Munich HIGH END Show Report 2017
Hmmmm, how to begin my HIGH END 2017 show report? Let's start at the beginning shall we? Back in 2000 HIGH END had a great show in Frankfurt at the Kempinski hotel in Neu-Isenburg (pic above). It was a wonderful venue and I was perhaps the only USA-based photojournalist to cover each HIGH END event through 2017, with a single missed year due to my auto racing schedule. As HIGH END Society's Branko Glisovic explains it (seen below with the always-happy Renate Paxa), to ensure the future of this ever-growing event they needed a new venue that would provide space for future expansion. In 2003 they made the move to the MOC, a large exhibition center in Munich, and have not looked back since. For the past few years, due to HIGH END's popularity and being the most important high-end audio event in Europe, this quite large venue has sold out of exhibition space!
The first day of this event, Thursday, is for dealers, distributors and press only, with the remaining three public days being Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been exceedingly well attended. In fact it is the most-attended European show on the calendar. While the official numbers are not yet in, I have little doubt that HIGH END at the MOC has the highest attendance of any show in 2017.
While the industry day on Thursday the MOC was not quite as busy, it did seem to have more members of the worldwide press than I can ever recall. As for the public days, it was jam-packed with people from opening to closing. If you're curious just how busy, have a look at a few rooms pics I took. Furthermore, while in the past I would post show coverage each night, the immense workload plus my ever-increasing age means that I'd rather recoup energy for the next day then burn myself out on day 1. For those curious, I leave my home on the East coast of the USA at 10am to catch two planes and arrive at 8:30am in Munich. Quickly go into the bathroom at the Munich airport and change cloths and a general 'clean up' so I don't look like someone who spent the previous night clubbing. Then take a bus at the airport, provided by the show, and immediately begin show reporting. Basically it's a 36 hour day on what we'll call Day 1.
Within the MOC there is everything from home and portable audio products including, well, everything imaginable. Speakers, amps and DACs are joined by a blinding array of turntables, tonearms and phono cartridges. Then there's reel-to-reel, home audio 'appliances', and of course furniture for our gear. Furthermore, you can get custom cables made right there on the spot from one vendor! Many seminars, some in German and others in English, are also available to attendees. If you love car audio, there were many top luxury brands with their best automobiles you could sit within and hear great tunes. Stock car audio systems have come a long way since my sound quality judging days for IASCA.
Upon arrival at HIGH END 2017, one quickly realizes just how large the show truly is. While it is nearly impossible to calculate all the new gear being launch at HIGH END 2017, rest assured there is virtually no way a single photojournalist could ever cover it all. Fortunately Greg Weaver will also be chiming in shortly with his report. As for my report, it will easily take me a few weeks to post it all. Have already edited well over 100 photos and am not at the writing stage of my HIGH END 2017 show report.
Would like to humbly thank everyone at HIGH END Society plus all the great exhibitors for making HIGH END 2017 a sensational success. And to kill the rumors, yes HIGH END will be back at the MOC in 2018, so the rumors of BMW buying the MOC are false. If your company did not showcase their products at HIGH END, I'd suggest contacting them ASAP as space gets sold out fast. If you love high-end audio and are thinking about a fun European vacay in Germany, HIGH END 2018 is not to be missed!
As an added benefit, rent a car and drive the autobahn where speeds of 165mph+ are the norm for us fast guys, plus you could do a few laps around Nordschleife / Nürburgring too.