A Billionaire's Guide To HIGH END 2018 In Munich
Perhaps some of the biggest news during HIGH END 2018 show in Munich was the release of Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems new Relentless Monoblock amplifier ($250,000 per pair). For those billionaire's seeking to live large, there is perhaps no better solid-state monoblock that mates sound quality and engineering with the look of a fine Breguet timepiece. The Relentless Monoblock produces a beefy 1500 Watts with the aid of a 5.5-kilowatt power supply! While many solid-state amplifiers may typically have around 8 to perhaps 16 output devices, there are roughly 100 output devices within the Relentless Monoblock. By the way, that is 1500W @ 8 Ohms, with a doubling to 3000 Watts @ 4 Ohms (6000W @ 2 Ohms). To ensure high style that integrated well within your home decor, Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems' Relentless Monoblock's unique heat sink combines copper and aluminum in a thermal engine that wicks away heat from the connected devices. The entire chassis of the Relentless Monoblock is machined from solid aluminum, for superior shielding, thermal stability and vibration damping. For the pièce de résistance, Dan D'Agostino's Relentless Monoblock features front and center their new power meter that measures more than 8" in diameter. The meter's range and response automatically adjust to the level of the incoming signal, making it easy to read no matter how quiet or loud the music. See our world premiere review of the Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Lifestyle ($50,000) integrated amplifier w/DAC & audio streaming at this link. We also have a review of the Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Phono Stage Preamplifier too.
While my eyes, and ears, latched onto the Sonus faber Aida II flagship reference loudspeaker ($130,000, seen below) with hand made Italian luxurious wood finish being driven by Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems' amplification, loudspeaker manufacturer Sonus faber was at HIGH END 2018 in Munich with their new Sonetto collection. Their new Sonus Faber Sonetto speaker collection was born "exactly from this consciousness, the consciousness of what we were, what we are and what we want to be" says Livio Cucuzza, Sonus faber chief design officer. "The collection features eight models: Sonetto VIII, Sonetto V and Sonetto III, the floor-standing loudspeakers, Sonetto II and Sonetto I bookshelf loudspeakers, Sonetto Center II and Sonetto Center I, center channel speaker options, and the versatile Sonetto Wall, an on-wall speaker which can be used as a main stereo, multi-channel surround or LCR solution."
Sonus faber's Paracross Topology on each crossover design is employed for the best musical contrast, detail and definition. Their Damped Apex Dome tweeter technology, already available in the Reference, Homage and Olympica lines, is featured throughout their new Sonetto collection of speakers. Midranges and mid-woofers are purpose-built using a special blend of natural fiber and air-dried cellulose completes the 'Voice of Sonus faber'. And for deep bas, specialized woofers have been designed, which feature the Sonus Faber die cast basket but with a special aluminum alloy diaphragm allowing ultra-fast, tight and yet deep bass performance. Sonus faber's Sonetto collection is available in mate white, piano black and wood. See our world premiere review of Sonus faber's Amati Tradition floorstanding loudspeaker here. Here's a breakdown of their new lineup:
Sonetto VIII: €6000
Some of my fave connectors, bits, parts and yes solder come from WBT. It is no secret that many high-end audio manufacturers take advantage of WBT's Germany expertise at producing precision, extremely reliable connectors, plugs, and many other parts needed to complete, and compliment, the very best audio products within this world. From silver and gold to exotic creations, WBT has extensive experience and parts offerings.
WBT's high-quality silver solder has 4% fine silver content, plus their halogen-free flux is kind to precious metal surfaces ($175 for 250 gram roll). The melting temperature is extremely low at 356°F / 180°C. For those of us who use solder often, I find it easy to work with, flows well, and is highly reliable on every board / part as appropriate.