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Munich High End Show Report 2014
Munich High End Show Report 2014

High End Society Munich Germany, Part 1

  Wow, what an incredible opening day for a show! Huge crowds with a good amount of both men and ladies here during the opening day of High End 2014 in Munich. Since i went to the larger rooms today, expect pricing to be, well, equally as large. Fear not as in the coming days the prices should be lower as our Facebook friends want to see sub-$5000 priced gear. IMHO part of the reason for 'high' prices is due to central banks flooding the market with their perspective paper currency and thus investors and others have an abundance of 'profit' to invest in their high-end audio gear. And with that said, here is today's coverage. Enjoy!


Allnic Audio Labs had some spectacular gear including their T1610 (€40,000) that uses the KR242 tubes for the driving stage of the mighty Kron 1610 output power tubes. Also shows here in High End 2014 Munich show is their Allnic H-5000DHT (€30,000) phono stage.


The Silbatone room is never one to be missed and in fact i voted it Best Sound twice in the past years. They had virtually all their gear on display plus vintage Western Electric speakers. Silbatone’s third generation Reference Silver Edition integrated amplifier seeks to unleash the highest musical potential of the WE300B triode output tube. The amplifier is entirely direct coupled with no coupling capacitors. Expensive Teflon circuit boards and silver Litz internal wiring are used for the ultimate in both musicality and detail. Their latest generation "Semi-Silver" foil-wound nickel core output transformer are a costly affair indeed. The voltage amplifier (5965) and driver tubes (5687) are industrial-grade twin triode devices, chosen for high performance. More exotic types such as E180CC/7062 can substitute for 5965 and 7119 or the rare Bendix 6900 can be used as an upgrade for the 5687 depending on preferences.


KEF just released their new Reference line including the Reference 5 ($19000/pair), Reference 3 and bookshelf Reference 1 ($7500/pair) plus Center channel 7500 and Subwoofer ($5500). At the heart of the Blade Two system lies KEF’s signature Uni-Q ‘point source’ driver array -- a 25mm vented aluminum dome tweeter placed at the exact acoustic center of a sophisticated 125mm midrange driver, providing direction-agnostic high- and mid-range response. KEF's Blade Two is a bit smaller than their Blade and incorporates four 6.5" bass drivers instead of 9" drivers. The Reference system features the latest version of KEF’s revolutionary Uni-Q driver, engineered to create high and midrange frequency performance from a single apparent source.

The KEF Blade Two features four 6.5" bass drivers, further enhancing its substantial low-end performance. Standard finishes include Piano Black, Snow White, Racing Red, Warm Metallic Grey, Light Metallic Silver. There are also Kent Engineering and Foundry Editions in colors Frosted Blue and Frosted Copper Black.


Magico Ultimate 3 ($600,000) features an ultra-efficient 115dB/W/m efficient mids and tweeter for average of 122dB efficient. Now in the company's third evolution, it employs redesigned drivers, enhanced crossover network and built-in amplification. Huge speaker with big bold looks to match.


Marantz NA8005 ($1000) is a fully discrete current feedback stereo integrated amplifier designed for audiophiles. It produces 70 Watt into 8 Ohm, and has perfectly symmetrical circuits for exacting channel balance and stereo imaging. It uses redesigned, and larger, double shielded Toroidal transformer circuitry to optimize bandwidth power. Like many other Marantz amplification designs, the PM8005 has current feedback HDAM SA3. There is a triple-layer bottom plate to help eliminate unwanted vibration that can cause distortion. The PM8005 also provides source-direct mode for the pure signal and Phono MM for vinyl lovers. A total of 6 stereo inputs and provided, stereo preamplification output via RCA jacks. The unit is available in either black or silver/gold and seen here with Marantz guru/designer Ken Ishiwata.


Gryphon Audio’s is here at High End 2014 with their new Pantheon floorstanding speaker (€35,000) and new Antileon Evolution (EVO) stereo amplifier (€29,000). The Pantheon employs proprietary constant phase technologies to ensure that all drivers are in phase at all frequencies at all times. The tweeter is an Air Motion Transformer (AMT) drive unit with an extremely low-mass folded metal. Cone drivers are made in Denmark by ScanSpeak to Gryphon’s exacting specifications and custom designed for low Q and minimal dynamic compression. Dual 8" woofers and dual 5" midrange drivers were specially developed with the utmost of performance. Ultra-linear motor systems for maximum force and focus and total control of the motion of the layer-damped fiberglass cones. A fourth order crossover filter network is based exclusively on the finest high-end components (Duelund, Jensen, Holm, Mundorf) in a layout calculated to eliminate electromagnetic interaction. The crossover is fitted to a decoupling platform to prevent vibration. The crossover network is pre-biased by a 28 V battery for constant charge to the electrolytic capacitors in the impedance correction circuit. Once built, each crossover is hand-adjusted with high precision instruments. This five-driver, three-way Gryphon Pantheon speaker has a cabinet that is massively braced and shaped to reduce baffle reflections and eliminate diffraction phenomena. Overall frequency response is from 25 Hz to 27 kHz and each speaker weighs over 185 lbs. with dimensions of 148 x 29 x 69cm (HxWxD).

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