David Campbell / Munich High End / Published: May-24-2019
Munich High End 2019 Show Report
The Munich High End show just seems to grow every year and 2019 was no exception. It just gets bigger and busier every year.
Kronos AV were only there for two days on the Thursday and Friday and even on those days the crowds were massive, we understand the Saturday and Sunday were even worse.
As usual there were a lot of new brands, you wonder are there enough Hi Fi enthusiasts Worldwide to buy all the available brands. The show layout was as normal, on the ground floor there are four large Halls with more than 250 separate stands and close to 1000 brands on display.
A large number of UK brands were represented including Arcam, Astintrew, Atlas Cables, Atacama, Audiolab, Creek, Chord, Cyrus, dCS, Decca, EAR, Edwards Audio, Graham Audio, Graham Slee, Harbeth, Leema, Linn, Michell Engineering, Michell and Johnston, Musical Fidelity, Monitor Audio, Naim, Roksan, Ruark, PMC, SME, Tannoy, Titan Audio, Tellurium, The Funk Firm, Trichord Research, Vertere just to name a few.
Most of the stands on the grounds floor were static displays but there were also a handful of demonstration rooms also.
On the first floor or Atriums there were two separate halls featuring a host of demonstration rooms. There were over 75 rooms with again hundreds of brands represented.
On the second floor or Atrium there were another 59 rooms again with hundreds of brands represented.
There were a number of highlights for us at the event. On the ground floor there were some ( albeit very expensive ) isolation or vibration control devices from Korean company HiFiStay. These were amazing and easily the most impressive we have come across but at a price. Also on the Ground floor there were some interesting turntables called Soulines, another turntable that was impressive was the Edwards Audio from the UK. Both Graham Audio loudspeakers and the open baffle Spatial Europe speakers sounded good. The Audium speakers from Germany also looked interesting but they were only on static display. On the digital front a new Integrated unit from Aerix have both CD and streaming capability coupled with 360 degree sound. The new streamer and DAC from Gold Note looked really stunning as did all their products.
Going upstairs as usual the Transrotor turntables were awesome ( why can you not get these in the UK), other stunning products included the Dan D’Agostino electronics, the Gryphon electronics and speakers. Sonically there were some very impressive rooms but many contained systems which were telephone numbers.
Interestingly Gryphon electronics driving the Audiovector speakers was one of the best sounds at the show (top picture) and was one of the more reasonably priced systems to achieve this level of sound. Other good sounds included the Boenicke speakers, the Luxman room sounded great, Moon electronics room was very good but many rooms were really busy so it was difficult to get in for a proper listen.
Just a selection of the tonearms that Acoustic Signature offer....
Overall it was a very impressive show and one every audio enthusiast should visit. It makes most of the UK shows look very ordinary and you will see brands that you will not see anywhere else. There was even live music this year courtesy of Dynaudio who had various artists playing outside in the Biergarten ( or Beer Garden in English) between Halls 3 and 4.
Some interesting new products at the show was Pro-Jects latest turntable, The X1 which looks like a really great product. Haven't heard what the pricing etc.. will be yet, but it certainly looks like a very interesting product! Another fantastic product was the Diapason Wave Speakers, with matching stands. What a work of art they are, and if you think about true Italian Craftmanship, these are the epitome of that! At around £5,500 excluding stands, an additional £3,500) there aren't cheap, but my word they are special!