The High-End Show in Munich lives up to its name. It’s not a place to go launching high volume, value for money equipment. It’s unashamedly high-end, whether that be in sheer scale, sheer performance, or sheer bling. As a consequence, the best way of going around this vast event in the M.O.C. exhibition centre is entirely forgetting about little constraints like, ‘how would I get that in my house?’ or, ‘is that price in Euros, or conflict diamonds?’ or even, ‘how quickly would my family have me placed in a mental institution for my own safety if I came home with that?’ and just enjoy it for the spectacle.
What follows are a dozen loudspeaker-related products that caught our respective eyes from atop of the foam of a glass of beer, and one distinctly wild ‘wild card’. A more thorough walk-through of the sights and sounds of Munich will follow, presently.
Ambitious Audio Designs first speaker has been six years in the making, but is still is at the late prototype stage. Each 58kg Ambitious 1 standmount two-way loudspeaker is hewn from 157kg of high-grade aluminium, and the design features a 25mm diamond dome tweeter and a 140mm diamond cone woofer. The price is fairly ambitious, too: €50,000 per pair!
Concrete Audio lived up to the name; this new German brand builds loudspeakers out of the stuff. Its N1 tower loudspeaker is a two-way, three-driver design featuring some of the best units ScanSpeak can make. They fit in a sealed cabinet made of monolithically-poured concrete. The N1’s €32,000 price tag is not as heavy as the 80kg weight.
Crystal Cable is putting the finishing touches on its Cube system, and showed the work-in-progress Crystal Cable Deep Bass system, but it’s the new Minissimo Diamond Edition that really wowed listeners. The custom made SEAS diamond tweeter dome, proprietary capacitors and Absolute Dream internal wiring required subtle changes to the cabinet and a price rise to €18,000 per pair.