM. In your troubles, you’re served wonderful scotch and a local chocolate candy bar that I fortunately scarfed and washed down with the ounce of clean scotch. All is forgiven. That they had my attention.
Enjoying several snippets of the same monitor, they clearly demonstrated the benefits of their DAC, whether in their integrated amplifier or with their outboard amplifier, (or anybody else’s for that matter). The DAC comes with the power to make use of their free (simply purchase their DAC) room correction area optimization know-how.
Linn boasts that their core philosophy is to design every little thing modular together with their basic epic Sondek LP 12 turntable. Any future upgrades are designed to work with their present pieces which means you by no means should completely substitute the element.
A room that basically impressed me was the Auralic room, can’t say I’m stunned as they make a few of the greatest streaming audio gamers and DACs anyplace. The new Altair G1 Digital Audio participant and Sirius G2 Upsampling Processor.
Utilizing Spendor audio system and Nagra amplifiers, this appeared like a super mixture, detailed, relaxed and dynamic.
The G2 will output DSD 512 and PCM up to 384 kHz as much as 32 Bits. Choices embrace a 20-band eq and speaker placement compensation. $5,999 US.
Think of the G1 as your preamp, your DAC and streamer multi functional, Tidal and roon prepared and most any high-resolution audio formats. A discount at $2,499 US.
The Martin Logan Neolith continues to impress, a rarity for my part that the sound it produces is nice in any room, at any show. Clean, rich and authoritative, using the Move labs amps just blew me away. I don’t care what they value or what the frequency response is, I adore it.
Stepping away from the Neolith, the basic ML ESL 9 is out of the blue, very modest.
Enjoyable occasion I attended was with British-based ifi audio off-site where they launched a very uncommon table-top speaker system referred to as Aurora. The identify was impressed by the Aurora Borealis in its analogy of “electrifying your music” and “filling the sky with light”.
Offhand as which will sound, there’s some critical design and know-how happening right here. The design by Julien Haziza is impressed by the pyramid entrance on the Louvre in Paris and the bamboo wooden from Japanese architecture, the WiFi Aurora performs Spotify and Tidal, web radio, Bluetooth connectivity and connect a number of collectively for a multi-room system.
Higher yet, the Aurora is a hybrid design with a tube in the preamp part and strong state for amplification. Down-firing bass radiators help in augmenting the bass efficiency and probably the most fascinating function of the Aurora are the rear and side-mounted microphones (6 in complete) that mechanically regulate the speaker to its placement next to walls, referred to as ART or Automated Room Tailoring calibration.
The Aurora is obtainable this coming July for $1,299.