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HIGH END And International Parts + Supply 2023 Show Report Munich Germany

HIGH END 2023 Show Report
Europe's largest, and most attended, premium audio show!
HIGH END 2023 Show Report By Jason Kennedy

 

 

  AURALiC's Xuanqiang Wang has clearly had a busy winter, his company released four new products at High End, two of them in a distinctly more ambitious price league than previous components from the brand. The G2.2 and G3 series Aries streamer and Vega streaming DAC have eight times the processing power of the G2.1 models and 4GB of system memory, which means that 60 minutes of an incoming stream can be buffered before it is independently clocked out to the processor with far lower jitter.

 

 

 

 

Wang went so far as to dismantle parts of these products to show journalists what goes into them, even though there were examples in transparent cases in the room. He made his point, there is a lot of work required to build a better streamer. The Aries G2.2 is $6,099 while the G3 version hits $10,099, the G2.2 Vega is $7,899 and its G3 superior is $11,899.

 

 

Elipson showed their reference series pre and power amplifiers at HIGH END last year and made a particularly enjoyable sound with them, so it was intriguing to discover that they were designed by Micromega founder Daniel Schar whose CD players were among the most musical you could buy back in the nineties.

 

 

This year Elipson has added an integrated amplifier with onboard DAC to the Reference range, the I2140 (3,990) uses Class D output modules from Pascal to generate 130W per channel and was making some good noises via the smallest addition to the Elipson Heritage range. The XLS7 (799) owes something to classic JBLs in its conception with a walnut wrap and adjustable EQ, it stands 15 inches high and runs a 6.5" paper cone woofer and a 22mm dome tweeter.

 

 

 

 

The most extreme system at the HIGH END 2023 show was the ESD Super Dragon which consisted of seven horns per channel and more boxes of amplification than you could shake a stick at. The horns are made of carbon fiber and you can get this system for a mere 1.8 million in that finish, however, the system shown has hundreds of layers of organic lacquer applied by hand to provide stiffness and a finish usually only found on antique furniture, it brings the price up to 3.6m. The system sounded good playing the Eagles ("Hell Freezes Over", what else), and the applause at the end was surprisingly loud.

 

 

 

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