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In the Forum: Horn-Loaded Speakers
In the Thread: Munich High End 2010
Post Subject: Munich High End 2010Posted by manisandher on: 5/16/2010
Thanks for all the suggestions. As it happens, there were no exhibitors at the Flemings Hotel this year. But I did pop into the Stax stall before listening to anything else.

In general, I was pretty disappointed with what I heard. Most of the ‘conventional’ direct-radiating speaker systems just sounded ‘dead’, at best – what I call ‘cardboard’ sound. Many sounded positively objectionable – and I’m talking about well known high-end brands here.

I did have one interesting experience though. I was walking down a corridor and heard something coming from around the corner that I thought sounded really good. I walked speedily down the corridor and turned the corner to the sight of a live acoustic band playing snare drums, double bass and guitar!

I have to say that absolutely none of the systems I heard came even close to this live sound. Could it be argued that this had much to do with bad rooms? Maybe. But it’s interesting that a live band can still sound ‘right’ from down a corridor and around a corner.

I have absolutely no desire to write negatively about anything that I heard. So here are a few systems that I had a positive experience with. 
1948 Western Electric Theatre speakers 
Driven by Silbatone A-845 mono amplifiers and C-100 preamplifier. 2-way system crossed at 800Hz.
Nice ‘alive’ sound. No real top or bottom to talk about though. Not sure how long I could listen to these – they seemed to have a bit of an edge to them.
Western Electric 1948.jpg

Stax SRM-007tII/4070 electrostatic headphones  
Really nice. Probably my favourite sound at the show.

MBL 101 X-treme 
Very sweet top end – one of the best I’ve ever heard. However, things got progressively worse further down the spectrum. The mid-range seemed thin. There seemed to be a lack of upper bass. The lower bass, although substantial enough, was totally disjointed. But what a top-end!
In summary, although I didn’t hear anything at the show that approached what I consider the ‘real McCoy’, I’m still really glad I went. When I returned, I listened to some music on my speakers and realised that I’m not doing too badly after all. Yes, I have ‘cardboard’ sound too. But mine is in no way objectionable - just a bit ‘lifeless’... but listenable nevertheless.


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