Every year the High End Show introduces some newcomers to the Hifi Industry. Hifi Pig always has a chat with these exhibitors and does a feature on them as we think that the continual growth of the industry depends on new brands as well as our more well known names. Over the last five years that we have been attending the show we have seem new brands like PureAudioProject, with their open baffle loudspeakers, and Westminster Labs super-high-end electronics go from being ‘Newcomers’ to established brands

First up this year was B.audio who come from near Strasbourg in Eastern France. Brothers Sebastien and Cedric Bermann, along with their designer, Olivier Hess, were presenting their designed and made in France B.dac and B.dpr. The B.dac is, unsurprisingly, a DAC whilst the B.dpr is an enhanced version that also features a preamplifier. Their products features their in-house technology called SJR “Source Jitter Removal”, which they say “provides the best possible D/A conversion, from every source” They have spent the last ten years developing their product before unveiling to the audiophile world at High End Munich.

Their products have a very classy, minimal design which I immediately loved and feature a CNC – machined aluminium front panel with integrated ball-bearing mounted rotary knobs. A very simple looking less is more approach. B.audio are already working on their next products, the B.amp series.

Next we encountered Betonart Audio from Germany. Physicist Jörg Wähdel had some very attractive concrete loudspeakers that had a wonderful Bauhaus style to them, with a small selection of different models. Modern and minimal the concrete had a lovely tactile quality to it. He also presented an isolation platform that utilises a sandwich construction of concrete, microquartz and wood with sorbothane feet.

Stacore are a Polish brand who make anti-vibration platforms. We encountered them in one of the best rooms at last year’s High End Munich, so it was good to see them getting to exhibit in their own right. Available in Basic and Advanced versions they are made from Italian slate and fill with air to work pneumatically. The Advanced version has a second stage, ball bearings, which they say “greatly improve the isolation efficiency for lateral vibrations, happening in the dimensions of the basis. In this way the so called full six-axis decoupling is achieved—the Holy Grail of vibration control”.

We next met with Giorgio and Marco of Fonica International from Italy. It took a short while to dawn on me that what at first glance appeared to be some kind of room treatment panels, were actually loudspeakers. The speakers were incredible thin and very stylish and the guys told us this was because they feature isodynamic speaker technology: sound comes from a large surface area consisting of a thin, ultra-light membrane, moving evenly along the entire surface. By reacting to the impulse of a magnetic field, this membrane vibrates producing “pure sound with no distortion”.

The result is a speaker that could unobtrusively grace any ultra-modern home, available in three sizes from tall floorstanders to desktop. They can also be customised with the image of your choice.

The final newcomer was Flux Hifi. This German company were showcasing vinyl accessories, the main one that caught our eye was their Flux Sonic stylus cleaner. This little gadget is made in Germany and costs 149€. Flux told us: “The Flux-Sonic Stylus Cleaner is designed to gently, safely and quickly remove hardened dirt from the record player needle. Targeted vibration ensures residue-free cleaning. The stylus need not be removed for this purpose. The application is simple and works on every turntable. Flux-Sonic can be applied as often as desired. We recommend using it before each playback”.

They also gave us one to try for ourselves, so expect a review once the Munich madness has died down!

So, that was the Newcomers at High End Munich 2017…roll on High End Munich 2018 where we we hopefully see some of the Newcomers exhibiting again!

 

 

 

 

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