Munich 2019

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Herb Reichert  |  May 09, 2019  |  7 comments
I'm sitting in the Alluxity room next to Joseph Audio's Jeff Joseph and wondering how his new graphene-cone Perspective2 loudspeakers ($14,999/pair) can sound so big and solid and transparent when they're so far apart. I'm looking for the hole in the middle, or at least a fuzzy-creamy center, but I can't find it. All I can "see" are the solid, accurately described voices of singers like Ella and Elvis.
Jim Austin  |  May 13, 2019  |  34 comments
Krell had a big display at Munich High End show and seems to be on the brink—or maybe in the midst—of a major new-product and marketing surge. One major recent introduction is the K-300i integrated amplifier
Jim Austin  |  May 09, 2019  |  2 comments
Just some tonearm sweetness from Thales. Photo taken through a window. Enjoy.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 10, 2019  |  1 comments
Marten, which is currently searching for new distribution in the US, unveiled its new Mingus Orchestra four-way loudspeaker (€185,000/pair). Using the same drivers and crossover as their top-of-the-line Supreme 2 (€450,000/pair), albeit with fewer bass drivers and a less expensive cabinet, the new Marten sounded superb in the context of a first-rate system.
Herb Reichert  |  May 18, 2019  |  6 comments
I quit smoking before cigarettes hit $5/pack. I sold my last car, a nickel green 1977 Mercedes 300D, for $500. But I have sold a lot of six-figure audio amplifiers, and clearly, the juicy audio good stuff—the super-exotic—blows everybody’s mind. 1893 Chateau Lafite Rothschild gear is out of the reach of the lumpen proletariat. But so what? It is still cool and spectacularly wild and a blast to listen to, which anyone can do at an audio show. Take the all-out Aries Cerat system Joshua Masongsong of Believe High Fidelity was showing at Munich 2019. Have you ever heard anything like this?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 09, 2019  |  0 comments
When I entered the MSB room, a track from the JVC XRCD version of Sonny Rollins's Rollins Plays for Bird was transmitting all of the recording's smooth, warm, and sophisticated elegance. That last word isn't one I use often when describing high-end systems, but that's exactly what I experienced here.
Jim Austin  |  May 11, 2019  |  1 comments
On static display: three products from Cary that just started shipping earlier this year.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 09, 2019  |  8 comments
No less than four new Nordost products received their first showing at Munich High End. The Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable + ($5000), due by early June, is a monofilament design that contains four silver-plated solid-core copper conductors, in a twisted-pair arrangement that creates a left and right channel, each individually wrapped in a silver braided shield to eliminate crosstalk. This cable comes with two detachable silver-plated ground whips designed to enhance grounding and eliminate hum.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 19, 2019  |  1 comments
I was never able to take a photo of Octave’s full system, because so many people were walking up to the equipment rack and Focal Scala speakers to ogle Octave’s new Jubilee 300B amplifier (54,000 Euros). (That’s what happens when you display in one of the big glass-entranced spaces surrounding three sides of the first floor Atriums in the MOC.) You’ll have to settle for this photo, taken of a static display on the other side of the room divider from the active system.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 13, 2019  |  4 comments
Thanks to Michael Fremer, whom I ran into at the MOC while we both waited for the show to open on Day 3, I ended up at a private listening session in the PMC room. There, after Michael pulled out his video camera and engaged in a thorough, only-Michael-would-know-enough-to-ask-such-questions Q&A with PMC's Maurice Patist—it will appear at AnalogPlanet.com—we listened to two revivified tracks from Miles Davis's iconic Kind of Blue that have been given the full Dolby Atmos surround treatment.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 13, 2019  |  0 comments
Raidho Acoustics' new TD1.2 speaker ($24,000/pair), whose unveiling I missed at AXPONA, resurfaced in Munich. Hearing a track from the Ray Brown Trio's Soular Energy led me to write, in my notebook, "Pretty amazing how well these small speakers create such a big soundstage." Transparency around solo instruments and percussion was quite exceptional. Save for a touch of dryness, which could have been room-related, this system sounded excellent.
Herb Reichert  |  May 09, 2019  |  7 comments
The South Korean company Silbatone manufactures exquisite pure tube and hybrid audio amplification that's specifically engineered to be un-conventional, un-compromised, and un-affordable. About that last characteristic: It's un-affordable because it's not for sale—and everyone knows you have to pay extra for stuff that's not for sale. Right?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 09, 2019  |  7 comments
Taking horns far beyond their Alpine context, Stein Music's Bob XL speakers and subwoofers ($290,000 total) were reproducing Shelby Lynne's "Just a Little Lovin'" with warmth, solidity, and gratifying musicality. Company founder/designer Holger Stein attributed part of the system's success to the new Stein Music Matrix cable series. These silver cables are assembled on the company's own braiding machine, which allows them to control all parameters. Stein told me that they use special metrics to change the vector of the cable's magnetic fields so that their sum is zero.
Jim Austin  |  May 11, 2019  |  18 comments
Why travel all the way from New York City to Munich to hear (and see) a loudspeaker made in Brooklyn? Because it's easier to get from the Munich High End press room to the Devore Fidelity listening room here than it is to get from Manhattan's upper west side to the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where the Devore Orangutan Reference loudspeakers are made.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Just released and seen in passive display, the single-ended only Pass Int-25 ($7250) combines an XA-25 with a simplified Int-60 front end. The Int-25 has three inputs, all single-ended.

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