In the Bavarian heart - Munich (Germany) - from May, 9 to May, 12 the biggest High End show on the planet was helding.
The exhibition featured products from more than 500 companies, covering the whole range of accessories and equipment necessary to achieve audiophile nirvana. You could find there all kind of connectors, electronic components, speaker drivers, vibrodampers, furniture for audio equipment, turntables, CD players, reel tape recorders, amplifiers, room acoustic treatments, headphones, loudspeakers and much more. Of course, I was most interested in loudspeakers and everything related to them. Alas, even four full days were not enough to get around everything, but I am sure that I managed to visit about 95% of all exhibition stands.
Below in no particular order I give an exhaustive list of speakers that in one way or another made a good impression on me. Of course, both electronics and the room played a huge role in sounding of the systems, therefore, it is very difficult to isolate the contribution of loudspeakers only, but I believe it was predominant.
In all cases, I listened on each system from one to three tracks, to listen more just time did not allow. On the systems that I liked more, I listened to three tracks. In the majority of cases musical material was provided by exhibitors and very often was not very informative. Everyone wants to demonstrate the best features of their system and hide the weakest ones. Well, what can you do, this is a business...
Cessaro - Beta II - 250.000 Euro
Expressive, scale and realistic sound. Interference effects are heard. Obviously, the loudspeakers require a much larger room and distance to the listening point.
Peak Consult - Phoenix - €130.000
Good powerful sound but I would like a little more detailed midrange.
YG Acoustics - Hailey 2.2 - $76.800
Good sound overall but very soft high frequencies.
ATC SCM100SE (active) - £28.921
Exemplary speakers, sounded very good. Wide, deep, large-scale and rich timbre sound. When listening to symphonic music, tears almost fell from my eyes ...
Dynaudio - Confidence 30 - €19.000
Good sound stage and localization. Very dynamic but slightly rough bass. I would like a bit mor HF. Caprice Paganini played very well. The impression was formed that the loudspeakers are more suitable for modern pop music.
Blumenhofer Acoustics - Gran Gioia 2x10 - €60.000
Very musical, emotional and good. The area of the larynx is strongly emphasized, many unnecessary small sound details of the larynx soloist are thrown right in your face.
Danish Audio Design - Ruby - €90.000
Powerful, large scale, great sound.
DeVore Fidelity - Orangutan O/96
A saxophone and double bass sounded unbelievably beautiful. I wanted to listen to female vocals, but, unfortunately, there was not a single disc in their vinyl collection...
Diapason - Dynamis - €45.000
Everything was very good with the exception of unnecessarily underlined high frequencies.
EgglestonWorks - Nico Evolution - $4.295
Sounded very good and musically.
Estelon - Forza - €45.000
Well balanced, detailed and transparent but a little lifeless.
Gato Audio - FM50 - €7.990
Musically and engaging.
KEF - R11 - €5.000
Detailed, balanced sound. Good soundstage.
Kharma - Enigma Veyron EV-2D - €350.000
Great image, transparency, detail and balance. A little life to breathe into them - and, that it is, happiness!
Kii - Three BXT - $30.000
All is very good!
MBL - Noble Line - €56.700
Very good, atmospheric and realistic sound. They create the effect of presence in the concert hall.
Muraudio - SP1 - $14.700
Very open and transparent sound. Feeling of some lightness, like sitting down in the shade in the summer and taking a sip of cool water. Great female vocals, beautiful sound stage. Have questions about the bass range.
Odeon - ? new
Lively, realistic, engaging and slightly lightweight in the bass region sounding. They can hardly be attributed to neutral loudspeakers.
Piega - Master Line Source 3 - €17.499
PMC - Fact 12 - £11.995
Very good sound. Slightly lightweight in the bass, slightly hot on the top. Elastic, relief bass and emotional performance.
Pylon Audio - Ruby 20 - €909
Very nice sound, a little bit bright at high frequencies although. Soulful.
Q Acoustics - Concept 300 - $4.499
Ryan Speakers - S640 - $7.995
Sounded very good.
Stenheim - Alumine 3 - $29.900
I lacked openness in the upper range. Otherwise, everything is good and very expressive.
TAD - Evolution One - $29.800
Very good. Great bass. Slightly emphasized upper range.
Totem - Element Metal v.2 - $15.000
The floorstanding loudspeakers on the picture. Well balanced top range. It sounded nice and non-aggressive.
Vienna Acoustics - Mozart Grand Symphony Edition - $3.500
Soft, very pleasant, open and musical sounding. Gorgeous image. A bit lightweight in the low range
Von Gaylord - €17.000
Everything is smooth and balanced, I would like to slightly open the top range. It was strange but in a track that I listened to, I lacked a palette of overtones.
Wilson Audio - Sasha Daw - $37.900
Along with the ATC SCM100SE these loudspeakers made a biggest impression on me. Powerful, large-scale, very rich sounding with a great image. The timbre balance on the dark side, I would like more openness on the top. The bass in this setup was the best at that show, just exemplary - moderately deep, very relief and tasty.
LOG Verve - ?
Falcon Acoustics HP80 - £13000
Nice and soft-sounding loudspeakers. The low and mid register is processed by two own-made midwoofers (as I was told) with graphene coated fiberglass membranes. Silk dome tweeter from ScanSpeak.