A Billionaire's Guide To HIGH END 2018 In Munich
Nagra Audio, Silbatone, MoFi, And Elac's Audio Alchemy
It is no secret that many vintage audiophiles remember when $1,000,000 was a lot of money. Interest from banks were at ~8% and you literally could live off of just the interest, while keeping the principle $1,000,000 still safely in the bank. This was when a gallon of gas was 50 cents and a pack of cigarettes was about the same price. Fast-forward about 30 years and it seems that today everyone is a millionaire. Well, perhaps not everyone as there were months, years ago, when some of us lived out of our car and had virtually nothing else. With today's hot economy, high-end audio is thriving to new record heights. There is no doubt that this year's HIGH END 2018 event in Munich proved that high-end audio is alive and doing quite well thank-you-very-much.
My first stop at HIGH END 2018 was Nagra, where Mathieu and René (pictured) were playing glorious music while showing me their new Classic PSU power supply that is compatible with their PL-L battery powered preamplifier (€12,000), VPS tube phono stage (€5750), JAZZ amplifier ($12,250) and Melody amplifier (starting at €7800). Remember earlier I talked about new extensive research and development work within high-end audio? Here's proof! This new power supply features similar super cap technology as within the HD PREAMP ($59,500) and is said to offers better performance than batteries, yet without having to worry about charging cycles or battery life. It features a pair of outputs (an optional third) to power every 12 V DC operating Nagra equipment in the Classic range. Nagra's two output version is €10,500, with the three output version being €12,500.
If you happen to be a millionaire movie producer or film star, then you probably already have benefited from Nagra Audio professional products. Below you can see their field recorder, which was used extensively within Hollywood for decades and still in use by some today! Nagra Audio would be perfect for movie stars, directors, and those who are seeking studio-quality state-of-the-art sound within their home.
Going in a completely different direction, Silbatone was at HIGH END's 2018 show with vintage speakers and an abundance of vacuum tube gear. Audio has a thriving vintage market, just as you'll find with cars and music instruments.
Mobile Fidelity (MoFi), a true legend in producing extremely high quality remastered music, also offers their new Super Heavyweight record weight ($199) to its product lineup, which also includes two turntables! MoFi says their weight, which goes on the center spindle of your turntable and helps keep the vinyl LP secured, is a "super noise killer". For those curious, it weighs 367.4 grams and MoFi says this is the optimum weight with respect to applying no strain or stress to a turntable's precision motor, bearing, and suspension.
Legendary audio designer Peter Madnick proudly gave me wonderful details about the Alchemy series of electronics by Elac. Here's where those of us who might not be millionaires, yet are seeking great sound, find excellent values in audio. From their Alchemy DMP-1 ($1795) music server and Alchemy DPA-1 / DPA-1M ($1995 and $3990 per pair respectively) amplifier to Alchemy DDP-1 and Alchemy PPA-1 preamps, these are great values in high-end audio so pay attention! A variety of other gear fills the room here in Munich and glad to have enjoyed time chatting with designer Peter Madnick.