2012

Highend 2012 - Munich - Chapter Four - Special Presentations: Kef Ls 50 By Johan Coorg - Dragonfly Dac By Audioquest - Focal Utopia Viva By Françoise Bardon -mola Mola By Bruno Putzeys



KEF LS 50 ANNIVERSARY MONITOR


   


Since 2007 KEF has taken advantage of the Highend Show week in Munich to launch new trend setting products: Muon, Blade Concept, Blade and now the new LS 50 monitor which replaces the famous Ls35a after 30 years of good services to the audiophile community.   At a price just below 1000 euros it offers a fine performance using only a Uni-Q driver in a special enclosure. Johan Coorg explains all in clear English.     


AUDIOQUEST DRAGONFLY DAC


 


The Dragonfly DAC by Audioquest which is the size of a pen drive is an amazing device: it drives headphones directly, bypasses all the PC and MAC internal drives, and has variable or fixed output for preamps or receivers, asynchronous transfer, and accepts music files up to 24-96 (192 coming next) and will cost around 250 euros.    


FOCAL UTOPIA VIVA


 


Unlike the classic Ford T you could buy in any colour provided you chose black, Françoise Bardon of Focal 'comes in colours everywhere'. And some are so or more exclusive than the Lacoste polo shirts unique colours. You can order any Focal model in any colour you like, including the new versatile Viva  which you can use either as frontal, rear or center speaker (just turn the tweeter/mid plaque 90º).   As you can see in the background it is not only french fashion that atracts women to the shops...     


MOLA MOLA


   


Bruno Putzeys explains all about the new Mola Mola series of electronics (the name and logo were inspired by the Moon Fish you can see swimming at Lisbon's Oceanarium half way into the video). I wonder if that is an hommage to Hificlube, the only Portuguese online highend magazine the world reads and comments.

The amplifiers use the excellent NCore 1200 modules mounted on the prototypes I auditioned at the Ultimate Audio Elite premises, also in Lisbon (open video below). This is most probably the best pure Class D amplifier I ever heard (Devialet is a Class A/D hybrid).


NCORE prototype listening audition at Ultimate Audio Elite (Lisbon, Portugal)

A preamplifier with an integrated DAC is also in the make. Prices will be a little steep but they do sound very promising.

Note: my video camera battery failed half way through the interview, so I had to use my slr to finish it. You will notice a clear downgrade in the audio quality, although the video is still very good.