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High End Society Munich Germany High End 2007 Show
High End Society 2007 Show Munich Germany

  While many American's know Pioneer for their video products, like the new DVR-LX60 (€699) unit that includes a 250GB hard drive, is a DVD burner, has 1080 video scaler, plays DVD, CD, mp3, WMA, jpeg, etc. What is perhaps not known is that Pioneer also makes impressive high-end audio loudspeakers! Seen here is their S-3EX-QL/W (€2500 each) large floorstander with 5-inch concentric driver for the upper frequencies and a pair of 6.5-inch carbon fiber woofers all mounted within a ported cabinet. Frequency range is from 30Hz to 100kHz, so we are indeed in high-end audio territory and not that of mass market. The loudspeakers are, of course, brand new at the show and a world premier.


As always, at noon the first day is the official press conference by the High End Society. This meeting covers he recent events concerning the show and industry in general. This year marks the fourth year the show have moved to Munich due to the extreme growth as the previous smaller Frankfurt venue they enjoy for many years simply would not do. As undoubtedly the largest exhibition in Europe, this well-established show continues to grow each year where last year they has a 25 percent increase, this year the show grew another 5 percent and they still have more room to grow in this extremely large venue as needed. We are talking about 15,500 square meters of space is currently being used for the 2007 show. One of the questions from the audience asked about the accuracy of the attendance and show size figures. The High End Society makes great strides to supply very accurate numbers as is required by Germany (from my own point of view, have seen where certain shows in non-Germany countries have exaggerated their figures, so his questions very pertinent).


The Marantz room teamed up with Mordaunt-Short with two pairs of Performance 6 loudspeakers (€5000 per pair) in an interesting array. While they do not sell this special stand, am sure a few Euros and you could make you own or have the company supply it. All drivers are aluminum and the crossover network uses audiophile-grade parts.


B&W has many live music events throughout the show in their extensive showroom.


Being nice and tidy is Rotel and B&W as a vast amount of product was being launched at the High End Society's Munich show. From left to right are the 685 (€299) stand-mounted monitors, 684 (€499) dual woofer floorstanders, and HTM-62 (€399) center channel loudspeaker. In the center of the photo are three new Rotel units being, from top down, the RC-1082 (€999) stereo control amplifier, RB-1072 (€899) 100wpc stereo amplifier, and RT-1082 AM//FM/DAB tuner.


Fischer & Fischer, generally known for their equipment stands, had their new Dipole loudspeaker that employs 7 drivers for the lower frequency range and long ribbon for upper.


Burmester launched their 069 belt-drive CD player (upwards of €29,900). The price varies depending on housing of the power supply. Internal DACs are 24-bit/192kHz, the Philips CD2 Pro for main mechanism, and for balanced (XLR) analog you have separate DACs installed for positive and negative lines. Unbalanced output (RCA) sums the pair of DACs per channel. Of note is that a pair of analog inputs is included and is kept purely analog so you can use the 069 for preamplification duties as a volume control.


Seen for the first time anywhere in the world is Brinkmann Audio's Edison phonostage (€7500) in final production version that accommodates two MC and one MM (three inputs total). It uses the very special Telefunkin PCF803 new old stock tubes for amplification. As logic would have it, when asked for more details Heir Helmut Brinkmann said, "It makes music." Well said Heir Brinkmann.


Esoteric Audio had their very innovative AT-100 (€17,000) stereo tube amplifier that is unique as it can be operated in direct mode as strictly an amplifier that produces a minimum of 45 watts at 8 Ohms from a pair of KT88 per channel or…. Other modes include going from direct to integrated mode where there are three line-level inputs and motorized volume control. A very unique variable self-biasing (VBS) and Zero Voltage Control System (ZVS) are just two of the technologies that make this produce extremely noteworthy. Now i am sure you are asking what the heck does VBS and ZBS mean? Well, let me tell you that VBS actively adjusts the self-bias system while ZBS actively compensates for any undesirable changes in the cathode current level of the voltage supply and adjusts accordingly. Of course the output transformers are custom wound and uses copper foil with a silver coating. Did I mention this is incredibly innovative, very tweaky stuff. Benefits of this tour de force in technology are, of course, excellent sound quality.

The other product by Esoteric is their transport and DAC (P-05 and D-05 at $6500 each). The transport is a new version of the legendary and highly respected VRDS. A new mechanism inside has much of the technology of Esoteric's upper line units. An aluminum and polycarbonate clamp, hybrid steel bridge and a bulk molded compound (Much more durable than ABS), plus Esoteric's optical assembly ensure perfect vertical alignment. Add to that, the DAC unit operates in 32-bit and true mono including two per channel via balanced output. PCM up conversion is included and DSD mode for SACD is provided for.


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