The Vitus Audio SM-103 mono amplifier is the third iteration of this model. The power output is 100W in class A or 150W in AB, both into 8-ohm loads. Its different sound modes -- Classic and Rock -- allow the user to change the configuration of the output stage depending on preferences, with Rock yielding more punch. We learned that the SM-103's power supply has been optimized for this new Signature model. The price is $60,000/pr.
The Crystal Cable Ultimate Dream is said to be the lowest-distortion speaker cable the company has yet created. The conductors are solid-core monocrystal silver, and they use a Dupont Teflon core that keeps them separated. The price is €32,250 for a 2m set, which will keep this cable a dream for most.
The Octave V 16 is a single-ended integrated amplifier that has extremely wide bandwidth (10Hz to 80kHz) and very low noise -- with the tower design helping to keep the noise down and the components inside cooler. The power output is said to be 8Wpc into 4 ohms, so you will need to use this with high-efficiency speakers or headphones. The standard tubes are KT120s, though the V 16 is compatible with KT88, KT150, 6550, or EL34 tubes. The V 16's price is €8500.
The Dynaudio Special Forty is priced at €3000/pr. and was created to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary. This model is brand new from the ground up and features exclusive drivers not used in any other Dynaudio model. The tweeter is based on the Esotar2, but it has a higher-grade neodymium magnet that's shaped to act as the rear chamber for improved airflow. The woofer is powered by a neodymium magnet as well. The Special Forty is available in two finishes: Red Birch and Grey Birch.
The D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression Stereo power amplifier ($22,000) and Progression Preamplifier ($22,000 without DAC module, which adds another $4500) debuted at High End 2017. The Progression Stereo is rated at 300Wpc into 8 ohms and and features a new meter design, while the Progression Preamplifier . . .
. . . features six analog inputs: four sets balanced, two sets unbalanced. Both products will be available beginning in July.
The Gravis-series subwoofers are new from Sonus Faber. The U1 and U2 differ in that the 15-liter U1 (shown above) has a 600W amplifier and extends down to 20Hz, courtesy of a single 12" woofer, while the . . .
. . . 50 percent larger U2 has a 900W amp with extension to 18Hz via two 12" drivers. Either model can be purchased with finishes that match those available with the Olympica-series or Homage Tradition-series loudspeakers. The price of the Gravis subs is TBA.
Sonus Faber didn't unveil a new speaker line at this year's High End show, but it did release a new finish for its existing Olympica line: Wenge. This dark-colored wood finish looked smashing on the Olympica II and III models on display.
The Amphion Argon7LS (€4500/pr. in standard finishes) is available in white, black, or what Amphion calls its Colour Grid finishes -- the latter amounts to grilles of various colors that can be switched out at any time. Walnut is also available for a slightly higher price (€300/pr. upcharge). The Argon7LS is equipped with a pair of 6.5" midrange-woofers and one 1" titanium tweeter. Around back are two 6.5" passive radiators, which help give the Argon7LS a bass rating of 28Hz, -3dB.
DALI, which stands for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, demoed its Spektor line of loudspeakers in Munich. The seriously affordable range is composed of the 6 floorstander (€598/pair), Vokal center-channel (€189), 2 bookshelf (€258/pair), and our personal favorite, the diminutive 1 bookshelf (€198/pair), which, as seen in the photo above, stands a mere 11.5" tall. With a frequency response of 59Hz-26kHz courtesy of a 0.8" soft-dome tweeter and a 4.5" wood-fiber midrange-bass driver, the pint-sized DALI Spektor 1 looked quite upscale dressed in its Walnut finish (Black Ash is also available).
At High End 2017, Monitor Audio launched a new Silver range -- the sixth generation -- comprising three floorstanders, two bookshelf speakers, two center-channels, one subwoofer, and a rear-effects speaker. The three Silver models shown above, left to right, are the 200 ($1500/pr.), 500 ($2500/pr.), and 300 ($2000/pr.) floorstanders. Smaller models include . . .
. . . the 50 bookshelf ($875/pr., top right) and 100 bookshelf ($1150/pr., below the 50). To flesh out a home-theater system are the FX surround speaker ($875/pr., top left), C150 center-channel ($725, below the FX), and the C350 center-channel ($999, below the C150).
Engström's magnificently expensive Eric is a transformer-coupled mono amplifier that outputs 70W into 8 ohms. It uses KR T100 output tubes and 6L6GC driver tubes in a balanced configuration. The Eric is said to have many features to enhance its performance, such as its two power supplies -- one for the driver tubes, one for the output tubes. The price of the Engström Eric is a whopping €150,000/pr.
T+A Elektroakustik introduced its new MP 2500 R multi-source player (€8900) at High End, and it's a beauty. This all-aluminum unit will play CDs and SACDs, and also streams Tidal, Deezer, and other services, as well as accommodating digital signals of various types and even FM radio. Not sure what else you could hope for in a modern source component.
T+A Elektroakustik also demoed some updated models in its High Voltage (HV) line. On the left is the €13,500 MP 3100 HV multi-source player, which features an SACD transport, a wired and wireless streaming client, built-in Tidal support (along with support for most every popular streaming service), and two discrete DAC circuits. One DAC is quad-differential and dedicated to PCM signals, while the other is a discrete 1-bit DAC that can process content up to DSD512. On the right is the €15,900 PA 3100 HV integrated amplifier. The ultra-wide-bandwidth integrated has 11 analog inputs (seven RCA, four XLR); boasts a distortion rating of less than 0.0001 percent; and produces 300Wpc and 500Wpc respectively into 8 and 4 ohms. The one-box powerhouse uses proprietary switching power supplies, and even has a discrete headphone amplifier.
Thorens introduced a trio of new turntables: the TD 903 (€6500), TD 905 (€8000), and the one in the photo above, the flagship TD 907 (€11,500). The TD 907 ships with an adjustable air suspension system that will also be available later in the year as an option on the two lower-priced models. All three models . . .
. . . have single-ended and balanced outputs. Prices listed include tonearm but not the cartridge. Interesting tidbit: Thorens's turntables are now made in the Black Forest area of Germany.
Triangle's new Esprit EZ Australe (€3800/pr.) loudspeaker is a three-way, six-driver design that has a rear-facing tweeter. The front-facing drivers include three 6" bass drivers, a 6" midrange, and an improved version of Triangle's horn-loaded tweeter.
Musical Fidelity's new M6SDAC digital-to-analog converter includes 768kHz upsampling among its many features, which include a built-in volume control for direct connection to a power amplifier, a dedicated headphone amplifier, single-ended and balanced outputs, and seven digital inputs. The price is €1999.
The Gryphon Audio Designs Sonett (€6000) is the standalone version of the phono stage found in the company's Diablo 300 integrated amplifier. It is highly adjustable and includes typical Gryphon features: zero negative feedback, dual-mono class-A circuitry, and minimal internal wiring. The Sonett will accommodate both moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges. Expect shipping of the Sonett in early 2018.