Bird: UK slang meaning a woman/wife/girlfriend, synonyms: broad, chick, dame, girl, lass.
‘Turn it up, bring the noise’
It’s Saturday already so time to pack our bags, eat another huge breakfast and set off for our last day at the show. The fantastic staff at the NH München Deutscher Kaiser are looking after our bags until we come back for the train tonight, we don’t leave until very late so we can actually have another full day here.
The plan was to have a day seeing a bit more of the city but so many people have wanted to meet up with us that we still haven’t got round all of the show, so off we trot like good little piggies.
The weather is a bit wet again but not too bad and the underground is packed with people in ‘drinking trousers’ as we have come to call Lederhosen, and Bayern Munich football shirts, it’s a great atmosphere but more on that later.
These are a young and very enthusiastic outfit who make some very purposeful looking and sounding amplifiers, they had some music playing from the STS Digital stand which, though at a low volume, had you looking for the (nonexistent) sub! Mr Hifi Pig will tell you more about our meeting with them in his report.
Then, the time had come, off upstairs to make my pilgrimage to the Avantgarde room, as this was one of my main reasons for wanting to come to the show I already wrote a separate report which you can read HERE.
After Avantgarde we had a bit of time for a wander before we had to get to the Gryphon Audio room for an invitation only listen to their new Trident II Floorstanding speakers. Flemming E. Rasmussen, the creative force and CEO of Gryphon had invited us when we popped in the day before. This was a very clever move on the part of Gryphon because it meant that a small group could actually have a proper listen in much better conditions. Flemming’s comment that if we heard any vibrations that shouldn’t be there, it wasn’t the speakers, but probably the ceiling about to fall down, was a little unnerving though!
These are incredible speakers. We listened to 6 different tracks of different genres of music, all of which sounded excellent. I had been worried about my Avantgarde experience spoiling anything that I listened to afterwards but it just showed how something could be a different kind of sound but still just as good. The Tridents were clean and clear and coped with anything that was thrown at them.
They were also showcasing their Kalliope DAC which Flemming said could play any current format and had been future-proofed to keep with some that were not even available yet, not sure how they do that, perhaps they have also invented the Gryphon Tardis!
There were only around 16 of us in the room one of whom was Sarajan from 6moons, who we had a chat with while we were waiting for the room to be set up.
Here at Hifi Pig Towers we do have a pretty wide ranging, eclectic taste in music which got me thinking, do the people that exhibit at shows actually listen to the music they play at the shows, at home?
Some rooms at Munich did play some really great sounding stuff, powerful blues, Pink Floyd and other stuff that you might just want to sit down with a glass of wine to listen to, but a lot of it could only be described as ‘challenging’.
You know the kind of thing; sounds like someone threw all their pots and pans down the stairs and then stood on the cat, or encouraged two bears have a fight in a piano factory and recorded the result (in very high quality, obviously).
I’m not a big fan of ‘stately home music’ (classical) either but I know a lot of people like it so I’m happy to hear it at shows, so long as that isn’t all that you get.
We were supposed to bring some music with us to play, but ‘someone’ forgot it, though I wonder how many exhibitors (with the exception of JoSound, who positively encourages people to play their own stuff) would be happy to play a few proper banging tunes? I imagine only the ones who are truly confident in the sound of their kit.
To be fair, the exhibitors will have paid a lot of money to be at a show and may worry that their room will be emptied by some nutter playing ‘child scaring’ music, so just stick with the safe option of playing their own, but some could be encouraged to take a leaf out of Gryphon’s book and include a more broad spectrum….. I would love to hear some Dubstep or really full on Techno played on some of the really posh kit (!)
They were showing the new Prestige Gold Reference range which was beautiful in that classic ‘brandy after dinner in the wood-panelled library’ style that Tannoy do so well. I personally really liked the new Carbon fibre finished Kingdom Royal Carbon Black speakers that they had in both red and black.
The Orpheus room was a lesson in pure, understated Swiss made elegance. Very nice indeed. They were playing some swirling, classical violin music when we went in which seemed to really suit the system.
Brodmann Acoustics, from Vienna, were another standout room. There was a light and airy, luxe feel to it to compliment their stunning speakers. The finish on these is just incredible, high piano gloss in a variety of woods including the very rare white ebony. They are not just good looking though, the sound is fabulous from them, when the smaller models were playing you had to check it really was them and not their big brothers! The driving force behind this sound was supplied by amplifiers from Viola Audio Laboratories, it was a real quality partnership and a room that we came back to a couple of times to enjoy the sound.
After that lot, we fancied a bit of a change of scene so we made our way over to the KEF and Arcam room.
This was probably the liveliest room we went in, understandably it was really busy and the KEF team had taken the sensible choice of having the big Muon and Blade floorstanders on display, but were using their smaller speakers, in conjunction with Arcam kit. The first time we walked in Johan from GP Acoustics was playing an excellent mix that he picked up from a club in Boston, the LS50’s are really suited to this kind of music and you really have to do a double take when you see the size of them. Small Speaker, massive sound.
I was really happy to hear some ‘proper music’ after all the plinking and plonking going on in some other rooms we had been through and Johan was chuffed by our reaction! Being the friendly bunch that they are, they whizzed us off into their dealer room for a much needed beer and we were very well looked after.
However, these guys really don’t play fair and when we popped in later on our way out they played ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, a true epic anthem that really made us want to stay!
At around 5pm we really had to get moving as we were going to try and claim a table at the Hofbrauhaus before it got too mental.
On our way out of the main hall my eye was caught by some Neat Acoustics, very cute, Hifi Pig Pink speakers and we had a very quick chat with Bob, their MD, really great chap, just a shame we were rushing off.
The journey to the Hofbrauhaus was crazy, the whole of Munich seemed to be out on the streets for a massive parade and party celebrating Bayern Munich wining the league. It was heaving, but incredibly good natured and the excitement was infectious. Our plan worked and we secured a table and were soon joined by Pam and Geoff from Tellurium Q and the guys from Origin Live. It was the perfect send-off, lots of beer and food and singing along with the guys wearing their ‘drinking trousers’ (must get Mr Pig a pair of those!)
We had had an absolute ball, it was a bit of a full on whirlwind though and we met so many fantastic people, too many to mention.
I’m already looking forward to next year and we intend to come for a bit longer than 3 days so we can hopefully get round everything in the show and meet up with all the people we didn’t get a chance to this time.