My very personal, subjective but undogmatic and maybe too honest High End Munich 2023 show report

Once again for those interested in some pictures, experiences and maybe a bit provoking opinions. I’ll add only few comments this time and use only rough categorizations. Have fun, it’s just my opinion :wink:.

And yes, sound quality opinions from shows are told to be meaningless, however not all setups sound the same…there are worse and great ones, so the show situation doesn’t seem bad for everyone…

Section 1: curiosities, news and little surprises

Hard to beat in terms of curiosity…I think it’s from Italy…I love the Italians anyway :wink:

…another curiosity … LAN ports on record players …but I didn’t ask why, so there’s still a chance they don’t use it for stupid ideas…


The new Gryphon integrated Diablo 333…a piece of art as always and much better looking than the predecessors imo…not my focus for the buck but probably great sounding for tubeless Class AB. I couldn’t hear it as Gryphon prepared the setup for the whole day and then just listened themselves…odd.

The Acoustical Systems Apolyt as teaser for the new smaller player…

…the A*Stellar…the player I’d buy out of all cost no object choices. You can bet Brakemeier’s phono stuff is the most thought out on the planet.

Now the little surprises (I always challenge my prejudices)…

Although I own and enjoy (other) active speakers, I never was a fan of the Backes & Mueller sound…this time I was positively surprised…no magic, but decent, effortless, music…no technical sound (as I was used to hear before). The speakers playing were the large ones.

I’m anything but a fan of Burmester sound, so I was surprised that in this YG acoustics combination there was even if not airy, but at least somehow quite palpable sound, where I otherwise heard Burmester quite flat.

…to be continued with further sections…



How was the attendance? Crowded?

virtually a ton of electronics for small speakers (YG Accoustics room a couple posts ago)

That new YG series impressed me at AXPONA. Certainly wasn’t being run by that complement of gear, though! :astonished:

I was on Friday, one of the dealer days, so it was not too full and I mostly could sit at the best sweet spot places :wink:


The disappointing section

Disappointing because either crazy bad sounding for the money or because in a way technically quite good sounding but providing no illusion and magic. I don’t list everything I heard, just the most surprising or initially interesting.

I usually like the smaller Boenicke very much, but this was not coherent sounding.

Also this time I tried to like MBL. A violinist (and also a cellist) played live and advertised omnidirectional speakers as they sound “live from everywhere in the room” (right). Then it got clear by the playback of a different string work from the setup, how unorganic, stiff and without ease the tonality and even there how uncontrolled the bass was, although the room was well damped by the audience. The live performances at MBL shows imo are contraproductive

A surprise was, that this time no Wilson setup sounded not (just) like Hifi. The only tube setup (Nagra) was best with Wilson’s as usual, but still not convincing.

High end can be a money grave and still doesn’t sound as it should…deflating.


The ok sounding section

Good to great, but sttill not (partly not even a hint of) the magic and illusion I expect at least when spending more than 30k for a setup.

Great in its own way but a very own philosophy

I expected more, just as last year.

I expected less…

This had great dynamics!

Focal never as technical sounding as Wilson, but therefore a bit calm.


Before I post the last, the “magic” section tomorrow, here one more “ok” experience.

I finally managed to hear BACCH! :muscle:

It only works when sitting exactly in the sweet spot and as soon as one turns the head only slightly, the main effect is gone and the sound is not 3D in the room anymore.

Yes, it’s more than interesting to hear instruments further detached from the speakers than usual, but it was not as fascinating as I expected. We heard two recordings, one of them a great Chesky Jazz Trio recording.

Not as fascinating because:

  • the holographic imaging was more diffuse, less precise and focused than I’m used to
  • the effect seemed (although impressing) a little exaggerated in the positioning of the instruments (too far to the sides)
  • besides the isolated images, there was also sound quite directly from the speakers, more than I expected
  • there was not the kind of air filled with sound and ambiance I’m used to, between the holographic images
  • every other audio characteristic except the special kind of “image holographic and distance effect” (with its above mentioned own peculiarities) was clearly worse sounding than I’m used to

It’s not a final judgement as I guess this just was a quite limited setup aside of the “effect”…but it got clear for me, that it needs the same other effort in the setup as usual to compete…BACCH alone doesn’t do enough…here it was like watching a 3D movie on a bad TV.

For me personally even in a high class BACCH setup, all the processing might destroy too much aside of the BAACH effect…but I’ won’t give up on it and will try again as chances come. It was a great experience for sure.


Thanks jazznut for your pictures and report…

Your experience with BACCH system is so similar to mine
with a Carver C9 holography unit…

Could be fun for a while but overall not worth the $$$$ or the headache.

Best wishes


I had a similar feeling at the AXPONA demo. I’m willing to suppose that in a decent listening room, optimally set up, the overall effect might be without some of these detractions

I just can say the setup/positioning was extremely precise and placed very optimal in the room (as the picture also shows) for imaging. I think we have to remember it’s a tubeless, sub-less, tuning-less, small setup with lots of digital processing and PCM sources. Aside of the BACCH effect no one would expect much. Would love to hear BACCH in an otherwise very optimized setup. I still guess one loses and wins a bit simultaneously.

But for sure, folks who are not used to very good 2 channel imaging, will be more impressed also here.

The setup and digital cable really changed my initial bacch4mac audiophile experience. It takes some dialing in that is for sure. My big line array speakers really disappear after getting the Referenz 2404 Pure Silver Air
Inakustik USB cable and ditching diffusers panels at first reflections and sides in favor of absorbers.

I might not enjoy as much air as others in my music taste. I like solid images without fuzzy in between airy sound. I guess i like clarity. The new USB cable to DAC I get all of that was missing in original Bacch setup. The ability to turn off the bacch DSP filter really tells you what’s going on with the regular 2 channel setup. Does Edgar do that at shows?

Great pics and info! The Axpona show is one of my favorite things of the year I would love to attend the Munich show it must be amazing!

It sounds much better than you describe in my room. I don’t even use the head tracking gear as I don’t move around a lot. And what I hear at home is so not more diffuse, quite the opposite. Perhaps Audio shows aren’t the best place to show it off. In my setup I never hear anything coming from the speakers themselves. They just seem like dumb things in the room with no purpose.

The best thing to do to set it up for YOU is to sit where you like to sit, install the microphones into your ears, and make the filter. Making a filter for one person is slightly different than it is for another.

But you heard what you heard, and that is super valid. I’d be happy to let you listen to it at my house, should that possibility exist.

And yes sir, wide right and wide left is a good description. It’s totally dependent on the recording. Edgar picks what he plays to highlight the possibilities. He tends to pick stuff that is over the top. I like to listen to all kinds of music. Every so often I disable the BACCH processing. It is not the end of life as we know it, I am left with extremely good sound. But enabling the processing is always preferred in my setup.

Love your writeups my friend!!!


I’d love to hear BACCH in a setup like yours!


Let’s all go to @aangen house


Thanks for the reviews! I wish I was there.
Your reviews are reinforcing my opinion that at shows, you typically get only a vague impression of the sound.

My experience with BACCH at AXPONA was similar to yours.

Either our tastes differ wildly or the room was terrible because every time I heard an MBL demo (Florida, Axpona, Kyomi, my nephew’s house), I was in audio heaven.



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You are correct. I tend to like the non Binaural michrophone recordings better. The Chesky stuff Edgar provides as Demo stuff he helped Dr. Chesky record for these wild effects.

I am with Al in that my setup sound presentation is not from speakers anymore. Also without the filter set for your pinnae or ears and head shape things can sound different. I always use head tracking and can move head by several feet snd not lose the effects of Bacch filter. The person siting next to me can steal the tracking by leaning head over snd in front of mine and then get same effects in their seat and the video will show it is tracking their head. Becomes easier than switching seats. This feature is available if you set camera up with wide Field of view both sides of sweet spot.

I can also say the Bacch filter seems to improve listening if you’re not in the sweet spot too.

But dialing in my system and speaker placement for Bacch really helped my HT and regular 2 Channel stuff.

It took awhile to get my setup right. I never did the Demo trial elsewhere just took jump trusting Al’s descriptions. So having it in your own personal system to trial is likely better. I did consider returning it when I had stability issues reclocking the usb output to i2s with matrix caused stability problems that Edgar figured out. So I removed matrix solved stabilty issue, but had to then buy a better USB cord on par or arguably than a AQ Dragon i2s to get sound, I was accustomed too. Stability problems are a thing of the past.

Those forum members who are closer to DFW TX than near Al are welcome to visit and trial Bacch also.