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HIGH END And International Parts + Supply 2024 Show Report Munich Germany

Incredible Sound Systems At HIGH END 2024 In Munich
Another fantastic high-end audio show at the MOC HIGH END 2024.
Show Report By Jason Kennedy



  Nordost showed its Leif 3 ranges of entry-level cables; White Lightning, Purple Flare, Blue Heaven, and Red Dawn. All offer the full range of cable types except the least expensive, White Lightning, for which there is no power cord offering.



The Leif cables benefit from trickle-down tech from Nordost's pricier cables and feature increased gauge conductors and a new termination process compared to their predecessors. The interconnects are now twisted pairs rather than straight wire and double shielding for better noise suppression, as well as better connecting plugs. Prices start at $260 for the Purple Flare power cord, White Lightning speaker cable is $475 for a meter pair while pricing for interconnect has yet to be announced.





Dali unveiled a new range that benefited from the development work on the flagship Kore loudspeaker. Rubikore replaces the Rubicon range with five models, the Rubikore 2 bookshelf (€2,500), 6 floorstander (€5,000), and 8 floorstander (€7,000), the other two are the On-wall and LCR Home cinema speakers. These models have aluminum baffles and ferrofluid-free drivers for greater freedom of movement, the larger models combine a dome tweeter and a magnetostatic planar driver for the highest frequencies, Dali doesn't use a crossover between the two but allows the dome to roll off naturally.




Rather than conventional iron magnets the Rubikore models use SMC which is a granular magnet compound that doesn't conduct electricity. Dali demonstrated the braking effect that occurs when the iron is passed through copper to reveal just how much difference this can make. They also use SMC in the crossover inductors which is said to reduce distortion significantly in this area. The Rubikore 8 demonstrated very well with a range of material with Nils Frahm's live version of Sunson which revealed that this speaker has an effortless ability to produce high volume that is very appealing.





Audio Group Denmark showed loudspeakers at both extremes of the price range, the Axess I3 (€5,000) loudspeaker is the most affordable floorstanding speaker yet from the Danish powerhouse.



It's a distinctive design created by Michael Børresen and Fleming Rasmussen with a baffle that's broader than the cabinet and in-house drivers. At the other end of the scale, the Børresen T5 floorstanding loudspeaker is the first of a new range with a €200,000 asking price, sitting below the M series flagship models and current O series the T series features 3D printed titanium baskets behind its 4.5" spread tow carbon fiber drivers. A bookshelf / monitor T1 and smaller floorstanding T5 are on their way.






Slightly more affordable is the Børresen C series which also consists of three models, C1 bookshelf (€15,000 inc stand), C2 floorstander (€25,000), and C3 (€35,000), these are destined to replace the current Z series and once again use spread tow carbon drivers but with a less expensive resin. This did nothing to stop them from sounding superb while playing an early Beatles tune.





Turntable specialists Kronos Audio demonstrated the three chassis Discovery Four phono stage, this is an all-vacuum tube preamplifier with transformer step-ups built in for MC phono cartridges and uses the 6350 output tubes originally developed for computers. The idea is that you get huge tube life and, apparently, minimal microphony.



The new Kronos Audio Perpetual turntable looks very similar and is described as being 60% of the price of the Discovery turntable but capable of delivering 90% of the performance, it costs $70,000 without tonearm.





Wadax has put Spain on the high-end digital map with some pretty ambitious components of late but this year the company is looking to attract a marginally less wealthy audio enthusiast who doesn't necessarily want as many boxes as possible. The Wadax Studio Player is a CD / SACD player, Hi-Res Audio music streamer, and DAC with a €33,000 price tag.



It's built around the same digital-to-analog circuitry as the Atlantis DAC and offers a clear and precise display to reflect its sonic capabilities. Wadax plans to add a clock and external power supply to the Studio line for those who catch the audiophile bug from this smooth piece of kit.




Thank You
Thank you to all exhibitors, manufacturers, distributors, friends both old and new, and to the High End Society for producing an incredible HIGH END 2024 show in Munich!



To those of you reading my show report from afar, thanks go out to you too. You can find more of my writings at The EAR.




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