High End Munich 2019 Awards and Show Report

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Audio Solutions:
Audio Solutions featured its Virtuosso loudspeakers driven by Vitus Audio electronics. We both were so taken, once again, with the sound that the Audio Solutions’ speakers deliver, we played three tracks instead of the usual one. First, Kraftwerk – a great deal of impact and imaging. The second track was “Agnus Dei” from the Chasing the Dragon CD. The soprano’s voice was suspended in air between the speakers and you could hear the mechanics of the organ. Utterly captivating. And, the third was a drum track that rendered so realistic, it was as if the performance was live. Excellent on every level.

The new CEO, Stefan Schwehr, introduced the world debut of the Humboldt, integrated amplifier which contains all of the superb technology of the Heisenberg monoblock amplifiers and the Stern preamplifier. Truly a state of the art piece of machinery bringing us the music with that signature Audionet sound. Playing Kraftwerk’s “Radioactivity”, the room was filled with holographic imaging, delivered effortlessly, unravelling the layers in the track with ease. The sound was musical with excellent tone and detail. The pinnacle of solid state amplification. Loudspeakers were Dynaudio.

Borresen, Aavik, Ansuz:
Listening to the 01 Borresen loudspeaker further drives home the ability of the highly talented designer, Michael Borresen. We played Kraftwerk’s “We are the Robots” and the bass on these little speakers was deep and powerful. The sound filled the cabin with layers and textures. Electronics were Aavik and the cabling, Ansuz.

Critical Mass Systems, Soulution with Magico:
Cyril from Soulution introduced the system and Joe from Critical Mass gave us detailed product overview for the AVShowrooms’ video. The Magico loudspeakers were the M6. We played a track from a Michel Jonasz LP on the De Baer “Saphir” turntable from Switzerland and the sound was pure liquid gold. Spot-on micro detail and deep reaching bass.

Goebel High End:
Oliver showcased the Divin Noblesse loudspeakers and explains in the AVShowrooms’ video, the differences and similarities to the Divin Majestic. Again, this year, The Analogue Solution from Kronos was the front end and we played the track “I Want You” from Groove Notes’ new Vanessa Fernandez album and the room was dead quiet allowing for every bit of information to be extracted from the LP. A world class system and the best Goebel exhibit room we’ve heard at the High End. Outstanding. Amplification was Angstrom Amps, 70 watts per channel.

The exotic room within a room was on display at the Kharma exhibit complete with a credenza to house your electronics and turntable! The eye candy is full-on via the AVShowrooms’ video, but the real achievement is in the sound. We played “I Want You” from the new Vanessa Fernandez album and the singer’s voice was suspended in space between the speakers. The sound was holographic, with brilliant dynamics and pin-point imaging. The acoustical treatment transformed an exhibit space with the usual problems to a venue allowing for a live concert sound. Treatments matter, folks, and the proof was in the Kharma room at the High End 2019.

This was the European introduction of the new M2 loudspeakers, the smallest in the M series. Take a look at the AVShowrooms’ video where Alon Wolf explains the technology. We played the track “I Want You” from the Groove Note LP of the same name and the sound was layered with a big soundstage and excellent transient response along with holographic imaging that we’ve come to expect from a Magico loudspeaker. Excellent. The room’s electronics were Soulution on Critical Mass racks. The source was the Kronos Analogue Solution.

The suite of Nagra electronics paired with YG Acoustics Sonja XV Jr., four tower system and the big YG sub woofer, InVincible™, delivered a delicate and detailed presentation on the Chasing the Dragon’s “Agnus Dei” CD. The believable organ and vocal were rich with imaging, tonality, tonal quality and a natural transient attack. The soprano was in the room with us as was the organ!

Benno Meldgaard, Chief Designer, walks us through all of the improvements to the Raidho design including a new motor system for better bass control and more (see the AVShowrooms’ video for the interesting details and philosophy). The result is the new loudspeaker, the TD3.8’s delivering an organic, musical sound, with excellent bass reach, dynamics and tone. We played Vanessa Fernandez’s “I Want You” and the sound was holographic and effortless. One of the best sounding rooms at The High End 2019. Electronics from Chord; cables, Gamut Reference; source, the new Pear turntable with two arms, “The Source”.

VAC, Valve Amplification Company/Von Schweikert Audio:
Featuring the Von Schweikert Ultra 9 loudspeaker from the flagship line and the VAC 450i iQ integrated amplifier, this system delivered a not unexpected concert sound which was truly one of the best sounds we heard at the MOC this year. We played the cut “I Want You”, from Groove Note’s new Vanessa Fernandez album and the sound was holographic with brilliant tonal quality, tonality and detail. All cabling was by MasterBuilt; the analogue front end, Acoustic Signature’s Invictus Jr. turntable with an Airtight Opus cartridge. The system also included Esoteric electronics and Artensania Racks.

Vitus Audio:
Hans-Ole Vitus explains to the camera his new SIA 030 integrated amplifier that so effortlessly drove a pair of Rockport loudspeakers. We played one of our reference recordings “I Want you” by Vanessa Fernandez. Beautiful, musical and detailed sound filled the room. The decay left me emotionally charged and the quiet and speed of the system was extremely impressive.

Featuring the Zellaton Reference MKII loudspeakers, Michael Schwab walks us through the system which includes the exotic and excellent YS Sound monoblock amplifiers along with Schnerzinger protectors and cables. We played “I Want You”, Ying Tan’s new Vanessa Fernandez recording on the Reed Muse 1C turntable. The speakers are truly works of superior refinement. A relaxed natural and realistic sound; layered, fast and musical these speakers give you everything.

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