Hi all, here are some notes from Munich. I was giving audiophile bill, who was back in London a live commentary on whatsapp, and quickly pulled up my comments to jot down these notes - just edited them to make them more forum friendly.
My demo LPs were to start with Scheherazade 4th movement which is very dynamic. Then Artur Rubinstein RCA Victor Beethoven's emperor first movement. Bruch Scottish fantasia for violin. If allowed to play more Winterreise and Scheherazade second movement. My notes are based on when I played my demo tracks, and not on audiophile show stuff. Show conditions are unfair, so there is not much you can say unless you can compare, at best you can choose to like things to pursue.
- I was in Munich over a two day period. Since this is my third trip in successive years, I have been through most rooms, and had come this year mainly to listen to the western electric and some analog.
- The WE disappointed, this year they had some 11a (he brings in new ones each year from his museum) and these were nothing like the previous ones. So that gave me more time for the rest.
- I then first heard AMG with aesthetix atlas hybrids and verity, and compared it to the aesthetix romulus and the TT was much better.
- Then brinkmann spyder and Wilson Sasha with audio research. Pre was some other company had an A to D built in. AR 150SE as usual sounding great till orchestra starts
- Then went to kaiser kawero with kondo g1000 which is much costlier and supposedly better than m1000. With kondo TT, arm and cart. Took out the Artur Rubinstein. Bummer. Super low resolution on the rubinstein. No dynamics. Scheherazade. Nothing.
- Also went to the Goebbel with the kronos and zyx omega premium. Didn't like the tone, left.
- Then I went to the horns autotec room and that had the best sound till then, on some small tt with ortofon a95. Best tone and realism till now. Natural. Dynamics, detail, and fit into medium sized rooms, perfect for a central London room. Need to listen to them in a proper set up to see how good they sound on bass and what are their limitations. Were running on 12 watts, amps from cube audio, EL84 valves.
- Oh yes, best was audio note room, because they had a live cellist playing with the music. Small room, 7 to 8 chairs. Lovely. They played cello solo and the cellist played along. Nothing to do with the gear.
- Tune Audio Anima were sounding awesome with the Trafomatic 75w valve amps, but think those amps retail at some 120k. But wow what timbre. This was also probably the only room without treatments, and that was also playing low quality recordings from Zep and ACDC
- JMF audio good midrange, didn't like on classical, more of that audio note tannoy boxy sound on sensitive speakers. Not for me.
Digital vs Analog
- To paraphrase Amir, do the digital guys promise to behave if I publish my findings?
- Vpi avenger with some ortofon quintet black cart beating the dcs Rossini silly.
- Continuum making neolith sound better than in London. Giving it weight and slam, but edited.
- Magico s5 with constellation sounding very good, where feickert blackbird with etna beat the edits out of spectral CD 4000. Which I bet must be a good player otherwise. I have not been a fan of magico, but these new ones are good, Marty had mentioned that too, they are bringing in the M project technology into the smaller ones.
- AF2 was superb, blew out the ch precision cdp in the vivid G1 ch precision electronics room. And CHP cd player is actually quite good. Funny enough, the guy there told me weren't you here last year, but that you were playing CDs. Wow. What memory.
The AF2 transformed this system like the AF1 had transformed Steve's. And to think DDK has 3 - 4 turntables better than this.
- Stenheim was sounding excellent with the viola amps and zensati but couldn't play my music as it was digitally streamed. However I heard the small stenheims (94 dB) with a direct drive TT called audio consulting, a Swiss brand. All audio consulting electronics, a swiss company. This was the fastest and most dynamic of all rooms. Scheherazade 4th movement was on steroids, I felt like doing violent cardio exercises.
- The designer explained everything was on battery hence it was so fast. I moved to the Nagra digital which retained the speed and dynamism, thus that seemed to be a characteristic of electronics. Is this for real, or is it doing artificial. Proper demo can tell. Some metallic sound in piano and SS on vocals but these things also happen under show conditions, but definitely worth pursuing. The Nagra digital was beaten by another TT set up in the Wilson room, though forget the TT. Probably the trans rotor or Thorens 905, confused with notes now.
- The kronos pro with zyx universe premium and absolare into Rockport Altair sounded good, but room was challenging. The absolare integrated hybrid is doing 200w class A. I heard 4 or 5 kronos.