High End Munich 2019: The Wrap

This year I took a different approach to the High End Munich Show as compared to years past. Instead of beginning with the knowledge that there is no way one person can cover all of this show and then trying to do so, I wandered around and found things of interest.

This allowed for conversation, i.e. meeting people and learning, and more time spent focusing on the things that fit into the Twittering Machines barnhouse, so to speak. It also made for a very enjoyable and more meaningful experience which I hope I was able to convey in my previous show posts. My feeling is I have yet to really refine my approach to show coverage but I’m headed in a good direction.

The High End Munich Show is the Show of shows as far as I’m concerned. For starters, it is not stuffed into a stuffy hotel. At the MOC, the hallways are wide, the venue has lots of natural light, and there’s plenty of room to move. Of course, listening rooms get crowded but that’s to be expected. The majority of people in attendance appear to be having fun and there is a broad variety of our human species represented. The show feels fresh, alive, and vibrant. Largely because it is.

In terms of trends, the only one I spotted was keep on keepin on. Which is not to say more of the same, rather it is to say that this pursuit, the reproduction of music in the home, is a human endeavor fueled by imagination, passion, and desire. As such, there is no one right way, no single best approach, and certainly no best result that can measured by a machine.

The true measure of a hifi is very simple and very human—the best hifi is one that’s used most often.

When I walk around hifi shows, I like to look at the people, the gear, the building, and try to get a feel for entire deal. The vibe. In Munich, the High End Show feels like another aspect of life. There are posters, billboards, and banners throughout the city advertising the Show indicating a broader interest than a narrowly defined group of ‘audiophiles.’

I was talking to Daniela Manger of Manger Audio about the upcoming Warsaw HiFi Show, asking her about it since I’ve never been. She explained that since Poland has such a rich musical history, its people are very involved in music. This makes that show very well attended.

As you can image, I smiled and I plan to carry this little nugget of wisdom around for a while as a talisman to keep this most healthy approach to hifi close to my heart.