Stuart Smith’s fifth report from Munich High End 2019 including Aries Cerat, Pen Audio, Chord Electronics Poly, Levin Design, Atlas Cables, Lab12, Musikelectronic Geithain, Sugden, Acoustic Signature, Lawrence Audio and Kronos, Best 300B, Lampizator, Audionec, Jadis and Nodal, Stenheim And Playback Devices, Audion, Graham Slee and Sonic Voice and New Horizon.

Aries Cerat

Now this was a stunningly good room, if a little difficult to photograph. Aries Cerat had the world premier of their six-chassis Aries Cerat Achilleas SET amplifier and was driving their Symphonia horn speakers, and paired with their new bass horn, the Erevus model S. Pre-amplifier was their Impera Reference, showcasing the brand’s Inverted Triode technology. For music streaming they had the Pink Faun 2.16x server, which is equipped with the latest OCXO clock technology and the Kassandra Series two chassis Signature DAC.

Rui Borges was demonstrating their latest turntable, the Pendulum 2 through the Aries Cerat Talos Signature phono system – another World premiere. This new development in phono pre-amplification was paired with the Top Wing Red Sparrow cartridge. The system also featured isolation platforms from Stacore who we first came across at munich a few years ago and Signal Projects provided power and signal cables.

Pen Audio

This stand and room confused me in all honesty. The signs said Pen Audio but the speakers were branded OldSkool. I assume the latter is a product line fro Pen Audio. Nice sounding though.

Chord Electronics Poly

This was a very busy stand every time we went past. The Poly/Mojo is a very clever media player and now there are 1TB SD cards available you will be able to carry around huge amounts of music around in hi-res.

Levin Design

The Bauhaus movement became a thing in 1919 and so what better way to celebrate this centenary than to produce a Bauhaus inspired turntable. Very cool.

Atlas Cables

Scottish cable manufacturer used High End Munich to launch a number of innovative new cables to add to their ever growing range. Martin and Kevin were ken to show off their new Atlas streaming cables, the Atlas Mavros Luxe streaming cable, their EOS DD power cables, a new Mavros Luxe USB cable and Mavros tonearm and turntable cables.

LAB12

LAB12 always have a well put together and clean looking stand at Munich High End which reflects the clean and modern/retro feel of their products. As well as their full range of products, including the melto2 phono-pre-amplifier that we gave our highest accolade in a recent review, LAB12’s Stratos Vichos was keen to show of the Greek company’s latest DAC, the DAC1 Reference which has two coaxial inputs, an optical input and a USB input allowing for playback of hi-resolution files and DSD. I can’t help but think the prices LAB12 charge for their products is on the low side for such well done products.

Musikelectronic Geithain

I was walking past this stand and they started playing Bobby Brown (Goes Down) by Zappa and so who was I to walk on by. A really nice surprise to hear this tune at High End and one I thoroughly enjoyed, although the listening conditions were far from ideal.

Sugden

Sugden produce Class A products and are based in Yorkshire, England. I’ve only heard their products a handful of times in dems but the appear to be very well engineered and certainly have their fans.

Acoustic Signature

Impressive German turntables based on sound engineering practices. We’ve heard these at close quarters when we visited them and they are very good indeed.

Lawrence Audio and Kronos

Coming from Taiwan Lawrence Audio partnered with TLA for their amps and used a Kronos turntable. As well as their flagship Dragon speakers they unveiled their new Harp loudspeakers. The Kronos turntable is a thing of wonderment as I’ve stated in previous show reports and in this room th whole came together really well, though I’d love to hear the system playing something a little “heavier”.

Best 300B, Lampizator, Audionec, Jadis and Nodal

Audionec were showing off their brand-new speaker range, EVO which was paired with Nodal Audio’s power distributor, the LMP-1 Opera, and their power and speaker cables called “Rhapsody”.

The new AudioNec Evo Speaker line uses their new wide-band driver “Duopole DS”. The Audionec Evo range is a modular speaker system and they offer four levels, ranging from less than 20,000€. In essence users can start off by buying the basic system and add to it later. The entry level kit uses passive crossovers that allow for bi-amping whereas the AS iteration offer active subs (AS) that use active crossovers and amps to power them and, if desired the woofers in the main speakers.

The Signature versions implement the AudioNec DSPV4 which offers system optimisation, acoustic room correction, digital crossovers and low amplification needs. The listening system used French brand Jadis’ JA 80 MKII Amplifiers and the wonderful Lampizator Pacific DAC.

I’ve often said that systems using Lampizator DACs at shows have been the best of show, or up there with the best of show and so this room had a lot to live up to. I needn’t have worried as it sounded fab on the day. The speakers I had particular concern about given their unusual design, but again I needn’t have worried!

Stenheim And Playback Devices

Playback Devices was a new one on me but their electronics certainly look the part.

Audion, Graham Slee and Sonic Voice

Graeme from Audion was keen to show off his new amplifier based on the EL34 tube and which whose prototype was still being finished only hours before the start of the High End Munich show.  The new integrated power amps are the AUDION LIGNUM OCTO  & QUADDRA.

The all new Lignum (latin for wood) range of Audion Power Amplifiers includes the 8  valved Single Ended EL34 OCTO  and the 4 valved Single Ended Quaddra integrated full width power amplifier.  The Lignum range  includes a 5 Channel  passive pre-amplifier and are self auto biased.

Using a full internal aluminium chassis with an oak or walnut frame (made from sustainable wood), The Lignum range will feature a choice of black chrome top plate and knob or high gloss black crystal pearl top plate and knob.  These amps are of hand built and hard wired using a newly designed single ended output transformer (wound in house).

Audion say they chose single ended topology purely for the quality of sound reproduction. The 4 valve Quaddra gives approx. 22 watts per channel and the Octo gives approx. 44 watts in pure class A.

They have 5 stereo line level inputs as well as a tape through port (unattenuated).

“Our greatest motivation producing the Lignum range was to make a range of Single Ended amplifiers with a completely different and more natural, organic look and feel as we did with our Special Edition range, we again called in the help of Dutch designer Marko Schregardus who helped us perfect the natural organic wood look we had in mind.” mentioned Graeme from Audion. These amps are due for official launch on 1st Sept. 2019

Graham Slee is based in the same town that I come from in Yorkshire, England and has a great reputation for producing well priced kit that performs well beyond its price-point – indeed for phono-stages you’d be hard pressed to do better at the relatively low prices he charges.

Sonic Voice had a new platter mat on show, one that is made of a combination of man-made and natural materials.

New Horizon

The budget turntable market is a burgeoning one and New Horizon was for me a new player in this very busy marketplace. The GD1 is just €399 including arm and MM cartridge. At the other end of the company’s offering we have the GDS at €3850 that comes with an arm but no cartridge. Whilst I didn’t have the opportunity to hear these turntables, they looked very well made and certainly give potential buyers an alternative to the usual suspects.

There is still much more to read and hundreds of pictures from the High End Munich show, click the pink links below!

Bird’s Eye View Part 1

Bird’s Eye View Part 2

Bird’s Eye View Part 3

Stuart’s High End Munich Report Part 1

Stuart’s High End Munich Report Part 2

Stuart’s High End Munich Report Part 3

Stuart’s High End Munich Report Part 4

Janine’s High End Munich 2019 Report

Hifi Deluxe 2019 Show Report

And all the news from the show here!

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