Saturday, 20 May 2017

Munich High End Show 2017 Part 2

As for day 1, content will be built up over the next few days, so please call back to check on more content, photos for now.

This is part 2 of the report, PART 1 OF THE REPORT HERE

Please note that there is limited time for listening at this show, so these are first impressions only.  For systems I enjoyed I went back for repeat visits where possible to get a wider appreciation of their capabilities.  I also revisited some of the systems I least liked for the same reason.  All content is IMHO, YMMV etc. etc.

Burmester streamer, monoblocks and flagship speakers

Some will be very happy with these Burmesters, but I have a real problem with the chrome front panels.  When set up properly all you have to look at is yourself.  For me, that's not a good thing, but others might quite enjoy that effect.
Apart from the disquiet noted in the caption above, first impressions here are of a very deep and well controlled bass.  This was mixed with a little harshness, but by moving back 2 rows in the room, a better balanced sound could be enjoyed.  The system was very good with acoustic guitars and piano.  Note the speakers can be swivelled on their stands which will be helpful with first time set up.  Overall, the sound was very technically accomplished but wasn't very engaging.  Best for those with a substantial ego!

Sprocket turntable, Synaestec Audiosysteme, Live Act 15 and extreme room treatment by Audio Architektur

Every possible choice of robust materials available in steel cages to enhance the sound of your listening room.  The decorative value is an individual decision

Nice chunky power amps into the smaller speakers shown below.  Very boom and tizz.

ROOM D111 and D112
A couple of rooms full of sadly silent boxes

I really was looking forward to hearing Meridian, Sonus Faber and Dynaudio at the show.  I don't think that I missed any rooms where these items were playing, but here was a room full of wonderful looking stuff, but so disappointing not to be able to listen to them. Shame.

Meridian electronics

Meridian active speakers

Sonus Faber.  Why can't we listen to them please?

Sonus Faber

Looks amazing.  Why can't we listen to it?

Audio Research - more silence

Krell. No music playing

New "bathroom scales" from AR - the ultimate experience, but you'll just have to imagine what that sounds like

Dynaudio 40th anniversary speakers.  Looking lovely, playing nothing

AVM 30 products and PMC Twenty5.26

AVM launched the 30 series at the show - previously only a limited edition for a limited number of geographies, this year they become a full range and AVM class them as "more affordable" which means "only" 000 on the price ticket rather than 0000.  Here they were feeding PMC's recently introduced Twenty5.26 and were making some decent sounding music.  The kit is very clean looking and is well built.  Worth a listen.

Octave and Blumenhofer speakers
Apologies, I don't have any notes on this room.

Audionet Plank CD player and their new "flagship" Ampere amplification with Akustik Berlina RC8, room treatment

Well they weren't playing plinky-plonky in here.  And nor do they need to hide behind anything "safe" - this is a great sounding system and, as a contrast to the other system at the show using the same model of speaker, showed off the Akustik's abilities to great effect.  This combination produced a very clean sound with no hints of hash nor background noise. Bass lines are solid but with clear delineation between the notes.  Presley's sparse "live" recording of Fever from the album "Elvis Is Back!" on Living Stereo was superbly rendered - very musical indeed.  I went back for more later and enjoyed the system again on a second helping.  Its rare to hear Audionet in the UK, but each time its been a pleasure for me. Based on this experience, their new flagship range is a triumph.

Chord Electronics

Music wasn't playing for the 5 minutes I was in the room.  We just had to "oooh" as the blue LEDs and extreme machining.  After 5 minutes, patience waiting for music runs out.
For those who think Chord weren't putting enough effort into their industrial design


TRANSROTOR Turntables presented by Rake Hifi Vertrieb

A vast array of turntables from one manufacturer. Interesting to see so many different approaches within one range.  This was another room where there was no music playing, even though it was a room suited for the purpose.  So have a look through their wares and I'll leave you to choose if you wish to admire the workmanship, shake your head at the bling or to wonder, if all this stuff is so good at playing records, why none of them were playing records...

And yes, that is a Veyron in the background. I suppose it must have a good sound system, but that wasn't very clear.

Boom-boom,    chica-chicaaaahhh

ROOM E216 Revisit
Kudos T-808 and Naim electronics

All members of the Tital family in ascending size (and price) order
Having enjoyed the T-606 and T-707 on day one I paid a couple more visits to Kudos on the second day.  T-707 again sounding very good, but when the T-808 was playing it was just too loud so I didn't hang around to listen.

ROOM E101/102
Kondo TT and amplification with Kawero! speakers

I've head these Kawero!s before at a UK show where they sounded very interesting but they were using "demo" type music rather than music most people would actually sit and listen to.  Here, they put forward a nice enough sound, but not enough to make me want to go back for more.

Brinkman TT and electronics with Vandersteen speakers

A rather strident sounding system.

Bergmann TT with parallel tracking arm and WOD Audio, Kubala-Sosna cables

Well, this was OK, nothing more, nothing less.

Ypsilon electronics with Wilson Benesch speakers

Playing a prototype ladder DAC with valve output stage.  This was a nice fluid sounding system which showed off the Wilson Benesch speakers a little better than WB's own room with the CH electronics.

ROOM E112 and E113
Nubert stuff

Serious soundbar
Listening to the above (electronics unknown) was impressive - lots of dynamics. The room was very full and I didn't have a good place to listen from so have to say that it wasn't a good place to form an opinion.

Protective wall? Bass Traps? Whatever, can't imagine its helping with the sound

McIntosh goes for the (non-existent in Europe) biggest VU meter award

Pretty room, nice display, no music.

No, not THAT Tidal...

Imitation bamboo dispertion stuff was quite popular

A touch of damp

Augustiner went down well

HofBrau Haus

Stein's for the locals - bring your own key

A bar that charges its customers to use the loo

Simple, but oh so helpful - a rare thing

Proof that there's no limits to the austentation available.  Unless they're magic super-sound crystals or something

This is Part 2 of the report, PART 1 OF THE REPORT IS HERE

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