The High End Show in Munich has evolved into the largest and most important audio show in the world.
This year's show was over 20% larger than last year! Plus the sound was better as well. The top rooms this year included two kiosks and two large showrooms.
The show featured the Clash of the Titans... the mighty Magico Ultimates vs. the Living Voice Vox Olympian.
The Magico's produced a more intimate buttoned down presentation with very good articulation on a solo guitar version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. The Living Voice had a "bigger sound" with a more "concert like" experience on Anne Bisson's new Tales from Tree Tops but suffered from a boomy lower midrange.
The stand out exhibit for new product was, hands down, the Estelon Extreme. The Extreme features a remote controlled midrandge/tweeter enclosure that moves up and down up to 30cm! Talk about dialing in your soundstage!
The most profound exhibit was the Silbatone room with a pair of Western Electric 13A horns made for the Warner Brothers company in 1926. It was reported that 10 each were manufactured. Mr. M.J Chung of Korea brought a pair from his private collection. The Western's produced the most natural midrange at the show.
The show is held in the MOC, or Munich Order Center. It was built to showcase fashion and design products and lends itself perfectly for high performance audio products. The rooms are large and well lit allowing for manufacturers and distributors to show their full product lines.
Sonically, the rooms are good. I believe the show is not a sound contest, it is more about product display and awareness. If an exhibitor gets good sound... that is indeed a bonus.
The big surprise this year were the kiosks. I didn't notice anything different in their design but the sound in the Ypsilon and Acoustic Zen, Triode Corp. and Kronos rooms was natural and lifelike. I could live with those rooms at home, they were that good.
If you have the opportunity to attend next year's show... don't miss it! It's the best show in the world!