As the Munich High End 2017 trade event gets underway, here are some highlights and notable products from Day 2.
Harman Performance Audio Group Introduces Mark Levinson's First Ever Turntable, the No515
Featuring a highly damped vinyl-wrapped MDF and aluminum sandwich chassis, 9kg aluminum platter, mechanically isolated high torque AC synchronous motor, and gimbal-mounted, 3D-printed tonearm, the No515 complements the Pure Phono stage included in the recently released No526 and No523 pre-amplifiers.
Also new: the Mark Levinson No585.5 integrated amplifier; ‘unique' versions of the JBL K2 S9900 loudspeaker and 4367 studio monitors; and the Revel Performa3Be speakers are all on display at the event.
The Chord Company Demonstrates the Benefits of its Proprietary ARAY Construction and its TaylonInsulation Technology
The company, which has been painstakingly designing and hand-building audio cables in Britain for more than 30 years, is offering demonstrations of its top two cable collections, the new Sarum T and the flagship ChordMusic range. Four senior team members are at the event to mark the company's show debut. Yes, this is the first time The Chord Company has ever appeared at the High End Munich show.
The Chord Company's proprietary Taylon insulation has, to date, been the preserve of its flagship ChordMusic range. But the recent introduction into the Sarum T range has brought a major performance upgrade and introduces the remarkable benefits of company's proprietary dielectric at a new, more accessible price level.
Both ChordMusic and Sarum T also benefit from The Chord Company's Super ARAY mechanical optimization, proprietary factory terminations, and hand-made construction.
PMC's Major New Product Introduction: the Latest SE Range and twenty5 Series on Demonstration, Plus Additions to its UK-Distributed AVM Range
Without doubt raising some surprising reactions, the product being unveiled at High End is the long-held desire of PMC's founder and owner, Peter Thomas. PMC is also demonstrating the MB2 XBD SE, the domestic version of the reference studio monitoring system of the same name, used by recording and mastering professionals around the world. The SE series has recently undergone a transformation with new veneers that complement the latest trends in interior design, and customer requirements. Buyers can now specify SE models, in active or passive guise, in Grand Walnut, Amarone, Natural Oak and Black Ash veneer. The source and amplification will be provided by AVM and Bryston.
Also on display is the flagship BB5 SE and slightly smaller sibling, the IB2 SE, to show off the rest of the SE range.
Over in Atrium 3.1, room C113, PMC and AVM have joined forces to present the twenty5 series and AVM30 range, a pair of product groups introduced to celebrate the two companies' 25th and 30th anniversaries respectively.
The five strong PMC twenty5 series, used to partner the AVM30, features a multitude of innovations, including a key development achieved as a result of research into aerodynamics originally conducted for PMC's flagship studio monitors, the QB1 - the reference at the world famous Capitol Studios, LA. In keeping with all PMC products, the foundation of the twenty5 series is Advanced Transmission Line bass loading, which has been radically improved and enhanced with the new Laminair vent technology. As with motor racing, from where Oliver Thomas, PMC's Head of Gesign, gained his knowledge of aerodynamics, the aim is to reduce turbulence and drag, which reduces resistance and increases efficiency. The result is the Laminair aerodynamic vent, which creates a smooth, laminar airflow as it exits the line.
Blumenhofer Acoustics Presents the Gran Gioia MK 2
After a long time, the development of the Gran Gioia MK 2 has reached its fulfillment. This new loudspeaker is more complex in the production and realization, and packed with much more technologies and developments than expected, planned with no compromise.
The first three pairs of the Gran Gioia MK 2 have been produced in a Makassar finish (pictured), a perfumed Olive and an antique Palisander veneer. The expected price (for German distribution) is to be in the range of 60.000€ for the Walnut finish.
The Gran Gioia MK 2 bears a 16″ (38cm) paper woofer in a front loaded horn with a bass reflex harmonic constructed cabinet. The mid high range is made by a 1.4″ compression driver and a proprietary horn as well. A lot of in house know-how is built into these loudspeakers, and this will make them unique.
Set Up and Calibration
Various companies including Trinnov, GIK Acoustics, Genelec, and Illusonic (amongst many others) are holding classes and seminars discussing the importance of proper set up and calibration for any audio system, from recording studio applications, mastering, two-channel audio playback, and home theatre systems. It is quite a breath of fresh air that, at a high-end audio show like this, subjective listening has gradually been pushed aside (starting with Munich High End 2016) to pave the way for objective listening. Like I've always said, there is only one correct way to listen to any audio presentation. Interestingly enough, all the classes were fully booked before opening day.