There are certain manufacturers that can be relied upon to always put on a good show at Munich High-End.

It’s not only about the sound in the room, it’s about making people feel welcome, giving them a pleasant environment to sit in and listen and being a bit more inclusive in their music choices.

It’s not just about how you treat the guys with the press passes either; we like to see how you look after Joe Public too.

If there is anything guaranteed to make me leave a room fast its obnoxious people who just want to chat among themselves, play on their phones and generally behave as if the general public is a nuisance.

Some brands though have really got it right and can be relied upon to make you feel welcome, show after show.

Yep some of these are big name brands, and that’s probably half the reason they are big name brands, they make great kit and know how to treat the public well.  But there are some much smaller brands that still know how to look after people and make sure that they always come back to their room at a show.

The following are five of the brands that, in my humble opinion as a punter, get it right consistently.

If there was an award for enthusiasm, it would have to go to Johan, UK Brand Manager for KEF.  He is always bouncing about; having a bit of a chat with people and playing music that he knows the crowd will love.  He knows his stuff too and, along with the rest of the KEF and Arcam guys, makes their room THE place to be if you want to feel you’ve just walked in to a really cool party.

I was a bit worried this year as the KEF and Arcam room looked very grown up, all black, grey and opulent.  This was, of course, to showcase their new Reference line of loudspeakers.

These are serious looking loudspeakers in a beautiful, grown up finish…but they still have the KEFness that I love, they deliver all types of music making it fun to listen to.  Nice one. KEF 1

KEF 2

KEF 3

KEF 4

Avantgarde Acoustic makes some of the most beautiful, and wonderful to listen to, horn loudspeakers in the world.  It is not just the quality of their products though, or the fact that at Munich they have a big, airy, spacious room, with plenty of Avantgarde branded seats for people sit on and lots of kit to look at.

They are always pleased to see everyone that walks into their room

They are professional but also friendly and approachable.  They speak and present in several different languages, making sure that everyone is included.

They play a wide variety of music too so no body gets alienated……..they see nothing wrong with wanting to listen to pop music on their kit.

And of course they make one of my favourite loudspeakers ever, the Trio, but whether they are playing the Trios or the Zero 1, their room has to be on your must visit list.Avantgarde 1

Avantgarde 2 

JoSound may well be a fairly new name to the world of Hifi, but they consistently have one of my favourite rooms at any show I see them at.  This year at Munich, everything came together right and the system was really singing…(actually, I put this down to my tender loving care of the Ra loudspeakers for the 6 weeks or so previous to the show!)

It’s not just the stunning and different looking kit in Mr Sound’s room though, Joe was, and always is, very warm and welcoming…positively encouraging visitors to play whatever they like.  People tend to walk into Joe’s room and stop there because they like how it sounds, and they feel at home.Josound 1

If you haven’t made time to get into the Manger room this time, then make sure that you do next.

It always gets my vote as a really nice place to be. Daniela makes even a small room work well, splitting it so that there is a place to talk and get info about the products and a listening space that is comfortable and lounge-like.

Like Daniela, the Manger room is calm and serene…just what is needed in a hectic place like a Hifi show!Manger 1

Manger 2

I always love visiting Gryphon. Flemming and his team are always welcoming, in a quiet and unassuming way. In fact Flemming always seems a little surprised that so many people want to come and hear his kit. 

Gryphon make some of the most amazing sounding and purposeful looking electronics and loudspeakers around (and consistently have one of the best sounding rooms)…….and that should be reason enough to get you into his room for a listen, but if you can, grab a few moments to have a chat with the tall, softly spoken Dane to tell him what you think,…..you will make his day.Gryphon 1

Gryphon 2

Gryphon 3

 

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