High End 2013 - Munich, Germany
- Written by Administrator Administrator
- Parent Category: High End 2013 High End 2013
- Created: 12 May 2013 12 May 2013
Companies featured in gallery below: Audio-Technica, Spendor, Hegel Music Systems, Ayre Acoustics, NAD, Arcam, PSB, Vienna Acoustics, Pro-Ject, Astell&Kern, Opera Only, Rosso Fiorentino, Bel Canto Design, Straussmann, CH Precision
All prices in euros unless otherwise indicated.
The new Audio-Technica ATH-WS99 headphones come equipped with a 53mm driver and are priced at €250.
The D7 is the newest small floorstander from Spendor. This 2.5-way design uses the company's . . .
. . . Linear Pressure Zone tweeter, which is said to linearize the frequency and phase response in the acoustic domain. The price per pair is €5000.
Hegel Music Systems showed their flagship H30 mono amplifier ($30,000 per pair) and P30 preamplifier ($7500) in a brand-new silver finish. The traditional black is still available.
Ayre Acoustics launched an update to their venerable QB-9 DAC, now called the QB-9DSD. Upgrades include DSD capability; a new, more accurate clock; the addition of the ESS Sabre DAC chip; and improvements to the audio board. The price is $3250 (older units are upgradeable for $500).
NAD's tiny D 3020 is an integrated amplifier that uses the company's Direct Digital amplification technology and is capable of outputting 30Wpc into 8 ohms. The digital input section accepts resolutions as high as 24-bit/96kHz, and the D 3020 is also compatible with Bluetooth wireless transmission. The price is €500.
Arcam debuted their best-sounding surround-sound receiver yet -- which also happens to be what they claim is one of the best two-channel components they have ever made. For home theater the AVR750 comes equipped with seven HDMI inputs and compatibility with 4K video. Arcam claims, "The power amplifiers within the AVR750 are perhaps the finest ever seen within any AV receiver." Power ratings are 7 x 100W or 2 x 120W. The price is $6000.
PSB introduced the SubSeries 100 powered subwoofer ($299), designed to match their PS1 powered loudspeakers ($299/pr.). The 100 appears to have a 5" woofer and is of course a perfect cosmetic match with the PS1s.
Vienna Acoustics' new Imperial Grand loudspeaker looks a lot like the company's flagship, The Music. However, the Imperial Grand will cost between €10,000 to €12,000 per pair when launched later in the year, which is considerably lower than what The Music costs. The speakers shown at High End were prototypes, but the production models will feature . . .
. . . an adjustable top module featuring a coaxial midrange-tweeter driver. A number of striking finishes will be available.
Pro-Ject displayed the very reasonably priced Essential II turntable, shown in the photo above in three colors. The price is €315, complete with an Ortofon cartridge and Pro-Ject tonearm.
Astell&Kern demonstrated the AK120 portable music player. This model features two Wolfson WM8740 DAC chips and a 2.4" touchscreen, and it will play back all music files at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. The price is €1299.
The most outrageous audio product at High End -- 2013, or any other year for that matter -- was the Opera Only amplifier, designed by Italian designer Andrea Oivetta. This amplifier weighs in excess of 3000 pounds and will reportedly output 60,000W in stereo operation. To give you an example of just how big this thing is, it was about twice the height of Doug Schneider. This . . .
. . . "12-sided black prism" didn't have an official price, but we were told that if you phone the company they will be happy to discuss the cost with you. We were mixed on whether this "amplifier" was cool or absurd. We're leaning toward the latter, though it hardly looks cobbled together like we anticipated when we heard about it beforehand.
The Rosso Fiorentino Florentia was one of the largest speakers at High End 2013. Priced at €65,000 per pair, this Italian speaker features two 12" subwoofers, which are powered by a 750W amplifier per driver. The 10" midbass is housed in a sealed cabinet, while the center section houses twin midrange drivers, as well as . . .
. . . a tweeter and supertweeter that are horizontally aligned.
Bel Canto showed their prototype three-box "power DAC," which is code-named Black. It includes a digital controller (digital inputs and an analog input) that feeds . . .
. . . a set of monoblock "amplifiers" that are rated to deliver 300W into 8 ohms. The signal from the digital controller is sent to the monoblocks with an AES/EBU or ST glass-fiber digital cable. The pricing was not set at the time of this writing. The Black system is expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.
German company Straussmann's three-piece amplification system (four-piece with MC-Phono 2010 phono stage) features the CC control center that obviates the need for a conventional preamplifier, which is connected to . . .
. . . a pair of E-50 mono power amplifiers. The CC control center, when available, will accept . . .
. . . digital signals and output analog control and line-level signals to the amplifiers (rear panel seen above, which shows the mains, control, line-level, and speaker cables). The entire system will retail for €230,000 when it is available at the end of 2013.
CH Precision demonstrated their A1 stereo/mono amplifier, which drove a pair of Vivid Audio Giya G2 loudspeakers in a biamp configuration (two A1s were used). The A1 is rated to deliver 100Wpc into 8 ohms and 175Wpc into 4 ohms. The A1's global and local feedback levels are adjustable, which the CH folks say will help the amplifier mate ideally with any loudspeaker. The A1's price is €23,000.
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