High End 2023 pt4
The Thorens Reference wins our largest turntable of High End 2023 award. Priced at €220.000 including arms it has to be one of the most expensive too. The arms are a 12inch version of the classic TP 160 alongside a rebadged Thiele TA01 which attempts to combine the benefits of a pivoted arm with that of a linear tracker.
Goldenear showed the T66 which will launch in the autumn. This has active bass driving a pair of 5x9inch Quadratic drivers with passive radiators in the sides, two 4.5inch mids and an AMT folded ribbon tweeter.
Meridian launched the curvy new DSP9 at £60,000. The cabinet it made of MDF and composite resin that’s machined on a 5-axis CNC machine and offers DSP to delay mid and treble in order that the bass stays in time. It’s fully active and available in a range of automotive finishes.
The Audiosolutions Figaro MkII now has outriggers on the base for greater stability, new crossover components and PCB layout for lower crosstalk and most radically a cabinet-in-cabinet construction that uses materials of different mass and density to control vibration.
The Pro-ject D2 claims to be the first wi-fi enabled turntable. It’s Sonos compatible and uses Stream unlimited tech with a “decent” phono stage and comes pre assembled for €990.
Fink announced the Borg Episode 2 loudspeakers, these have had work done to reduce cabinet colouration including a reinforcing ring being the 10.25 inch woofer, a slight backward tilt to the whole speaker for improved imaging and better decoupling of the AMT tweeter. The crossover has autoformers in place of transistors a la BBC designs and been upgraded with a new Dueland capacitor.
The Quad Platina integrated amp has both a DAC and an MM/MC phono stage onboard, it’s specced to produce a substantial 200 Watts per channel and it’s not Class D. It will be joined by a matching CD transport when launched in the autumn.
These curvy beauties are Quad Revela 1s which are expected to retail for £1,800 plus stands and use a ribbon tweeter. There is also a Revela 2 floor stander in the same style on the way.
Brinkmann’s electronics range has expanded with the Voltaire integrated amp, this has a degree of modularity in that a DAC or phono stage can be added if required and uses a hybrid valve/transistor circuit for an asking price somewhere in the region of 20.000.
It was great to see Proac at High End for the first time in a long while, they were making very enjoyable sounds with the K1 in tamo ash veneer (£6,000). Using an Audio Research CD player and amplifier these produced impressive imaging.
Primare have developed a new DAC board called DM36, developed to replace the AKM based board used before this has full MQA decoding on board and uses an ESS chip. It will be available for the i25 and i35 amps as well as the pre35.
Mofi’s Sourcepoint 8 speakers ($2,999) are a smaller variant on the Sourcepoint 10 launched last year. They have a concentric 8 inch main driver with a 1.25 inch soft dome tweeter and a rather attractively stealth styled grille.
Clarisys started out repairing Apogee ribbon speakers and made the move to producing their own. The Auditorium is 2.03m high and weighs 220kg, it has an aluminium frame and uses neodymium magnets and thus is a far cry from anything made by Apogee. This can be seen in the 88dB sensitivity and 3.3 Ohm minimum impedance, making them drivable with almost any amplifier. Price is €146.000.
Colibri is a concept design from Avantgarde that’s designed to deliver high volume with a massive magnet system and a horn loaded driver, they are being sold with a subwoofer for between €11 & €13.000 and come in many fancy finishes.
The Aurender AP20 is a one box streamer, server, DAC and amplifier running Purifi Class D output modules on a linear power supply, which is a bit different. It’s a 200W amplifier with analogue and digital inputs and a €25.000 asking price.
Nice to see the Guru QM10 is back in action, cool stand and colours too.