Not even the alphorn players could hide the fact that the High End has been becoming more and more international – English is now the language of choice.
Not even the alphorn players could hide the fact that the High End has been becoming more and more international – English is now the language of choice.

High End 2019

The High End in Munich was once again a meeting ground for the who is who of the hi-fi world. STEREO has compiled a selection of highlights for you. Not even the alphorn players could hide the fact that the High End has been becoming more and more international – English is now the language of choice.

Munich – very British

The price is in Sterling. I don’t know the price in Euros.“ This is how we journalists were often answered when we asked about prices of novelties at the High End. It is increasingly not the German distributors who operate stands, but the manufacturers themselves. Two thirds of the exhibitors now come from outside Germany, from 42 countries – above all from the USA and Great Britain. Altogether, the organizers accommodated almost four percent more exhibitors in the halls and atriums of the MOC, which is now filled to the brim.

The number of visitors from the trade increased by a good eight percent, three quarters of which came from outside Germany, with Great Britain at the top here as well. The international share amongst the „normal“ visitors may not have been quite as high, but they also came in large quantities: a total of more than 21,000 people visited the High End 2019, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the previous year. Most of them showed up on Friday. A big success for the organizers – not least due to the rainy weather.

Among the highlights of this High End were the presence of brand ambassador Steven Wilson, who not only signed countless autographs, but also gave an interesting insight into his credo as a music producer: he doesn‘t let any mastering engineer fiddle with his mix. „I bypass mastering completely“, he revealed in finest Oxford English.

The next High End will take place from 14 to 17 May 2020. However, first we have selected some of the most interesting innovations of the High End 2019 for you.

IMPRESSIONS

Vincent SV 737

The German engineers have once again struck a blow and developed a stunning hybrid integrated amplifier, which should nevertherless cost no more than 3000 Euros – including DAC, Bluetooth and WiFi!


Bugatti Chiron Sport

Accuton developed the entire loudspeaker equipment for the 3.2 million Euro costing 1500 hp supercar – it became standard equipment.


Tune Audio Avaton

If you‘ve got a lot of space, a bunch of money and some strong friends, this extravagant horn system could be  interesting. Hearing distance: at least four meters.


Lexicon SL-1

Equipped with twelve tweeters, 16 mid-range and four woofers in 360-degree arrangement each and distributing over 23 channels, the SL-1 makes the sweet spot superfluous. Price: 43,000 Euro.


AMG Viella Forte

The Franconian manufactory brought the sound of the globally acclaimed „Viella“ to an even higher level. Price: around 23.000 Euro.


Brinkmann Voltaire ISS

In addition to the Taurus direct drive turntable, Brinkmann presented this splendid integrated amplifier, which has an output of 2 x 250 watts and can be equipped with DAC/streaming or a phono module.


Transrotor

Gerd Weichler presented the compact drive unit with three motors for a still unnamed Transrotor newcomer. It could cost around 6500 Euros.


Mark Levinson 5802 & 5805

Two new integrated amplifiers, the former with digital inputs only, the latter also with analog inputs incl. Phono-MM/MC. Prices: 8000 and 9000 Euro.


PMC Kind of Blue

Beside new loudspeakers of the British noble brand PMC an impressive Dolby Atmos presentation of legendary Miles Davis albums was presented. Maurice Patist, David Rideau and Steve Genewick were the driving forces behind it. Miles‘ nephew Vince Wilbourne and son Erin Davis accompanied the project.

Octave Jubilee 300B

The brand new Octave power amplifier was a technical sensation and an absolute highlight. Price? Better don‘t ask...


Naim Mu-so: new generation

With its more powerful processor, new chassis from Focal, new colours, Chromecast, HDMI-ARC, Airplay2 and Roon, the new Mu-so is prepared for the future.


Audionet Humboldt

The Humboldt integrated amplifier owes its appearance to the renowned industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger. The Berliner completes Audionet‘s Ultimate series and is expected to cost around 42,000 euros.


Musical Fidelity LX HPA

A genuine headphone amplifier in compact format, with enough quality and power for almost any headphone – everything for 300 Euro.


Dynaudio Recording Studio

In the outdoor area of the High End, Dynaudio showed how music is created live in a professional mobile studio with talented newcomers.


Wharfedale Linton and Elysian

The vintage Linton costs around 1000 Euros, while the Elysian series, built with Scan Speak drivers in England, represents the new flagships.


AVM Audition AM 6.3

Electronics specialist AVM from Malsch – here CEO Udo Besser – becomes a high-end „full-range supplier“ with its active loudspeakers for around 20,000 euros.


Hegel H 390

The beautiful Norwegian integrated amplifier provides 2 x 250 watts. Price: approx. 6000 Euro, available from autumn.


Voxativ Absolut Hagen

The Berlin-based noble manufacturer, specialized in broadband systems, surprised with a very mature sounding system for less than 8000 Euro.


Cocktail Audio HA 500H

DAC with tubes: the display shows the level on virtual VU meters. Now available for 2200 Euro.

Thorens TD124 DD

A sensation of this show: more than 50 years „later“ there is once more a TD 124 – with modern direct drive! The price will be just around the five digit-mark.


Gauder DARC 40

The latest addition to Gauder‘s successful DARC series is available complete with ceramic chassis or also with a diamond tweeter. Price: from 16,000 Euro.


WBT Physical Vapour Deposition

From now on, WBT is coating the contacts of its „Nextgen“ series with gold atoms using the PVD plasma process, which is intended to ensure a particularly homogeneous structure.


Lumin AMP

The streaming expert Lumin from Hong Kong brings its own amplifier. The „AMP“ delivers 160 Watt into 8 Ohm from its Class A/B circuit and can be used in stereo or bridged as mono.


Piega MLS3

A stroke of genius from the Swiss manufacturer – the patented coax ribbon works open as a dipole in line-source arrangement, but is less sensitive to positioning due to the lamellas. Price:
above 30,000 Euro.


Einstein The Music Machine

Under this promising name, Einstein Audio presented a new integrated amplifier with rather unusual design. It is expected to cost around 4000 Euro. 70 watts per channel at eight ohms are indicated as power. The mirror-symmetric design has an electronically fully balanced circuit.


Wilson Audio Sasha DAW

After the death of his father David Wilson, Daryl Wilson presented the American‘s newest jewel. As usual, the sound was a highlight of the fair.


T+A HV in Titanium

T+A presented their brand new high end system of CD/SACD drive PDT 3100HV and HD-streaming-DAC SDV 3100HV. Junior boss Conradin Amft also showed us the titanium versions of the devices.

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