Here are some of the things I spied at High End Munich 2019 that captured my attention mainly because they strike me as being in need of further examination in Barn (some exceptions where noted). Warning: not everything I found interesting is new.
The Ayre Acoustics CX-8 Player (starts at $4950). It has been many years since I’ve listened to a CD on a new CD player. The Ayre CX-8 can be a disc player and when optioned out a streamer which adds up to an in-Barn interview.
The Nagra 300i integrated amplifier (21.000,00 €). Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for Nagra. While the 300i isn’t new, I think it would fit very well in my upcoming survey of integrated amplifiers.
The Auralic Sirius G2 Upsampling Processor ($6000). The way I understand it, one of the most important features/functions of the new Sirius G2 is to feed your DAC an optimized signal for your DACs D/A converter. While the idea that different DAC chips have different operating sweet spots isn’t news, a hardware-based solution that offloads the heavy-processing is an interesting notion.
dCS, D’Agostino, and Wilson always make beautiful music together. I’ll be getting the dCS Bartok DAC ($13,500) in-Barn for a closer look and listen. Think summertime (when the livin’ is easy).
The Luxman Vacuum Tube Control Amplifier CL-1000 (€18,000). Consider this a Luxman (Lustman) placeholder as I’m lining up one of their (lovely) integrated amplifiers for the upcoming integrated amplifier survey.
The ELAC Navis ARB-51 Active Speakers ($1999.98/pair). ELAC = FAV (fairly outstanding value).
The KEF LSX Wireless Music System ($1,099.99/pair). Everything you need (in color) from KEF.
Dali loudspeakers. Before Munich, I was very happy to have been one of a group of reviewers who toured the Dali factory in Nørager, Denmark. To say I was mightily impressed is just the beginning. Full report coming soon….
The Dan D’Agostino Progression Integrated ($18,000). OK, I have a thing for integrated amplifiers and the D’Agostino aesthetic is worming its way into my like column.
The Kii Audio THREE Compact DSP Controlled Full Range Speaker ($12,795/pair). Every time I listen to the Kii THREE I remain impressed to the point of “Wow”.
The EMM Labs NS1 Network Streamer ($4500). How does it compare to my dCS Network Bridge? Only Barn-time will tell…
The Alchemy Series from ELAC. I’ve been reporting on and looking forward to reviewing the Peter Madnick-designed ELAC Alchemy Series for ages. Plans are now in the works to begin with the DDP-2 Preamplifier/DAC/Streaming End-Point ($2499.98). Yay!
The APL Hifi DSD-MR Reference Digital to Analog converter with tube output stage ($45,500). I have a super-secret source of “What To See” at every hifi show (let’s call him Joel Alperson). Mr. X (Joel) gives me daily tips on interesting gear and tops on his must-see list was the APL DAC.
The T+A M 40 HV Mono Power Amplifier Anniversary Edition ($29,500)/pair. Consider this another (albeit industrially lovely) placeholder. There is a place for one of the T+A integrated amplifiers in my upcoming survey. Which one is TBD. Stay tuned. Side note: I have to wonder (out loud) why T+A doesn’t get more love in the US—their product line is comprised of a long lineage of exquisitely built, expertly engineered components and speakers with a broad range of lines and prices. A hifi mystery?
The WADAX Atlantis DAC (€110,000). I was thinking—wouldn’t it be fun to find the most expensive DAC at High End Munich 2019? But how would I go about finding it? Enter Mr. darko.audio ”Have you seen the new Wadax DAC?”
There were two systems in-use in the Voxativ room—a quick chair shuffle accommodated the change from the Hagen System to the Voxativ Ampeggio Due, Voxativ T211 SET Integrated Amplifier, fronted by the Weiss Engineering Medua DAC and MAN-301 server (system price €140,000). Please take notice of the Voxativ room presentation—wall-size murals in blue (Hagen System) and red (Ampeggio Due) which provided a visualization of the company’s “David & Goliath” room theme. Nice.