Munich, Germany | 2022 – In May 2022, it was finally going to be that time again!
With 550 exhibitors presenting 1500 brands from 40 countries, the High End at MOC Munich attracted around 21,000 visitors from all over the world. Our editorial staff member Thomas Huendgen took a look around.
Angstrom Audiolab from Italy presented its high-quality D/A converter ZDA71.
The Analog Manufaktur Germany short AMG presented their new creation the AMG Giro MKII.
Triode from Japan proved with its Junone Class A tube integrated amplifier with the help of the Spendor Classic 200 how beautiful music can sound.
Also presented by Triode, the beautiful as well as compact Class AB push pull tube integrated amplifier Luminous 84.
Holbo from Ljubljana, Slovenia convinced the trade press with its excellent running gear with airbearing turntable and airbearing linear tracking tonearm.
The horn loudspeakers from Operly come from Düsseldorf, Germany.
In addition to an appealing design, the manufacturer promises excellent sound properties based on scientific evidence.
In the international trade press, the electronics of Ideon Audio already earned the highest recognition. With the Absolute Time, the specialist from Athens offers the ultimate USB & SPDIF re-clocking electronics that satisfy ultra high-end demands.
In Eastern Europe, a growing number of strongholds of the finest high-end dreams have been developing for several decades. Franc Kuzma (center) explains the features of his new Safir 9 tonearm, made in Slovenia, to trade visitors.
The Safir 9 impresses with numerous innovations in detail. First and foremost, however, should be the very special and on the world market probably so far unique arm tube material sapphire, which allows maximum performance due to its low resonance, extreme lightness and stiffness. And yes, the tonearm material exhibits a finely textured transparency, both visually and certainly sonically.
The legendary Kostas Metaxas introduced his engineering masterpiece Papillon reel to reel for professional studio use. This masterpiece combines high-quality, precise technologies with a unique design to meet the highest sonic demands.
The high-quality, complex mechanics of the Papillon leave no doubt about the quality of this superlative tape recorder.
Excellent sound combined with an attractive design offered AKu Audio from Greece. The small Nerix system on the far left was designed for home theater or desktop audio. To the right, the flagship of the range called Enarghia extends upwards. One position further to the right were placed the Talos, equipped with its own stand system. On the rack top right another element of the Nerix series is to see, the center speakers.
From Kanagawa Japan comes this refined AP-O turntable. Yuki Precision Co. Ltd. holds its own as a manufacturer of precision components for customers of various kinds, including aerospace technology. Best conditions for the COO Jun Nagamatsu to develop a record player of highest quality. The innovative spirit led, for example, to the contactless platter bearing, which floats on a magnetic field and thus enables completely noise-free operation.
The Swedish manufacturer Moonriver now enjoys an excellent reputation among large parts of the professional world. The latest product Model 505 Phono EQ, allows numerous adjustments for cartridges of any kind.
With the presence of numerous new releases, the High End Munich 2022 highlighted the growing trend towards analog playback. Founded in 2021, the Swiss manufacturer a.c. haller presented the new Gramophone TT-7 from its extensive model range.
The TA-1 tonearm from a.c. haller impresses not only with its futuristic design but also with its high manufacturing quality, excellent performance features, detailed technical solutions developed over a long period of time, and high-quality components with low manufacturing tolerances that guarantee the best performance.
A preamplifier that can probably do everything, presented hARt Lab from Athens with the Reference Preamplifier Tune Two. This nice tube device combines the preamplifier with streamer, DAC, MM/MC phono input and a headphone jack.
The Pro and High End Audio manufacturer Manley from the USA introduced its Stingray II stereo integrated amplifier.
Anaheim, California-based renowned manufacturer Triangle Art introduced its all-analog chain. Everything from Triangle Art: The Metis horn speakers were fed by the L-200 reference tube preamp, the P-200 tube phono preamp and the mighty M-100 monoblocks. In the center back, the Master Reference turntable provides supreme sonic delight.
The Master Reference by Triangle Art in all its glory.
Qualiton introduced its latest creation, the P-200 stereo amplifier.
The manufacturer Once from Turkey showed its floorstanding loudspeaker NAR.
The legend lives on! Western Electric from Rosville USA presented its new tube integrated amplifier 91E. It was equipped with probably the most famous tubes, the 300B, which are still manufactured in-house.
At Graham Audio from Devon, Great Britain the fine English art of loudspeaker construction of the highest quality remains alive. The manufacturer proved this with its newly introduced three-way bass reflex speaker LS5/5F.
For its 35th anniversary, Esoteric celebrated a world premiere with its Grandioso T1. The turntable is characterized by a variety of innovations. The platter bearing floats on a magnetic field. The 19 kg platter is driven by the so-called Magne Drive. Due to the strong magnetic force of the drive wheel of the motor, the lower invisible area of the platter is driven by induction contactless with an incomparable accuracy and smoothness.
For powering the Grandioso T1 with the highest quality is Esoteric’s separate Power Supply Unit.
Estelon lived up to the name of its new speakers. Without exaggeration, the performance of the Estelon Extreme MK II can be described as quite extreme.
The traditional company Zellaton from Munich convinces with the speakers PLURAL EVO in every respect. The sound of these masterpieces knows how to enchant with an unusual naturalness.
With playback quality at its finest, the Plural EVO was also fed by a veritable legend, Dohmann Audio’s Helix One.
It is Friday, May 20, 2022, one minute to ten.
The trade visitors are waiting to be admitted to the exhibition halls.
Kalista presented its completely revised version of the new DreamPlay X. This model now combines a SACD/CD player, streamer and a digital preamplifier.
PMC is considered as a renowned manufacturer of high-quality recording studio equipment with a fully comprehensive model range of numerous monitors and electronics. For the discerning home user, PMC offers a growing model range of amplifiers and loudspeakers. Here you can see the passive MB2se with amplifiers of the Cor series.
PMC states that the cor integrated is characterized by the fact that it does not add its own sound character. In any case, the trade press is enthusiastic and calls it a top class integrated amplifier.
Mutual confirmation here clearly showed that both the J. Sikora turntable and EgglestonWorks speakers are capable of playing at a very high level.
Another example of Eastern Europe’s successful rise in high-end audio: the wonderful Standard Max by J. Sikora from Poland.
What good are the very highest standards if the technology is not optimally adjusted? Here, the exhibitor’s employees are striving to optimally align Kharma’s massive Midi Grand.
As already seen in the previous picture, the Midi Grand was paired with the excellent electronics from Wadax.
At Oswald Mill Audio, one was overwhelmed both visually but predominantly acoustically with a performance in a class of its own.
Don’t let the design mislead you. The OMA K3 turntable effortlessly manages to create a very high level of realism. It is full of countless design principles, some of which are unique. Addictive potential and goose bumps while listening are guaranteed here. No other than Frank Schröder from Berlin designed the unusual-looking tonearm. The playback quality nips all doubts in the bud, this was one of the best demonstrations I have ever heard. The arm construction may seem a bit retro, but it is elaborately produced with the most modern means. The complex structure of the arm design is 3D printed from the finest metal powder using selective laser melting (SLM).
The center of the system here consisted of the fantastic, as well as unusual-looking tube amplifier OMA Special K.
From Rose in South Kora came the RA 180 integrated amplifier.
The WE-407/ST tonearm was on display at Fonolab.
Italian manufacturer Riviera exhibited its Levante integrated amplifier. Riviera describes it as a hybrid amplifier available in either Class A or Class A/B with Zero Feedback.
A look inside the Riviera Levante reveals the highest quality workmanship.
This audio gear enabled the highest sonic perfection. The M6 speakers from Magico in combination with high-quality electronics from Soulution and the precision drive Topas 12/12 from DeBear from Switzerland.
Harmony on a high level, this time completely from Sweden: Here, the finest electronics from Engström unite with the Mingus Orchestra speakers from Marten.
Here one can see the Engström Eric monoblock in detail.
Good news from the house of Acoustical Systems. Dietrich Brakemeier let a first look at his new and especially much more compact turntable Astellar. Unfortunately, only to be seen here in a computer graphic on a screen, it was promised that one will certainly be able to marvel at the Astellar in the flesh already at the next High End in Munich 2023 and of course also hear it.
Nagra lived up to its name and left no doubt about the sonic majesty of its audio gear. To unleash the potential of the electronics, they chose an icon of loudspeaker design, Wilson Audio’s Chronosonic XVX.
When I asked if Nagra would be launching a new reel to reel tape recorder in the near future, they smiled mildly and simply asked for patience. Here is probably one of the most famous tape recorders in professional use, which has proven itself for a long time, the Nagra IV-S.
It seems logical that Nagra should launch not just any record player, but one that sets new standards. The Nagra Reference Anniversary turntable offered the very highest level of sound quality.
From France, Pier Audio presented its hybrid integrated amplifier MS 880 SE.
The innovative Japanese company DS Audio presented its new development, the ES 001 Eccentricity Detection Stabilizer. This device allows to center records.
Company owner of DS Audio Mr. Tetsuaki Aoyagi personally presented the sonic improvements that come from using the ES 001. The small device uses sophisticated sensor technology to measure the position of the grooves in relation to the centering pin of the turntable. The small display shows on a graphic exactly how to move the platters slightly so that the grooves are perfectly centered. The demonstration makes it immediately noticeable that the sound improves as a result. The music comes more out of a blackest background, seems much more focused, powerful and natural.
Here, an open device of DS Audio’s ES 001 reveals the complex sensors and electronics.
At Cessaro united powerful speakers from Germany, the Cessaro Alpha III with electronics from Alieno from Italy.
Alieno states that the pure Class A single ended amplifier Alieno 250 LTD would be the first tube amplifier to produce 250 watts per channel with two 300B each.
Touraj Moghaddam of Vertere Acoustics displayed his SG1 Super Groove turntable.
The SG1 from Vertere Acoustics is pleasing to the eye and guaranteed to please the ears.
A superlative presentation was delivered by CH-Precision from Switzerland in combination with the Lyra loudspeakers from Rockport.
Made in England: SME showed off its latest creation, the Model 60.
From Alsace came the B. dac EX from B.audio, probably the most exclusive model of the manufacturer, which promises a neutral sound of the highest quality.
The extraordinarily designed loudspeakers from Bayz Audio in Hungary made a convincingly good reproduction quality possible. Although they radiate omnidirectionally to a large extent, they still manage a wide spatial expansion including a concise three-dimensionality.
Record reproduction absolutely free of disturbing side effects, with music completely out of nothingness (which is really only known from digital sources), masters the new creation of Kronos from Canada with its complex turntable Discovery.
Escape offers a noble as well as powerful sound quality with abysmal bass with its mobile wireless portable complete systems.
Stromtank from Berlin exhibited its new S1000. A computer-controlled lithium iron phosphate battery array provides long-lasting, high and clean power.
As Göbel promises, the flagship product Divin Marquis sets the ultimate standard for small high-performance loudspeakers. The centerpiece of these masterpieces may well be the special 8 inch midrange drivers that work with Göbel’s patented bending wave technology.
From Linden, Germany Luphonic presented its H2 turntable, which combines many original design features, such as a precise digital motor control. For chassis and turntable, the choice fell on a high-quality and above all low-resonance solid surface material. Pleasing to the eye are the shimmering light segments on the left under the white solid surface material, which indicate the number of revolutions.
Sound as beyond reproach as they look, the Topline Bob XL from Stein Music.
For the first second I had to look twice, but yes, they are indeed new excellent sounding speakers from Aries Cerat, the Aurora Horn Speakers.