Munich HIGH END 2023 Show Report
Runner Up For Best Sound In Show is Alysvox out of Spain. There is no enclosure like no enclosure. That is the benefit of quasi-ribbons. Think about it. Boxy speakers were introduced for aesthetic reasons not because they sounded better. And once you get into the box you're fighting the physics. That's why so much time and treasure is expended on building a better box. Exotic materials.Exotic shapes.Whereas with a quasi ribbon or a horn, the physics is on your side. Don't fight the physics. It's always better to have Ma Nature on your side.
My Horn is Bigger than Your Horn... or Crazy Rich Asians.
This is why we go to Munich. For crazy over-the-top giant horns.
Super super nice people. The mom told me they used to live in Beverly Hills, the son went to UCLA, studied engineering like a good kid, and designed the system. Proud dad bankrolled the whole enterprise. They moved back to Hangzou China cuz cheap labor. Well just look at the size of those horns.
Kudos for using Blu-ray on their self-produced demo disk. Why did high-end audio not embrace Blu-ray Audio instead of going down the blind alley of SACD which will forever be a niche product? The sound quality is better on Blu-ray Audio and you can cram 60 Bach Cantatas onto a single disk. On top of which Blu-ray is a mass-market item letting you take advantage of economies of scale that SACD can only dream about.
The jazz guitarist Al Dimeola is the poster boy for this fortieth edition of the Munich HIGH END 2023 show. He gave a chat in the Nagra room that was relaxed, funny, and on point. Hear for yourself.
Afterward, we reminisced about a concert at Royce Hall that we'd gone to 50 years ago. He was 19. I was 17. He was onstage playing guitar with Return to Forever. I was in the audience listening. My first time listening to jazz either live or recorded making for an indelible impression.
Earlier Al had told us his fav bassist was Stanley Clark who was also in Return to Forever along with some keyboard player called Chick Corea. Royce Hall is itself a memorable place just beautiful inside with great acoustics. The band was really on that night so maybe that's why Al remembered. Or he was just humoring a fan. But I don't think so. He struck me as a straight shooter.
I asked him what he was thinking when they took his photo for the show poster. He looks so... intense. He said he didn't purposely pose for the photo, as it was a photo the show organizers had found and decided to use.