As always, we sound off
with Alpenhorn musicians to start the show!
Doug Schneider and Jeff Fritz of SoundStage
fame were hanging out with me as we waited for the show to open.
KEF's new 500-series headphones are here at High End 2013 Munich and they use a 40mm driver (€299) and have a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The felt comfortable and sounded
Adam Audio, a company whose powered ARTist 5 monitors I use every day, had their new CS10 preamplifier and CS 250 monoblocks. (€15000 for amp, no pricing on preamp). Both have an ultra-wide frequency response from 10 Hz to 800 kHz. The new integrated unit has three XLR balanced, two Unbalanced via RCA and many other features.
Gryphon Audio brought their Trident II
large floorstanding speakers and the new state-of-the-art
Gryphon's Trident II is here at High End 2013 Munich in prototype
form yet virtually production level (€97,000). This speaker has powered woofers with 1000
watts of internal amplification to drive them. Gryphon Trident II is housed in a slimmer, taller, yet massively braced enclosure
as compared to the earlier version and has precisely contoured baffle and driver surrounds to address baffle reflections and eliminate diffraction phenomena.
According to Gryphon Audio, the most crucial upgrade in Trident II is the implementation of an AMT (Air Motion Transformer) high frequency driver with minimal mass for instantaneous response to the audio signal. Constant Phase crossover ensures perfect phase at all frequencies at all times and overall system response is from 16 Hz to 40 kHz. These are some
very serious speakers and as many of you recall, my system review of the Gryphon Audio gear had me rethinking my own system,. The Gryphon Audio gear is that
good! In the above photo is Flemming E. Rasmussen of Gryphon Audio and our very own
reviewer from Poland Wojtek Pacula. These speakers get my award for Most
Desired In My Home Speaker.
Avantgarde Acoustics Holger Fromme was proudly showing their new Zero1 (€10,000 per pair) has everything you need including USB, TosLink S/PDIF, AES/EBU plus optional ADC for those who desire an analog input. The speaker handles 192kHz/24-bit yet not DSD. An internal FPGA runs at 64-bit to the precision of a millionth of a second. There is a Class D 400 watt amplifier for bass plus two 50 watt Class A/B in high current for midrange and tweeter. There is zero phase shift and accurate timing, so it can virtually produce almost a
squarewave. Of course it uses a digital crossover and, in total, has at most 5 degree phase shift. Driver compliment is a 12" woofer, 5" midrange and 1" tweeter. A very special high resolution wireless connection is made from the main Zero1 speaker to the other (slave) and it uses four wireless channels. There is a wireless channel per driver to ensure high resolution. There is a fourth channel for dedicated volume and Holger says there is no loss in resolution when using the digital volume control. In the future they may have a program to enable users to make EQ and other changes via a computer program. Technically, there is already 100 EQ memory setting with 16,000 EQ points. Not a
typo, it is 16,000!
Kronos, the company with the innovative turntable, was showcasing the premiere of their carbon fiber 12" tonearm that was specifically designed for the table
($8500). It has a unique pivot geometry where you can shake the table and it keeps
tracking the groove. For phono cable, the company is using the Crystal Cables Absolute Dream, which Kronos company owner says has "the purist highs, great mids and bass. It just sounds right."
TAD room with their Reference 1 speaker
($78,000) and for electronics they have the M600 monoblocks, C600 preamplifier and D600 ($68,000, $42,000 and $34,000 respectively).
Massive Mc-Attack with McIntosh gear in a home theater
environment. Must... stop... lusting... for... these.
What's in a Naim? Not just equipment as Naim
does music too! From digital downloads to physical digital discs and yes indeed analog
LP too! Naim has you covered for source material.
Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio was here with his Pearl 3 floorstanders ($28,500), which are the result of careful and precise crossover optimization. This speakers marries
Jeff's his desire for clarity, warmth and relaxation.
bel canto's world premiere of their Black is a USB DAC and is a three box system ($60,000).
Tannoy unleashed their King Royal Carbon Black in special carbon fiber finish. You can further customize the speaker, call it
couture, including a variety of colors, different trims, grills, etc. This is almost couture, which is the way ultra high-end is going for those with specific needs and funding to afford such luxuries. needs to go (€70,000).
Note the photo of the crossover for the King Royal above uses high-end
Here is the world launch of the Rosso Fiorentio model Florentia large reference floorstanding speaker (€65,000). The bass
drivers are powered by a 750 watt digital amplifier. The sub and woofers
drivers are in a closed cabinet whilst the midrange is open baffle. The
subwoofer drivers are custom made in Italy. My notes say this room has great resolution and a nicely relaxed sound.
HB Cable Design helps audiophiles with their power transformer for isolation. It cleans up EMI/RFI electrical and other nasties.
While the photo above looks good, you really need to see this in person to
appreciate how beautiful it is!
Lansche Audio had their first showing of the new No. 8.2
(~€200,000 depending on finish) huge floorstander that weighs 880 lbs each! On the rear are two 18" woofers, which are active and powered by 1200 watts per each subwoofer. High frequency duties is covered by a 0.3 inch Corona Ion tweeter, midrange is via four 8" paper coated cones. Talk about dynamics, they are 96dB/W/m sensitive and color me impressed with the sound. Dynamic, dynamic,
dynamic and so much more!
Electronics manufacturer Soulution partnered with
Focal here at the High End 2013 event.
AVM just launched their new streaming DAC called SD8 (€ 8000) solid-state, and for tube lovers the SD8T with tubed analog output (€9900). They both have the acclaimed AVM Ultra-DAC. The new AVM units handle PCM 24-bit/192kHz and Internet radio. AVM also gave us a glimpse of their ML8T music library with 1.2TB of SSD of
storage. It also includes a really great color screen remote control too!
Click here for Friday's High End
2013 Munich show coverage.