Munich High End 2023 Key Kim Report Page 4
Absolare/Rockport Technologies/Metronome Kalista/Nagra
The Absolare room sounded very striking. It was always crowded. The Rockport Orion speakers were singing driven by the Absolare Hybrid Altius mono amplifiers (120,000/pair), plus the Absolare Eternum preamplifier (85,000) uses a separate power supply and an Absolare Altius phonostage (52,000). The gorgeous Metronome Kalista CD transport, the Nagra HD DAC X, and the Aurender N30Sa streamer server made up the digital source. The analog source was the Kuzma Stabi R turntable, a Kuzma Safir tonearm, and a ZYX Optimum cartridge. The complete loom of Absolare Echole infinity cables was used.
Massimiliano Magri of Grandinote debuted his new Solo (19,000) 60-watt Class-A integrated amplifier. The Solo’s equipped with a huge 9” multi-function touchscreen display. Cleverly it has a VU meter and a spectrum analyzer, and the color can be changed or dimmed. The internal expansion board is upgradeable to a Celio phonostage and Volta DAC streamer.
The Solo powered the Grandinote Mach 8XL loudspeakers (30,000/pair). It was transparent and detailed, with lots of resolution and great musicality.
Kroma Atelier/VAC/APL Hi-FI
The Kroma Atelier Mercedes loudspeakers (100,000/pair) were marvelously paired with the VAC Master 300 monoblock amplifiers and the VAC Master preamplifier with phonostage. The superb-sounding APL Hi-Fi DSD-GR DAC and the APL DNP-SE streamer were the digital sources—the TechDas Airforce V with the Wand tonearm and the Ayabusa cartridge performed with great finesse.
Peak Consult loudspeakers debuted their Dragon Legacy loudspeakers (200,000/pair). It is impeccably built, weighing 500 pounds each, three-way ported in MTM configuration paired to massive AudioNet Heisenberg monoblock amplifiers (100,000/pair) and an AudioNet Stern preamplifier. The Bergmann Galder Signature air-bearing turntable with twin Odin linear tracking arm was equally impressive.
Kondo Audio Note
Kondo Audio Note unveiled their latest creations, the G-700 preamplifier (TBA, about 75% of the G-1000) and the GE-7 phonostage (TBA, about 75% of the GE-10). The Kagura2i monoblock amplifiers and a G-700 preamplifier powered the rare Jensen speakers. The gorgeous-looking Ginga turntable and the GE-7 phonostage with a 10-XP cartridge were used as an analog setup. All Kondo silver cables were used throughout the system.
Audia Flight/Alare Labs
The Italian Audia Flight and the Alare Labs sounded outstanding. There was an excellent synergy between them. The Alare Remiga 1 loudspeakers (45,000/pair) were driven by the Audia Flight Strumento N0.8 monoblock amplifiers (50,000/pair), an Audia Flight Strumento N0.1 preamplifier (20,000). The Audia Flight FLS 20 SACD player (17,000) was the digital source.
The Gershman Audio 30th Anniversary Grand Avant Garde speakers (18,000/pair) sounded fabulous, powered by the True Life Audio TLA TSI-300 integrated amplifier (32,000). The Grand Avant Garde incorporates Eli Gershman’s new Patent Pending design, the BCT (Back-wave control technology). The MSB and the Pink Faun server were used as digital sources.
Albedo Audio/Soulnote Audio
The Albedo Agadia 2.5-way floor standing loudspeakers (23,000/pair) utilize a traditional Albedo transmission line system and ceramic drivers. They are handmade point-to-point crossovers. The Soulnote Audio M-3 monoblock amplifiers (40,000/pair) and a Soulnote P-3 preamplifier (20,000) powered the Albedo Agadia delightfully. I got to listen to the Soulnote Audio for the first time and liked it a lot. It was transparent and detailed, with excellent tonality and music.
The TAD CE-1TX loudspeakers were exceptionally engaging. It’s one of the best-sounding stand-mounted loudspeakers I’ve heard at the show. The TAD 1000-series Evolution line was paired with the CE-1TX. The system consisted of M1000 monoblock amplifiers. A TAD-C1000 preamplifier was premiered in this show. A DA1000TX DAC and a D1000TX transport made up the digital source.
This room was a moderately priced system compared to most other rooms I covered. The Tekton Jupiter tube amplifier (15,000), with single-ended 211 output tubes, and the Tektron Venus tube preamplifier powered the Cube Audio Lotus loudspeakers (24,000/pair) effortlessly. Listening to chamber music was enchanting and natural sounding.
Stereo Times Masthead
Frank Alles, Mike Girardi, Key Kim, Russell Lichter, Terry London, Moreno Mitchell, Paul Szabady, Bill Wells, Mike Wright, Stephen Yan, and Rob Dockery
David Abramson, Tim Barrall, Dave Allison, Ron Cook, Lewis Dardick, Dan Secula, Don Shaulis, Greg Simmons, Eric Teh, Greg Voth, Richard Willie, Ed Van Winkle, and Rob Dockery
Carlos Sanchez, John Jonczyk, John Sprung and Russell Lichter
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