Perhaps understandably, Munich’s High End show seems to generate a lot of interest for high-end audio enthusiasts, and as a consequence, manufacturers with new high-end products to launch see this as a golden opportunity to show what’s new and coming to an audio store nearby soon. This tends to stack the deck in the favour of products with price tags ending in a lot of zeros.
That being said, the truly bespoke high-end was conspicuous by its absence, so no million-dollar power amps that look like an Atlas rocket this year.
The amplifier prices reflect the truly international nature of today’s Munich High-End, too. A local show would have every price set in Euro, but a lot of the representatives here were discussing their products in Dollars, Sterling, even Remibi alongside the Euro figure. But I guess big numbers are big everywhere.
We chose a dozen of the prime cuts of amplifier electronics (my colleague Chris Martens covering sources in other features), plus one slice of true Munich weirdness…
Aesthetix was playing a late prototype of its new Metis preamplifier, a ‘two-in-one-box’ uncompromising design for those not quite ready for the top Callisto two-boxer. With a unique ‘invisible’ separate power supply placed within the middle of the Metis chassis and a fully open architecture for plug-in modules, this two tube per side preamplifier may be the one to beat at the end of the year. Price is scheduled at the $25,000 mark.
Audio Alchemy’s return to the audio scene has been marked by a small system playing in the big league. This time, $8,000 worth of Audio Alchemy DDP-1 DAC/preamp, PS-5 PSU, DPA-1 mono amps, and DMP-1 music player were happily driving $26,000 per pair TAD Compact Evolution Ones – effortlessly!
BMC Audio is continuing its war on high-priced high-end audiophile equipment with its Pure range. Alongside media servers, headphone amps, and DACs, the new €2,500 Pure Amp takes all the concepts of the company’s excellent CS2, just with less power, but with intelligent passive cooling.