Companies featured in gallery below: Einstein, Albedo, Zellaton, EgglestonWorks, dCS, Focal, Ascendo, MSB Technology, Wilson Benesch, Rockport Technologies, Absolare, Voxativ, Estelon, Harbeth
All prices in euros (€) or US dollars ($) unless otherwise indicated.
Einstein introduced the Monitor, a passive two-way design made primarily from 30mm plywood and with what the company calls "anti-resonant chambers" inside. The metal on the front baffle is stainless steel. The Scan-Speak midrange-woofer is 14cm in diameter while the 1" tweeter is sourced from Morel. The tweeter is said to be time aligned with the midrange. The Monitor's price is expected to be between €8000 and €9000/pr. including the stand when in production later this year.
Italy's Albedo debuted its new flagship loudspeaker, the Atesia. This 3.5-way tower uses Accuton Cell Concept drivers, including a 1" pure-diamond tweeter, two 5" ceramic mids, and four 8" ceramic woofers. The 170kg speaker is finished with leather cladding on the exterior and is priced at €118,000/pr.
The new Zellaton Stage loudspeaker is made in the home of the High End show, Munich, and features crossover components by Dueland Coherent Audio. The semi-open baffle design houses Zellaton's proprietary drive units in a three-way configuration. The cabinet is . . .
. . . a four-layer sandwich design and is vented to the rear. The main goal for the Stage, we were told, is to remove any coloration introduced by the materials used in the construction of the speaker, including the drivers. The price is $80,000/pr.
The EgglestonWorks Viginti loudspeaker was created as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the company's venerable Andra loudspeaker, which is still in production in its third iteration. It's basically a fully tricked-out Andra. The Viginti uses dual 10" carbon-fiber woofers that are housed . . .
. . . in a substantial 23"-deep enclosure. Internally, the dedicated midrange compartments isolate those drivers and allow for greater internal volume for the woofers for deeper bass. The Viginti's price is $39,900/pr.
Designed to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary, dCS introduced the limited-edition Vivaldi One upsampling CD/SACD player, which is a one-box alternative to the multi-box Vivaldi "stack" -- only 250 will be made. In addition to its disc-spinning capabilities, the One is also a network streaming player and digital-to-analog converter. The standard finish is an anodized silver, but glossy painted colors such as white . . .
. . . and black are available for a five percent upcharge; even real gold plating can be done, though the latter will cost substantially more (TBD). The One's base price in the standard finish is €55,000.
Focal's Shape 40 (€399 each) and Shape 65 (€699 each) powered studio monitors are optimized for nearfield listening (a middle model, the Shape 50, priced at €449 each, is also available but not shown in the photo). All three Shape models are two-way designs, but with side-mounted passive radiators. The Flax Cone midrange-woofer drivers increase in diameter (from 4" to 5" to 6" in the 65) as the model number goes up. The tweeter is made using an aluminum-magnesium diaphragm, and all the Shapes . . .
. . . have single-ended and balanced inputs, as well as numerous controls to fine-tune the sound.
Germany's Ascendo launched what may be the largest subwoofer we've ever seen (or felt, because it can rattle you when it's playing) at any show. The SMS G50, shown here with designer Jürgen Scheuring, sports a 50"-diameter driver powered by a DSP-controlled 25kW amplifier. The SMS G50 will reportedly play to a sound-pressure level of 140dB at 20Hz! The price is €56,000.
The MSB Technology Reference DAC is said to be the little brother to the company's Select DAC, although, like the bigger sibling, it's still a two-box affair. The Reference features four hybrid DAC chips of MSB's design. The price is $40,000, but it can rise to $60,000 with options added, such as a preamplifier module.
The new Wilson Benesch Resolution is now the second-from-the-top model in the British company's loudspeaker lineup. The Resolution is a seven-driver design, with the bottom two woofers . . .
. . . arranged in an isobaric configuration (two other woofers you can't see are mounted internally, directly facing the woofers shown in the photo). The cabinet is carbon fiber, though the baffle is aluminum. The Resolution's price is €44,590/pr.
Although the Rockport Technologies Lyra was released last year, High End 2017 marked the first time it was on public display. This model features Rockport's newest waveguide-loaded beryllium-dome tweeter and the company's carbon-fiber-sandwich drive units. The real story, though, is the cabinet construction, which Rockport calls Damstiff. Essentially, this comprises two cast-aluminum shells separated by a damping compound -- one slips inside the other, with no fasteners needed. The goal with Damstiff is to make a cabinet impervious to vibrations. The Lyra's price is $170,000/pr.
The Absolare Signature integrated amplifier is priced at $32,500. It is a hybrid design (tubed input stage, solid-state output) that is claimed to deliver up to 200Wpc into an 8-ohm load. The Signature uses a pair of 12AU7 tubes and comes with single-ended and balanced inputs. The volume control has 48 steps and is remote controlled.
The Voxativ Hagen is a single-driver, crossoverless design that is rated to play from 60Hz to 20kHz. The driver's cone is made from Japanese calligraphy paper, and the cabinet is said to be designed using Voxativ's Acoustic Stealth Technology, which "prevents the assembly from unwanted resonances or standing waves within the housing." The 14-pound Hagen is available in Piano White and Piano Black finishes. The price of the basic Hagen is €4900/pr. excluding the stands, but the speaker can be ordered with higher-sensitivity drivers, raising the price to €6900/pr.
The Estelon Lynx was unveiled at a press conference on the first day of High End. This compact floorstander is the first wireless, powered, "intelligent" speaker from Estelon. The electronics are integrated into the speaker, but speaker parameters such as volume can be controlled with an app built exclusively for the Lynx. The Lynx was designed to be upgraded -- both hardware and software -- and is available in two versions: one with a diamond tweeter (€50,000/pr.) and one with a beryllium tweeter (€40,000/pr.). The Lynx is available in white or black. Estelon Intelligent Audio, as the company calls its new technology for this speaker, will be incorporated into other speakers over time.
Magnum Dynalab's new Dynamite series includes seven models, but we focused on one: the MDT-1MS music streamer (€4500), which is Roon Ready and is compatible with MQA, Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, and Qobuz. The MDT-1MS is 24/192 capable, and has a 5" TFT color display with app control via a tablet or phone. The output is exclusively digital, so you need a DAC to use with this product -- which the company also makes in this series.
Harbeth celebrated its 40th anniversary this year by offering two limited-edition speakers earlier in the year: the SHL5plus and the M40.2, pictured above. According to the literature, both "are now available in a limited edition walnut veneer with some beautiful added features, including: the latest WBT-nextgen binding posts, a new-look super-tweeter with protection bar and Harbeth branded British-made audio grade poly capacitors." The SHL5plus sells for €5550/pr. and the M40.2 for $17,000/pr. Designer Alan Shaw told us that he was shocked at the positive response to these products based on the high number of initial sales. Likely as a result of those models' successes . . .
. . . Harbeth unveiled another 40th anniversary model here in Munich, the M30.2, available in a fetching finish the company calls Iridescent Silver Eucalyptus. Retailing for €5500/pair, the loudspeaker replaces the company's M30.1 model and features WBT NextGen binding posts, British-made polypropylene capacitors, and 40th anniversary OFC internal cabling.