Saturday saw me flying solo at the High End Munich 2019 Hifi Show. As an intrepid Hifi Journalist, I grabbed my camera and made my way up to the top floor of the show, 4.2, to pick up from where we had left off the previous day. This top floor is always one of the best areas of the show, the brands often keep the same room year on year, so it’s easy to orientate yourself and see everything. The same brands, however, doesn’t mean the same gear every year…I was treated to some stunning rooms and some fab surprises.  There is also a strong French contingent up there so it was nice to have a break from my limited German language skills and ‘parlé Francaise’ a little.

Davis Acoustics

Davis Acoustics are a French loudspeaker manufacturer who have been producing ‘Haut Parleurs’ since 1986, with distinctive, yellow driver cones.  Their motto is that their speakers are ‘The sound of today’ and they, as ever, were doing a great job. Had a chat with Thomas Grebert, the Commercial Director who thought that we really had visited their city of Troyes in our pink wheelbarrow…I felt bad explaining it had actually been “une blague pour le premier avril”.

Music Tools

Next up was the Italian Hifi rack and accessories manufacturer, Music Tools’ room featuring Albedo speakers, Audia Flight electronics and Faber cables.

Apertura

Apertura is a French high end loudspeaker brand that was created in 1978 by Christian Yvon.

Christian Yvon was a former acoustician for Goldmund, Focal, Sonus Faber and many other speaker manufacturers. He began his researches on acoustics more than 40 years ago. In 2009, he has teamed up with Eric Poyer to create a manufacturing facility near Nantes on the west coast of France. I had the pleasure of meeting Eric and his charming wife Laurence and hearing their top of the range Enigma MkII loudspeakers with CH precision electronics and Grand Prix turntable. The room was cool, comfortable and airy, which matched the refreshing sound. Very nice.

They were also launching the Sensa and Swing speakers (pictured with Laurence and Eric) and these were on static display.

Aqua Acoustic Quality, KR Audio And Blumenhofer Acoustics

A cracking room this, a treat for both the eyes and ears with the stunning Blumenhofer horns and mahoosive KR audio tube monoblocks. Aqua were handling the digital side of things with their gear, including the new modular network interface, the LinQ , which launched at the show.

Audiovector

Audiovector are a Danish brand that you can count on for a great, clean, accurate sound.

Lyravox

I particularly liked this room, thought the big Lyravox speakers, from Hamburg, made a real visual statement and loved their sound too…exceptionally fast, probably not surprising that they use Accuton drivers. They were demonstrating the new Karl Pure range, which are active.

Magnat And Heco

Nothing playing in this room when I popped in, which was a shame as I do like both Magnat and Heco.

Zesto Audio, Purist Audio Design And Tri-Planar

Zesto from the USA produces some very nicely designed valve electronics.  George and Carolyn Counnas are a lovely pair, they brought their Zesto Leto 1.5 Preamp, EROS Monoblocks, Allasso Step Up Transformer and their new  Andros Deluxe Phonostage.

The system featured Purist Audio Design Cables, a Tri-Planar Tonearm on a Merrill-Williams Turntable, Verity Audio Speakers and Stillpoints Racks. The room had a very pure sound, we listened to ‘Toy’ by Yello….sounded brilliant!

Kharma

Consistently Kharma has one of the best-designed and presented rooms at High End Munich, this year was no different. It felt and sounded opulent and delicious, featuring their huge Enigma Veyron EV 2D loudspeakers.

Newton And Einstein

I didn’t really find any info on these brands at the show, but the systems both looked very cool and sounded good, particularly the smaller system…the little standmounts were great!

Atohm

French brand Atohm were showing a range of their loudspeakers.

J.Sikora And hORNS

A very cool Polish room. Always amazed how they manage to get such a great sound in this little room. The system consisted of the 100kg plus Bronze Edition of their J.Sikora Standard Max turntable armed with two J.Sikora KV12 tonearms. Albedo Silver cables and Egg Shell Audio electronics completed the line-up.

Pictured are Mr Janusz Sikora himself and his son Robert.

Air Tight, Wolf Von Langa And Primary Control

 

Air Tight amplifiers were next door with Wolf Von Langa loudspeakers and Primary Control turntables, who were featuring their Field Coil Loaded Tonearm. They were playing some kind of throat singing music that, whilst a little off the wall, sounded fantastic.

Indiana Line

Came across Indiana Line speakers at the show last year, great sound and excellent value for money

PureAudioProject

PureAudioProject are known for their open baffle loudspeakers, they have a fantastic sound. The huge pair on show were the Quintet15 using Voxativ AC-4a drivers. This year at Munich they were partnering with a room full of brands. German Elrog tubes were on show in the Vinylsavor Thomas Mayer amplifiers. The EXD DAC looked really different.

The Hanss turntables were very nice indeed too. A great sound in, again, what could be a challenging room, with a very enthusiastic team led by Ze’ev of PureAudioProject.

Keith Monks

Next door was another Air Tight system, but Keith Monks was also in there with his newly launched compact and home-friendly record cleaning machine, the sub £800, Prodigy Vinyl Revival. It fits on a shelf and has glowing lights built in…very cool!

Metronome Kalista

I scooted back round to see Jean Marie from French High End brand Metronome.  He had promised surprises, which indeed we got, with the prototype of their new turntable…quite a departure from a brand known for their digital gear. They also launched the cAQWO DAC and tAQWO SACD transport. The system also featured their own speakers. Classic French elegance with a twist.

Estelon

And speaking of elegance, Estonian High End speaker brand, Estelon, didn’t disappoint either. Again, this brand works with Accuton to develop their drivers. The finish on their new Forza speakers is as beautiful as the sound. Gorgeous.

Credo

Credo of Switzerland brought their new speaker model, The Cinema LTM, to the High End Show. These huge speakers look like things might get a bit complicated with all of those drivers, but they were very enjoyable to listen to indeed. Also featured in this room were a VPI Industries Avenger plus turntable with a VPI Fatboy Tonearm, Van den Hul cartridges, phonostage, preamp, power amp and cables and EMM Labs DAC2X.

Living Voice

Always a wonderful room, and always highly in demand, Living Voice really does show what High End audio is all about.

The new Vox Basso compact subwoofer design partnered with the Vox Palladian in the main system, along with vintage Kondo electronics, Grand Prix Audio Monaco 2.0 turntable with a Kuzma 4-point tonearm plus a second tonearm in the form of the Viv Labs RF7″. The digital source was their LV CD30. ‘Off grid’ power was supplied by the Living Voice Pure Music battery power supply system.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get chance to hear Living Voice’s new R25A loudspeaker, which celebrates the 25th Anniversary of their Auditorium loudspeaker, but their most affordable model was apparently getting a lot of interest from dealers and the public alike.

Linette Smith

Keep an eye on our High End Munich 2019 Section for much, much more from the show…coming soon!

 

 

 

 

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