Companies featured in gallery below: Gryphon Audio Designs, KEF, Nordost, AudioQuest, PMC, Tidal Audio, Audio Physic, Devialet, Simaudio, Naim Audio, Avantgarde Acoustic, Gauder Akustik, Soulution, Constellation Audio
All prices in euros unless otherwise indicated.
Gryphon Audio Designs introduced the Kalliope DAC, which features a dedicated ESS Sabre ES9018 32-bit DAC chip per channel. The USB input accepts resolutions of up to 32-bit/384kHz. The Kalliope is compatible with DXD and DSD as well. Gryphon representatives state that the Kalliope will accept any known resolution for any commercially available music on the market ". . . and beyond!" The price is €19,800.
The Gryphon Audio Designs Trident II loudspeaker (€95,000/pr.) features a brand-new ribbon tweeter. The cabinet is also slimmer but taller than the original Trident and incorporates a new modular baffle system. The woofer section is still powered by a dedicated 1000W Gryphon amplifier. The bass level and system Q can be controlled remotely in order to tailor the sound to the room.
KEF used High End 2013 to launch their new headphone line, which consists of the M500 headphones (shown above, €300) and M200 earphones (€200). The M500 headphones have an all-aluminum frame and use a 40mm full-range driver with a Copper Clad Aluminum Wire (CCAW) voice coil. The . . .
. . . M200 earphones use 10mm and 5.5mm drivers housed in an all-aluminum enclosure. The eartips are made from silicone, and they form to the ear canal for the most comfortable fit.
Nordost displayed and played their new Valhalla 2 cable line. The interconnect shown above uses the company's Dual Mono-Filament technology with ten silver-plated, 24AWG, oxygen-free copper conductors. The Valhalla 2 interconnect is available in single-ended and balanced versions and is terminated with proprietary HOLO:PLUGTM RCA or XLR connectors. The retail price is $6499.99 for a .6m pair. Valhalla 2 loudspeaker cables, tonearm cables, digital cables, and power cords are also available.
AudioQuest's new entry-level offering is the Pearl USB cable, which is priced at €29 for a 1.5m length. The Pearl uses solid-core, long-grain copper conductors arranged in what the company says is optimized geometry.
The AudioQuest Aspen speaker cable is priced at €2080 for an 8' pair. The Aspen uses AQ's best geometry, called Reversed Counter Spiral, and is a mix of the company's PSC+ and PSC copper. The Aspen is slotted between the company's Meteor and Oak models.
Britain's PMC has filled out their fact-series speaker line with the new fact.12 flagship. This three-way design is a floorstander featuring a new 2" soft-dome midrange driver, as well as two 6.5" coated-alloy woofers and a soft-dome tweeter with twin-roll surrounds. A 24dB-per-octave crossover on a double-sided board divides the frequencies between the drive units. The price is 12,000 British pounds per pair.
Germany's Tidal Audio debuted the Impulse monoblock power amplifier, priced at €65,000 per pair (two are shown stacked in the photo above). They weigh 60 kilograms per piece, and the power output is rated at 800W into 4 ohms and 380W into 8 ohms. We were told that the Impulse will output, at peak, 1.2kW into loads below 1 ohm.
Audio Physic has a new flagship in their Classic-series speaker line. The four-driver 30 is rated to play down to 31Hz and has a sensitivity of 89dB. The standard Classic 30 is priced at €3600 per pair. For a €300 upcharge you can order the Classic 30 in a variety of striking, colorful finishes realized with a glass overlay on the cabinet walls.
France's Devialet announced three new models replacing their original D-Premier integrated amplifier-DAC-everything-else component. Manuel de la Fuente, the company's chief sales officer (left), presented the news at a press conference just moments after High End 2013 began.
The Devialet 110 (€4990), 170 (shown, €6990), 240 (€12,900), and 500 (€22,900, a pair of 240s in mono mode) feature updated functionality, while the new model numbers designate the power output per channel into 6 ohms. The ADH amplifier core and DAC circuitry remain the same as the original D-Premier, but the design's amplifier efficiency and thermal management have been improved, and the power supply's regulation has been upgraded as well. We were told that the new units' analog stage has been upgraded, and the jitter specifications within the digital section have been improved. Asynchronous USB and Ethernet inputs have been introduced as connector types. The wireless capability is said to be better, too, in that any computer can automatically recognize the new Devialets, obviating the need for iTunes use, which the D-Premier required. An Android app is also available for increased user customization. The finish is now Dark Chrome (their term) for a brand-new look.
Canada's Simaudio launched their new Moon Neo line, which consists of the 350P preamplifier ($3600) and 400M mono amplifier ($4300 each). Also available are the . . .
. . . 340i integrated amplifier ($4500), 250i integrated amplifier (not shown, $2400), and 380D DAC (not shown, $4350). The new look is taken from their more expensive Moon Evolution siblings, and we learned that the circuitry has been improved over the older models they replace as well.
Naim's new UnitiQute 2 is an all-in-one player that outputs 30Wpc into 8 ohms and will stream up to 32-bit/192kHz music-file resolutions. The UnitiQute 2 incorporates a new main circuit board. Functionality includes a multi-format tuner and docking with an iPod or iPhone. The UnitiQute 2 also has five digital inputs. The price is €1598.
Avantgarde Acoustic's new Zero 1 loudspeaker is built to look a bit more conventional than their larger horn-loaded speakers. However, the German-made Zero 1 is fully active (400W for the bass, 2 x 50W for the midrange and tweeter). Digital inputs include . . .
. . . USB, TosLink, S/PDIF, and AES/EBU. The company states that the Zero 1 is the first compact, fully active horn loudspeaker featuring 64-bit processing. The price is €9900 per pair.
Germany's Gauder Akustik debuted the RC9 four-way floorstanding loudspeaker, which features a diamond upper-midrange driver along with a diamond tweeter. The lower mids and bass drivers are made of ceramic. The price for the RC9 is €96,000 per pair.
Switzerland's Soulution upgraded their 7-series amplifiers. The 701 (€110,00/pr.) monoblock and 711 stereo amplifier (€45,500) both now use . . .
. . . switch-mode power supplies in place of the previous linear power supplies. The older models are upgradeable to the new versions.
Constellation Audio showed the new Hercules II mono power amplifier ($150,000/pr.). The tower design has been changed to conventional horizontal design, and subsequently, the circuit design and power transformer have been improved due to increased space. The output power of the mono Hercules II is 1000W into 8 ohms (doubling into 4 ohms). A stereo version ($75,000) will be available this summer.