Munich High-End is a hot-bed of amplifier activity, and that is reflected in the sheer diversity of products on display each year. Not all are in demonstration – many appear in the main halls and atria of the M.O.C., but all vie for a place at audio’s top table.
With Munich now the main place for brands to meet the public, and dealers, distributors, other manufacturers, and the press, it can be a bewildering ride through audio electronics, and no two people will come up with the same list of must-see products at the show. Nevertheless, here are some of the best we saw in early May.
The new DAC9 converter, PH9 phono stage, and LS28 line pre form Audio Research’s new Foundation range, and are expected to cost $7,500 per unit. Power amps and integrated amps are expected to follow.
It’s not all astronomical prices at Munich. British electronics expert Cyrus Audio went back to its ‘singing shoebox’ roots with the new £699 One integrated amplifier, a deceptively powerful Class D design that punches above its weight.
First seen in prototype form at CES this year, Dan D’Agostino Audio’s $45,000 per pair Progression series monoblock amplifiers deliver 800 watts into eight ohms and a massive 3.2kW into a two ohm load. They feature the same venture heatsink seen in D’Agostino’s earlier amplifiers, but the heatsinks are solid aluminium (rather than copper) billet.
This year saw the reboot of two famous names on the old audio scene: Hafler – in the shape of a range of small, power packed boxes including the HA750 headphone amp – and Dynaco, with its 2016 recreation of the classic ST-70x stereo valve power amp. The power behind the throne is Canadian pro audio power experts Radial Engineering.