Munich High End Show Report 2012
High End Society Munich Germany
Report By Steven R. Rochlin
Here we have the
Porsche 911 Carrera S that comes with the multi-speaker Burmester system. Seen here in the passenger seat in the proud 'father' of the audio system Deter
Burmester. Now for comparisons, because I know you readers want to know if it
is truly that good a sound system. Well, the stock Bentley system lacks the
smooth extension and clarity in the uppermost range as compared to the
Burmester system. This is my biggest and most disappointing part of the
Bentley stock system. Midrange was nearly a crapshoot and the bass speed and
clarity seems on par with... wish I brought my proper ISACA test disc to be
sure. Imaging in the Porsche was good, but not quite that of the Bang & Olufsen
in the Audi. Would like
to hear more of the B&O system in the Audi and perhaps
the Bugatti system for good measure too. Mr. Burmester said there was
no direct iApple hookup in the Porsche, which is hard to believe in this day
and age... especially for audiophiles who use lossless files. Of course a
dockable 500GB SSD would generally cover things too, provided the center
in-cabin control unit can handle an external hard drive files with additional
steering wheel controls.
Burmester's new music server 111 Music Center (€29,000) that has 32-bit/384kHz and many inputs and outputs. Burmester is smart and wants to be sure that users have a high quality experience, and so they developed their very own software interface. I sat in the room and used their iPad to choose songs and see various playback options. Very impressive!
Burmester gets my Award For Most Complete Modern High-End
Manufacturer (cost no object).
In the MBL room they first were playing some male choir music ' which sounded amazingly 3D. Then for fun n giggles they played Rush
"Freewill" ripped from MoFi vinyl. It rocked and had great
sound! High-end audio should push '3D Audio' to latch on to the 3D video being
promoted endlessly by iMax and the like.
Weiss' new 301 (€10,000) DAC handles 24-bit/192kHz and includes FireWire, USB, Ethernet, AES/EBU... and has both balanced and unbalanced analog output.
One of the many areas at the High End 2012 event.
Aries Cerat model Concerto monoblock tune amplifier (€22,000) is a single ended 30 watts. Fully interstate transformer coupled and massive power supply... and much more! Bring a friend as each unit weights 180 lbs. The top knobs work with the cool analog meters to adjust tube bias.
Musicians in front of the M.O.C.
Whilst the Germans love chrome and glass, here is wood for you guys. No pun
intended... yet is inferred (lol). Ok, seriously, this is the Acoustic Solid model Solid 111 (€4000) not including tonearm.
Fisher Electronic specializes in cabinets and faceplate manufacturing.
So, how big is your ribbon tweeter? Is it 10 inches like Boner, I mean
Bohne Audio? Here is their 12.10 (€45,000), which is part of a full digital system that includes amplification, DAC, etc. And yes, I can go all day long with phallic and sexual
jokes. Go ahead, just try and stop me. Juvenile, sure. Classic humor? You
bet... unless you are one of those (overly) serious uptight types. If you are
the retentive one, please click this
Feeling classic? If so, then how does the MCap Classic from
Mundorf sound? Pun intended of course.
Soundelux floorstander... the representative
was very busy. These are very tall speakers with a diamond-like item in the
center that the
drivers fire towards. I will name these after my fave high-end audio representative
man's name. A man whose actual real name makes me very jealous! So these tall and
long speakers with a clear center 'cut stone' in the middle will be named 'Dick
Diamond'. Cost? Priceless :-)
Seen here is Mr. Domenico Fiorentino with his Neo speaker from his company
Eventus Audio. (€150,000) and each speaker weighs 660 lbs. It comes in seven flight cases and whist the standard cabinet is in HDR, the color and section of materials can be customized to your liking and interior design.
M2TECH had their 32-bit/384kHz capable USB DAC unit (€6000) called the Vaughan at High End 2012. Inputs are USB, I2S, two coax RCA, two coax BNC, 2x optical TosLink, two optical ST, two AES/EBU XLR and external clock in (phew that is a lot!). Analog outs are both unbalanced via RCA and balanced XLR. Getting nicely tweaky is that the power supply is based on LiPo battery, with integrated battery charger and world AC power supply. The DAC uses eight(!) PCM1795 32-bit chips.
Furutech's new Esprit (€999) DAC/ADC and digital preamplifier easily handles 24-bit/192kHz. The tweaky parts with this unit is that it uses the 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC, the 24-bit/192kHz Cirrus Logic CS5361 ADC converter, 24-bit/192kHz Cirrus Logic CS8416 interface receiver for low jitter and the 24-bit/96kHz Tenor TE7022L Hi-Q USB audio streaming controller, which supports ASIO. The Furutech Esprit gets my
Award For Best Value For DAC/Preamplifier/Headphone Amplifier Combination.
Professional speaker manufacturer Genelec had live music for attendees to enjoy.
Berliner Philharmoniker poster.
Playing to a packed crowd is the Silbatone room. This is my
Best Sound At The High End 2012. Sadly, the big Western Electric 15a were last made in 1930 or so. The good news is that the front end tube gear is available and still holds my personal record for best preamplifier and integrated amplifier (see my reviews).
These speakers are said to be found online for around $45,000, which when you think about it is not too bad for owning a living legendary piece of audio history.
Of course we all know that Dollars, Euros, Yen, Pound Sterling, etc are losing their value (buying power)
at a good 4% to 8% or more annual rate due to non-backed paper currency flooding by
the world's major central banks. So forget keeping money in the bank as that
is a loser's choice. Instead, go out and buy rare and highly desirable audio gear, which can go up in value like rare
artwork (a version of The Scream just sold for $119,900,000 to...), or perhaps a fine and important
Patek Philippe watch, etc.
Well kids, that wraps up
Enjoy the Music.com's High End 2012 Munich show coverage. The show continues to grow at a healthy rate. For you manufacturers, remember just before the
very predictable financial downturn
I almost literally begged you to come to the Munich show to expand your dealer/distribution base? Well, you are not too late, though if you still have not exhibited at the Munich show by now you are a bit late to the party.
Big bummer huh as others listened to me and have beaten you to the proverbial ‘punch’... yet there is still time for 2013 event!
And with that said, great show, an amazingly wide variety of high-end audio gear, held by
great organizers… and of course always brings a smile to my face to meet so many
truly wonderful people. In a few weeks my T.H.E.
Show Newport Beach report will begin, and remember to see my NY
Audio & AV Show report from two weeks ago. Thank you for reading my High End 2012 show
coverage and as always, in the end what really matters is that
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
And for the humor... This is like the
proverbial train wreck, you don't want to keep looking, but you continue
to do so as it just gets 'worse' with each passing moment.