Highend 2014 Munich

High End 2014 - Munich - Part 4 -Sound Highlights take two

It was a closed door audition, so the big Utopias profited from a reasonably quite environment, although the room was packed with audiophile enthusiasts. The exhibitor had the ‘attitude’ I hate: I don’t give a shit if you are press, get a ticket and wait in line! I did. I could retaliate and say it sounded awful. It didn´t, it was quite good in fact and my recordings prove it. The ‘Grandes” were driven by the Naim Statement. Almost 500…eh... 'grand' of equipment, but it played all kinds of music very well indeed.

Gryphon also had a closed door scheduled audition with ticket reservation. I didn’t have one, of course. Because I never know when I am free to sit and enjoy a little music instead of wandering about like a maniac. But Flemming Rasmussen was there and immediately made me his guest of honour and gave me a cute pendrive (more about that later in the report) with the Pantheon press kit. We talked a little about music, laughed a little about the high resolution madness, and finally I could sit down to do what I was supposed to do - my job: the video report you can now enjoy.

See the difference Focal? It doesn’t hurt to go easy on the press. Ever heard of good and bad press? That can hurt...

Andrew Jones is the kind of… kind guy that always makes you feel at home. And his musical collection is something to write home about. Some of the best master tapes I ever listened to at shows play in the TAD room, be it in Vegas, Lisbon or Munich.

And it all sounds so sweet and natural I could listen for hours were it not for the fact that I have to cover the whole show by myself (fortunately I have an understanding wife…), and, Lord! is the show growing and growing. Bitte sehr, do not turn it into a CES nightmare!...

The thinner and cheaper the Devialets get, the bigger and smarter the company gets. And now they have someone who knows the meaning of marketing, instead of living isolated in the depths of breakthrough technology like moonwalkers.

Devialet had one of the best stands at the show (we will get to that later in the report), full of nice people and nice goods they were giving away every day. You just had to find out which was the next speaker brand ready for SAM.

The B&W 800 never sounded so good.

Not happy with having patented the AHD revolutionary technology, now they have SAM that actively matches the speaker - any speaker - to the amplifier. You can read all about it here.

When I sat down at the audition room to make this video, my wife was sitting on my right, and to her heart's content they played Fado (a portuguese song) by Mariza, a marvellous singer. You can even hear her say: whow, is it in our honour?...

Merci, Muriel!, it had to be you...

If CH stands for precision, Vivid Audio stands for beauty. They remind me of Plavalaguna of the Fifth Element and they sing as beautifully. Well, it is true that Diana Krall sounds good even with a portable. The Air Force was playing the LP and I just couldn't leave the room.

Little did you know that Diana Krall (or Plavalaguna?) does not require more than a few watts, sometimes less than a watt!!, to sing to you and she doesn't miss a note.

Check the video if you don't believe me...

I've known Johan Coorg since ever. A charming man and a shrewd marketing expert. The kef room was always full, although he never went easy on the music he played. Not just boring audiophile stuff, just plain world music, mostly with rythm. He likes to enjoy himself and wants everybody happy around him.

And he also gave me the cutest pen drive press kit in the shape of a Blade loudspeaker...

And I was really impressed by the power and drive of the new Arcam amplifiers, which you can actually buy without having to brag about it, or else hide the investment from your wife.

Audible changes in sound level are due to microphone movement. I had to do some heavy editing because there was always someone in front of me...

Avantgarde was already featured in Sound Highlights - Take One.

But this time the Zeros were playing instead, so I thought you would like to compare them to the Solos.

Here is you chance. Put on you headphones, connect them to a good DAC/amp, like Hugo from Chord, and find out for yourself what I have been listening this weekend.