Munich 2022

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  0 comments
One of those "OMG, it has been far too long" encounters with Kerem Küçükaslan enabled me to catch up on Nashua, New Hampshire-based Absolare's latest release, the Absolare Hybrid Stereo Power Amplifier, Signature Edition ($52,000). Using two 12AU7 or 12BH7 NOS tubes, the tube input and transistor output of the 73lb, dual-mono hybrid delivers 275Wpc into 4 ohms and maybe 175Wpc into 8 ohms.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  0 comments
When I reviewed the Moonriver 404 Reference integrated amplifier in the February 2021 issue, I noted that the then-recent fire in the AKM factory in Japan had left the company without chips for the unit's optional DAC. A year later, that issue has been resolved.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  6 comments
Though a wild goose chase on the hottest day of Munich High End led me to AVM's across-the-street press conference just in time to discover that my only option was to stand in the doorway and sweat buckets or visit their MOC display later in the day, I eventually managed to photograph the innards of the new high-performance AVM CS 8.3 All-in-One (above). This baby offers Wi-Fi and network streaming with a CD player, DAC, class-A headphone amp, and a 250Wpc stereo amplifier.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  0 comments
CH Precision made a move equally smart and enlightening. Rather than devote endless minutes to introducing the new CH Precision C1.2 DAC/Controller, they harnessed many of their finest components together for a demo, which Jim Austin attended at a different time, in which Kevin Wolff compared the sound of various silver disc formats. Thanks to the wise music choices of Kevin Wolff and Roy Gregory, it was time well-spent.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  First Published: May 28, 2022  |  6 comments
Two years ago, Dan Roemer founded Perlisten loudspeakers. Just one year later, when the company went public, their inventory already included 25 different speaker models. I don't know about you, but I find that an astounding achievement.
Julie Mullins  |  May 27, 2022  |  6 comments
I went into a room looking for Lumin's latest components and found a broad range of gear, both classic and modern. The recently relaunched Mission 770 speakers demo'd in this room represent a prime example of heritage speaker revival. Behind this exhibit was International Audio Group (IAG), the company behind Mission and other British brands, such as Wharfedale, Castle, and Quad, as well as Luxman. Peter Comeau, IAG's director of acoustic design, gave me the download on the Mission 770 redux. He mentioned that he and John Atkinson had listened to 770 prototypes in 1978. (JA will be reviewing the new 770 in a future issue of Stereophile.) Comeau owned an original pair of the Mission 770s, so he knows all about them: "We used a lot of the same concepts but everything is now up to date to make them suitable for modern sources."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Because I'm currently reviewing Octave's Mono SE amplifier ($80,000/pair), I was eager to hear these large tubed monoblocks in a very different context. Nor was I disappointed. Somehow, perhaps because the company's display mitigated slap echo, Octave shone in a room similar to those at Munich High End that consigned many an exhibitor to audiophile hell.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Mansour Mamaghani, founder and managing director of Audio Reference Munich (above), quietly commandeered one of the largest showrooms in the MOC's Atrium to present an impressive living color array of components that extended far beyond Wilson, D'Agostino, Perlisten, VTL, Nordost, VPI, and Krell. Although sonics were far from ideal during the press conference—VTL's pairing with Wilson and Nordost fared best—I finally got the lowdown on Krell's forthcoming 160lb. KSA-i400 power amplifier (below; $35,000 in stereo, or $70,000/monoblock pair) from Krell's COO, Walter Schofield. A matching preamp ($TBD) is in the works.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Gone are the days of blacks and grays. Thanks in large part to the new face of Wilson Audio, color reigned supreme in Audio Reference Munich's impressive Atrium spread.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
New components in Wilson's other eye-candy exhibit may have been limited to the new Nordost QNet 5-port internet switch and QSource Linear Power Supply, but that didn't prevent a miracle from happening. In a room that D'Agostino's Bill McKiegan had warned me rarely delivered good sound, VTL's Siegfried II Series II monoblocks and top-level line TL 7.5 Series III and TP 6.5 Series II preamplifiers, seen here with Nordost’s Dennis Bonotto, sounded extremely musical and inviting.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 26, 2022  |  0 comments
In celebration of Esoteric’s 35th anniversary, the company’s Shota Terai offered a sneak preview of the Grandioso T1, the first turntable in Esoteric's long history. Due to be finalized soon, the T1 employs the company's "patent-registered unique contact-free Esoteric MagneDrive System that inductively synchronizes the rotations of a magnetic driver and platter, realizing a quiet and silky-smooth rotation at an extraordinarily accurate rotation speed."
Julie Mullins  |  May 26, 2022  |  4 comments
My first stop in the Munich High End venue's huge halls, or Halles, was a treat—and not only because the Hegel folks had a box of Norwegian chocolate hearts to taste. Hegel introduced a couple of new analog components, the Hegel Reference H30A Reference power amplifier and the P30A preamplifier, which supersedes the P30 preamp. Hegel CEO, founder, and lead designer Bent Holter (right) was on-hand along with Anders Ertzeid "VP of This and That" (aka VP Sales and Marketing, left) to share details. The amp and preamp are both analog designs—the A stands for analog.
Julie Mullins  |  May 26, 2022  |  0 comments
In the US market it isn't every day you see big, shiny red speakers—cars, yes—but less often flagship floorstanders. Here, a pair of tall, Danish flagships, the Audiovector R11 Arreté Titanium speakers clad in red enclosures graced the room. A model above the Audiovector R8 Arreté that Jim Austin reviewed, they use the company's Quasi Dual Drive Avantgarde Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeters.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  9 comments
Holger Stein may be one of the softer-spoken men in the audio business, but he's hardly shy when it comes to attracting attention. For eye candy alone, Stein Music's new Bob XL Plus Ultimate loudspeaker (€348,000/pair) had few rivals at Munich High End.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Vitus Audio, now in its 27th year, introduced its forthcoming entry-level RD-101 Mk.II DAC/Streamer ($15,000, release date TBD) at Munich High End. The unit sports a redesigned streaming module—the old one is obsolete—a newly optimized power supply, and significant noise reduction. There's also a new DAC chip, the ESS9038 Pro, which replaces the 9028 Pro.