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High End Munich 2019 Show Report 3

High End Munich 2019 Show Report 1

Report three from the current Excessive Finish Present in Munich by Stuart Smith, Hifi Pig’s editor and Chief Shenanigans Officer and that includes: CH Precision, Wilson Benesch, Etsuro Urushi, Grasp Constructed and GIK, Voxativ, Chord Electronics, Tune Audio, Trafomatic, Audiobyte, Rockna and Skogrand, iFi and eventually PMC. Learn on as a result of certainly one of these offered the spotlight of the present for me…and I don’t say that calmly!

Wilson Benesch are celebrating thirty years of constructing hifi gear and at Munich they selected to make use of their Eminence loudspeakers and GMT turntable. The GMTONE System encompasses a new drive system referred to as the Omega Drive. The Omega Drive is “the world’s first axially oriented, precision magnetically geared turntable drive”. Along with the Omega Drive, Wilson Benesch has developed the Alpha Isolation System, Piezo VTA System, three new tonearms and a devoted new cartridge.

The GMTONE System© derives its identify from Greenwich Imply Time. The GMT reference is, say the Yorkshire based mostly firm, impressed by the novel drive system behind the GMTONE System© which lays declare to being probably the most correct drive system ever developed for a turntable. This drive system doesn’t depend on a belt, it doesn’t depend upon an loafer drive, nor a direct drive system. The GMTONE System© deploys a lately patented magnetic gear know-how Pricing: unconfirmed nevertheless it ought to be obtainable in This fall 2019.

CH Precision from Switzerland offered the electronics within the type of their 1-line (in mono) while cabling was offered by Grasp Constructed. Cartridge on the turntable was the Etsuro Urushi Gold and room remedy was by GIK,

Now, I’ve owned a Wilson Benesch turntable prior to now and instantly regretted promoting it, and I do know an excellent few individuals who use Wislon Benesch loudspeakers, together with our personal Janine Elliot and Dave Robson, however at exhibits I’ve typically discovered them to be missing considerably, nevertheless, at this yr’s Excessive Finish Munich I assumed the entire got here collectively rather well and provided up a properly balanced and dynamic system. Maybe the room remedy by GIK is one thing extra corporations ought to take a look at when doing exhibits.

Voxativ used Excessive Finish Munich to current their new all-in-one Hagen Absolut system.

Berlin-born Voxativ GmbH confirmed off a brand new line of reasonably priced, plug+play, all-in-one Absolut techniques. That is the model’s first built-in package deal to incorporate each a pair of Voxativ loudspeakers together with a brand new built-in amp/DAC. The actual system that they had at Munich was the Absolut Hagen system with audio system utilising a 5” single-driver and costing €7,900.

Offering each amplification and digital supply capabilities, the accompanying Absolut Field is a brand new Class A/B built-in amp with built-in DAC optimised to benefit from the designated loudspeaker by way of amplification energy and custom DSP. With the DSP, the handmade 5” drivers are linear right down to an 45Hz which is fairly spectacular for such a small loudspeaker.

This can be a little bit of a departure for Voxativ as it’s the firm’s first strong state amp, however it’s also their first digital supply element, permitting for an entire Voxativ system from DAC to drivers. To play music, all you want is a smartphone or pc to losslessly stream your music information or favorite providers like Qobuz, TIDAL by way of Bluetooth Apt-X, WiFi or optical in (additionally ROON suitable over Wifi.) Moreover, there’s an analogue enter for the connection of a further supply (like phono-stage, and so on.) in addition to preamp output for lively subwoofer or for use as a devoted supply output into one other amp (just like the Voxativ T211 SET Built-in).

In line with chief designer Holger Adler (pictured under), “Every little thing has been optimized to benefit from our horn-loaded wide-banders. To do that, we introduced collectively a number of the most verboten audio elements – Wifi, Bluetooth, solid-state, DSP, switching energy provide – into a really particular sounding recipe that challenges typical audiophile prejudices. Nobody half makes or breaks a system — it’s the way it’s all introduced collectively. We even stunned ourselves.”

The little system is a really cool introduction to the model and could be very nicely priced for my part. Nevertheless, the large system that performed within the room took my breath away and sounded superb on the day.

This technique stole the present for me finally years Excessive Finish in Munich leaving me in tears – in a great way, although. The system was just about as final years and was simply as beautiful. The audio system are the Tune Audio Avaton (άβατον, historic Greek, a spot that entrance is allowed just for believers) is a three-way, all passive, absolutely horn loaded loudspeaker. Avaton is the realisation of a five-year improvement venture aiming to ship a no-compromise horn loudspeaker for giant listening rooms.

Digital mouth know-how is utilized on the bass horn loading which delivers a flat response right down to 32Hz. The bass driver is an enormous 27KGs 18” unit. The asymmetrical midbass horn has a mouth of 10.000cm2, triple layer construct with damping supplies between, and, lastly, the throat and starting of the horn are coated with epoxy/CNT compound for additional stiffness. There’s a first order cross-over for all 3 ways, inner cabling with waxed cotton insulated pure copper, graphite coated help ft and lots of extra options. This can be a good partnership for the Trafomatic amps and the splendidly lovely Skogrand cables made by Knut who hails from Norway.

Chord Electronics from the UK, who’re celebrating thirty years within the enterprise, have been type sufficient to ask us alongside to the launch of some new merchandise and it was full of the good and the great of the Hifi press from across the World (and us) which fits to point out how properly this British model are regarded. Beer and wine flowed freely and the entire occasion was informative and completely pleasurable with me getting the impression that while the folks behind the model don’t take themselves too significantly, they take the precise merchandise they produce very significantly. All too typically we get invited to occasions which are stuffy and boring, to the purpose you possibly can’t wait to go away and find yourself taking away little or no aside from the thought that you’ve simply misplaced an hour that you’ll by no means get again…not so right here.

The primary unveiling was of the Huei phono preamplifier, a little bit of a departure for the corporate we affiliate principally for his or her unbelievable digital merchandise and amplifiers. Huei  is completely conceived, engineered and manufactured in Nice Britain and has  each Shifting Magnet and Shifting Coil performance and gives compatibility with an enormous vary of cartridges because of complete achieve and impedance-matching choices; Huei’s high- and low-gain switching settings are simply accessible by way of front-panel controls which is a cool contact – there’s even a switchable rumble filter, which once more is a pleasant contact. Chord’s Huei phonostage will value £990 and might be out there in black solely in late summer- I’m dying to offer it a go however reckon Janine will need to struggle me for who will get to assessment it!

Along with Huei Chord Electronics has additionally carried out its flagship ULTIMA amplifier topology into two new mono energy amplifiers, the Ultima 2 and Ultima three. The brand new 750-watt ULTIMA 2 (£18,360 every) is a direct alternative for the SPM 6000 MKII and varieties a part of the corporate’s flagship Reference vary; the smaller 480-watt ULTIMA three (£11,000 every) replaces the SPM 1400 MKII and sits within the Full Measurement vary. Each amplifiers are prepared now.

ULTIMA’s know-how is predicated on a technical paper by Dr Malcolm J Hawksford (emeritus professor at Essex College) which was taken up and refined by Bob Cordell of Bell Labs. Chord Electronics’ proprietor and Chief Designer, John Franks, then took the idea and developed it to a a lot greater degree; a development of Cordell’s superior dual-feed-forward error-correction topology incorporating Franks’ personal ideas in ultra-high-frequency energy provides, which have been a cornerstone of the corporate’s proprietary-technology amplifiers since its inception in 1989.

The ULTIMA 2 and three mono amplifiers have 32 proprietary MOSFET energy units. The drive circuitry options an ultra-low-distortion, high-voltage amplifier working at very excessive velocity: 300 volts per microsecond applied sciences with superior feed-forward and suggestions compensation methods. It additionally advantages from Chord Electronics’ TO3-style twin die lateral matched MOSFETs, that are constantly monitored with output stage error-correction circuitry and have absolutely balanced enter circuitry with DC-tracking servos and full temperature compensation.

Let’s Speak About Specs, Child!

ULTIMA 2 mono energy amp

Output Energy: 750W RMS per channel @ zero.05% distortion into 8Ω; 1305w into 4Ω
Frequency Response: -1dB @ zero.2Hz to 46kHz and -3dB zero.1Hz to 200kHz
Sign to Noise Ratio: Higher than -89dB
Channel Separation: Higher than 90dB
Enter Impedance: 100kΩ Unbalanced/Balanced
Output Impedance: zero.04Ω
Achieve: 30dB
Dimensions with out integra legs: 420mm (w) x 670mm (d) x 310mm (h)
Dimensions with included integra legs: 481mm x 176mm x 681mm
Weight: 86kg

ULTIMA three mono energy amp

Output Energy: 480W RMS per channel @ zero.05% distortion into 8Ω;
Frequency Response: 1dB @ zero.2Hz to 46kHz and -3dB zero.1Hz to 200kHz
Sign to Noise Ratio: Higher than -84dB
Channel Separation: Higher than 90dB
Enter Impedance: 100kΩ Unbalanced/Balanced
Output Impedance: zero.04Ω
Dimensions with included integra legs: 481mm x 176mm x 377mm

It had been a busy however completely gratifying day and I actually might have finished with heading again to the lodge and getting some shut-eye however I’m so happy I didn’t and accepted Staff iFi’s invitation to pop alongside to see the revealing of their new product.

Vicky Pickles was an absolute star and coped with the late bus and the next magical thriller tour with sensible humour and the occasion itself was nice with pretty meals and plenty of beer and wine – a small point out to Tim from Hashstar for taking care of us so nicely!

Thorsten Loesch, the man within the hat and Ifi’s chief engineer, launched the brand new product and eventually unveiled it, while on the similar second sound from the brand new Aurora crammed the very giant area.

Clad in bamboo and elevated by a particular aluminium body, the Aurora’s design is definitely hanging in its appears with iFi telling us that the aesthetic was created by French product designer Julien Haziza, impressed by the structure in Tokyo’s Omotesandō and Harajuku districts. Six drive models nestle behind the bamboo fins that curve across the Aurora’s sides, with an extra two bass radiators beneath. The system’s management panel sits entrance and centre, with touch-sensitive controls and an OLED show inlaid with bamboo.

The Aurora connects to a house Wi-Fi community, enabling customers to stream music by way of their favorite apps, or play audio information saved on networked units reminiscent of computer systems and NAS drives. Bluetooth can also be included, in order that customers might stream instantly from any sensible system.

It can suport knowledge as much as 32-bit/192kHz with out conversion or downsampling by way of Wi-Fi, USB or Ethernet cable. The newest Bluetooth codecs are supported, together with aptX HD, LDAC and LDHC, in addition to AAC.

iFi inform us that connecting to a Wi-Fi community couldn’t be easier, with push-button WPS set-up. Linkplay’s MUZO Participant app – or any UPnP/DLNA streaming app – could also be used to configure the system and management music. AirPlay and Spotify Join are additionally supported.

A number of Auroras could also be linked collectively on a Wi-Fi community to make a multi-room system, enjoying in-sync, as they have been on the night time, or managed individually.

At Aurora’s coronary heart lies proprietary amp know-how that iFi calls ‘PureEmotion’ – a hybrid circuit design comprising a number of key levels. The primary of those – the preamp stage – incorporates a Russian 6N3P valve (seen by means of a window subsequent to the OLED show). This takes the analogue audio sign delivered by the Aurora’s DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) circuitry – based mostly round a chip from ESS Know-how’s 32-bit Sabre DAC household – and provides achieve in preparation for additional amplification. The ensuing low-level sign then passes to the facility amp stage – iFi’s ‘present multiplier circuit’. This can be a extremely environment friendly switching energy amplifier, an outline it has in widespread with Class D amplification – however there the similarity ends with iFi explaining “ iFi’s present multiplier circuit is solely totally different as a result of the switching frequency is fastened at an ultra-high degree – round 1.5MHz, far past the audible frequency spectrum. This leads to a excessive degree of effectivity, multiplying the present provided by the valve a number of thousand-fold, while sustaining far higher linearity and decrease noise than typical switching amplifiers. Coupled to this can be a low-pass circuit and a suggestions loop, the latter making certain the output frequency is right for the load, and every thing is ‘clock-locked’ by way of iFi’s GMT (International Grasp Timing) circuit to make sure unerring precision.”

The PureEmotion amp stage delivers a complete of 320W to energy the Aurora’s custom-made speaker drive models. The primary drivers, of which there are 4 – two firing from the entrance and one from all sides – sport a 120mm cone produced from coated long-fibre paper. That is coupled to a big magnet, a basket that resonates above the audible vary and in depth measures to make sure tour is managed and damped mechanically, in order that readability and management are maintained even at excessive quantity ranges. Unusually, these foremost drivers are deployed in a wide-bandwidth position to cowl the overwhelming majority of the audible frequency spectrum, rolling off in the direction of very low and really excessive frequencies. The drive unit design, along with the inert nature of the Aurora’s housing – stiff, well-braced, naturally sound-absorbent bamboo with strategically positioned damping materials – allows a flat frequency response from round 60Hz to 8kHz. Avoiding the necessity for a crossover.

As well as, there are two 28mm silk-dome tweeters, one at both sides, cowl frequencies from 8kHz to 35kHz. With a easy first-order crossover for the smoothest potential transition and a shallow waveguide to offer time-alignment, these tweeters not solely ship high-frequency sounds resembling cymbals however are additionally crucial to the Aurora’s spacious soundstage, say iFi.

Two additional drivers – a pair of rectangular passive bass radiators – hearth downwards from the underside of the cupboard. The diaphragm utilized by these drivers is shaped from a composite of carbon, iron and ethylene-vinyl acetate, a well-damped materials enabling the right resonant frequency to be obtained from a diaphragm of applicable thickness. That is mixed with a self-centring, double-ribbed rubber (presumably for additional pleasure) encompass, negating the necessity for a basket.

iFi doesn’t use DSP of this type in any of its merchandise; as an alternative, the Aurora incorporates sound-tuning applied sciences that function totally within the analogue area. SoundSpace is one such know-how – this combines the drive unit array with a proprietary matrix, which adjusts the output from particular drivers at sure frequencies. iFi say that SoundSpace is prime to the Aurora’s “immersive, room-filling efficiency, enabling the soundstage to increase past the confines of the cupboard with expansive width, peak and depth”.

TrueBass is one other proprietary sound-tuning know-how that operates strictly within the analogue area and incorporates the 2 downward-firing bass radiators. Twin-level depth management means you’ll be able to modify the bass response in response to style – right down to 27Hz.

The Aurora incorporates a ‘room correction’ system referred to as ART (Automated Room Tailoring), solely developed in-house. On the press of a button, six microphones measure the space to the encompassing partitions utilizing ultrasonic sound. Then, a 32-bit ARM Cortex microprocessor adjusts the output from the driving force array to tailor Aurora’s efficiency.  All of the changes are made strictly within the analogue area, with out counting on DSP or suggestions within the method of many different room correction techniques

You should purchase a chargeable battery pack and connect it to Aurora’s 12v enter, so you’ll be able to take it outdoors for a backyard celebration which is a reasonably cool concept.

Along with wi-fi connectivity, there are many cable inputs to attach supply units. Optical, coaxial, USB and Ethernet inputs cater for digital sources, whereas three.5mm socket supplies an analogue enter. There’s even a slot for microSDHC playing cards – add music onto a card and play it on the Aurora.

Aurora can be obtainable from July 2019 on the following RRPs/MSRPs:

£1,299 (GBP) together with VAT

€1,499 (Euro) together with VAT

$1,299 (USD) excluding gross sales tax

If the sound popping out of this frankly lovely field of tips on the night time is something to go by, iFi are onto a little bit of a winner with Aurora. It sounds MUCH greater than its proportions would recommend and it seems fab. Personally, I’d undoubtedly give it home room and I can see many others doing likewise!!

Proper right here is the place you’ll examine what was, for me, the spotlight of this yr’s Munich Excessive finish, and I don’t say that calmly given a few of the beautiful package we had the pleasure of seeing and listening to. Not solely had PMC a few new speaker unveilings for us, additionally they had a remix in Dolby Atmos of Miles Davis’ Sort of Blue and Sketches of Spain – and each have been completely STUNNING! I’m no fan of flicks and encompass sound and all that guff and by no means actually considered Atmos getting used for music playback, however you realize what, it really works – or it really works right here and with these remixes!

PMC had been given entry to the unique grasp tapes of the recordings and the entire was remixed at Capitol Studios in LA which is provided with a full PMC Dolby Atmos system. They labored intently with the Miles Davis property PMC USA’s Maurice Patist, Grammy Award profitable engineer David Rideau and Senior Engineer Steve Genewick.

“A couple of years again David and I labored collectively on a presentation of Sketches of Spain in 5.1,” says Patist, “And the Miles Davis household have been very proud of the outcomes, so I went to them and stated how a few Dolby Atmos combine for ‘Type of Blue’ and ‘Sketches of Spain’? We have been delighted once they stated sure and organized for the unique grasp tapes to be retrieved from Sony’s Legacy Recordings for us to work with.”

Ending the combination, the household have been invited to Capitol to listen to the outcomes and instantly stated, “Individuals have to listen to this! That is the best way Miles’ music must be heard!” Because of the response of the household and Sony executives, PMC has been granted unique permission to share the outcomes with the viewers on the Excessive Finish Present. And in attendance to current this seminal album in Dolby Atmos have been Erin Davis, son of Miles, and his drummer and nephew, Vince Wilburn, who along with Miles’ daughter Cheryl Davis handle Miles Davis’ property and hold his legacy alive. How thrilling and what an honour for us humble Hifi Pig’s to have the ability to chat with these sorts of individuals. Nevertheless, we have been declared cool sufficient to have an image (or Lin was) with them with Erin saying that “You cats are so cool, we actually have to get you out to LA!”

The system was PMC’s flagship mannequin, the very fact fenestria, complemented by an array of its Wafer on-wall audio system for the encompass and peak channels and a number of its skilled subwoofers, mimicking the system at Capitol Studios.

All I can say is that the sound we heard took the music to an entire new degree and switching from the excellent stereo combine to the Atmos was a little bit of an eye-opener. STUNNING!

We have been additionally acquired to try the brand new reality signature collection which might be re-engineered variations of the reality.eight and reality.12 loudspeakers, with improvements and know-how developed for the fenestria flagship. Keith Tonge of PMC gave us an intro to the brand new members of the very fact household which have new crossovers, mounted on military-grade circuit boards, are populated with the identical hand-selected elements employed within the fenestria, with the positioning of every element rigorously calculated to minimise undesirable interference. Audiophile grade switching, set into the strong aluminium again panel, permits tailoring of the bass and treble response of the audio system to create the right sound stability within the listening room. Connections to the amplifier are by way of silver coated binding posts and it’s attainable to bi/tri-wire or bi/tri-amp the audio system.

The 2-way reality.eight signature and three-way reality.12 signature retain the acquainted options of their predecessors. The SONOMEX™ dome treble unit is widespread throughout each fashions and the very fact.12 utilises a hand-made 50mm dome midrange that comes with design parts from the mid-range driver in fenestria. Reality.eight options mild, super-stiff, pure fibre bass drivers and the very fact.12 retains its bespoke woofers created from an ultra-light alloy cone. And, in fact, each audio system have at their hearts PMC’s Superior Transmission Line bass-loading know-how. They’re obtainable in two new finishes: White Silk and Metallic Graphite.

The very fact.eight signature and reality.12 signature will probably be obtainable for RRP £6,995 (SRP €9,495) and RRP £14,995 (SRP €18,995) together with VAT respectively and they’re obtainable from July 2019.

Stuart Smith

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