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SHOW ⸜ coverage

HIGH END 2023 ⸜ Munich

Time: May 18-21
Address: M.O.C. München
Lilienthalallee 40
80939 Munich ⸜ GERMANY


» GERMANY ⸜ Munich


images Wojciech Pacuła | Tomasz Folta | Dirk Sommer

No 230

July 1, 2023

The MUNICH HIGH END SHOW, held in May, is the largest event of its kind in Europe and the largest high-end exhibition in the world. During four days, it is visited by over 20,000 visitors, including half a thousand industry representatives, press, distributors and sellers from all over the world, and in the rooms and halls you can see over 800 brands - from the largest to one-man businesses. This year the show celebrated its 40th anniversary.

HERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT DATES WITH A ZERO at the end: millennium (1000), century (100) and the next tens, which makes them seem particularly important to us and worthy of celebration. This is magical thinking, because our measure of time is conventional, and time itself is questionable in its existence, but magic is needed by people. So when my mother called me on Tuesday, May 23rd. at 7.45 am, her wishes were longer than usual, as if she felt that her son's 50th birthday was more important than his birthday one and two years before. I know it because it's one of her long-standing habits - I was born at 7:45 am (Wednesday, but still).

The High End Show 2023, which took place from 18 to 21st. May this year, was also special. Because we celebrated its 40th anniversary. Interestingly, the Siltech brand also celebrated its 40th birthday. For years, Munich, like Frankfurt before, has been the place of the most important premieres of the year, business meetings of people from all over the world, almost the center of the world - and of course - high-end. The largest in Europe, and one of the most important in the world, the event attracts the most important players among audiophiles, manufacturers, distributors and the press representatives.

This year's, the jubilee edition of the Show, as its organizer writes in the summary, exceeded "all imaginations". One of the sub-chapters of the document was entitled: "The best High End ever". And next:

With halls filled to the last centimeter, atriums and conference rooms packed, with the new Press Center in Atrium 2 flooded with natural light, 40th. HIGH END did everything to ensure a successful show. The world's largest audio fair was visited by 22,137 visitors from around 100 different countries willing to learn about new products and innovations from 550 exhibitors from 54 countries. This was the highest number of visitors ever recorded at HIGH END.

STEFAN DREISCHÄRF, the man responsible for this year's show, also spoke in a similar tone, claiming that it was the best and most outstanding program they have ever run: “The response to this year's show is really overwhelming. Every person I spoke to was impressed by the fantastic atmosphere at MOC. We hoped to repeat the great success of the last HIGH END, but we didn't expect it to be even better."

And I agree. Whoever I spoke to, they all kept saying that the number of visitors was staggering and it was a very successful show. Since I didn't meet any exhibitors from Russia, I can say there was progress compared to the previous year also in this respect. Although there were also no exhibitors from Ukraine - men from this country are absolutely forbidden to leave the country - it was an understandable change. I also had a lot of fun and it was a good time for me. The show was symbolically opened by a meeting with the guitarist AL DI MEOLA and ABEY FONN, the owner of the Impex record label, in the room of the Nagra company. TOMEK FOLTA will talk about it.

| Al DI Meola

Krakow Sonic Society

I PARTICIPATED IN THE HIGH END SHOW in Munich this year for the 11th time in a row. I had the date of this event written in my calendar for many months, so I didn't bother to check the official website of the organizer before arriving. It was only after entering the MOC hall that I realized that the face and ambassador of the event this time would be Al di Meola. It would be equally difficult for me to explain how did it happen that while walking through the corridors on Thursday afternoon, just at 14:30 I found myself in room F130 rented by Nagra, where literally a few minutes later the guitarist himself entered with his wife and all his entourage.

The honorable guest was introduced to the audience by Abey Fonn from Impex Records. Abey talked about her first exposure to Al di Meola's music in the early 1990s and how she was impressed with Friday Night In San Francisco. She also described the two-year process of creating the Saturday Night In San Francisco, which I was already familiar with to a large extent after reading liner notes from the American vinyl release.

The musician himself added some behind-the-scenes stories about "Saturday night", and bursts of laughter evoked quotes from his conversations with John McLaughlin, who wasn't convinced about the idea of releasing this material on the album, and when he did, he demanded to make it a whole concert from beginning to end, which of course would not be possible on a vinyl record, which the label wanted the most. Fortunately, the men finally came to an agreement.

⸜ ABEY FONN and AL DI MEOLA (left and right respectively)

By the way, representatives of the press received a special edition of this release, in the Impex Records version, with the appropriate "jubilee" High End 2023 logo. Using the system based on Nagra electronics (including the Reference turntable) and Wilson Audio Alexx V loudspeakers, the two tracks from Saturday Night In San Francisco, personally selected by Al, first in the 33 rpm version, and then, from Friday Night In San Francisco, in the 45 rpm version were played. The sound of both was spectacular, and the experience of being in close contact with Al di Meola for almost an hour will remain in my memory for a long time. TF

ALTHOUGH I usually complain about the sound during audio shows, this time I was pleasantly surprised many times. Because many exhibitors managed to compose systems in such a way that their class could be heard. It didn’t mean that every component presented its best possible performance, but together they sounded much better than I expected. I spent a pleasant time in some of the rooms, and the result of these listening sessions are my suggestions for the BEST SOUND of HIGH END 2023 Award.

In one of these rooms, played the Minissimo Forte speakers from CRYSTAL CABLES, based on earlier models of the company, including Minissimo and Minissimo Diamond. What they share with their predecessors is the shape of the cabinet and, to some extent, the drivers. As Edwin, the head of Siltech, told me, the latest version managed to almost completely eliminate vibrations. The Forte model is an unusual design, because although it has a passive crossover, the power supply is connected to its base, which is part of the loudspeaker. There is a buffering amplifier with a gain equal to 1, developed for the top Siltech loudspeakers. Costing around 20,000 euros, the Minissimo Forte delivered big, beautiful sound that stayed in my memory for a long time.

⸜ Lyravox Karrlson with the company's file transport, placed in as many as four (!) boxes

Speaking of monitors, I cannot fail to mention the second surprise, namely the Lyravox Karrlson loudspeakers. It was a surprise for me that they sounded so mature, so full, that for a moment I thought they played from the huge, standing next to them Karls. Karlsson are active loudspeakers, unlike the Minissimo Forte, with two class D amplifiers, an active crossover and Acuton ceramic drivers. The cabinet is made of a monolithic cast material that company calls "K". Price - from 16,000 euros per pair. An interesting fact - the model that played at the show was brought from the house of the head of the company, Goetz Martin von Laffert. The second curiosity - the Bergmann turntable for this show was prepared in white.

⸜ Estelon Aura with dCS player and Simaudio by Moon amplifiers

Still in the zone of good, for high-end that is, prices, I found myself listening to the new Estelon Aura loudspeakers. This is the smallest model of this Estonian manufacturer, with characteristic shapes, which captivated me with its unusual sonic culture and the fact that it filled such a large room with sound - without stress, effortlessly. For 17,500 euros, we get a high-end loudspeaker with a 26 mm Illuminator tweeter and a 130 mm Satori low-midrange driver. The bass, in turn, is reproduced by the 250 mm Faital driver, which is placed in a housing that is a natural low-pass filter, which allowed to eliminate large coils from the signal’s path. Once again: there was a huge space with well arranged, full-blooded sound sources.

⸜ AudioSolutions Figaro in a new version with the Benny Audio turntable, the Audia Flight phono preamplifier and the TAEC CD-R/RW recorder working as a transport with the Vitus Audio DAC and amplification from the same company

I spent a long time in the room of the Lithuanian company AudioSolutions. Its designer, Mr. Gediminas Gaidelis, briefly told me how he managed to abandon the structurally complex cabinets of the most expensive series and, based on the higher Virtuoso models, transfer the idea of "cabinet within a cabinet" to an even lower series. In the new version of the Figaro loudspeakers, everything was improved, even a short waveguide in front of the tweeter. The speakers look great and the finish quality is great. Together with the Vitus Audio electronics, I heard deep bass that was exceptionally well controlled, even though the rooms in the main hall are terrible in this respect.

⸜ FinkTeam Borg 2 speakers with SoulNote electronics, including the new A-3 integrated amplifier

Another company that presented a new version of the loudspeakers, similar to the previous one, but completely different inside, was FinkTeam with the Borg 2 model. As Karl-Heinz Fink, the boss and designer, told me, the cabinet remained almost the same, but the lower part of the front gained a new shape to slightly tilt the speaker backwards. The woofer is the same, and the tweeter got only a slight modification for better decoupling from the cabinet. As he said, the most important changes, however, took place in the crossover. Instead of using resistors to adjust the level of the tweeter, he used a coil on a transformer carcase here. In turn, the most important capacitor of the whole speaker - the one in the tweeter section - is a special Silver Hybrid Duelund PP plus a second Mundorf capacitor, connected in parallel. The speaker terminal panel with new settings is also new.

I remember well how great the first model of these loudspeakers sounded in my system and that Karl-Heinz liked this sound too (more → HERE) . I think the new version is not a little but much better. It so happens that I know the SoulNote electronics the loudspeakers played with well, so I could appreciate their velvety and fullness. The sound came from the black "silence" behind them and was not grotesquely alienated from the acoustic environment. The price has increased, although not so much - now we will pay 29,500 euros for a pair.

⸜ Mårten Design Mingus Septet speakers with MSB amplifier and DAC, TechDAS turntable, DS Audio optical cartridge, Antipodes OLADRA music server.

It was a great presentation. The loudspeakers from the Swedish company Mårten have been positioned in the upper regions of the high-end for years, but this time everything "clicked" and the system worked perfectly together. Driven by MSB monoblocs, the loudspeakers feature a 4-way, 7-driver design with a custom-made 25mm diamond driver for the treble and two midrange drivers - a 75mm beryllium and a 180mm ceramic driver that also handles some of the bass range. In addition, there is a pair of 200 mm bass drivers and two 250 mm passive radiators.

Most loudspeakers using ceramic drivers sound a bit stiff, so to speak, they lack saturation. They are extremely transparent and fast, but ultimately not that resolving. In the hands of Leif Mårten Olofsson, however, they gain fullness and resolution. The speakers are internally wired with a product of another Swedish company, Jorma, with cables that can be replaced with the Jorma Statement version for an additional fee. We will pay 108,000 euros for the basic version of the speakers. The system also featured the TechDAS turntable with the DS Audio optical cartridge, the Antipodes OLADRA server, and the MSB DAC.

⸜ Magico S3 2023 (Mk3) speakers with S-SUB MkII subwoofer, Pilium Audio Divine Olympus and Divine Zeus Power and Wadax Atlantis files player.

I won't be original if I say that it was one of the best sounds of the show, if not simply the best. I think this is due to both the devices and the acoustic treatment. Magico's people hired experts in interior acoustics, who measured the room before the show and, based on the measurements, built second "walls" inside - these are the orange boards.

The sound had incredible authority, and was not intrusive at the same time. I know Pilium electronics and I think that it also significantly contributed to this sound. Anyway, the split file player - it's a transport, DAC and power supply, as well as the power supply from Telos - Earth Grounding Monster and Monster Power Station, as well as Nordost's LAN switch and VYDA cables also did their job. The bass was beautifully supported by the new subwoofers, which have little in common with the previous ones, because they have both new drivers and amplifiers. Normally, at audio shows sound of this class doesn't happen.

⸜ Innuos file players - PULSEmini, PULSE, PULSAR and Statement, dCS Rossini APEX DAC, Pilium Ares + Achilles preamplifier + power amplifier, Estelon X Diamond Mk II loudspeakers, Isotek EVO3 Super Titan and Super Nova power conditioners, Kubala-Sosna cables, Artesania Audio Exoteryc ER33 and Aire racks and platforms.

We have already met Estelon loudspeakers among this year's awards. This is the second room from this pool that we liked very much, and also the second one with a phenomenal split amplifier, consisting of a preamplifier and a power amplifier Pilium Ares + Achilles. But that was not the reason for my visit to this room located in the 4.1 atrium, but the file transports. Innuos showed in Munich three new devices from the Pulsar series: PULSEmini, PULSE PULSAR, all with new software and InnuOS 2.4 control application. As the host of the presentation said, the latter is extremely important to achieve high-end sound. After the experience with the JPLAY application, I can only agree.

The presentation consisted of switching the USB output between successive transports, with the top, two-piece Statement model as a reference point. The differences were significant and one didn’t have to look for them to find them. Each change up, i.e. to a model with a larger power supply and a better chassis translated into a richer sound and improved its depth. Way to go!

We have already written about the new amplifier from Grandinote, the Solo model, costing 14 4000 euros in the news. As we said, with this device the company breaks with the existing design. On the front panel of this 60-watt class A device we find a large touchscreen with VU-meters, a spectrum analyzer and buttons input selection and volume control. The amplifier can also be equipped with phono preamplifier or file player modules.

During the exhibition it played with the file player module and was connected to the powerful Mach 8 XL loudspeakers of the same company. The sound was fast, devoid of coloration and beautifully saturated. This is what I expect from a high-end system and I got it here. And the room wasn’t too big. It is usually occupied by Einstein systems, which also sound good, but never with such large loudspeakers. So it seems Solo is a good new "opening" for the brand.

⸜ Orchestalls KMD 700R speakers, Vincent SV-237MKII amplifier, Yamaha BD-S681 BR Player

Finally, I would like to talk about speakers that played with budget electronics and that sounded like a high-end revelation. Costing 49,000 euros for a pair, the Orchestalls KMD 700R have an appearance similar to the design of the Swiss Goldmund: modular construction, each driver in its own cabinet, time alignment. This strategy seems to be working as it sounded compelling. And yet the Vincent SV-237MKII amplifier driving them costs only 3000 euros, and the source was a cheap Yamaha Blu-ray player. Despite this, the system delivered a very large scale sound, which was of great importance in orchestral recordings.


MEETING FRIENDS, just like the people I've been corresponding with for years and I've come to like, let mel mention ROBERT KAHN, the head of Reliable, a company that produces excellent lamps for turntables, GUY CHEVALL, the head of Wattson Audio, and finally DANNY LABRECQUE, a nice designer from Luna Cables. By the way, Robert showed me "supersecret" photos and diagrams of the successor of the current lamp on his smartphone. The technical advancement and design of the new version made a great impression on me.

But one of the most important events for me was the Saturday evening meeting with people from Ayon Audio and dCS, during which we presented them with the STATEMENT In High Fidelity 2023 in the German Edition. Dirk Sommer, editor-in-chief of the magazine, will tell you all about it.


⸜ STATEMENT in High Fidelity 2023 German Edition


⸜ (from left to right) Wojciech Pacuła, John Giolas - dCS Marketing Specialist, Alasdair McDonald -dCS Export Sales Manager, Gerhard Hirt - man behind Ayon Audio, and Dirk Sommer

EVEN WITH FORESIGHTED PLANNING of the awarding of prizes, some things can go wrong: For example, despite a firm commitment to attend our party in Warsaw, one of the participants was absent due to an upset stomach, which is why Wojciech Pacuła and I agreed not to publish any pictures of the award presentation at all. Fortunately, this time everything worked out.

The situation was quite different when the award winners were invited. Gerhard Hirt, the owner and head of Ayon, had decided not to attend the fair in Munich - but he will be there again in Warsaw. Since the winners of the Awards are selected however from the test of the last six months before the respective Hifi show, a shift of the delivery to end of October was impossible.

⸜ Gerhard Hirt and Dirk Sommer

The Ayon boss, who had a not inconsiderable share in the realization of the cooperation of High and long years ago, decided however spontaneously to travel with his wife to Gröbenzell for the Saturday evening. For dCS the participation turned out more easily, since the Englishmen had come with a whole set of coworkers into the Bavarian capital, in order to play the own demonstration area, and the booth with the World OF Headphones and support some of their international distributors too.

But now to the excellent components: This year Wojciech Pacuła chose the dCS Vivaldi APEX DAC: “It offers a perfectly smooth, fluid and coherent sound. Its spaciousness, or rather the stereoscopic illusion of space, is of absolutely top quality. In timbre, it draws attention to the emphasis on the midrange. Not warmed up, mind you, but illuminated, which differs this source from most turntables. The bass is perfectly readable and well controlled. Its lowest range is smoother and a hair less energetic than with the other mentioned sources. However, this is part of the "package", in which we get the whole range properly balanced and well thought out, in which nothing is overemphasized or masked. Simply put, it is a top digital source, one of the best in the world.“

⸜ Ross Bowman, Alasdair McDonald, Wojciech Pacuła

Hifistatement's choice for the Statement in High Fidelity | German Edition 2023 is the Ayon Crossfire Evo, that Carsten Bussler reviewed: “The Crossfire Evo is a tube integrated amplifier that is technically mature to the last detail and is one of the best units on the world market in terms of sound. Essentially, the key lies in the clever design of both the input and driver stages, consisting of a double triode and a composite tube, so that the AA62B power triode, made by a small, fine team of former Tesla employees, can show its 25 watts to full advantage. This tube, developed by Ayon itself, is based on the concept of a 300B and can deliver an almost brutal four amps of current! The Ayon excels in captivating electrical engineering as well as a very deep understanding of what really matters in tube amp design." DS

WHAT’S THRE LEFT TO ADD - it really was one of the best High End shows in its history, maybe even the best. Starting from the excellent patron and "face" of the event - Al di Meola - through the exceptionally large presence of the press, distributors and visitors, to many great presentations. People are of course the most important elements of the show and also in this respect I can count my trip to Munich as extremely successful.

Among the most important trends that I had an opportunity to notice, one stands out: care for the workmanship and design of products. A thing that in the ancient times, when KEF presented the futuristic-looking Muon loudspeakers, designed by the world-famous designer Ross Lovegrove, seemed of little importance to the high-end, finally (!) found understanding among the manufacturers. So I couldn't take my eyes off many products, be it Acoustic Signature and Thorens turntables (the new Reference model), or loudspeakers (the already mentioned Crystal Cable, Magico, Estelon and others), as well as electronics.

Among the manufacturers of the latter one can see huge efforts to enclose devices in the best designed and best made housings. Housings that also play an important role in reducing vibrations. Because understanding their impact on the sound, as well as products used to minimize noise, such as the fantastic QBASE Reference power supply system, which uses all devices from the QRT series in one housing, is now a new standard in audio. One can say - finally!

The last meeting I had in Munich was in the Siltech and Crystal Cable room. Wiktor de Leeuw, Gabi and Edwin's son, wrote it down in the calendar as "a beer meeting with Wojtek". And it really was. And it was during it that we realized that next year the Crystal Cable brand will celebrate its 20th anniversary and "High Fidelity" will celebrate its 20th anniversary. And because, as we said, we need the magic of round anniversaries, we agreed that we would do something together. Will it be a special version of the "Crystal Cable by HIGH FIDELITY" cable(s) or something else - we'll see.

I hope that next year we will finally meet people from Ukraine at the show, and that the Russian language, omnipresent among visitors this year, will be replaced by Ukrainian. Then it will be a complete show for me. Still, this year was excellent. See you there next year!

  • A mighty Acoustic Signature Invictus NEO turntable with matching stand and TA-9000 NEO and TA-2000 NEO tonearms. The deck itself costs almost 160 000 EUR.
  • Since the trend started a few years ago seeing one doesn’t come as a surprise anymore – reel-reel-tape-recorder. The photo presents TP-1000 Analog Audio Design – it’s a new design! Price – 15 000 EUR.
  • TP-1000 features a touch screen – that’s new - there were no such convinient solutions back in the day.
  • Shark Wire offers high quality fuses. Their packaging is as important, it is really cool.
  • Shark Wire Genesis fuse.
  • The Italian company Hemiolia offers copies of master tapes with well-known titles. When asked where they got their
  • This Coltrane’s Blue Train version was remastered by Pietro Benini in 2022.
  • The MTR tape recorder from the Japanese company Otari, modified by the Hemiolia record label, with (!) Dolby noise reduction.
  • A nice presentation of Audio-Technica products in the shape of
  • The Swedish Lundahl is one of the most important companies for analog, tube audio manufacturers. Its transformers and chokes are used all over the world.
  • Mastersound Evolution 845 amplifier paired with MoFi Sourcepoint 10 loudspeakers.
  • Exceptionally good looking products by Italian company Trinaudio. The photo presents Keleyma Beta tube preamplifier.
  • A very pleasant meeting with Mr. George Ligerakis, the owner and designer of Ideon Audio. He’s holding his hand over a much cheaper audio files transport, DAC and re-clocker from the EOS series.
  • The Polish Pre-audio GL-1102N turntable – we plan to test it soon.
  • Although similar to the Kuzma M model, the ZX11-X turntable comes from the Canadian company Zavfino, and it is a novelty.
  • Another Zavfino turntable, COPPERHEAD-X.
  • A new product by Acoustical Systems, Palladian cartridge with titanium body and boron cantilever.
  • We tested stands made by this company years ago – this here is a complete HiFiStay X-Frame rack.
  • Java Hi-Fi proposes an amplifier based on very rarely used, but having a great reputation, GaN FET transistors. The photo shows the Double Shot model. Price: 12,995 euros and 400W output.
  • An interesting T-Legacy turntable from the Italian Pathosa with a special controller. Price: 6000 EUR.
  • IO Design are unusual cabinet-less speakers, this is IO Naked RS model.
  • One of the cheapest products by Axxess, also part of the AAD group, an amplifier/DAC/audio files transport Forte 2 which you can buy for 7500 EUR.
  • The first Western Electric speakers we’ve seen in years, featuring 777 rAMT midrange module.
  • Not exaggerated, very nice looking and nicely sounding presentation of Vivid Audio and Mola Mola.
  • The D/A Converter Wandla by Ferrum officially premiered at the High End Show 2023 – we can proudly present its premiere review and its is also featured on our cover.
  • Before we knew each other only by email, now we finally met live – Andras and Laszlo Fabian, or the people behind the Hungarian company Audio-Hungary Kft.
  • Another Polish manufacturer, Graphite Audio, and their new cable supports, CIS-60. In the same HF issue there is a test of the company's anti-vibration platform.
  • The unusual French Audionec Evo 3 Signature loudspeakers with a characteristic mid-tweeter driver, driven by Riviera Labs electronics with Graphite Audio anti-vibration platforms.
  • The owner of Graphite Audio, Mr. Szymon Rutkowski, with his new platform.
  • We've seen it before, but it's worth seeing again: the CD player from the Italian company Omega Audio Concepts.
  • Conceptually reminiscent of the JBL Paragon loudspeakers, the Excelsior stereo speaker system from the American Fleetwood Sound Company.
  • New from WBT, angled RCA plug from the NextGen series with an ingenious ground clamping system.
  • Acoustic Manufacture, as always, made an impression with their great looking acoustic treatment elements.
  • This has to succeed - devices from Audiodinamica placed in cubic enclosures. There are a phono preamplifier, a line preamplifier, a DAC and a power amplifier. Everyone of them can be customized with a different front.
  • The full lineup of Audiodinamica..
  • A stand of our KSS guests, Audio Analogue Association.
  • One of the best sounds of the show, Orchestralls loudspeakers.
  • A new, top rack by Finite Elemente, this time with a wooden core and external carbon fiber layer. Price: 39 000 EUR for HD12 version.
  • And this is the second end of the scale in the Finite Elemente’s price list, the well-designed Pagode E12 Signature and E14 Signature racks; their shelves have a honeycomb structure inside. The price for the smaller one - 4350 EUR.
  • Ruark Audio is a brand whose products I still see in Korean TV series (I devour them constantly). Here is the new, great radio system R410.
  • And now Furutech uses their NCF technology also in plugs.
  • Polish company BennyAudio’s Immersion II turntable.
  • PanowieTomasz Franielczyk, owner and designer of BennyAudio, and Gediminas Gaiedis from AudioSolutions.
  • Pro-Ject surprised again, this time with the Pink-Floyd concept turntable. It is a pity that this coincided with Waters' scandalous speeches.
  • The prototype of the Final X8000 headphones with magneto-static diaphragms. The final version is expected to be ready in the fall.
  • Yet another Polish manufacturer, always present in Munich, Albedo.
  • Japanese loudspeakers are a rare sight – here the omnipolar Falcon Lab 4402BWG.
  • The latest Merason D/A Converter, DAC1 Mk II - we already agreed on a review.
  • Another first ‘live’ meeting, this time with Mr. Daniel Frauchiger, the man behind Merason.
  • KStudio loudspeakers Amphion ONE25A, their first 3-way active design; one of the people using Amphion speakers in their studios is James Hunt who mixes material for Kendrick Lamar.
  • The inside of the Amphion ONE25.
  • A great looking phono stage Angstrom Audiolab Stella.
  • Another product by Angstrom Audiolab, this time belonging to the Zenith series, ZIA100 power amplifier. It delivers 50 W in Class A using Circotron topology.
  • For their presentation Kondo used old American Jensen G-600L speakers. The Japanese brand premiered their new GE-7 phono stage and G-700 linestage.
  • The tape market is growing rapidly, but of those with a smaller diameter - in the photo there is a nice Philips PRO 12 tape recorder.
  • Pylon Audio and Fezz Audio at their best – Evo amplifiers and Jade 20 speakers.
  • Vintage is doing well – photo presents 2-way speaker by Troy Audio, that reminded me of Altec products from 1960s.
  • A new Moonriver Audio amplifier, Model 606.
  • And another Polish rrepresentative - there was quite a strong representation of our country in Munich – Feliks Audio with their headphone amplifier featuring Elrog tubes.
  • Blaž Erzetič from Erzetich Audio with their new Charybdis cans. You can’t see it here, but Blaž, a huge fan of Scotland, moved around barefoot and in kilt. Plus, he dyed his beard red.
  • A new headphone amplifier, Erzetich Audio Scylla.
  • Technics SL-P1200 reminded me of Studer professional CD player.
  • S.M.S.L.’s CD and MQA-CD Player.
  • Audio Fidelity Improvement is a company that offers three models of machines used to straighten vinyl records.
  • B.Audio electronics and very interesting planar speakers by Diptyque. The French patent relies on magneto-static panels.
  • The latest, third version of Tentogra’s turntable Oscar.
  • A working, commercial version of the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge II, based on Roon; next to it - Brooklyn Amp+.
  • A system with Polish components – J.Sikora turntable, and Gigawatt’s power conditioner. The electronics same from our friends from Audio Hungary, and speakers are Soundspace Systems Pirol; cables by Gutwire.
  • And the aforementioned turntable J.Sikora Standard Max.
  • A new Wattson Audio player named Lounge Edition – apart from a new color of chassis it offer a brand new output stage, a revised power supply circuit, anti-vibration elements, a much more.
  • Guy Cheval, the owner and designer of Wattson Audio.
  • One of the most interesting premieres of the Show, Metronome Technology DreamPlay X - a SACD and audio files player in one, sold under Kalista brand.
  • Read about it but it was the first time I actually saw it – Esoteric Grandioso T1 turntable. It features an innovative drive based on magnets, and it’s completely different from one used by Transrotor. Its controller can be connected to an external word clock.
  • These ESD Acoustic Super Dragon loudspeakers, along with a ton of electronics, occupied a space with a window size of 3 x 5 m. The horns are made of carbon fiber, instead of magnets we have electromagnets, and diaphragms are made of beryllium and titanium. Th system sounded surprisingly well. Price - about 3.6 million euros :)
  • Power supply, amplliification and active crossovers for Super Dragon as seen from the back.
  • Michael Fremer presenting Test Press of the first album he releases in his own label. Unfortunately, I do not remember its title, but the sound from the Nagra system was really nice.
  • These small horn loudspeakers are called Colibri C2 and it is a new brand of Avantgarde Acoustics. They have an efficiency of 98 dB, a 6.5
  • One of the most interesting new amplifiers was the Gryphon Diablo 333. Attenuator made of resistors, selected, high-end components, touch screen and power of 333 W at 8 and 666 at 4 Ω; at 2 Ω we get 1100 W.
  • As usual, a very good presentation in the room of the French company totalDAC: the new DAC -d1-sublime with a new architecture of the discrete D/A circuit, the Amp-1 Mk 2 amplifier and the d100 Wood speakers with the option of an additional super-tweeter.
  • The first ever TechDAS tonearm called Force 10.
  • Although it looks like one of the EAT designs it is actually Music Hall mmf-11.3.
  • High End 2023 witnessed a premie of the latest integrated amplifier by the British Chord Electronics, Ultima Integrated.
  • In turn, Moon by Simaudio, a company from Canada, presented a whole new series of products - the North Collection. The photo shows the 861 file player/preamplifier, the 791 file player and the 681 file player.
  • Peak loudspeakers (formerly Peak Consult), a brand owned by two people: Lennart Asbjørn and Wilfried Ehrenholz; we know the latter as the founder of the Dynaudio brand. Although the Samsung concern made sure that after its sale he was a really rich man, he decided to keep doing what he loves: designing top loudspeakers. The photo shows the Dragon Legacy model accompanied by Audionet electronics, with the CD player as the main source.
  • The TAD CR1tx loudspeakers, although they look almost the same as the CR1 model we tested, are in fact completely new loudspeakers, with new drivers, cabinet and crossover.
  • As usual, the biggest impression, with its size and appearance, was made by the setup consisting of Wilson loudspeakers, dCS SACD/files Player and Dan d'Agostino electronics. Turntable - VPI Avenger Direct. Cables - Nordost.
  • This could be a hit - small, superbly made, new PMC Prodigy 1 loudspeakers offered at a good price (£1250). Thee is also the Prodigy 5 standalone model for £1,995.
  • A new look of the Constellation electronics – photo presents Statement power amplifier.
  • The Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur system, using the Graphite Audio platforms, the Polish company we have already mentioned, placed under the devices. The system also included the Gigawatt PowerControl conditioner. Franz-s and Diva loudspeakers and the company's own electronics.
  • The latest active speaker from Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur.
  • One of the sources in the Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur system was the excellent T1.
  • Digitale Audio Systeme Model 2 (Austria) files player placed on a Graphite Audio platform.
  • Another world premiere, small Vienna Acoustics speakers, Mozart Infinity; price – 12 000 EUR a pair.
  • And another premiere, very important one for me, Soulution 727 preamplifier. Price: 55 000 EUR.
  • Whole Soulution system with the new 727 linestage and 757 phono stage.
  • Alieno electronics – two-box 250 LTD amplifier with 300B tubes in OTL design – Ypsilon Electronics CD Transport, Brinkmann Galder Signature turntable with Miyajima Labs Destiny cartridge, Weiss DAC, Kubala-Sosna cables and Cessario Mendelssohn loudspeakers. Great sound!
  • Another important premiere: Nordost Base AC Power conditioner, with all elements of the QRT system in one box.
  • The presentation of the new Kipschorn Jubilee loudspeakers aroused a lot of emotions. Powered by McIntosh electronics, they delivered a powerful sound. For PLN 113,000 we get two-way loudspeakers with high efficiency, with a crossover frequency at 340 Hz.
  • Mr. Hidei Kato, the SoulNote designer next to his new integrated amplifier A-3.
  • Top turntable of the Japanese company CS Port.
  • Esoteric presented two new LPs cut from DSD masters.
  • A Walkman come back in the form of We Are Rewind tape recorder.
  • Statement in High Fidelity Award for the dCS Vivaldi Apex DAC.
  • Mr. Johny Labrecque, Luna Cables designer.
  • A wonderful system with Polish music from AC Records – DPS EAR Yoshino electronics, Denon reel-to-reel tape recorder, Living Voice speakers.
  • New Phasemation PP-5000 cartridge.
  • Symphonic Line with remote control based on Revox RB-77. It is made by Analog-Treff society – photo presents Mr. Heinz Voelker.
  • A wonderful Thorens Reference (2023) turntable.
  • New products from French manufacturer Kora, TB140 amplifier on the left.
  • System with LampizatOr Horizon DAC; Pilium electronics, AlsyVox planar speakers, Omega cables and Taiko music files server.