Munich 2022

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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.
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  |  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.
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 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 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  |  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 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).
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  |  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 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.
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."
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 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.
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.