A Billionaire's Guide To HIGH END 2018 In Munich
If you're a recording studio engineer or longtime musician, you know that Lexicon designs some truly exceptional products. Their new RV-9 ($6500) is said to be the world most expensive receiver with all the state-of-the-art features you'd expect. It can be used for both stereo and full surround sound and 4K video processing. Audiophiles like the Cirrus CS42528 24-bit/192kHz audio processing while videophiles can take advantage of their very own private cinema sensory experience with Dolby ATMOS and DTS:X 3D surround sound processing, Dirac room EQ, Logic7 Immersion, and Class G amplification power (over 100W per channel, 7 channels). Logic7 Immersion is said to be a natural sound upmixer, and yes it is also Dolby Vision compatible. There are seven HDMI inputs, three HDMI outputs, ARC compatible, plus is Spotify Connect enabled.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X with 11.1 decoding and 7.2.4 outputs, with 4K (UHD) HDMI2.0a with HDCP2.2 in Main and Zone 2. For homewide automation control there's rear panel Ethernet and RS232 connections. Lexicon says that, "Like a hybrid car engine, Class G implements multiple power supplies. The first power supply runs in pure Class A, which has no crossover distortion. If a dynamic signal is received that goes beyond the capability of this first power supply, the secondary supply is gradually incorporated up to full rated power output as required. This efficient design means additional power is only used when required. Modern high speed silicon allows this switch to take place well beyond the audio bandwidth. Multiple output devices within the amplifier ensures your listening experience is tight, punchy and crystal clear." Jim Garrett of Harman International is proudly standing next to the unit knowing it is perhaps one of the world's best receivers in the marketplace today.
JBL's soon-to-be-released L-100 ($4000 per pair) with orange grill on stand, first featured within our HIGH END 2017 report, is next to their large floorstanding horn-loaded reference speakers. If you want big sound, Harman's JBL brand is also a known go-to for recording studios and homes alike. Amplification is by Harman's Mark Levinson brand and we world premiere reviewed their No 523 preamplifier with phono stage and headphone amplifier ($15,000).
Now let's say you have a truly large space and want something visually impressive. If so, then Cessaro's hornspeaker (€320,000) may be right for you. Cessaro's Air Two vacuum tube amplifiers produce 50 Watts using a single-ended tube amplifier with only two amplifier stages and two output tubes in parallel circuitry. They say their "extreme laborious winding method of the output transformer creates a perfect behavior even with parallel operating output tubes. Due to the usage of very few parts and directly coupled with only one plate choke between the first and the second amplifier stage, there are no interstage transformers or capacitors in the signal path." If this sounds like Martian to you, basically they've ensures a very minimal signal path to achieve the purest signal and sound quality. As for pricing, expect to invest well over €500,000 for a compete stereo system by Cessaro / TW Acustic. The great news is that you can easily customize the color, drivers, etc to perfectly mate within your home decor.
Longtime Marantz brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata is celebrating his 40th anniversary. While Marantz has been in business for over 60 years, Ken has played a key role into their designs. With the focus on sound quality and ease of use, Marantz is celebrating Ken's 40 year anniversary with two impressive offerings. Their new PM-KI Ruby integrated amplifier and SA-KI Ruby SACD player (about €4000 each). Naturally they both features high-end parts and carefully planed circuitry layout for optimum sound quality.
Made in America since 1949. America... fuck yeah! McIntosh Labs started the world on high-power amplification and their units were heard during Woodstock 1969 (not the flamed down Woodstock riot one I reported on in 1999). With a workforce that has been with the company for decades, yes talk about job retention and employee loyalty, McIntosh Labs makes some of the world’s most solid and reliable products. In fact their vintage units sell for quite good money within the collectors marketplace! While I recently wrote a world premiere review their latest MC611 600 Watt monoblock amps ($15,000 per pair), above is a pic of their MC2KW 1200 Watt monoblock ($40,000 per pair) just in case you need more power.
McIntosh Labs offers everything from surround processors and preamplifiers to single channel and multi-channel amps, headphone amps, compact home stereo systems, turntables, speakers, headphones, etc, etc and yes etc. As you’d expect their visuals are timeless, with green backlit logo and blue analog meters. My wife loves their gear, and you will too! Oh, and McIntosh Labs also has their own online streaming music radio station. Wow! By the way, we also recently posted a world premiere review of McIntosh Labs' MA5300 integrated amplifier.
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