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Munich HIGH END 2018 Show Report

A Billionaire's Guide To HIGH END 2018 In Munich
Steven R. Rochlin reports on the best gear in the world, with value-priced offering within the mix too!
HIGH END 2018 Munich Show Report By Steven R. Rochlin

Nagra Audio, Silbatone, MoFi, And Elac's Audio Alchemy


HIGH END 2018 Munich Show Report


  It is no secret that many vintage audiophiles remember when $1,000,000 was a lot of money. Interest from banks were at ~8% and you literally could live off of just the interest, while keeping the principle $1,000,000 still safely in the bank. This was when a gallon of gas was 50 cents and a pack of cigarettes was about the same price. Fast-forward about 30 years and it seems that today everyone is a millionaire. Well, perhaps not everyone as there were months, years ago, when some of us lived out of our car and had virtually nothing else. With today's hot economy, high-end audio is thriving to new record heights. There is no doubt that this year's HIGH END 2018 event in Munich proved that high-end audio is alive and doing quite well thank-you-very-much.

As for why the billionaire HIGH END 2018 in Munich show report theme, well... As they say, you are the company you keep. Could be the value of your home, car, and other assets equal that amount, or perhaps you're a newly minted ICO millionaire, IPO'ed your company, or by some other means. Today, it is relatively easy to be a millionaire as compared to 30 years ago. Welcome to the new billionaire's club, where you're 1000x more wealthy than a mere millionaire and am sure you worked hard to earn every bit of it. So as a billionaire, or an aspiring multi-millionaire, isn't it time my friends to also bring great music into you home. While it is easy to invest $225,000 in yet another exotic car, it is time for a bit of attention to bring joyous music into your home.


No worries if you're between being homeless, like me years ago, and in being a millionaire, as we've all been there! So of course there is a trickle-down effect as high-end audio has many great values as seen at the HIGH END 2018 show. With today's investment into new electronic parts and an abundance of R&D, you can achieve an incredible sounding system for a fraction of that spent by billionaires to achieve perhaps 90% or more of the performance of the very best available today. No one is saying these more value-oriented products are the world's best, yet there's no doubt high-end audio also has many ‘bargains' that challenge the billionaire-only need apply status quo.

With all the hot money flowing today, perhaps no better way to keep that velocity going by investing in a new high-end audio system. With all that said, welcome to high-end audio's very first HIGH END 2018 Munich show report for billionaires. We'll report on the world's best gear plus focus on very special products at lower price points that achieve impressive performance for a bit more reasonable money.



My first stop at HIGH END 2018 was Nagra, where Mathieu and René (pictured) were playing glorious music while showing me their new Classic PSU power supply that is compatible with their PL-L battery powered preamplifier (€12,000), VPS tube phono stage (€5750), JAZZ amplifier ($12,250) and Melody amplifier (starting at €7800). Remember earlier I talked about new extensive research and development work within high-end audio? Here's proof! This new power supply features similar super cap technology as within the HD PREAMP ($59,500) and is said to offers better performance than batteries, yet without having to worry about charging cycles or battery life. It features a pair of outputs (an optional third) to power every 12 V DC operating Nagra equipment in the Classic range. Nagra's two output version is €10,500, with the three output version being €12,500.



If you happen to be a millionaire movie producer or film star, then you probably already have benefited from Nagra Audio professional products. Below you can see their field recorder, which was used extensively within Hollywood for decades and still in use by some today! Nagra Audio would be perfect for movie stars, directors, and those who are seeking studio-quality state-of-the-art sound within their home.



Going in a completely different direction, Silbatone was at HIGH END's 2018 show with vintage speakers and an abundance of vacuum tube gear. Audio has a thriving vintage market, just as you'll find with cars and music instruments.





Mobile Fidelity (MoFi), a true legend in producing extremely high quality remastered music, also offers their new Super Heavyweight record weight ($199) to its product lineup, which also includes two turntables! MoFi says their weight, which goes on the center spindle of your turntable and helps keep the vinyl LP secured, is a "super noise killer". For those curious, it weighs 367.4 grams and MoFi says this is the optimum weight with respect to applying no strain or stress to a turntable's precision motor, bearing, and suspension.

Mo-Fi's two turntables are the UltraDeck and StudioDeck ($1799 and $999 respectively) and play your fave 33.3 and 45 rpm LPs. Their top-line UltraDeck features belt drive, a 10" MoFi Ultra tonearm, 1.3" Delrin platter and Isolated 300 RPM AC synchronous motor. The main difference is that MoFi's Studioeck has a 10" MoFi Studio tonearm and 0.75" Delrin platter. Both models also benefit from anti-Vibration feet designed by HRS. MoFi's great showing at HIGH END 2018 brings it all together from remastered LPs to turntables and record weighs. They make great phono stages too!




Legendary audio designer Peter Madnick proudly gave me wonderful details about the Alchemy series of electronics by Elac. Here's where those of us who might not be millionaires, yet are seeking great sound, find excellent values in audio. From their Alchemy DMP-1 ($1795) music server and Alchemy DPA-1 / DPA-1M ($1995 and $3990 per pair respectively) amplifier to Alchemy DDP-1 and Alchemy PPA-1 preamps, these are great values in high-end audio so pay attention! A variety of other gear fills the room here in Munich and glad to have enjoyed time chatting with designer Peter Madnick.




---> Onward to Part 2 of our HIGH END 2018 show report.


---> Back to main HIGH END 2018 page.














































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