The world’s sexiest record-cleaning machine? Possibly. This Hannl Mera ELB (2670), housed in orange acrylic to look like hot lava, offers programmable cleaning and suction functions for quiet operation and quick drying.
Don’t like orange lava? (What’s wrong with you?) Potential owners can customize their Mera ELBs. Pick your favorite colors and clean away.
I received a special request for more pictures of Rosemarie, so here she is, posing with the very attractive Albedo Model HL1.2 loudspeaker, a two-way, linear-phase design with a 4” mid-woofer, 1” tweeter, and super-sexy striped ebony finish.
Afterward, Rosemarie would tell me that several people here at the Munich High End Show recognized her from this show report. “You’re making me famous,” she said.
“That’s what I do,” I explained. “I make girls famous.”
Luxman had a small, attractive, vintage-inspired system on display: The 12Wpc NeoClassico Series SQ-N10 vacuum tube amp (which includes a moving-magnet phono stage), a D-N10 CD player (not shown here), and lovely minimonitors made to match.
I was drawn to the smoky, nearly sunburst finish of the Luxman D-30u CD player, which offers a choice between solid-state and ECC82 vacuum tube playback. The matching SQ-30u vacuum tube integrated amp offers 30Wpc and has a selectable MM/MC phono stage; MC cartridges are handled by a step-up trannie. Cool.
The controls on these sleek Audiolab 8200 Series components were pure pleasure; I could have played with them all day long. The 8200CD CD player uses the Sabre 32-bit DAC from ESS Technologyhot. The 8200Q preamp’s six line-level inputs respond to remote control, but you’ll want to caress this thing; the volume knob is a motorized potentiometer for precise tracking, while a separate gain control enables sensitivity to be matched to different power amps and source components. Finally, the clean, simple 8200P power amp provides 100Wpc into 8 ohms.
These two kitty-clad women have been following me all over the show. They’re here to promote Cambridge Audio’s new Minx series of mini-speakers, made to match a small, stylish design with true high-quality sound.
“You two are so hot, you should be illegal,” I told them.
“What did you just say to them?” Rosemarie asked.
“I told them they were so hot they should be illegal.”
Unfortunately, Jeff Joseph’s shipment of gear was delayed due to a short FedEx strike which occurred in Paris. Joseph was understandably tired and frustrated, but he hadn’t lost his great sense of humor.
“I can still play the speakers,” he said with a straight face.
I thought for a moment that he would employ some powerful new wireless technology; Joseph was an early proponent for computer-based audio.
“Yeah. What would you like to hear?”
He covered his face with the press release for his lovely Pulsar ($7000/pair) and began to sing.
I can’t remember what song we listened to, but it really was like hearing live music. There was almost nothing separating us from the song.
Andy Regan (left) and George Cardas are excited about the current state of hi-fi and music. They strongly believe that the asynchronous technologies found in today’s digital-to-analog converters can erase any negative effects the Compact Disc has had on music and on our enjoyment of music. It’s possible to achieve improved sound quality and enjoy a better overall listening experience by removing the disc from the equation, playing high-quality music files stored on a hard drive.
As we raced to catch the bus that would take us from Manhattan to Newark Liberty Airport, Rosemarie Torcivia and I were caught in an incredible downpourrain like we rarely see it in New York City. Our trip to Germany for the 2011 High End Show had gotten off to a soggy start. Was this a sign of things to come?
As we climbed the stairs into the sunlight and ventured out onto Frankfurter Ring, we were happily surprised to find that our hotel was right next door to a curious place called Eroticland. Somehow, this seemed appropriate.