Hifi shows

So the Melbourne Hifi Show is coming up soon… 18-20th October. Anyone going? I should be there on the Sunday. Excited!

There might be some other small shows going on soon… RMAF apparently… :smiley:

I was at a smaller south German high end show today…well not that small actually but mainly showing smaller gear.

I was shocked and nearly lost my belief in what the market offers below a certain price tag. There’s always something to complain, even at the Munich show, but there are always several really great setups.

The smaller stuff here (and with smaller I mainly mean speakers, as there was mostly serious gear feeding them) really made me think I’d pass on the whole high end gear below a certain price range (with one exception).

What I list here was either sounding like a tweeter or a tweeter with midrange or a bass with tweeter but without midrange, or it had seriously false tonal colors in mids.

I would seriously prefer a kitchen Bluetooth speaker to all of them. Unfortunately one (on the first picture) of the two PSAudio setups was among them, sounding glassy and sterile with the impression a tweeter and a midbass chassis were trying to play together. I blame all to the smallish speaker. The big Acapella setup you see pictured didn’t sound off tonality wise, but like ordinary hifi with not openness and magic at all.

On the last picture you see the second PSAudio setup using a P20 and…yes…the new phonostage! This setup sounded better but I can’t tell anything about the Stellar phono as the setup was completely unknown to me and still of a very different quality than I’m used to.

Most of the setups I mentioned before and many others of the show I was tired to picture due to my disappointment were fed by really expensive electronics, which was a complete waste of effort imo. Unbelievable really. All this effort and cost for no sound at all, I’m still shocked.

So to end it with something positive…I heard a microscopic speaker from Boenicke Audio, of which I already heard and highly recommended a bigger one at the Munich show.

This speaker flooded the room with music as a speaker 20 times the size. It played with a small power amp of them (nothing special, can be played with any other, too).

This smallest speaker of the show was the most fascinating by far. I’m sure some time I’ll buy it when I need an extreme downsize, really. If you want to shock your visitors, put this one in the room and play music. 4,5k€

At this show it came into my mind that one of the big common grounds I have with Paul is the need of full range performance (or at least very close to it). If not full range than at least a coherent tonality within that smaller spectrum.

Nearly all of the setups in those 4 levels of Hotel show rooms didn’t match any of those demands just roughly, but half of them used front end / electronics for 20-50k. This is fooling people and high end for the sake of elitism. If you’d play those setups (the pictured are only few examples of today) to your non audiophile friends, they would send you to the doctor or to several doctors.

Please don’t misunderstand this as implying the need of big and expensive gear to have fun with music listening. Reading my other show reports you’ll see that I favored some quite small setups among other really big ones. But it’s definitely worth to carefully choose the smaller ones and try to get an overview what’s possible.