High End Society 2003 Show Frankfurt Germany
Thursday Page 2
Germany's High End Society held their usual press conference during the event. One of the messages discussed was about the slow degrading of the industry. That we as an industry need to demonstrate the benefits of the analog vinyl record as they said it is having an upswing in sales. One of the questions usually asked concerns the size of the market share within high-end audio. This is hard to estimate as defining what is, and is not, high-end audio can be rather difficult. In Germany there are approximately 250 suppliers producing nearly €600 million at retail the level.
They also reflected about being a show organizer and the trends over the years. Their show is completely sold out as pre-registration of the trade was higher than ever... at 1,567 total with nearly 650 originating from other countries besides Germany. Precisely 280 exhibitors are here at the show with 560 different bands. There are always a new number of exhibitors each year offering visitors of the show ever more diversity. For instance, a special exhibit offers not just sight and sound, but also the matching sensation of smell to help complete the movie experience.
The High End Society is happy to announce their future plans while also dissipating rumors. This concerns both the location and style of the show. The reason they considered these changes are that the past few years they reached 100% capacity and having more space to allow for growth is much needed. The result is the move to Munich's Order Center (MOC) for their 2004 show where an ideal mix of space and location are available. The show will be held from May 20th to 23rd and the High End Society is making sure everyone can benefit from this situation. As a side note, it is requested that i say hello to Anna in Minneapolis from Branko.
Exposure's XXII CD player, XXIII pre-amplifier, XXVIII monoblock amplifier, and new XXVI phonostage (€1,600 with MC board) were mated with a DPS and Dynavector tonearm. The new phonostage employs a huge power supply, two stages of regulation, and further optimized over their previous offering.
Tubes, tubes everywhere in the Einstein room!
Acoustic Signature Mombol turntable (€3,500) features an oil-free bearing (Tidorfolon) and brass cylinders within the platter. Each bass cylinder is rubber isolated from the main platter to reduce overall resonances while their Aleph outboard power supply is also included. Overall weigh can be upwards of 40 kg depending on the tonearm board(s) as three tonearms can be mounted simultaneously.
Rega was showing their usual fair, yet with wonderful flair!
JMlab and Halcro joined forces at the High End Society show with the Lexicon RT-10 universal player. The Lexicon unit plays CD, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, and SACD.
Marantz's new PM-17mk3 ki stereo integrated amplifier and CD-17mk3 ki CD player (€4,600 combination) are both available in silver and their signature gold facade. Producing 60 watts per channel stereo, the integrated amplifier has excellent drive capability including that for low impedance loudspeakers. The CD player has copper plated chassis to reduce the impedance of the ground, thus providing overall cleaner music reproduction.
In the Mordaunt-Short room was their two new subwoofers. Specifically, the MS309W (£330) and larger MS909W (£500). Shown here in black, the MS309W sports a 10-inch aluminum driver while the larger brother has a 12-inch unit. Power is 150 watts and 300 watts respectively. Amplification is digital ("Class D") and the electronics include a fully adjustable notch filter. A special setup test CD in included with each unit so consumers can insure proper system integration.
Arcus First Class Stand L-S floorstanding loudspeaker (€4,000) features a side-mounted 18cm woofer, two 15cm midrange, and 10cm long ribbon tweeter. The wood cabinet has three rear ports and this unit is is bi-wireable.
Yet another wonderful turntable seen at the Frankfurt High End Society show is Pluto Audio's 10A (€38,550 including their 2A wood/aluminum tonearm). A special diamond and ball bearing supports the platter while included in the price is a Vibraplane to reduce floor borne resonances and carbon fiber top plate are included.
Art Audio's new Carisse ($4,500) stereo amplifier uses a single 845 per channel to produce 16 watts. Input sensitivity is 600mV and the frequency response is an amazing 20Hz to 60kHz!
Final electrostatic loudspeakers model 700 (€16,000 for complete 5.1 surround sound system) is part of the company's completely modular design. They also offer panels that are dedicated to wall mounting for ease of installation.
And continuing he theme... It's not the size of your tube but how you use it. Ok, who are we kidding. The size matters too and this amplifier has enormous output valves! Seen here in the KR Enterprise Kronzilla and you can read or review of this unit by clicking here.
Audio Note of Japan (Kondo) has their Ongaku Fuji integrated stereo amplifier ($60,000) that employs a pair of 300B tubes in push-pull configuration to produce 22 watts. Other tubes in this design include a single GZ34, two 6072, and two others the room representative was not sure. Kondo also has a new KSL-M77 ($40,000) pre-amplifier with phono stage and Ongaku DAC ($30,000).
Within the Kimber Kable room was the stunning Calix Phoenix Signature loudspeakers (€95,000) that combine a horn-loaded drive unit and normal radiated drivers.
New from Kimber is their TC-SE loudspeaker cable that are made from Kimber's 8TC cable. Varistrand, hyper-pure copper conductors and extruded Teflon dialectic are just some of the features of this cable.