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Show Report by Cecil Tan / Page 1
High End 2011 at Munich, Germany
19th to 22nd May 2011

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This year's show is the biggest that I have seen so far, at least if you count the number of exhibitors and room occupied. Attendance numbers are also up, according to the show organizers' statistics.

Though many of the manufacturers are familiar faces if you happen to attend the show regularly, most take this opportunity to showcase new models or prototypes that have an influence on current products. It is also interesting to see new players in the industry displaying their wares, some of which you would never know existed unless you attend such shows!

The following report is on the manufacturers that we are involved with, and also some new and interesting brands that caught my eye. I also brought along a new camera specially for this occasion so hopefully the photos turn out better than they did last year!


Air Tight

Air Tight had a static display this year, with most of their by now familiar products in attendance. Founded by the highly acclaimed Atasushi Miura, a former chief designer of Luxman in their hey day, Air Tight specialize in very high quality hand-made tube amplification that are tuned to move the heart more than the mind.

One new model that they displayed was stereo power amplifier that is a slightly simplified version of the ATM-2001 (stereo). Housed in a tower-like chassis and powered by 6550 output tubes, it is rated at 200 watts per channel. Fit and finish is immaculate, as is standard with all Air Tight products!

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Avantgarde Acoustic

Avantgarde Acoustic had one of the best sounds that I remember, in spite of using much less expensive source components. I was told that the cables that they use have been improved, in addition to some minor tweaks to the setup. This shows what a little bit of extra attention can do to improve the sound of your system!

The demo system consisted of an Audio Aero CD player, Dr. Feickert Analog Blackbird 2-motor belt-driven turntable, and Avantgarde's own solid state reference preamp and monoblock power amps. However, I was more interested in what they did NOT demo!

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Their brand new XA series of amplification was supposed to debut at this year's show, but sadly some of the critical components could not be supplied in time. So they ended up on static display – and what a beautiful display it was! With fully customizable faceplates and handle bars, they look very distinctive indeed and the fit and finish was flawless, true to the highest German standards! There was even a very impressive video that was specially produced to introduce and expound on the special properties of the XA Series pre and power amps.

You can see that video on their website here: http://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/home.html

 


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