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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  0 comments
One of the many qualities of Wilson Audio SabrinaX loudspeaker ($19,000/pair) is the ability to let you hear, without editorializing, the unique sonic qualities of the electronics that precede them. Thus, with the help of Kubala-Sosna Sensation cabling, a Finite Elemente HD09 ED amplifier stand, and Nemesis Decorac acoustic paneling (bottom photo), could I hear the lovely midrange, impressive bass, and unglamorized highs produced by Bricasti's M21 DAC/Preamp ($16,000) and M25 Stereo Amplifier ($18,000) with the essential help of an Innuos Statement Network Music Server ($15,100 with 1TB internal storage).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  0 comments
It's been far too long since I've encountered Boenicke Audio loudspeakers. Organic in design, with their inner chambers carved out of wood, and sometimes abetted by Bybee devices, they're capable of throwing a huge soundstage from a relatively small footprint. The floating W8 ($8500/pair), used in one of three rooms from Alma Music & Audio of San Diego, include, in addition to what you see on the front, a side-firing woofer and a rear-firing tweeter.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2022  |  0 comments
AV Luxury Group International, based in Las Vegas, unveiled a system that stood out for its speed, openness, and impressive range of colors. A case in point: O-Zone Percussion Group's "Jazz Variants," that did a fine job of evoking the system's well-controlled deep bass and striking highs.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2022  |  0 comments
Jumping to the top level for the models whose entry-level brethren were demmed in Next Level HiFi's other room, the Wayne, IL-based dealer joined forces with Audio Group Denmark to display the Børresen B01 Silver Supreme Edition standmount loudspeaker ($60,500/pair with stands); the Aavik U580 class-D integrated amplifier ($35,000; 300Wpc into 8 ohms), which includes a DAC that does, over USB, PCM up to 32/192 and DSD128 as well as MQA; and the Aavik 5580 Streamer ($25,200). The entire 580 series utilizes external titanium supports for extreme mechanical resonance control and a copper-lined internal chassis for electrical noise control.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2022  |  0 comments
Now consolidated under the Audio Group Denmark umbrella, Aavik electronics, Ansuz cabling and accessories, and Børresen loudspeakers made an impressive showing in several rooms on the Hilton's 5th floor, sponsored by Next Level HiFi of the greater Chicago region.

The first (for me) of Next Level HiFi's rooms was dominated by Børresen Z1 Cryo monitors ($14,500/pair; above), Aavik's U180 class-D integrated amplifier with DAC ($10,800) and S180 streamer ($7200;), and Ansuz cabling.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2022  |  3 comments
Because its sound proclaims "major significance," our coverage starts with the show premiere of Graham Audio's LS5/5f loudspeaker ($24,995/pair). Unveiled in Munich, albeit only in passive display, the speaker was designed by Derek Hughes, son of the late Spencer Hughes, founder of Spendor.
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 06, 2022  |  2 comments
The Harman room at Munich High End showed a wide array of products on active and passive display. Several Classic JBL designs revamped with modern tech and materials took center stage in a long lineup display of speakers. The room's main active system included the large JBL Summit Everest DD67000 speakers.
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 06, 2022  |  2 comments
While walking through the aisles of Halle at Munich High End, heading for my last couple of assigned rooms (or areas), I came across designer Michael Børresen, who, with Lars Kristensen (above), gave me a quick run-down of his latest gear. There were new speakers at both the entry and extreme levels from Børresen, and new amplification at the top end from Aavik. The three brands on display—Børresen Acoustics, Aavik Acoustics, and Ansuz Acoustics—were consolidated under one umbrella company, Audio Group Denmark, in 2020.
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 05, 2022  |  0 comments
DS Audio's Tetsuaki Aoyagi, known casually as Aki, was at High End Munich introducing his new DS Audio Eccentricity Detection Stabilizer ES-001 device. The next-gen (read: young) designer attended with his parents—something seldom seen at hi-fi shows. (That said, my father attended AXPONA again this year.) And families do attend the High End Munich show, perhaps more regularly than others.
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 05, 2022  |  5 comments
There was buzz about many rooms at the High End Munich show but perhaps few were as talked about as the Nagra/Wilson Audio Specialties setup in Atrium 4.1 F130. It seemed to be among the more packed ones, a tough room to get into. I passed by twice before I was able to poke my head in, then was only able to return briefly near the end of the show.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 02, 2022  |  18 comments
The Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society (LAOCAS) has chosen John Atkinson, former editor-in-chief and now technical editor of Stereophile, as the winner of its 29th annual Founder's Award.
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 01, 2022  |  10 comments
Parisian high-end audio dealer AnaMighty Sound's room, F114 in Atrium 4, showed several products made in Switzerland from darTZeel, Stenheim, and Nagra. The room also became a mini-concert venue for a couple of demo sessions on Saturday that incorporated live music: Jazz saxophonist Jérôme Sabbagh played solo, accompanied by playback of his No Filter album bandmates on the room's system. They played 24-bit/96kHz versions of the tracks with Sabbagh's sax parts/tracks omitted.
Julie Mullins  |  May 30, 2022  |  9 comments
The Wadax room brought huge gear and huge sound to Munich High End, along with a couple of new product introductions. Their main demo, in Atrium 4.2's E207 room presented the Wadax Atlantis Reference Server ($64,900) with a new, upgraded Reference PSU external power supply ($49,000) that's said to improve performance (as well it should). Its output noise is said to be crazy low: reportedly setting a record of 200nV of RMS noise from 0.1Hz to 20kHz. It uses a feedforward topology that adjusts its power regulation circuitry in real time based on current load requirements; this helps minimize current variations, CEO Javier Guadalajara (above) explained.
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.