High End 2017 pt.4

If High End is about anything it's radical hi-fi, so here are some of the more extreme systems and components I encountered at Europe's greatest audio exhibition, and a few of the more affordable alternatives for balance.

Blumenhoffer Gran Gioia horn system, 99-100dB/W, 16inch woofer, macassar veneer: €50,000.

Metronome DSC1 streaming DAC €18,000.

Vivid designer Laurence Dickie demonstrates his flute skills and reveals the benefits of tapered tube driver damping in the process.

Candy coloured CAD GC1 ground control units.

Wilson benesch Resolution is a 2.5-way with clamshell isobaric bass drivers that takes penultimate position in the range at £37,000.

Hegel H90 integrated with new gen sound engine, new preamp and onboard DAC and AIrplay for €1,700.

SME 10 Red puts a toe in the water.

One side of the Tune Audio Avalon four box horn system (€220,000), note the black tower behind the midrange horn, that contains the bass drivers in a piano construction cabinet. There is also a new Rockna Wavedream Signature DAC at the bottom of the rack for €12,000.

Found on the Copulare stand was a selection of well developed arms looking for a big enough turntable.

Pathos Inpol Heritage integrated, 80 Watts in class A it says here.

Pro-Ject 175 Vienna Philharmonic edition.

Pioneer Monitor 5 closed-back on-ear headphones due soon for £1,000.

Van den Hul Colibri Signature moving coil cartridge with single magnet pole and wooden body, €6,500.

Thrax Ares integrated amplifier and network streamer with modular inputs and 120 Watts per channel priced from €10,000 – €13,000.

Not new but very big, Tone Tool turntable.

Aesthetix Mimas hybrid integrated amplifier, balanced 150W with 300W/4 Ohms and optional headphone amp, phono and DAC boards for $7,000.

You can never have too many horn speakers at Munich, the two at the front do mid and treble, bass towers are hidden behind them.

Jason Kennedy