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High-End 2001


  Before boarding the first leg of my plane, i couldn't help but see this lovely sign at the Manchester Airport.


One arriving at the show, there were two other wonderful sights. Like at last year's show, no Porsche's to be found, yet lovely Italian sports cars were in no shortage on the autobahn. Fun fun fun on the autobahn!


In the front entrance is the Nightingale ADM-3- (lower right), Pear Eliptica loudspeaker (center) and VYGER turntable (lower left) and Pearl Colosseum monitor loudspeakers (top left).



Italian made Nightingale ADM-30 "Class A" tube integrated amplifier offers five inputs and tape monitor. Eight Russian made 6L6WGC tubes for output duty while 6922 and other small signal tubes for pre-amplification. This is a completely monoblock unit on one chassis (notice two power transformers on the rear of unit).


VYGER Atlantis turntable.


In the lobby once you walk in are the B&W Nautilus loudspeakers (45,000 DM).


In front of the B&W room is a unique Nautilus 804 (7,000 DM/pr). Notice how the side of the loudspeaker is cut out to view the inner working of the unit.


A large display of Classe equipment graces the B&W room.


Also in the B&W room are racks of Rotel gear.




And more turntables....

Directly up one floor from the front lobby is the Clearaudio room. As seen here, outside the room are many turntables.


World premiere making its debut is the Wilson Audio Sophia ($11,700 USD) that employs Focal inverted tweeter and midrange driver is from the surround loudspeaker line. The woofer is an aluminum 10" driver as opposed to dual 8"as offered ion the Puppy. 89dB/w/m/ and the impedance does not drop below 3.8 ohms, the median impedance is 6 ohms. Size wise, it is approximately 1"smaller in all dimensions than the Watt/Puppy. Available in many select Wilson finishes. Seem to the right of the new Sophia is Wilson's Watchdog self-powered subwoofer ($9,950 USD). The woofer driver is a 3" long throw outside surround and two inner spiders to secure linear motion. The amplifier is 350 watts and an included variable electronic crossover.


dCS Elgar Plus (29,000 DM) provides PCM compact disc support and also digital 192kHz... or DSD input. Yes, you read that correct folks. It also has a DSD digital input (looks like a USB though handles 200 Mbs signal). The lower unit is the dCS Purcell (15,000DM) and it can be fed CD and upsamples to 192kHz/24-bit... or to DSD. So you can basically upsample CDs to DSD folks. Remember, you read about it here first.


In the quadral room are their Titan loudspeakers and Audio Net electronics. The Titan is a three-way design employing one RiCom tweeter, two 170mm quadral Altima drivers and two 260mm quadral Altima woofers. Frequency response is claimed as 16Hz to 60,000Hz.


In the Audio Phile magazine room they had a pair of B&W loudspeakers...


...with Accuphase front end.


In the Meridian room they had a seven channel digital sound system. Of course it plays DVD-Audio six-channel DSP 8000 (100,000 DM) in Ferrari Modena yellow. They also had the new version (pre-production) version of the 861 processor (about $20,000 USD) and has the capability of eight channels of full 96kHz/24-bit sound while eventually it will handle more channels.


What can i say... vinyl, vinyl, vinyl. Here in Germany analog and vinyl are so hot they make DVD-Audio and SACD seem like a moot point. In fact there seems to be very little discussion of the new digital formats.


Sirus specializes in stands. Seen here is their E 607 S (4,500 DM) and comes in various colors. See their website at www.sirus-racks.de


More vinyl :-)


Of course what would a show be without seeing the good ol' Anthony Gallo's balls.


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