The High End show in Munich lays claim to being "the leading exhibition for the industry" and rightfully so. Visitors this year numbered over 20,000, a rise of 16%. Exhibitors totaled 506, an increase of 11% as compared to 2014.
Held at the MOC (Munich Order Center) the massive size of the venue can be overwhelming; however, it's not called order center for nothing. As huge as the show is, it is equally well-organized and navigating is quite easy, thanks to The High End team who puts it all together.
Highlights for this trade visitor had to do with more than just reproduced sound. The two hospitality suites provided by Audionet and AVM were a welcome respite from walking the halls and visiting rooms all day.
A snack and a drink with good friends made taking a break all the more pleasurable. Speaking of pleasurable, listening to the audio industry's chanteuse, Lyn Stanley, entertain fans with romantic ballads in the Purist Audio room was a treat for the ears.
Also, two new product introductions, both turntables, got my attention. Mark Döhmann's new Döhmann turntable is talked about and introduced in an upcoming AVShowrooms' video by Tom Kleinbeck of EnKlein.
Physical Emotions brings us the Caeles turntable and its dominating presence has me curious.
Moving on to the exhibit rooms. My favorite room for sound was the Ocean Way room with Viola electronics and the Kronos turntable. If I'd wanted to dance all night this would have been the place to do so. A dramatically dynamic sound that could make the most jaded and bored attendee feel the beat. Thanks, guys, being in your room made me smile, it made me happy and happy is about as good as it gets.
Other outstanding rooms include the Living Voice Loudspeakers with Kondo Kagura Amplifiers where every note in the music playing was separated in space, sort of like having notes floating in the room, each in its proper place. Magical.
Also, Voxativ with its signature mid-range magnificence. Holger Adler consistently shows his talent as a designer with keen sensibilities to showcase with extraordinary sonic results.
Zellaton's flagship loudspeaker with the five drivers along with BFA electronics and Schnerzinger cabling was another favorite. Crystal clear sound, very realistic without any sharp edges. A finely-tuned balancing act and I wish I had had more time to listen to several tracks instead of rushing off to whatever was next.
My only disappointment, every year, is that we do not have more time to sit, listen and enjoy. Rumor has it, however, that AVShowrooms may have additional video boots on the ground in 2016!