Munich Excessive Finish Present 2019 Present Report from Hifi Pig’s Janine Elliot.
I really like hi-fi exhibits, and none greater than Munich. This can be a large present with three giant halls and a complete of three flooring of 6 lengthy corridors of rooms to take heed to the well-known and in addition the lesser recognized. What notably spoke to me this yr was the development in design and sound of merchandise from Japanese nations. As all the time, there have been some names I hadn’t heard of, and in addition some fairly uncommon names for influence together with Schick “occurs”, Drabbe Acoustics, Neat, Concrete Audio and Tough Commerce, to call however a couple of.
My intention was to report on new and enjoyable concepts that caught my eye, beginning with Modal Akustik making a dipole design of two bass audio system nose to nose in a novel cupboard design that appears much more adventurous than so many boring field shapes on the market from greater corporations. Bass goes right down to 18Hz at -6dB. The housing design absorbs much less power and subsequently is much less vulnerable to resonance.
Any front room would look nice with the huge Estelon Forza full vary speaker costing €110,000. Made in Estonia and utilizing bass/mid Accuton drivers from Germany and a diamond tweeter that is an infinite baffle design. The corporate consider a sealed field may give a extra exact efficiency of the music. Out there as normal in Black or White it may be out there in different colors to order, the cupboard produced from marble mud.
That leads me appropriately to Jern, who I discussed on the 2018 Copenhagen present. This Danish firm, run by the characterful Ole Lund Chrstensen, has now produced the Sandit speaker whose cupboard is made solely of sand. This rectangular speaker, which may be positioned up towards the wall, is made out of the left over sand that’s utilized in casting their €4000 iron audio system formed just like the cartoon character BabaPapa. In addition to stopping landfill he’s additionally supporting the ozone through the use of inner insulation produced simply from seaweed, which apparently even smells just like the seaside! The oblong formed Sandit sounded surprisingly good for the worth of €1000. Ole has now added a much bigger speaker to match his BabaPapa formed Jern 14EH child, plus added two spherical subwoofers into the household.
Different uncommon formed audio system included the As soon as ‘Nar’ from Turkey which is obtainable in many colors, and the superb high quality ESD horn audio system from China.
Extra typical in type have been the brand new Gold collection of audio system from Monitor Audio, a selection of six fashions, these are far more than only a facelift. A variety of the know-how has come down from the highest Platinum collection, together with advances in design of the drivers and bracing them from the rear and the ribbon tweeter.
Turning to DAPs, the established corporations have been current, together with Astell and Kern. Their designs are distinctive to take a look at and all the time use prime elements. Their new “Kann Dice” is rather more army in look than their different merchandise together with the “Kann” and significantly bigger. That is crucial to slot in the massive energy provide (7400mAh) in addition to all of the sockets. This together with a five-pin Mini-XLR for connecting into your property system, in case you can’t fairly match it into your pocket! Internally it has twin SS ES9038PRO SABRE eight-Channel DACs in dual-mono configuration, a quad-core CPU, and 128GB of inner reminiscence (plus as much as 2TB of further space for storing by way of microSD slot). It performs 32-bit/384 PCM and native DSD256 playback and aptX HD Bluetooth help. This mammoth has12v RMS output energy by way of balanced and 6v RMS by way of Unbalanced and has a 5.zero″ 720×1280 HD Touchscreen.
What actually obtained my coronary heart pounding although was the valve N8 DAP from Chinese language firm Cayin. Obtainable in black (made out of brass) or silver (chrome steel) with a 24okay gold triangular emblem on the entrance, this gives a selection of three choices of play together with a primary of triode vacuum tube from the three.5mm socket, or balanced strong state from four.4mm jack or unbalanced SS from the three.5mm socket. Sure, I stated it has a vacuum tube. Now, a standard tube can be far too massive and deplete energy too simply, plus endure a lot microphony. The Korg Nutube 6P1 doesn’t seem like a traditional tube, being very skinny and utilizing about 2% of the facility a standard triode would. The N8 can supply as much as zero.75Watts of energy at 32Ω. The N8 may even perform as a wi-fi DAC permitting streaming providers reminiscent of Tidal and Spotify out of your cell phone. With inner 128G storage it could permit as much as 512GB microSD card.
Fiio additionally confirmed their newest choices as did Shanling. Stax introduced an thrilling new product to the present, the world’s first compact DAC / electrostatic amp unit in order that you may put on your Lambda, SR007 or SR009 Earspeakers on the best way to work. It additionally could be related to your pc by way of USB. It helps DSD 5.6MHz sign playback and PCM as much as 32bit/384KHz.
There have been quite a few corporations displaying their headphones and IEMs. Of observe to me was firm Close to with a set of well-constructed and good high quality IEMs. What made them of curiosity to me was the superb becoming in my ears, a “push” and “twist” they usually have been in! Having taken a whole lot of ear impressions they’ve provide you with what they are saying is a common match designed to suit all ears, together with mine. Their prime mannequin Profile eight (at €1499) has eight matched drivers per ear and two minute switches in an effort to choose bass or treble increase should you assume every thing’s too flat. It even comes with a singular filter system ought to your ears be (yuk) quite waxy, and 16 spare filters per ear.
In addition to an growing consideration to DAPs, headphones and moveable DACs, what amazed me at this present was the rise and originality in all different points of hi-fi, with a gigantean quantity being produced in nations which might be newer to the hi-fi scene. Look again on the 1960’s “hi-fi” exhibits and the record of producers and merchandise might be written in your hand. This yr there have been 551 exhibitors. The Highend Present illustrates simply how huge the marketplace for respectable audio is, if we could be tempted to half with our dosh. At Munich the rooms for listening have been additionally splendid for enjoying music, in contrast with “bedrooms” at some lesser exhibits. Certainly, there have been just a few rooms that I assumed the sound or the selection of music didn’t assist their case. I had a dialog with one other reviewer who agreed that requirements have so improved through the years. That makes it not solely more durable to evaluate but in addition for the buyer to determine what product to truly buy. A lot of the reveals, notably from lesser recognized nations or these from nations with a poor normal up to now, have been certainly astonishingly good.
While the present had many amps, turntables and audio system, there was a notably giant renewed curiosity in reel to reel, with many exhibitors bringing of their valued Revox, Denon, Nagra or Philips to make use of or simply to drool over. On the machine entrance not solely was the stunning new Ballfinger (who additionally make watches) M 063 H current however Thorens was in drive with their cute new €11999 machine which is being manufactured as a small batch of 100 machines obtainable from 2020. The small TM1600 is the dimensions of their turntables, achievable by redesigning the tape path geometry together with the sensors being stored between the reels, above the heads moderately than under them. The machine performs 10½” tapes at 19 and 38cm/s, and is a playback solely machine. This, in fact, will imply bringing down your prized tapes from the loft or buying new pre-recorded recordings. Fortunately a number of tape producers have been current, together with STS, Hemiolia and Zavalinska data.
Hemiolia have been in pressure with a stand filled with machines enjoying the newest, second, remaster of a Luciano Pavarotti live performance, superbly restored from the unique tapes. Mastering on a Studer A80 VU and an Otari MTR15 the duplication line consists of 13 Telefunken M15A’s. Pavarotti favored to document each live performance he carried out at and Hemiolia have managed to pay money for some unique recordings and utilizing his nice information of tape and mastering engineer Pietra Benini has repaired the tapes and produced as-perfect copies. I do know nicely that previous reel to reel tapes can get mouldy very simply, a lot work is required to stop the tapes actually falling aside. By the way, the corporate additionally document different artists with equal verve. Additionally showing on the present have been Zavalinka Data from Moscow, Russia. This can be a one-year-old firm concentrating on classics notably from Shostakovich and Rachmaninov. They equally take masters from broadcasters, of their case from Melodia, and re-master them on to tape utilizing Studer A807s and Nagra four’s.
Swiss tape producer Nagra have been on the present with some spectacular audio, together with YG Acoustics audio system on the entrance finish. Additionally they introduced with them memorabilia together with their iconic SN spy tape recorder and 4S tape machines, and in addition introduced a collection of “Meet the professional” periods, the place numerous main specialists within the area of music and recording mentioned their job or ardour. This included Mr. Fritz de With from STS speaking about actual atmosphere and dynamics with using correct microphone putting.
Again to vinyl there have been quite a lot of extremely vital machines on the present worthy of assessment, not solely from the regulars but in addition some newcomers to the present. Tri-Artwork Audio introduced their turntables and arms constructed from bamboo. They use bamboo as it’s a sustainable and in addition an aesthetically pleasing materials. There isn’t any plastic right here. Not solely is the design novel however in sensible phrases it’s intelligent. Bamboo could be very stiff and inflexible, and in addition absorbs a lot of the resonances which might be the bane of any turntable designer. To vary the monitoring weight merely regulate the variety of ball bearings within the trough! [PHOTOS]
One other vital turntable producer on the present was Reed Audio from Lithuania, with their 5T being their first typical arm making an attempt to unravel the age-old drawback of monitoring angle. Until you have got a parallel monitoring arm or designs comparable to Harman Kardon ST7, Revox B795 or the beautiful B&O Beogram 4000 you’ll all the time get lateral monitoring error, and therefore some distortion. however Reed have a novel answer with a laser based mostly arm that modifications the place of the pivot level arm to take care of a 90 diploma angle between stylus and centre of document. A processor checks the place of the laser behind the arm and adjusts the arm to make sure it’s perpendicular to the report. The arm might be retrofitted to different turntables or fitted to their very own. The precept is predicated on Thales’ theorem (if the centre of a triangle’s circumcircle lies on the triangle then the triangle is true, and the centre of its circumcircle lies on its hypotenuse – so you realize).
Pre-Audio from Poland have been producing parallel trackers for a couple of years now, and I reviewed them a number of years again. There’s often a separate field for the air compressor with tubing to the turntable, however they’ve now produced turntables on present with the compressor constructed on to the platter and which don’t resonate, which was my concern.
Wilson Benesch are well-known for his or her audio system, turntables and arms, and naturally carbon fibre. Now they’ve produced a brand new prototype turntable, the GMT ONE System, that marks the corporate’s 30th anniversary and the results of greater than 20 yr’s collaborative improvement. Slightly than being belt or direct drive, the GMT ONE System – named after the reference GMT time zone – makes use of an electromagnetic-based system referred to as ‘Omega Drive’ which incorporates two separate diameters of coils; 21 on the outer rotor after which a separate inner rotor. Subsequently there are two bearings. It turns into the world’s first axially oriented magnetically geared drive and with nearly no noise. Exterior vibrations are remoted utilizing a remotely adjustable VTA that adjusts vertically to inside 2.5microns referred to as the ‘Alpha Isolation System’ and which has been designed in collaboration with an optical measurement system isolation firm. This continually screens and isolates the turntable from vibrations proper right down to 1.7Hz. I sit up for the discharge of the GMT ONE System in 2020.
The sci-fi wanting Graviton, their new reference tonearm, is equally state-of-the-art. Typical of WB to is constructed from carbon fibre, on this case a single piece of carbon fibre tube with an added sandwich development to offer it higher rigidity.
Again to audio system once more, numerous producers had their tackle BBC loudspeakers, comparable to LS3/5a’s. Apparently Graham Audio went a step additional with a tackle the very aged LS5/5, a speaker I recurrently listened to at BBC World service 35 years in the past. Additionally they had on present a powered mini speaker based mostly on the LS3/5 and a flooring standing model of the LS5/9. Even the BBC didn’t do this.
Dice Audio from Poland introduced their novel Mannequin 15 full vary loudspeaker as much as 18kHz. This field holds a 15 inch paper cone driver with three whizzer cones separated by rubber to dampen the frequencies they don’t need to hear. The corporate produce a collection of fashions and in addition the separate full-range drivers can be found for buy in case you are courageous sufficient to construct your personal enclosure. The Mannequin 15 is available in at €24,000.
A number of the greatest recognized had particular causes to be on the present this yr. Linn have been there to point out off their Selekt DSM community music participant. Obtainable in a number of choices with or with out inbuilt amps, and Selekt or Katalist DAC, this was an thrilling mannequin for the corporate. With Area Optimization it creates the most effective sound on your room. Area Optimisation makes use of intelligent acoustic modelling to construct up an entire image of how your audio system, their placement, and the distinctive traits of the room work together to have an effect on the sound you hear. It takes in info akin to how massive the room is, the dimensions of the partitions and ceiling and what audio system you’re utilizing to create an ideal soundstage and provides as tighter bass-end and extra element. The Linn specialist will take measurements and create the most effective sound in your room, much more refined than the ADC SS3 sound shaper EQ unit I used within the 1970’s! Additionally there was the long-lasting LP12 turntable in its newest guise, which sounded the higher supply than digits.
Lastly, making an necessary look on the present was the Vervent Audio Group, higher often known as Naim and Focal celebrating their 46th and 40th birthdays respectively. Each corporations need to be the main hifi group by 2025, and what that they had on present illustrated their willpower to get there. Naim confirmed off their Mu-so 2 wi-fi system, which replaces the “1” after its 5 years of manufacturing. With extra options and higher high quality this can be a complete rethink of their profitable earlier mannequin, being 95% new know-how. Focal are recognized for his or her audio system and headphones, and didn’t allow us to down with new and established merchandise at Munich. In addition to new audio system to mark 40 years together with a particular version Scala Utopia Evo speaker they, different reveals comprised the Full Lively package on your automotive, and an uncommon picket field named ‘Symphonie 40th’ containing each the Utopia and Stellia telephones, Arche DAC and the Questyle QPM participant. Very novel and also you’d have to be very devoted to non-public audio to purchase this €15,000 combo.
The Munich Present this yr won’t have been as fortunate with the climate as final yr, however that didn’t squelch any of the enjoyment. This was a present to be at, illustrated by all of the smiling faces and focus on issues hi-fi by attendees. In its 38th yr, the Excessive Finish Present had merchandise from 551 exhibitors and 42 nations, a three.eight% improve on the earlier yr, and customer numbers have been additionally up 6.5% at 21,180, together with me.