Munchen High End Show 2011

Our impressions of the Munich High End Show 2011.

Acoustic Plan DAC (with USB), CD-transport, and phono stage.
We’re going to evaluate these source components soon…
And below is the MagAmp a unique design by Mr. Lundahl, the amplification principle is “magnetic” (with transformers instead of by tubes or transistors).

Zen Audio turntable.
These look well build and are affordable, we’re going to check them out soon!

Another model from Zen Audio, also available with dust cover.
And there’s a third model from Zen Audio suitable for 12″ tonearms, which we’re going to try with the Schick tonearm.

Cessario horn system.
In this demonstration the sound was not coherent at all and tonally too edgy to for my taste.

Audio Tekne horn system.
Interesting system, well balanced sound, but the system didn’t reproduce the extreme dynamics and openness I would expect, it was sounding a bit closed-in.

An impressive line of amplifiers and a turntable from Audio Tekne.

Mi.Ni. Sound loudspeakers from Italy. No lack of dynamics here but the highs were a bit hot. I would love to hear this speaker again in a more balanced setup. (drivers: Fostex on top (TAD optional), TAD-4001, Supravox)

JBL Everest and K2
Unfortunately not playing this time.

Jamo R909
Not bad, open speaker, free woofers usually sound more realistic than boxed woofers to me. You just need more cone surface to move air.

Klipsch Heritage Console, now supports streaming audio from your iPod/iPhone.
If they will re-release the Paragon with iPod dock, I’m in.

EMT studio turntable and JPA66 phono preamp with adjustable impedance/EQ/RiAA correction.

Acapella loudspeakers.
They do not sound natural or involving to me. B.A.C.H. loudspeakers, a compression driver placed in front of a 12″ or 10″ woofer. I thought they were interesting, quite dynamic, some will miss the highest frequencies I guess, but they do music. modular amp, nice idea. I missed a bit of natural colors/timbres in the music, but then again I’m very critical in that area, overall it sounded fine.

Thorens turntables restored by Swissonor.

Cool Thorens record changer.

Audiomanufacture SLS loudspeakers, what I heard sounded good, they gave that live feeling, tangible, but they only played guitar with voice. Midrange was good. I wonder how they will do more complex recordings.

Transmission line cabinet cut from solid wood.

Western Electric 16B Wide Range Horn from 1928. Back then this cinema speaker was hidden behind the movie screen. This system does so many things right, that I don’t care about it’s rough edges.

These field coil drivers (WE555 and 597A) are the reference, lots of research went into natural sound reproduction back then, still unmatched. Newer designs were a lot cheaper, lighter, but never better.

Only a small percentage of the original Western Electric drivers are still in top condition, but G.I.P. Laboratory makes perfect rebuilds (Suzuki-san from G.I.P. tried many prototypes to get the best components). 

Silbatone ampification and Schröder turntable and tonearm.

Garrard 301 Turntable with the good and affordable 12″ Schick tonearm.
Frank Schröder and Thomas Schick also were present in the Silbatone/G.I.P./Western Electric room.

G.I.P. Laboratory loudspeakers. Building on the Western Electric legacy Suzuki-san developed no compromise field coil drivers, these drivers are huge and heavy. The system sounds totally live, very dynamic and relaxed at the same time, totally uncompressed. I can’t explain it, you should hear it. And you are welcome to come listen because these speakers will come to our shop in the Netherlands for some time!!! Few people can afford them, but everyone who loves the sound of live music is welcome to enjoy them here.

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