same procedure as every year...
When we did a visit at Munich we are no negative audiophiles, we are curious and just wanted to know what is going on.
Based on recession 30% less Exhibitors were there, from about 360 in 2008 now around 230, the big rooms are extremely expensive (4 days around 33000 Euros),
even the Wilson/Spectral, Pass Importers were not there (at that Show in general).
A lot of those who had these rooms in the years before didn‘t book it again, they went down at Basement for a regular Stand, no demo etc.... (just static for shaking hands)
What we saw and it amazed us, is the huge increase in pricing, but linked with average design from parts, layout or sonic demonstration, but all with high gloss color or expensive „look“.
Speakers between 50k-100+ Euros or more, much more than ever...
Turntables most more than 6k, around 30 units between 10 and 30k Euros, around 12 units between 30k and 50.000 Euros, but no suspension, no vacuum, no material mix for resonance control, cheap bearings, wood Arm boards (glossy painted to look expensive)......
And this goes on and on, the Emperors new clothes...
Some of us are in higher positions in the Production Industry; they know pretty well what is expensive from parts, chassis or making with the CNC Machines
They all shook their heads...cheap, cheaper, cheapest
With some minor exceptions very low level and the Mark Ups for Dealers increased to push them for their products.
Latest super idea: Multiple motors for Turntable (when 1 is not good enough, 3 will do the job....probably not...3x average is still average...)
But it looks important...and of course..."not for everyone"
One of us is a manager in the car industry, he said, in real life this is "betraying people"... and he is everything but sensitive
Well, all is a kind of view, but based on what we saw and heard High End is from now the complete BFZ (Brain Free Zone) for us.... cables, Plugs, Power conditioners....endless!!!!!!
High End is not enough, HighER End? Last End?
Cartridges for 15K, 18K, 20k
Endless Phonostages and of course, they are all great (sic!)
But nothing new from Ideas to push the curtain...to raise a performance...
Some write, that it cannot sound good in such rooms, I think, that is totally wrong.
Most is crap and sound like crap in every area, at home or there. And journalists will support this nonsense, because they don’t know it better and are not interested in that, they get their money from ads not from customers….
The analog revival came back, because the mark ups are so huge in this area , the world was not waiting for it. Digital is PC based and my buddy is such a specialist, really
nightmares he got, Parts below 700 Euros, Price for consumer 18000 Euros ....high end data storing, what a joke...music Servers …Soloos…
A good designed component will always show its qualities, maybe not to 100% but enough that you can easily hear it.
Some of the better performances was
Nagra 4x Valve amps+Verity Audio Parsifal + Brinkmann Turntable (or Kuzma, forgot it)
Ascendo Speakers with Behold Electronics, Digital source
Based on high prices for the exhibition all the small manufacturers are gone, none of them there, they can‘t afford it.
There was a parallel exhibition in a Hotel 6 mls away, at The Flemings, there were a few Manufacturers who didn‘t want to spend that much money at the regular High End Show
(Avantgarde, Simon Yorke, Lyra, Consensus speakers etc....) but no comparison to the former Kempinsky at Frankfurt years ago.
There are rumors, that lots of Manufactures want to go back to Frankfurt...the rates are too high (sales obviously not)
Anyway, it was a great time, a lot of units were offered to us with very low pricings, cash counted...
Well, the Winner is
no doubt: BASKIN ROBBINS
model "Rum Raisin" mK "give-me-two"
And here is a nice link from a German Photographer
High End 2009 Germany