While most loudspeaker designers favour the classic dome tweeter, the world-renowned Danish brand Raidho was pretty much founded on its famous pseudo-ribbon tweeter. The performance of this new invention was spectacular but initially posed a challenge: it was too far ahead of the game and so responsive and dynamic that integration with conventional dynamic midrange and mass drivers proved tricky. So Raidho re-invented those too. In the brand’s D series, the re-invention takes a further leap forward with the addition of pure diamond. Continue reading “A seriously special speaker”: Hi-Fi News spends some quality time with Raidho’s D-2.1 floorstander
It’s that time of year again folks… when hi-fi’s greatest hitters from around the globe flock to the world’s largest audio exhibition. Yes music lovers, High End Munich 2018 is almost upon us. So, just before I get packing, here are some of the highlights I’ll be heading for.
Hall 1 / D01: Tape nirvana – and several world firsts!
No doubt a key highlight of the show from Metaxas & Sins… expect to be blown away both sonically and visually by the stunning new GQT Georges Quellet Tribute portable open reel tape recorder. It’s one of only two brand new tape recorders currently in production worldwide (the other being the Ballfinger M-063, which will also be on display alongside tape manufacturers Recording The Masters in Hall 3 / J11). And if that’s not excitement enough, Metaxas is also promising to wow us with the new ‘Phonographic Perambulator & Combobulator’ (that’s a turntable and tonearm to you and me, folks) and equally brand new Diva loudspeakers. Not to be missed!
(And if you’re after some tapes to test drive the GQT with – scroll down for more tape nirvana…)
Atrium 4.1 / F126, 127 & 128: If it’s high fidelity amplification you want…
German distributor High Fidelity Studio will be showcasing its wares in three adjacent rooms, including some hot-off-the-press you-saw-it-here-first treats.
Californian creator of superb high-end amplifiers Aesthetix will show the final production version its first ever integrated amp, the new Mimas. It’s a hybrid design that features an optional plug-in phonostage and DAC. I’m also hoping that we’ll see the new Metis ultra-high end linestage in operation.
For the more budget-conscious yet still desirous of excellent sound, British brand Exposure is a top choice and boy, do they have some treats to unveil for 2018. First off, the latest product to be added to the award-winning compact XM series, the XM CD player. Next, a new Exposure flagship: the two-box VXN phonostage / analogue to digital converter. And if that’s not enough, how about a whole new range… expect a sneak preview of the fantastic new 5010 series of amps.
And what better to put these top amps through their paces than DS Audio’s stunningly revealing optical cartridges? Discover the brand new DS W2 cartridge and the new, innovative ST-50 stylus cleaner.
Hall 2 / E04 & F07: Happy 40th birthday Clearaudio
Clearaudio is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, so the company and its superb range of analogue desirables will be at High End 2018 in force. Trust me, the Clearaudio display will be an absolute must-see.
Hall 03 / K01: Where accessories become essentials
Japanese cable, accessories and portable hi-fi experts Furutech and ADL will be showing an impressive selection of new accessories and system fine-tuning devices, once again proving that a little attention to detail can go a long way in terms of boosting your system’s performance. Take for example the new NCF Booster and even newer (yet to be officially launched) NCF Booster Signal. These fascinating devices take the notion of cable elevation to another level (pun fully intended) using proprietary NCF technology to reduce static and mechanical vibration.
Hall 3 / N11: New flagship amplifiers from Audio Analogue
Italian brand Audio Analogue will be on the AF Group SRL stand with some exciting news for 2018: two brand new ‘Anniversary’ line products at the very top end of their range: the Bellini preamp and Donizetti power amp. And then there’s the Pegaso, an exceedingly cute new valve integrated amplifier, plus a new Zero reference line of cables from sister company AirTech.
Atrium 4.2 / F125: Computer Audio Design (CAD) breaks yet more ground
Innovative British brand CAD will once again be exhibiting alongside Beonike’s exquisite little loudspeakers. New from CAD this year: the ground-breaking, noise-taming Ground Controls have been further enhanced by an intelligently upgraded Ground Control cable. Hear these renowned innovations perform even better than before. And for the first time in Munich, come and hear the new CAD USB cable II.
Atrium 4.2 / E227: A new Raidho high
Don’t miss sister brands Raidho and Scansonic and especially don’t miss Raidho’s new, very high-end flagship, using new Raidho-developed technology (always a cause for some excitement, innovators that they are). It’s enormous (so big I could only fit a thumbnail-sized picture here!), it’s enormously impressive and it’s the new TD 4.8.
Dutch cable and phono cartridge expert van den Hul will be in Atrium 4.2 / F207. For 2018 the company has a fresh brand identity, a new website and new brochures. But what goodies will Mr A.J. van den Hul himself bring to this year’s Munich Show? Come and find out…
The phenomenal Kronos turntable is always popular at Munich and this year it can be seen and heard in several rooms in Atrium 4: E115 (Kronos /Goebel), F116 (Magico), F130 (Nagra) and E214 (Absolare).
Minnesota-based kings of the planar magnetic flat-panel loudspeaker Magnepan (aka ‘Maggies’) will be on show on the Taurus High End GmbH stand, Hall 3 / J05.
And finally… (remember I promised you more tape nirvana?)
With more than 65 tapes in its ever-expanding catalogue, a visit to Horch House (which is in the process of renaming itself ‘Entertape’) seems almost mandatory: get thee to stand F04, in Hall 2
Open Reel Records’ tapes may well be packaged beautifully (at the risk of stereotyping, it must be that Italian sense of style), but it’s the quality on the inside that really counts. A truly exquisite collection of recordings, some made in-house by artistic director Marco Taio (virtuoso musician, recording engineer and all-round renaissance man), and some selected vintage recordings to which Taio has secured the rights. The catalogue is small but perfectly formed. Discover Open Reel Records on Recording the Masters’ stand in Hall 3 / J11.
I’ve heard good things about Giulio Cesare Ricci’s recordings for his label Fonè, and have one of his tapes on order (Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade) so I’m looking forward to meeting the man himself on the Da Capo stand in Hall 4 / T12 & U09, where Fonè tapes and vinyl records will be on sale. Guilio will also be giving talks and demos at 2pm and 5pm on Friday and Saturday in the MBL room (Atrium 4.1 / E102).
STS Analog / Digital will be there too, with their ever-expanding catalogue of reel to reel tapes in Hall 3 / J16.
And Lyn Stanley will be in the EAR Yoshino room (Atrium 4 / E225) on Friday and Saturday at 11.30am and 5.15pm doing talks / demos of her latest reel to reel / one step vinyl release, Moonlight Sessions volume 2. She’ll also be on the Playback Designs stand (Hall 3 / J10) at 2pm and 4pm doing the same but in digital. On Sunday she’ll be in the EAR room at 11.30am and Playback Designs at 2pm.
And no visit to Munich would be complete without visiting Room F129 on Atrium 4.1 to hear whatever stunning vintage cinema speaker system Silbatone have brought to this year’s event.
Right, time to get packing. Have a great show folks!
The fifth in Exposure’s XM series of compact, half-width components, the XM HP is “extremely versatile” and offers “more than its official designation as a headphone amplifier would suggest,” says David Price, who awards it a duo of badges – ‘highly commended’ and ‘recommended’.
Continue reading “Less can be so much more”: David Price reviews Exposure’s compact XM HP headphone amp in Hi-Fi News and Hi-Fi Choice
“There is nothing else that sounds quite the same,” says Nick Tate in the April issue of Hi-Fi News. “The Magneplanar 20.7 appears to be some sort of magic window into the world of music.”
You’ve no doubt heard the rumours. You may have read a few teasers. Perhaps you wondered whether it would actually happen. It’s happening. In May 2018, high-end audio brand Metaxas & Sins will launch one of the world’s first modern day open reel tape recorders. If you’re familiar with the unique work of creator Kostas Metaxas, you’ll know to expect something extremely special indeed, where superlatively authentic sound meets breathtaking design.
The Absolute Sound’s Product
of the Year Awards are the US-based magazine’s the most exclusive and prestigious honours, paying tribute to the very best components of the previous year. The award-winners are an elite bunch, since only one or two products are selected each year in just a handful of product categories.
Continue reading Flagship Magnepan loudspeaker and phono cartridges from DS Audio & van den Hul are The Absolute Sound’s Products of the Year 2017
How many times have you read a glowing review of a high quality, low compliance phono cartridge, only to find yourself bumping up against a ‘but…’. The ‘but’ in question being the caveat that, in order to enjoy the cartridge’s full performance potential, you’ll need a high mass tonearm. Yet for some decades the majority of tonearms on the market have typically been of the low-to-medium mass variety. What to do? UK audio brand Timestep has the solution.
Japanese optical cartridge pioneer DS Audio has just launched its first audio accessory, the ST-50 stylus cleaner. Elegant in appearance, easy to use and designed to last a lifetime, it delivers flawless cleaning to even the most delicate of styli.
In 2016, Audio Analogue celebrated its twentieth birthday with two bang-up-to-date ‘Anniversary’ editions of the company’s earlier classic integrated amplifiers, the Puccini and Maestro. Now, the Italian brand has launched its ‘PureAA’ line of products, drawing key ideas from the Anniversary amps and adding a raft of further features. Second in the line, following the AAcento amplifier, is the new AAphono.
“Magnepans don’t look like typical box speakers and don’t sound like them either,” writes Chris Martens in the March issue of Hi-Fi Plus. He means it in a good way. A very good way, in fact, having long used the company’s speakers in his reference system. Here, he reviews the new flagship 30.7 four-panel dipolar loudspeaker system.
Continue reading “World-class, a landmark design”: Hi-Fi Plus reviews Magnepan’s new flagship 30.7 loudspeaker system