High End 2015 - Munich, Germany
- Written by Super User Super User
- Parent Category: High End 2015 High End 2015
- Created: 17 May 2015 17 May 2015
Companies featured in gallery below: Vivid Audio, Ayre Acoustics, Aurender, Ambitious Audio Design, Gruensch, Norma Audio Electronics, QAT Audio Technology, Dynaudio, Audia Flight, Anthem, Cyrus Audio, Auralic, Lehmann Audio, Audio-Technica
All prices in euros or US dollars unless otherwise indicated
Vivid Audio's Decade B1 was created to celebrate the company's ten-year anniversary. The B1 was the company's first product, and so designer Laurence Dickie decided the time was ripe to revisit the model. Originally intended to be a cosmetic upgrade only, the project soon became more. According to Dickie, the B1 Decade has a revision to the C125 midbass that has tightened up the bass range considerably, the crossover has been revised, and the front baffle is now sloped around the drivers. The new magnetic grille design, first seen in the company's Giya series . . .
. . . is also seen on the front of the Decade B1, as well as its rear, because of the speaker's back-facing woofer (which, in conjunction with the front woofer, creates a reaction-canceling effect that reduces cabinet resonances considerably). There are also now covers for the tweeter and midrange drivers for better physical protection of the domes. The B1 Decade's price is $28,000/pr., and it will be available later this year.
Ayre Acoustics displayed the production version of its Codex headphone amplifier (a prototype was shown at CES 2015). The DAC section has TosLink and asynchronous-USB inputs. The analog stage is the company's Diamond topology, which was first seen in Ayre's more expensive equipment. The Codex also features the company's AyreLock power supply. Balanced headphone outputs . . .
. . . are also standard, an important point because the Codex is balanced from input to output. The price for the Codex is $1795.
The reps at Aurender told us that the N10 (shown) and N100H (next image) are now in production (both were shown in prototype form at CES 2015), and will be shipping in June. The N10, the successor to the company's S10, is a music server with an S/PDIF output. Unlike what was shown in Vegas, the N10 now has 4TB of internal storage. The . . .
. . . N100H is also a music server and has a 2TB internal hard drive. The prices of the N10 and N100H are $7999 and $2699, respectively.
The Ambitious 2 loudspeaker from Danish-company Ambitious Audio Design uses a ribbon tweeter made in-house, along with a pair of 5" aluminum-ceramic woofers. The cabinet is extruded (sides) and milled (top and bottom) aluminum. The stand is integral to the design, as the crossover is contained within. The price for the Ambitious 2 is €80,000/pr.
Electronics-maker Gruensch, located just outside of Stuttgart, Germany, showed us its newest line stage, the Reference Linestage MSL. This unit is a JFET-based design with zero feedback -- local or global. The MSL comes with the matching CPS II external power supply. The price is €33,000. The build quality of the casework . . .
. . . was a sight to behold -- think Boulder-class machining. On the top panel are three-position toggle switches that allow the user to adjust the levels of each balanced and single-ended input.
Norma Audio Electronics debuted its HS-IPA1 integrated amplifier (right), a flexible product that has four RCA inputs, and user-configurable output connections. It's claimed to generate 75Wpc into 8 ohms, doubling its power into 4 ohms. Optional connectivity includes a DSD-compatible digital-input board, an MM/MC phono stage, and a headphone amp. Norma also announced the HS-PA1 stereo amplifier (left), notable for the absence of any wiring in the signal path. RCA and XLR connections are standard. It generates 24A of current en route to a rating of 85Wpc into 8 ohms, doubled into 4 ohms. Prices are TBA.
QAT Audio Technology announced its Music Server RS3, a music server and digital-to-analog converter that retails for €1790. It is remote-controllable by iOS and Android apps, and features an AKM AK4396 DAC chip that accepts up to 24-bit/192kHz signals. The RS3 has a coaxial output, balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, three USB ports, and an Ethernet connection. It also has . . .
. . . a clever front-loading, user-replaceable 2.5" HDD/SSD for up to 2TB of internal storage.
Dynaudio's Connect is made for the company's Xeo and Focus XD series of powered loudspeakers. The Connect has a surprising number of . . .
. . . connection options: coaxial, optical and USB digital inputs; RCA and mini-jack analog inputs; and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless operation. The Connect is priced at €350.
Audia Flight's new FL Three S is the company's new integrated amplifier (center shelf) and is reportedly capable of producing 100Wpc into 8 ohms or 180Wpc into 4 ohms. The FL Three S uses a 600W transformer -- beefy. The customer can choose a USB DAC or phono stage as options. The base price is €2600, with the DAC and phono options at €300 each. The styling is reminiscent of the company's more expensive Strumento line. As the photo indicates, the FL Three S is available with either a silver or black faceplate.
Anthem's new surround-sound processor is the AVM 60, which features Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, along with . . .
. . . 11.1 channels of output (stock up on amps!) via balanced (XLR) or single-ended (RCA) connections. For those of you familiar with Anthem Room Correction (ARC), this can now be performed via a Wi-Fi connection with your computer. DTS Play-Fi music streaming rounds out the feature set. The AVM 60's retail price is TBA.
Cyrus Audio introduced the Lyric all-in-one music system. Shown here in a soft-touch Stone finish, the Lyric features a 150Wpc stereo amplifier, CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, high-resolution streaming, Internet and FM radio, digital and analog inputs, and a headphone amplifier. The price is £2500. An alternate finish, Stealth (which is basically black, but with the same soft-touch feel), is the same price.
Micromega introduced a pair of stylish integrated-everything components at High End: the M-One designation represents the line, and the two available power outputs of 100Wpc into 8 ohms or 150Wpc into 8 ohms dictate the model numbers of M100 or M150, respectively. Otherwise, the two units feature the same functionality. Milled from solid blocks of aluminum, the M-Ones support AirPlay, Bluetooth, LAN network, 24-bit/384kHz PCM, DSD . . . you name it, and this component will accept it. The M-Ones also have Micromega Acoustic Room System (M.A.R.S.), which allows the units to be tailored to their environment. A wide range of finish options are available, too. The price of the M100 will be approximately €3000 to €3500 when it's launched in October. No date was available for the M150.
Auralic demoed its exciting new streamer, the Aries Mini. Priced at a very affordable $399, the streamer also happens to be one of the most flexible ones we've seen here in Munich -- it features a Sabre ES9018K2M chipset, which can play media up to 32/384 via PCM, and up to quad-rate DSD. Connections include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB (for drive-based media), single-ended analog outputs, as well as USB, coaxial, and TosLink digital outputs. Support for Tidal music streaming and a companion iOS/Android app round things out for what is one of our coolest finds at the Munich Order Center this year.
Lehmann Audio's booth had a static display of the company's upcoming Linear D headphone amplifier. The Linear D has two digital inputs, optical and RCA, and a built-in DAC based on a chipset from ESS's K2M range that will support PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz. There is also a set of analog inputs intended for the connection of a phono stage. The Linear D is able to autosense between the two digital inputs, and if no digital input is found, will default to the analog inputs. Silver-mica capacitors are used in the analog filter section. As of this report, the Linear D's price has not been determined.
Audio-Technica has introduced its flagship headphone amplifier, the AT-HA505OH (€6000). This unit is a hybrid design, employing a tube stage in the preamp section and bipolar transistors for the class-A output stage. The AT-HA505OH accepts both digital and analog signals, and decodes resolutions up to DSD128 and PCM up to 384kHz. This must be the ne plus ultra of headphone amplifiers.
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