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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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Will wonders never cease? With Andrew Jones designing MoFi loudspeakers, Allen Perkins designing their turntables, and their latest fabled designer catch, Peter Madnick, designing their new Master Phono preamplifier ($5000), I can't but wonder if Mobile Fidelity, aka MoFi, is poised to take over the world. Madnick, whom you may recall as the former Design Manager for Constellation and ELAC and the founder of Audio Alchemy, has been in the audio business for 50 years and has designed over 400 products in the past 40 years.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  6 comments
For elegance of presentation, the separate but related companies of Siltech and Crystal Cable have few peers. Given such care, it was near-impossible to resist peering further and investigating the two companies' latest offerings.
Julie Mullins  |  May 25, 2022  |  3 comments
Danish audio company Dynaudio launched a new trio of Focus wireless speakers in Munich. The company's show presence encompassed a larger-than-average-sized room, with another off to the side. There, Dynaudio Technical Trainer Otto Jorgensen (below) gave a presentation on the new Focus active speaker series: the 3-way Focus 50 floorstander ($11,000, presumably for a pair), the 2.5-way Focus 30 floorstander ($8250/pair), and the 2-way Focus 10 stand-mounted speaker ($5500/pair). This series supersedes the previous Focus XD speaker line.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  1 comments
The German loudspeaker and cable manufacturer released its new Divin Sovereign Referenz Subwoofer ($29,500, with extra charges for special Black 24k Gold, White, and White 24k Gold finishes). Demonstrated with Göbel's Divin Marquis loudspeaker that John Atkinson reviewed in October 2020 and billed as the company's "ultimate benchmark," the active, DSP-controlled, closed-chamber sub includes an 18" driver in a resin-bound composite board cabinet with "massive acoustic baffles" of 75mm maximum thickness and extensive internal bracing. Weight is 145kg—that's almost 320lb—dimensions are nearly as major, frequency response is 10–200Hz depending upon DSP filters, and total output power is 2500W.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Ease was the order of the day in the Marten/Jorma room. Soprano Anna Moffo sounded just lovely, with superb air and open soundstaging, on an LP of her singing the "Jewel Song" from Gounod's Faust. Ditto for pianist Byron Janis, whose superb-sounding recording of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto graced a prized Mercury Living Presence LP. Deserving of honor was Swedish manufacturer Marten's new Mingus Quintet 2 loudspeakers (€62,000/pair, equivalent to US$66,100). This replacement for the original Mingus Quintet boasts a new midrange driver, lower distortion, higher sensitivity, a new crossover, and a less resonant cabinet than the previous model.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  1 comments
In a room that vied for recognition as the hottest enclosed space on the hottest floor on the hottest day of Munich High End, 45-year-old Burmester Audio introduced its new CEO, Industrial Engineer Frank Weise, and at least four new products.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 24, 2022  |  0 comments
At a well-organized Munich press conference, Danish speaker company Raidho, now owned by Dantax, introduced the successor to the X1, the Raidho X1t Super Mini Monitor (€5800, presumably for the pair and equivalent to US$6210). The speaker is equipped with the company's planar-magnetic ribbon tweeter, which claims 50 times less mass than conventional dome tweeters; a 5.25" tantalum-coated ceramic-on-aluminum midbass driver, which claims to raise breakup modes to 15kHz; and a rear port. Frequency range is 70Hz–50kHz, impedance >6 ohms, sensitivity 85dB, and black piano and white piano finishes.

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