Companies featured in gallery below: Dynaudio, Grimm Audio, Sonus Faber, Wadia, Octave Audio, T+A, Audio Research, Crystal Cable, Penaudio, Apoll Acoustics, Gato Audio, Kaiser Acoustics, Auris Audio, Aurelia
All prices in euros unless otherwise indicated.
Denmark's Dynaudio used High End 2013 to launch a brand-new Excite line of affordable loudspeakers composed of four models, pictured left to right: the X14 two-way bookshelf (€990/pr.), X24 center-channel (€690), X34 two-way floorstander (€2190/pr.), and X38 three-way floorstander €2990/pr. Shown in white, the line looks svelte and beautifully finished just like their more expensive stablemates.
Grimm Audio demonstrated their LS1, a three-way active loudspeaker that certainly has a unique form factor. The midrange and tweeter are each driven with 120W amplifiers, while the subwoofer in the base is powered by a 400W unit. The three-way version, as shown, is €21,000 per pair. A two-way version (the sub module can be added later) is available for €15,000 per pair. The crossover is fully realized in the DSP domain, which makes this interesting loudspeaker a very advanced design.
Sonus Faber launched an entire new line of loudspeakers at High End 2013 called Olympica. The I (€4700/pr., left pair), II (€7500/pr., middle), and III (€10,100/pr., far right) were on static display. The Olympica I is a two-way stand-mount model, the Olympica II is a two-and-a-half-way floorstander, and the . . .
. . . three-way Olympica III is the largest model currently in the range. The Olympicas are slotted price-wise between the Venere and the Homage lines. Want an even larger Olympica? The Olympica IIII is on the way this fall. The drivers in the Olympica range are the first models produced entirely in-house by Sonus Faber. As you can see . . .
. . . by the nice touches with leather and chrome, the craftsmanship appears superb. The Olympicas are all built in Sonus Faber's factory in Italy.
The Wadia Intuition 01 ($7500) was on display in matte black at High End 2013. The matte silver version that was shown first at CES 2013 was also on display. And now we get to see . . .
. . . the just-as-cool remote control that comes with it. The Intuition 01 starts shipping later this month.
Germany's Octave Audio showed their massive Jubilee SE mono amplifiers ($80,000/pr.) at High End 2013. The power output of the SE is 400W (up from the 250W available from the standard Jubilee). Producing that impressive power output are . . .
. . . a bank of KT120 output tubes, which are visible through the vents in the top cover.
The T+A Amp 8 is rated to deliver 110Wpc into 4 ohms. It is a traditional class-A/B amplifier that uses technology that trickled down from the company's new HV-series products (first seen at CES 2013). The Amp 8's price is €1700. The Amp 8's circuitry is housed in a small chassis, but . . .
. . . a bottom-mounted cooling fan keeps the output devices at the optimal temperature.
Audio Research Corporation displayed their most ambitious phono stage yet, the Reference Phono 10. This model includes a separate full-sized power supply, making it their first two-chassis phono stage ever. The company states that the Reference Phono 10 uses 12 tubes and is fully dual mono from the power cord on. The Phono 10's price is $30,000.
Crystal Cable has added to their cable offerings with the Dreamline Plus series, which includes speaker cables, interconnects, USB digital cables, and power cords. The Dreamline Plus models are essentially half of the Absolute Dream ones -- two conductors instead of four -- for roughly half the price. The Dreamline Plus uses 100% monocrystal conductors, which the original Dreamline did not have. Company president Gabi Rijnveld says this represents a huge upgrade in performance. So think of the Dreamline Plus series as the more affordable version of Absolute Dream.
Finland's Penaudio used to make tiny speakers -- but not anymore! The Penaudio Sinfonia loudspeaker (€20,000/pr.) was being played for the first time at High End 2013. This large floorstander is a 3.5-way design with two 10" side-firing woofers per cabinet. We were told that the Sinfonia's drivers are all made by SEAS.
Apoll Acoustics, also of Finland, showed the MA-1.0 Mk.II, a two-chassis-per-side mono power amplifier -- the power supply is housed in its own case. The power output is 1000W into 8 ohms, and the design is based on an ICEpower module. The price for the MA-1.0 Mk.II is €10,400/pr.
The Gato Audio FM-8 floorstander is a three-way, five-driver loudspeaker that is built in Denmark and retails for approximately €18,000 per pair. The build quality looks impressive, and . . .
. . . we quite liked the solid-aluminum rear panel that is said to help eliminate external resonances.
The Kaiser Acoustics Vivace Mk.II loudspeaker was created based on research conducted during the development of the company's smaller Chiara model. The new speaker is now a three-way design with an 8" Scan-Speak Revelator woofer and a Mundorf AMT tweeter. The midrange driver is a Scan-Speak Illuminator model. The price per pair for the Vivace Mk.II is €32,000.
The Tpianta power amplifier from Auris Audio is a monoblock design that produces 30W into 8 ohms. It was designed by Milomir Trosic (above). The tubes are 6SN7 and 2A3 types that are direct-driven without capacitors. The GM70 output tube is proudly displayed on top. The price is €17,000 per pair. The matching . . .
. . . Tpianta preamplifier is shown with company representative Tijana Zivadinovic and is expected to cost €4000 when it goes into production. All of Auris Audio's products are said to be handmade in Serbia, which is where the company is based.
The Aurelia Aniara is a compact two-way loudspeaker designed and built in Finland, featuring a 1" titanium-dome tweeter, which is mounted within a waveguide and crossed over at 2kHz to a 4" woofer. The speaker is shown with designer Antti Louhivaara. The price for the Aniara is €800 per pair.