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Images of the High End Exhibition 2016 - Part 1

05-15-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła | Issue 85


Hideaki Nishikawa-san, the TechDAS constructor, is signing a printout with the May High Fidelity cover. "Japanese style? – Sure, with pleasure…"


Einstein has prepared a premiere – The Tonearm, presented on the Air Force III turntable.


The German Trigon company does not often surprise us with new products, but now demonstrated a few novelties at once, including the Exxceed integrated amplifier.


Powerful horns from the German company Blumenhofer Acoustics (just for decoration, unfortunately).


Blumenhofer speakers were equipped with Air Tight electronics—the ATE-2 preamp and the AM-3 power amplifier—in the photo you can see the equally good-looking Pluto Audio 10A Reference turntable.


One of the observable trends is building bigger and bigger speakers. Not all of them look as nice as the Alecta speakers in the picture. These are the flagship Albedo speakers with an innovative transmission line system. Powered by VTL monoblocks, they produced really interesting sound.


Another sign of vinyl domination—the Jadis Thalie turntable. Even though it was already presented in 2014, its 80 kilos of weight are really impressive…


If there was a competition to find the technologically perfect system, the CH Precision (electronics) with the TechDAS (turntable) and Vivid Audio (speakers) would definitely win it. This is top-class engineering.


A year ago, when I was listening to the flagship dCS Vivaldi set, I thought achieving anything better was impossible. However, the company has developed a new signal decoding algorithm, changed the upsampler in the transport (DSD124) and improved the file player. The first two changes are available as a software update for free. Unfortunately, the player board requires replacing.


The Nagra Classic INT—a new integrated amplifier (2 x 100 W/8 Ω).


The Nagra Seven (on a CDP Compact Disc player)—I must buy something like this for myself: a two-in-one professional recorder and file player. Nagra specializes in PCM coding and that is why the device is not dedicated for DSD. However, what it does is excellent, not to mention its great design!


MSB Technology surprised everyone with an ultimate amplifier for electrostatic headphones. Shown as a prototype in January at the CES in Munich, now it was a finished product.


If everything goes well, I will soon be testing some of these devices—even though Luxman belongs to a Chinese company (the IAG Group), the board and production are Japanese. In the photo you can see the PD-171A, new SACD D-08u and D-06u players, as well as the tube amplifier MQ-300 (premiere) based on the 300B triodes.


A CEC DAC, the DA 0 3.0 model, partner for the CD TL 0 3.0 transport.


In the Vitus Audio company room, the source was a file player manufactured by Alluxity, a company which belongs to Ole Vitus's son, even though Vitus himself has just launched a new version of his top Compact Disc player. However, as Ole told me, "mechanical players belong to the past."


The bookshelf Raidho D1 speakers were excellent. Their new D1.1 version looks even better.


The QR1, bookshelf Audiovector speakers, opening the company's new series—everything is assembled in Denmark.


Anne Bisson is a jazz vocalist from Montreal. She has recorded music for Fidelio, among others, and has always taken care of high quality of her recordings. Her Blue Mind album is available on vinyl, but also in the form of a USB 96/24 card. The recordings were made using two Neumann tube microphones and almost no  tracks were added afterwards.


Two years ago, Thorens showed its 1960s-style turntables for the first time. This year there were new models, like the TD-907 in the picture.


The turntable that started it all is the smallest of all—this year, Avid HiFi presented its Reference Pre preamplifier, Reference Mono power amplifiers and three speaker models; the Reference Three bookshelf speaker model is presented in the picture.


Shortly before the exhibition, the Naim Label informed the public about a change of its managing director, name (now it is called Naim Records) and logo—now the slogan is: Independent. Uncompromising. Eclectic.


The new Denon PMA-2500NE amplifier has a small display with input names. However, it is still based on a single pair of MOSFET transistors per channel.


In the room of the Korean Silbatone company, one can see more than just the company's own products: there are also vintage products, like the one in the picture. It is the PA 2s—Georg Neumann's turntable. It constituted the main source in that system, even though it is quite a simple construction from the year 1962.


Silbatone once again and its main attraction—the tube Western Electric 11A speakers from the year1924, originally designed to be used in cinemas.

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