Jim Austin

Jim Austin  |  May 15, 2019  |  3 comments
In Munich, electronics company Constellation Audio was demoing with Magico M2 loudspeakers ($63,000 / pair with M-Pod footers). Spinning vinyl was the Continuum Audio Labs Obsidian turntable ($35,000) w/Viper Tonearm ($10,000) and Ortofon A-95 Cartridge ($6,000). Phono preamplification was by Constellation—their Andromeda phono stage ($18,000). On the digital side, the source was Constellation's Cygnus Media Player/DAC ($38,000). Constellation's Pictor preamp was in use ($18,000), as was a pair of their Taurus monoblocks ($39000/pair).
Jim Austin  |  May 15, 2019  |  35 comments
Playing in Room F210 on the top level atrium of Hall 4: Two pair of Focal Scala Utopia EVO loudspeakers ($39,995/pair) with lots of Naim electronics and cabling. Also in the system was a VPI Prime Signature turntable, but it wasn't in use when I was in the room. The key items in this room, though, were humble footers: specifically, IsoAcoustics GAIA-Titan Theis isolators—not so humble after all, on second thought, since they cost $899.99 for a set of four. The loudspeakers—white and green—were arranged in alternate pairs, their acoustical centers shifted by a few degrees.
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 11, 2019  |  19 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.
Jim Austin  |  May 11, 2019  |  1 comments
On static display: three products from Cary that just started shipping earlier this year.
Jim Austin  |  May 09, 2019  |  5 comments
I wandered in to the room shared by, among other companies, Accustic Arts and Fischer & Fischer. The news from this room is two new high-value products—by which I mean that they're cheaper than the company's main lines, so there's a good probability that they offer good value. High-end companies trickling down appears to be a Munich High End trend—note, for instance, the Mark Levinson No.5101 SACD player/streaming DAC I wrote about earlier today.
Jim Austin  |  May 09, 2019  |  2 comments
Just some tonearm sweetness from Thales. Photo taken through a window. Enjoy.
Jim Austin  |  May 09, 2019  |  20 comments
From my first room at High End Munich: Some actual news: A new SACD player from Mark Levinson.
Jim Austin  |  Apr 18, 2019  |  2 comments
AXPONA 2019 was a good show—I'm tempted to say an important show. It's just an intuition, but I sense renewed vitality.
Jim Austin  |  Apr 17, 2019  |  7 comments
Both the name of the company and the look of their products belie what I found to be the company's spirit. "CAD"—short, in this case, for Computer Audio Design, but more commonly denoting computer-aided design, evokes highly technical, inhuman stuff. The main CAD products on active display in this room at AXPONA—the CAD Audio Transport, the 1543 Mk II DAC, and various "Ground Control" boxes—are squared off and minimalist in design, resembling space objects from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The components' green logos evoked, for me, nothing so much as the eyes of aliens come to abduct us.

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