LATEST ADDITIONS

Alex Halberstadt  |  May 22, 2024  |  2 comments
Photo by Michael Stephens

Last May, during a visit to High End Munich, I was ushered into an exhibitor's room with much ceremony. Other showgoers had been shooed out so that I, a reviewer at an important magazine, could listen to the hi-fi undisturbed. The room featured obelisk-shaped "statement" speakers, monoblocks with enough tubes to light a cafeteria, and a wedding cake–sized turntable, all connected with python-thick cables. All of it cost as much as a starter house in coastal Connecticut.

The room's proprietor asked me to choose from a small stack of LPs. I went for Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else, a wonderful Miles Davis record in all but name. I know it as well as any other piece of recorded music. When the system began to play, it was doing all the audiophile things expected of an expensive hi-fi. But while I recognized the notes, I struggled to recognize the music. Something was clearly, obviously amiss. The rhythmic emphases and stresses that convey music's meaning and emotion were landing in the wrong places.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2024  |  1 comments
AXISS Audio saved one of the stars of its portfolio, Accuphase, for room 1129. Instead of showing the Accuphase A-300 monoblocks, which I will surely propose for one of our next Stereophile Product of the Year awards, Cliff Duffey premiered the Accuphase P-7500 power amplifier in bi-amp configuration ($25,975 each) and Accuphase DP-770 SACD player/DAC ($26,575).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2024  |  0 comments
One of my first stops at Munich High End 2024 was at the Stromtank power regenerator display in Halle 3. Accustomed to seeing the visually imposing Stromtank “A Mighty Fortress is our God” computer-monitored battery power supply units in either silver or black, it was a surprise to encounter the Stromtank S-25000 Quantum MK-II ($30,000)—the unit I currently use—in white.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2024  |  0 comments
Nordost’s entry-level "Leif" line of cabling has just taken a major step forward with the introduction of Leif Series 3 ("Leif 3"). Gauge and terminations on the entire Leif series—White Lightning 3, Purple Flare 3, Blue Heaven 3, Red Dawn 3—have been upgraded.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2024  |  0 comments
“MBL always sounds great at shows” is an axiom so often repeated that it could serve as an audiophile mantra, but it accurately describes the experience of hearing a full-range, air-filled presentation that, in Munich, was open, alive, and just plain fabulous.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2024  |  0 comments
Bad me. For the past two or three years, knowing that it would run too late, I’ve begged off the evening Göbel press dinner / factory visit. From what I understand, it was my loss. According to Adam Mokrzycki, the mastermind of the Warsaw Audio Show, Oliver Göbel’s factory set-up is among the most impressive he’s ever heard. I stand chastised, Oliver and Adam.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2024  |  0 comments
Less than a week after visiting the Innuos factory in Portugal—report and video forthcoming—I had the opportunity to audition their products again in Munich. This time, the speakers were more full-range and superior in quality, and the associated electronics all top-level.
Robert Baird  |  May 21, 2024  |  1 comments
Ow Ow Ow, Ow Ow Whaow, Ow Ow Ow...Wha-aa-ow. That simple G-minor melody, supposedly inspired by Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (or perhaps Brazilian composer Carlos Lyra) and played with the tone of a Fender Stratocaster doubled by a Hammond B3 organ, is unquestionably the most famous rock-guitar riff. The apotheosis of 1970s hard-rock, the ubiquitous "Smoke on the Water" is also the unlikely story of the song's creation and the high-water mark of long-running UK rock band Deep Purple.
Rogier van Bakel  |  May 20, 2024  |  10 comments
On the final day of High End Munich, a couple of hours before closing time, I sent the visiting Stereophile crew a message about the new speakers in the YG Acoustics room: “Should you have time and you haven’t visited yet, go listen. Both the passive and active systems there sound phenomenal.”
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 20, 2024  |  0 comments
Time and again at AXPONA and Munich, I’ve seemed to play tag with Robert Harley and Tom Martin of TAS. In the Tidal room, my appointment followed theirs; at the Ideon press conference and Peter McGrath's CH Precision / Wilson demos, Tom and I sat close to each other. Clearly, we’re drawn to the same quality gear.

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