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Friday, June 2, 2023
Home Hi-Fi High End Munich 2023 – day 1

High End Munich 2023 – day 1

High End Munich 2023 – day 1

We are back in Munich for 3 days of audio madness. It is less crowded than it was last year we notice. It is also Ascension Day in Germany, perhaps the holidays are having an impact. For us it is nice though, we can talk longer with the people we want to talk to.

This is a photographic report in a nutshell. We managed to get a lot of great interviews, keep an eye on our YouTube channel! In the Netherlands, we are spoilt with ubiquitous broadband connections, but in Germany this is not standard. It takes a while before they appear, uploading takes a long time! Not to mention the work we have to do on the videos before we can upload them.

Naim Audio introduces their new 300 series. A streamer, a separate preamplifier, the same power supply that can be used for both streamer and amplifier (you do have to buy a power supply for each device) and monoblock power amplifiers. For vinyl lovers, a phono preamplifier with its own power supply is also for sale.

For those studying the photos carefully, that stack on the right are 4 power amplifiers. 4? Yes, for bi-amping.

The design and finish of this New Classic series is beautiful. It looks modern and classic at the same time, which is quite spiffy.

The surprise of the day was the Naim Nait 50. Naim is celebrating 50 years and to celebrate, 1973 Naim Naim 50 integrated amplifiers are being built, in the form factor of the Naim Nait 1. This is more than a retro gimmick, the amplifier has the headphone amplifier also found in the Naim Atom HE, the phono preamp from the SuperNait 3 and two times 25 watts of Class A/B into 8 ohms. We think this is going to be a collector’s item.

Grimm introduces the MU2. The same look as the MU1, but the MU2 is a streamer, preamplifier and DAC. The DAC is Grimm’s own design and an engineering marvel. In the rooms of the congress building, where the High End is held, producing good, balanced sound is quite a challenge. It is impossible to judge the quality of what you hear. But you can often hear something specific about the character of the component being demonstrated.

In the case of the MU2, it is the incredibly fast and open sound. I think it is hard to find another DAC than can produce transient information, which is the dynamics created in a fraction of a second when a piano is struck or a violin string is plucked for example, this accurately, and it all sounds natural and matter of course. We will put the MU2 through its paces thoroughly when it becomes available, expected October 2023.

PMC introduces a new entry-level speaker for the home. Much of their technology developed for studio monitors can be found in this entry level. PMC’s familiar transmission line for bass, with a ‘Laminary’ flow control at the output and the soft dome tweeter also found in their studio near field monitors.

The most exciting thing about this PMC speaker, which is only available in satin black, is the pricing. The Prodigy 1 monitors will enter the market for 1500 Euros a pair and the Prodigy 5 floorstanders 2400 Euros a pair. These are very competitive prices! Competition in this segment is fierce, but we think the competitors should be a bit worried.

Moon has expanded their 6, 7 and 8 series with a number of new products. In all cases, this is a streaming DAC with preamp and an (integrated) amplifier. The interview we have with Simaudio goes into detail about what it is and how to place it in MOON’s line-up.

Our eye was caught by the great-looking remote control that is delivered with all streamers. A very well thought-out design that can be operated with one hand and exudes quality. An example of how to design a remote control. We think other manufacturers should take a close look at it, because anyone can operate this.

Finally, a grab bag of what caught our eye.

Primare is coming out with a new DAC module and an update to the Prisma App, which integrates Tidal and Qobuz. Good news for Primare users.

Last year, the T+A 200 series was introduced and we couldn’t resist the temptation to take another look at this demonstration of German engineering. What wonderful devices these are!

At Spendor, we saw an on-wall speaker, and they are not the only manufacturer to present a speaker for the wall. A new trend?

JBL introduces the 4329 active speaker, the big brother of the active speaker we reviewed last year.

TAD introduced the new ‘monitor’, which we also reviewed. It immediately struck again that the level of finish of these speakers can only be described as perfectionist. The sound these speakers produce is of the same level. A very fine speaker with a hefty price tag.

Playlist of all High End Munich 2023 videos