Munich HIGH END Show Report 2017
Harman was showcasing their new No585.5 integrated amplifier at HIGH END 21017.pTheir No585.5 integrated amplifier includes a new Pure Phono module. Retaining the existing Precision Link DAC and analog inputs, this unit has an upgraded remote control and new three-piece extruded, machined, and anodized aluminum top cover which replaces the current single-piece top cover of the original № 585. Pure Phono is the same one found in the award winning № 523 and № 526 preamplifiers. The Mark Levinson Pure Phono stage features fully discrete, extremely low noise gain stages, with RIAA equalization implemented using a combination of active and passive filter circuits. Four gain settings, multiple resistive- and capacitive-loading settings, and an infrasonic filter are conveniently adjustable via the front panel or the remote control for powerfully optimizing the performance of virtually any turntable and cartridge.
There are four analog inputs, and six digital inputs, including asynchronous USB, optical, coaxial, and AES/EBU (XLR), to accommodate a wide variety of digital music sources, including 32-bit/192kHz PCM, as well as native DSD and DSD over PCM via USB. The № 585.5 also incorporates exclusive HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology, which employs proprietary signal-enhancement techniques to provide the best-possible sound quality from compressed digital audio sources. A subwoofer output with a selectable 80Hz high-pass filter is for use in a properly implemented 2.1-channel system, and includes Ethernet, RS-232, IR and 12V trigger ports to facilitate its use in audio/video installations with integrated systems control.
Mark Levinson's Jim Garrett gave me many of the details of this new design. Also note that Enjoy the Music.com reviewed the Mark Levinson No 523 preamplifier, phono stage and headphone amplifier.
Revel by Harman premium speakers were also at HIGH END 2017 (speaker with whitew drivers behind the hornspeakers). Revel's Performa3 Be loudspeakers include two new models: the F208Be three-way floorstander and M106Be two-way bookshelf. Both models feature the latest waveguide geometry, Beryllium and Deep Ceramic Composite (DCC) transducer technology and premium crossover network designs. The Revel F208Be employs a 1" Beryllium dome tweeter inspired by Revel's Ultima2 series and patented fifth generation Acoustic Lens Waveguide. Newly-developed DCC cone technology is said to yield a durable ceramic surface to the aluminum cones and results in an ideal stiffness to weight ratio. With a single 5.25" DCC cone for midrange frequency and two 8" DCC cone woofers with cast Aluminum frames for low frequency response, the F208Be has a frequency response up to 40kHz. Utilizing the same 1" Beryllium dome tweeter and waveguide mated to a 6.5" DCC cone woofer for low frequency response, Revel's Performa3 M106Be bookshelf loudspeaker seems to be a real winner.
My listening notes simply say "Music and outstanding, could stay here all day". That sums it all up nicely.
Of course JBL's legendary horn speakers were being put to good use at HIGH END 2017. But there was another surprise to be seen. Just like bringing back great bands from the past, Harman's JBL 4312SE harks back to the origins of this legendary studio monitor loudspeakers. Being a classic three-way design, guys such as myself who have spent time in various recording studios remember the sound of this wonderful monitor. So to honor the 70th Anniversary of the JBL brand, the 4312SE is a wonderful direct descendant of the now-legendary 4310/4311 family.
Visually, my eyes instantly recognized the ribbed 12" bass driver and overall classic driver arrangement. JBL's aqua-plas-coated pure pulp cone woofer (1200FE-8) is joined by a 5"polymer-coated pure pulp cone midrange (105H-1) and special 1" magnesium/aluminum alloy dome tweeter with waveguide (054ALMg-1). Wish i had a chance to hear them playing, yet they were on static display. We all love anniversary edition products and the JBL 4312SE is sue to be a big hit!