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Staying with speakers but heading north, we get to Schleswig-Holstein’s Phonar Akustik who braved the trip south to unveil their own new speaker range – or better, new models in the Veritas Next family. The photo shows the P6, at 100cm the middle of the range but a three-way like its two brothers. The smaller Veritas P4 Next is presently in-house for review. The P8 should arrive in August. Pricing for veneer or high-gloss trim is €1.798, €2.198 and €3.198/pr respectively. Matte black and silver save €200. The Veritas range also includes a monitor, active sub and center. But Phonar isn’t just about speakers. They also distribute electronics and turntables from Music Hall. A prototype DAC/pre called DAC 35.2 was on static display. Planned for a September launch the tag should come in at €1.199. Connectivity is 2 x RCA in, 2 x Toslink, 2 x coax, 2 x USB (PC and iPad/iPhone/iPad) and 2/1 variable/fixed outputs with tubes.

100% tube free for instead 28 'extremely fast' transistors were these uncommon 40kg monos below. Their author was none other than Krell founder and ex chief designer Dan D’Agostino who left in 2009 and has since pursued his new brand (shown here with Mansour Mamaghani of Audio Reference). We not only enjoyed a very impressive sonic presentation with his €50.000/pr monos and those man-high €90.000/pr Sonus Faber Aida but a brief press-conference presentation by D’Agostino. Each mono puts out 300 watts into 8 ohms. Hand-built in-house by a total of nine employees there are pretty copper heat sinks along the cheeks for 91% better heat transfer than aluminium; and there aren't any SMD parts. Despite potent power and no whiff of class D, idle power consumption is less than 1 watt. Such savings on the electrical bill might assist one or the other buyer to get into this game.

Those looking for latest-gen power amps at lower budgets but higher bias got already lucky with Quadral. This speaker house from Hannover (you might have noted our review of the Aurum A5 integrated) started building their own electronics a while back. Their new Aurum M8 stereo amp drove their Titan VIII flagship speakers with the also brand-new Aurum P8 preamp. The M8 was so hot off the press that Munich only saw a pre-production version. Features include RCA/XLR inputs, volume control, fully balanced circuitry, 150wpc and optional mono bridging for even higher class A/B output.

The P8 also goes RCA/XLR as well as MM/MC and includes an internal DAC for S/PDIF feeds. Both machines use discrete parts not for their inherently superior sound but to allow more finely trimmable tuning during development said Quadral. Shipping should commence in Q3.

Tuning resurfaced with digi meister Higoto from Essen. Their BOTWS best of two worlds PSU and Sbooster mean to improve kit living off external wall warts. The price of admission is €110 - €135. The list of suitable partners includes Apogee, Cambridge, Lindemann, Logitech, NAD, Onkyo, Teac and more. For the full spread look here. The BOTWS works with Schottky diodes and comes in different supply voltages. The Sbooster ultrasonic cleaner-upper is part of it but also available separately to assist machines whose owners wish to run their stock power supplies.

Korean vendor SotM aka Soul of the Music offers a sound-optimized server/computer with integral CD ripper. Their €3.000 sMS-1000 is Linux based and can be controlled via mouse/monitor or, as importer Carsten Hicking explained, via iPad & Co. All signal paths have been electrically and mechanically tweaked and particularly SotM’s tX-USB card seems to have built up international praise already.

Particularly colorful was Munich resident Sun Audio’s stand with its tropical decoration and beastly hifi fans. Their equally colorful mix of novelties included Revel’s successor for the F32, the €5.000/pr F208 slated for a fall roll-out. The Revelers are also working on a replacement for the F52. The equally US-based speaker house Thiel countered with the CS1.7 to which German audiences will have access at year’s end. Like the big CS3.7, the new member brandishes the unique wavy driver profile to undermine diaphragm resonances. It also keeps the faith with its CS1.2, CS1.5 and CS1.6 predecessors by being a two-way bass reflex affair, albeit no coax as has become nearly standard for this firm. The filter network of course still relies on a time-coherent 6dB slope.

New for next year is Mark Levinson’s N°585 fully dual-diff dual mono integrated with 225wpc, MM/MC, USB, S/PDIF, HDMI and AES/EBU. Price will come in below €10.000. The photo also shows the N°510 SACD deck and N°560 digital processor. Sun Audio’s import catalogue has grown with the addition of Brit brand Cyrus who offer not merely physically smaller but also cost-effective kit. Entry is €1.000 for the 6SE2 CD player or 6A integrated. Max is €6.000 for the X3000 monos. This is a very interesting brand that's particularly prominent on the green isle. We reckon one or the other of its offspring will shortly hoof it to our Berlin HQ for some serious German night life action.