Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


Wenn schon, denn schon is an idiomatic phrase in German with no direct translation to English. Even to a native German, it’s one of those things that sounds like weird nonsense once you get thinking about it. In use, however, it’s very much akin to the English phrase, “If you’re gonna do something, you better go all the way.”

That is exactly the manner in which the SoundStage! crew plans to attack High End 2024 in Munich, Germany. SoundStage! founder and publisher Doug Schneider, SoundStage! Ultra senior editor Jason Thorpe, and yours truly landed in the Bavarian capital yesterday morning, and we’ve already set to work painting the place red. Besides world-class beer, pretzels, and automobiles, Munich is home to High End Society’s annual High End show, which is the biggest audio fair in Europe and, by virtually all accounts, the most important in the world.


The show runs from Thursday, May 9, through Sunday, May 12, which is exactly how long our coverage will run. If you’re just getting hip to our show coverage, this is exactly how we do things here—our coverage begins when the show opens, and we’re done when the show’s done. And this year we’ve got a lot planned for our takeover of Munich.

Germany’s High End Society has been putting this show on since 1982. Doug Schneider has been attending for more than 25 years, without missing a single iteration. This year’s show has over 500 exhibitors showcasing roughly 1000 brands, so it’s impossible to see everything. Our modus operandi has been to give more in-depth coverage to capture the vibe of the show and to highlight what’s important, rather than give an impersonal overview of everything. Doug’s already got his ear to the ground about what’s hot this year. He has limited time to write articles himself at a massive event like High End 2024, but he’ll be feeding me and Jason tons of tips.

Speaking of Jason, he’s already sniffed out some interesting debuts and new-to-the-scene brands, so keep an eye peeled for his articles. He’ll mostly focus on the ultra-high-end gear—stuff that truly exemplifies wenn schon, denn schon—but he’s keen to report on anything worth knowing about. I’m honored to be accompanying him through the halls and atria of the Munich Order Center (MOC), the venue where High End 2024 is held, and to be writing alongside him.

Jason Thorpe, Doug Schneider, and Matt Bonaccio

Budget-minded audiophile that I am (or just a shameless cheapskate), I’m excited to report that High End 2024 features a dedicated World of Headphones section, as well as a number of manufacturers and distributors that have teamed up to build systems of formidable ability at modest cost. The Soundsclever exhibits here all feature complete systems that cost €5000 or less. In addition to coverage of these specialized exhibits, expect to see reports on the latest, greatest, and most interesting Munich has to offer.

The show opens tomorrow morning, so our coverage will begin in less than 24 hours. We’ll be filing reports right through to the time the show closes at four o’clock (Central European Time) on Sunday afternoon, so keep checking this site. Oder soll ich dir auf Deutsch sagen?

Matt Bonaccio
Contributor, SoundStage!