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Munich Hi-End

Discussion in 'audio' started by Purité Audio, May 9, 2019.

  1. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

  2. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    Me and my white stick are flying out later this morning :)
     
  3. sunbeamgls

    sunbeamgls pfm Member

  4. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    [​IMG]

    Personally i would have preferred if they just made it stiff, not covered in ripples.
     
    Philim and hairyderriere like this.
  5. Ali T

    Ali T pfm Member

  6. FL390

    FL390 pfm Member

  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve just gone through the whole excellent 23 page picture thread linked by Keith and as ever I’m left somewhere between bemused, annoyed and even sickened by the way the hobby I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid now seems little more than vulgar consumption for ‘one percenters’. Just page after page of ‘you really have to be kidding’, ‘why the hell did they think that was a good idea?’, ‘who actually buys this?’, or just staring slack-jawed at the page in disbelief. The only times I stopped and though, ‘hmm, that’s actually really, really nice’ was some, I assume vintage, Luxman kit and a really beautiful Air Tight EL34 power amp on about page 21 that I think has been out in some form or other for well over a decade, some really nice looking tonearms in that room too (I love the look of Air Tight kit, very nearly pushed the button on a preamp on eBay a few years back, but chickened-out as it was outside the UK). A few stunning reel to reels on show across the show too, including a very interesting looking Denon I’d not seen before, but again almost certainly all vintage ones. Some lovely truly ancient Western Electric cinema horns somewhere too, I’d love to hear them one day.

    I now make my living out of audio related stuff (this site), so I really don’t want to be too negative about the hand that at least in some respect feeds me, but I honestly don’t spot anything of the real cutting edge innovation and accessibility that captured my mind as a kid and has (within my own increasingly niche market) kept me interested ever since. It all looks like people trying to make existing ideas far more expensive.

    Anyway, I can’t recommend that picture set highly enough, it is fascinating as a socio-economic analysis of an industry that to my eyes has gone from the perfect form dictated by function but with real design flair of say a Quad 33, Planar 3, vintage Pioneer receiver or whatever, to deciding everything (I assume including simply enormous gold plated cables) should be more expensive than a house in Wigan and look like a 1/4-size replica of the most tasteless footballer’s Bentley.

    What happened? How exactly did we get to here?! I realise it is a self-professed ‘hi-end’ show, so one could argue by design only the true industry excess, but even so!

    PS Did anyone actually go? I’d be interested to know what if anything actually sounded good!
     
    Fretbuzz, robs, Jodet and 12 others like this.
  8. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Completely agree, it has become, for the most part to epitomise everything that is wrong with the industry.
    Keith
     
    Woodface and March Audio like this.
  9. dtd

    dtd pfm Member

    End of rome - "hifi" edition.
     
  10. Fourlegs

    Fourlegs Trade: WAVE High Fidelity digital cables

    Isn’t the clue in the name of the show, ie ‘High End’. There are shows for mere mortals but this is not one of them.

    Just in the same way as a prospective customer for a Ford Focus might feel if he wandered into a Lamborghini showroom.

    If there are high earners who are willing to part with large sums which seem like fortunes to us but don’t even register as loose change to them then should we be dismissive? Is it not the case with all hobbies that there are people ‘with all the gear but no idea’. Indeed some of them only want it because it is so expensive that no one else can buy it.

    Cut these guys some slack. They are happy and they are not doing us any harm.
     
  11. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer fourhundredandthirtytwo

    Indeed, an old friend of mine sells and modifies Bugatti's, Mclaren's and other extreme cars... one he did had a £500K steering wheel.
    He owns 'A' number plate which Bernie offered £14m for and he turned him down !!! it's all relative...
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    G T Audio and Fourlegs like this.
  12. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    I guess it’s the equivalent of one of those high end couture fashion shows. Most of the stuff on show is a bit extreme, but not really meant for the high street retail. It’s more a statement of what the ultimate high end can be. Possibly some of the ideas filter down to us lesser mortals in time. I’d guess quite a few fall by the wayside.
    I’ve not been to that many Hifi shows, never been to anything very high end. Maybe one day I will, just to see with my own eyes what all the fuss is about & how vulgar it may be. Is it full of plinky plonky esoteric music, or do they use some familiar tunes?
     
  13. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Distributor and Manufacturer

    I'll give you my take on it tomorrow as I exhibited at Munich in 2012, 2013 & 2014. I came away from the show in 2014 with the same thoughts as you and is exactly the reason why I designed the Convergence range.
     
    jackbarron and hairyderriere like this.
  14. heihei

    heihei pfm Member

    I've just got back from Munich, and have attended for the last 3 years. I find myself in the very fortunate position to be able to afford a pretty high end set up, but still find Tony's criticism has some validity.
    On the flipside however, for many this is the only chance to hear some of this kit, and many come just for this. I'd also say that reports like the one linked often only focus on the big names / ultra-expensive systems - there are some great sounds coming out of much more modest systems which get overlooked in the write-ups. A good example is the Soundsmith system - this has sounded great the last two years. I'd also say Hifi Deluxe in the Marriott helps in this regard too.

    As to whether the big systems sound good.....it's mixed. Some of them are just plain dull, others have the bad luck of getting a poor room / noisy neighbours, but there are some sublime systems. I had the fortune of DJ'ing the Wilson Benesch / CH Precision room for 20 mins late Thursday and absolutely loved it.
     
    Weekender likes this.
  15. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Just to got back from 2 days at the show.

    My overwhelming thought is that "high end" no longer has much to do with high fidelity. I know very little about art but I would liken "high end" to cubist art. It's just a collection of impressive abstract noises that seems only slightly related to music.

    Pretty much all the noises being recreated lacked the vital ingredient for musical enjoyment i.e. a pleasing combination of melody and rhythm!
    There were lots of audiophile covers of classic songs, where the tune is vaguely recognisable but it's so slowed down - so you can hear every note decay!! - that it's devoid of any rhythmic involvement. Alternatively you can hear banging noises - usually loud and with impressive snap etc.- but with no melodic content.

    There was one exception. I must have heard Stevie Ray Yawn more times in those two days than in the rest of my life put together!
    In fairness it did sound very good on one system (and utterly boring on a few).

    Despite the above I had a great time. I had the good fortune to spend an evening with a master speaker designer and another with a master amplifer/electroncs designer. Priceless!
     
    March Audio likes this.
  16. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    The Soundsmith system was superb. BUT, the cartridges are $8K and the speakers are $8K. Not cheap!
     
  17. waxkinglyrical

    waxkinglyrical pfm Member

    On page 14, 15 or 16 of the My-Hiend coverage there is a really interesting new turntable which has all the design idioms of an EMT.
    Consider the lever style switches, strobe position and raised plinth around the platter etc.

    Have a look at the Thales decks and then the one located in the drawer and you’ll see what I mean.

    I reckon this is a prototype twin arm design, intriguing nonetheless.
     
  18. owl

    owl Well-Known Member

    Im a keen road cyclist and same is happening in terms of equipment. Hi end prices for technology that is no different to cheaper kit. All branding and lifestyle blurb.
     
    Old Shatterhand, DavidS and G T Audio like this.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I accept your point to some degree, though my argument was really about the lack of innovation on show. If I was thinking of dropping the price of a house on a pair of speakers I’d want rather more than some conventional drivers screwed into a conventional ported box! Likewise with amps, I doubt there is much there that is noticeably ‘more’ in any real sense than a 1980s Krell KSA100 or 1960s McIntosh 275 aside from the countless kilos of ugly CNC machined alloy bling encasing it. Record decks are the same, a real ”herp derp, we got no idea, so lets just make it much heavier and shinier!”.

    Sure, there are some exceptions, e.g. I’d never put say MBL in this category as there is real radical thinking there, and some companies have been doing their ‘thing’ for decades e.g. Wilson, Accuphase, Martin Logan, McIntosh etc etc and I respect them all. My issue is with the countless unheard-of chancers that appear to think making existing concepts shinier, heavier and more expensive buys a place at the table. We all stand on the shoulders of giants like Peter Walker, Paul Klipsch, Saul Marantz, Gilbert Briggs etc, but a lot of what I saw at least in image form looks like chicanery to me. To justify that sort of price tag I expect serious innovation and originality, not just a cheesy pub band cover-version with a huge light-show and ticket price! Show us something genuinely new and original!
     
  20. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Distributor and Manufacturer

    As I said in a previous post, Its all be done before and often with better results too. Having said that it is very difficult to innovate or come up with something totally new after 120 years of recorded music technology...
     
    jackbarron and topoxforddoc like this.

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