My boots on hallowed Munich ground belonged to Dawid Grzyb of HifiKnights who followed his own nose and instincts then emailed in impromptu snaps and micro comments on his smartphone straight from the MOC. Undercover work, that. It augments my own pre-show report. For these rooms by Audio Group Denmark, our man put it most tersely: "All three rooms deliver. Axxess Forté 1 + Børresen X3 are stupid good for €15K." We like stupid. More stupid, please!
The new Børresen M3.
Another view of the M3 more in side profile. Electronics by Aavik, cables, power delivery and Titanium racks by Ansuz.
"I could have sat here far longer than I really could." That was Dawid's assessment of the mighty Nagra room with Wilson speakers.
"Went there because of your preview and have no regrets. Very promising speakers on the open quick side with nicely sorted bass." That was Dawid's reaction to Estelon's new 3-way Aura, their first model with 'soft' rather than hard ceramic/metal diaphragms still mounted to a mineral-loaded synthetic stone enclosure of elegant lines and curves. At €17.5K/pr it's also more within reach than its upscale brethren.
Speaker cables on Furutech risers. Electronics by dCS and Moon by Simaudio.
"Very cool sound here, Enleum looks positively brilliant in person." This was a 4-way demo between Apertura's new Forté, a 93dB floorstander with 18cm paper cones bracketing a 29mm ring-radiator tweeter and the company's signature compound-curve crossover which progressively accelerates roll-off past the filter point; Enleum's new 100wpc €25K AMP-54R flagship integrated with phono/DAC options; Wattson Audio's new Lounge Edition Madison DAC; and Luna Cables. If underground whispers have any substance, a current-mode output version of Madison might become one of the ace cards in the AMP-54R's option hand.
"Trilogy's baby monos and upcoming entry-level integrated. CAD's monster grounding box." These were Dawid's compressed comments on the new 140-watt Trilogy 994 zero feedback hybrid monos showing with their companion 921 integrated, Wilson-Benesch speakers, Bibacord cabling and CAD grounding equipment.
"Not the usual Boenicke looker but with Sven's full electronic kit it really did sound excellent. I'll be returning here several times." Hello Boenicke Audio W22 flagship speakers with dual 15-inch force-cancelling active woofers, big Supravox widebander and back-to-back tweeters.
Should you ask "what the heck", this next contraption is the special suspension solution for the Supravox driver so it isolates from the main enclosure. Which, truth told, is just the beginning of extremist tweaks which have pooled into the W22. For the full litany, refer to my show preview which lists them all.
"Small room or not doesn't matter. IQ is what it is. Grzegorz had good reason for that silly smile on his face, that's for sure." So Dawid texted in about Qualio's exhibit with Tektron tube gear from sunny Sicily.
Meanwhile reader David Hyman of US distributorship Metavoxaudio emailed in just as tersely. "Heard the Cube Audio in Munich today. With Tektron 211. Blew my mind. Must have this magical combo. Plan on it!" When asked what those new slot openings were, Dawid replied "spotted those too and still have to ask Grzegorz."
"Kroma monitors fronted by an Orpheus amp with Exicons inside. Smooth R2R-like sound from tiny stand mounts." Hello Mimí Extreme from Granada's Javier Milan, with Mundorf AMT and Purifi 6½" front-ported mid/woofer in Kroma Atelier's signature Krion synthetic stone cabinet. I tried to review Orpheus Labs kit while I lived in Switzerland. Never managed though. Perhaps their people can contact my people and we all play good people together? Equipment rack by Artesanía Audio from Spain, cabling by Esprit Audio of France.
Dawid also stopped by the Aretai room to capture their three speaker models all with rearfiring woofers in situ. Electronics by Sweden's Moonriver Audio who propose opamps for output devices like vintage Jeff Rowland, 47labs and Clones Audio mated to overbuilt linear power supplies.
And that was it for Dawid's first day on the ground floors of the convention center.