Munich High End Beckons

As soon as one arrives in the Munich airport, days before the start of High End 2015, posters announcing the event are visible. This is no marginal show, with expectations of appealing only to a fringe group of dying, gray-haired audiophile fanatics. Rather, it is a major event, with an appeal that extends far beyond a set age group, as well as national and geographic boundaries.

Extending for four days—the first day of the show, on Thursday, May 14, is open only to the trade, which means dealers and press from all seven continents of the world are here—the Munich High End Show takes place this year on a holiday weekend. It's Ascension Day or something like that in the Catholic religion, which, in very Catholic Bavaria, is a big deal. Hence, if Trade Day this year was mobbed—and believe me, it was—it is hard to imagine what the next three days will be like. Even Renate Paxa, one of the High End Society's key contact people for press at the show, has said that the show has grown "too big."

Exhibits are situated in four Halls and three Atrium levels. There are hundreds of them. Some exhibits are in open spaces, à la the Convention Center in Las Vegas, while those in the Atrium are in glass-enclosed rooms. Close the door of any of those rooms during a demo, and the temperature rises well into the 80s. Hydration is a necessity, and prayers for the personal hygiene of others are not ill-placed.

This intrepid audio critic is but 5'5.25" in height. What that means, I have discovered, is that when immersed in a sea of humanity trudging through hallways or packing into a room, I can barely get my camera above the highest head to snap a picture. Occasionally I can navigate through crowds by slipping between people, as Wonder Woman flew between the raindrops. But, as I've gotten older, and the average girth of attendees expands, I do find that my cloak gets caught under people's feet, and the grounding essential to system performance affects my own in a deleterious manner. Covering the Munich show is going to be fun.

Stereophile's coverage of High End 2015 in Munich will continue next week, as blog after blog is posted. In the end, one can only trust that Wonder Woman would be pleased. We hope you are as well.

Ed Hsu's picture

Hi Jason,

I have been helping Sound Galleries and Audiopax with their room D33 in Halle.

We are getting great results with PCM > HQ Player > DSD 128 > Lampi B7 > Audiopax tube mono blocs > Avantgarde Duo Omega

SOTA digital meets SOTA tube amps all operated from an iPad

Hope you can drop by Sunday for an audition

Best Regards

Ed Hsu aka EuroDriver at Computer Audiophile

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Hi Ed,

I'm just seeing this at show's end. I don't know if you were introducing new products in the room, but the sheer size of the show forced me to focus on brand new products for which I either received press releases or was led to by those I know in the industry. I'm sorry I never got the opportunity to enter your room.

Ed Hsu's picture

Hi Jason,

Audiopax were introducing the new Maggiore M50 mono blocs . Also the Lampizator B7 is new this model year. However we had the pleasure of having your colleague Michael with us for quite a while on Sunday morning.

We are looking forward to Michael's commentary and yours as well on the rest of the show. I only had a chance to visit a handful of stands in contrast to previous years when I was just a visitor, so I will be reading your posts with great interest

Just my 2 cents as an exhibitor this year, there is a wonderful cameraderie between people working on the stands, everybody is more than happy to help a neighbor, just as we were

All in all a great show from the exhibitors viewpoint as well

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Hi Ed,

Your commentary is much appreciated. For future shows, an advance press release really helps. If you did send one out, it never got to me.


remlab's picture

when I walked past you at a past show, I could have sworn you were 5' 5.26". Your not being fair to yourself.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I've been beating the pavement at so many shows of late that I wore my soles down.