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Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 29, 2022  |  0 comments
There are no accidents, eh? A chance meeting with Wilson-Benesch's Luke Milnes, followed by several email and WhatsApp check-ins, led me to my final exhibit at Munich High End. There, in a system that also featured Audionet products, reigned the 308lb Wilson-Benesch Omnium loudspeaker ($169,000/pair), second in command in the company's reference Fibonacci Series. Containing three pairs of isobaric-loaded woofers, two additional bass drivers, one midrange unit, and the Fibonacci tweeter, this hardly diminutive loudspeaker utilizes new bio-composite technology that replaces the carbon-fiber Monique enclosure technology Wilson-Benesch pioneered in 1994.
Julie Mullins  |  May 29, 2022  |  5 comments
Purists might disagree, but for many listeners, having equipment that enables subtle sonic adjustments is welcome. This rings true for me, as I enjoy a wide variety of musical styles. Evidently Voxativ's Founder and Chief Engineer Inés Adler does too. Adler, a former designer of engines for Daimler's Mercedes-Benz marque, has made modern updates and options available for vintage hi-fi approaches.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  0 comments
A happy 35,000-foot-high encounter with Jim Thompson and John Callery of EgglestonWorks led to the unveiling of the new Oso loudspeaker ($12,895/pair). Mated with the belated show premiere of the same Doshi Evolution monoblocks ($44,000/pair, below) that graced the cover of our May 2021 issue, as well as an Innuos Statement music server and J. Sikora turntable ($21,000 without arms—see Michael Fremer's review in the forthcoming July issue), the speakers produced lovely sound.
Julie Mullins  |  May 28, 2022  |  0 comments
One of my first stops at the Munich show was to find out who made the shiny red loudspeaker shown in an atrium room—shown in the same room as the latest gargantuan Gryphon Commander preamplifier and Apex amplifier. The striking speaker was rotating on a round platform that you couldn't miss when you entered the room. Why the rotation? It was an attractive speaker from all angles. It, uh, turns out, it was indeed a Gryphon—the EOS 2, a prototype, as text in large letters beneath clearly stated.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  3 comments
Perhaps the folks at Estelon were being intentionally tongue-in-cheek when they wrote, on their website, "By elevating the act of listening to new heights..." about the new Estelon Extreme Mk.II flagship loudspeaker (€200,000/pair) whose mechanical system enables multiple height and tweeter depth adjustments to ensure stable imaging. (It also intentionally isolates the upper drivers from the speaker's bass units.)
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  7 comments
The briefest of visits to the dCS room in Munich revealed the Vivaldi One Apex ($95,000). Originally released as the Vivaldi One in 2017 to commemorate the company's 30th Anniversary, the MQA-friendly, single chassis, all-in-one network music player, CD/SACD transport and Master Clock, upsampler and DAC has resurfaced in new Apex form. Only 50 new Vivaldi One Apex units are available. The 250 owners of the original 30th Anniversary model can upgrade to full Apex status ($9000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2022  |  2 comments
A chance encounter, in MOC's interconnected ground floor Expo Halls, with Santos (Santy) Oropel of Southern California's TWIN Audio Video led to an enclosed booth where Troy Audio's Acapulco loudspeaker (€36,000/pair), an improved version of the 1960 Altec Santana, held forth. The speaker cabinets are built in Riverside, CA and Oklahoma City, OK by Great Plains Audio, and house the new GPA 415-8C Biflex driver with Alnico magnet and a modified Fostex supertweeter. The full-range reflex speaker, which has no crossover, is certain to appeal to vintage loudspeaker lovers, and equally likely to win over converts to the cause. If only the late Art Dudley were here to report about how it sounds.
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.

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