Skip to content
Yorkshire AVYorkshire AV
Back from High End Munich 2024!

Back from High End Munich 2024!

As I type this, I’m currently sat in a Virgin Atlantic A350 destined for Orlando, Florida with the family. It’s been a very busy week with a lot of travel involved!

On Thursday last week I headed off at an eye watering 3.30am to the airport to head to Munich for the 2024 Audio Show. It’s become a pilgrimage for me where each year, I get to experience what’s new in the HiFi and AV industry and make decisions on what I’ll be investing in for the year ahead so I always approach the show with an open mind and looking for great products that are new to me (new brands) as well as deepening our investments and product portfolio from our existing suppliers.

This year we spent a lot of time with IAG (International Audio Group) who supplies us brands such as Audiolab, Wharfedale, Luxman and QUAD, DALI (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries), Perlisten Audio (our premium AV brand), Innuos, Gryphon Audio, Chord Company, ATLAS cables, Astell&Kern, Pro-Ject Audio, HiFi Rose and many more. I’ll cover what I can below!

 

DALI

It should come as no surprise that there are a number of range changes from our friends at DALI given some significant discounts on the current Rubicon and Epicon range.

2 years ago (2023), DALI released their flagship product – KORE. It’s from the investment and learning from KORE that a number of new ranges have  been produced. Last year, EPIKORE was released and I was keen to jump straight into that product. EPOIKORE takes what was great about Epicon, introduces a lot of trickle down technology from KORE into something half the price of the flagship. The last 6 months we’ve been actively promoting the EPIKORE product at Audio Shows across the UK and a number of reviews/demos in store.

This year, the RUBIKORE was announced and once again, I’ve jumped feet first into this great new range! RUBIKORE is the replacement product for the Rubicon range. It takes the cabinet from the current Rubicon range and brings all new technology throughout, including:

  • New ClarityCone driver
  • KORE inductors in the crossover
  • Dual magnet driver design
  • Continuous flare bass reflex ports
  • New hybrid tweeter module
  • Mundorf capacitors

The range consists of:

  • RUBIKORE 2 - stand mount speakers
  • RUBIKORE 6 - floor standing speaker (mid height)
  • RUBIKORE 8 - large floor standing speaker
  • RUBIKORE Cinema - can be installed horizontally (as a Vokal / centre speaker) or vertically as an LCR
  • RUBIKORE on-wall - used as a stereo surround, LCR or 2 channel discrete product
Above: Right to Left: RUBIKORE 8, 6,2 and CINEMA with the ON-WALL LCR above.

Above: RUBIKORE 8 in Natural Walnut

So we have a standard bookshelf speaker, two different floorstanding speaker options, a dedicated CINEMA product (designed for either LCR or VOKAL application) and on-wall speakers.

It is worth noting that the RUBIKORE 2, 6 and 8 come in 4 finishes:

Natural Oak, High Gloss Black, High Gloss White and High Gloss Maroon.

The CINEMA and ON-WALL products come in High Gloss Black, High Gloss White and Natural Walnut only.

Above: DALI RUBIKORE CINEMA with the changable tweeter module for VOKAL/LCR application.

We’ve ordered the 2’s in Maroon, 6 in Black and 8’s in Walnut for our demonstration pieces. The Maroon itself is very different from the older Rosso colour in the Rubicon family, with it being a high gloss veneer for the first time in this price point and really brings out the depth of the wood. It also ties in beautifully with the EPIKORE finish too!

Customers experiencing the RUBIKORE 8 should also demo the EPIKORE 11 with us – one can really appreciate the synergy and trickle down in the technology.

Whilst at a first glance, one could say there’s visually not a lot of difference from the Rubicon series appearance wise, in the flesh, the speakers are more modern with striking lines and a flares in the metal work which really do change the overall look and feel of the speakers and sonically, I would genuinely rate the new range as better in most areas over Epicon but without the luxury appearance of the previous flagship product.

The range will land in the UK in June and we'll be showcasing these with DALI at the North West Audio Show where we intend to run 2 models throughout the weekend (with the rest on static display).

See the range and options/pricing here: https://yorkshireav.co.uk/collections/dali-rubikore

Orders will start shipping mid-June.

In store you'll be able to compare the RUBIKORE to the EPIKORE - the only retailer with the full family of DALI speakers in the country.

 

Perlisten Audio

Perlisten have been releasing HUGE numbers of products in the last 2 years with a complete range of free standing and custom install speakers for home audio lovers. We’ve installed a number of high end cinema rooms with their products with superb results. This year I genuinely didn’t know what to expect as just a few weeks ago, the Reference (R) series subwoofers were announced with a single driver configuration of R10, R12, R15 and R18 (the number representing the driver size in inches) which we have a full complement of in store and have written another blog post on the technical in-room measurements here:

 

At the show we were delighted to see the newest subwoofers to their range:

The R8 is a tiny little 8” 500w subwoofer with Perlisten Audio’s famous processing and DSP technology. Expected to be priced at circa £1500 – this will fit beautifully into smaller rooms, bedrooms and for customers looking to add multiple subwoofers into their room with a smaller foot printer / lower price tag. These are due in later in the year.

The next subwoofer that was showcased was the EPIC on-wall / in-wall subwoofer which features a number of 8” drivers in an opposing force configuration. It weighs in at 80kg – so this is no ordinary in-wall subwoofer! It requires significant construction around it – so you should consider an installation partner such as Yorkshire AV to deliver, build and install such a product. It can be mounted in between studs or direct to wall but it’s BIG. We envisage using these where floor space is of a premium but customers don’t want to sacrifice performance. We are yet to receive pricing on these – but we’ve been told to expect performance figures similar to the D212s which pleases me as this is our most commonly installed subwoofer in installs (and they’re priced at £7000 each).

We were also able to experience the new Waveforming model from Trinnov in the Perlisten 11.8.8 demonstration facility which was truly excellent and a real step up in performance from the solution last year with the Storm solution. Certainly in the early stages still of development, Waveforming is very much about offering multi-seat consistency in bass response to try and even out peaks/nulls. It does require a minimum of 4 subwoofers for this to be usable and it is on a room by room basis currently with Trinnov consulting within the design and configuration aspect.

You can experience all of the subwoofers and Trinnov in our Perlisten demonstration facility in store. We’ve installed a number of Trinnov solutions in the last month and have several lined up throughout the summer. We’re working  on a 8 week lead time for supply and installation at the time of writing this email.

Audiolab

The last year has been busy in IAG and in particular with audiolab. A launch of their mid-tier solution (the 7000 series)  and the flagship 9000 series which includes a performance based integrated amplifier and DAC, streamer and CD transport. We assumed given the outgoing 8300 series having a Pre/Power option that this would also come from the 9000 series but we didn’t know what form this would take: stereo power or mono?

Our question was answered at the show with the new 9000Q (pre amp) and 9000P (stereo power) on display.

The 9000Q has been completely redeveloped, focussing on component isolation, improved power supply and analogue/DAC section which gives the desired performance improvement over the 9000A being used as a pre for example.

The 9000P is a stereo integrated amplifier in the same form factor as the wider 9000 series. It can be used in bridged mode – so two power amps used in a single system and adding additional power to each speaker.

The specs are to be fully confirmed but I believe the power amp section is 100w per channel (Class AB into 8ohms) but in mono mode, this increases to 150w per channel.

Connectivity is via RCA or balanced XLR as well as all the usual 12v triggers.

The combination certainly produced a more mature, revealing experience than the earlier 9000A but likely at a cost of an additional £1000 - £1500 (pricing still to be confirmed).

Certainly the phono stage has been reworked, and listening to tracks that we know well – much improved dynamic scale and a more accurate soundstage. Certainly more separation between instruments and better control across the audio spectrum. Top work from the engineers in Huntingdon on the new products!

Also on display was the new DAC which replaces the M-DAC+.

Called the D-9 (I assume “DAC for 9000 series” but this is total speculation), the new DAC is a similar form factor to the outgoing M-DAC+ but has a lot of new features:

  • Colour screen from the 9000 Series
  • ESS Sabre 9038 Pro DAC
  • A full range of digital inputs (USB, optical, coax, AES and Bluetooth) and digital outputs (coax, USB and optical)
  • Balanced and unbalanced analogue outputs that can be used side by side for connecting to a sub and a power amp /pre-amp for example at the same time

 

I was perhaps a little surprised to not see HDMI eARC or I2S – both of which are becoming the norm for connectivity in dedicated DACS but I assume this is down to how long this unit has been in R&D and how quickly trends  change in HiFi currently. I wasn’t able to listen to the unit but these will ship later in the year so we’ll give you our initial reports once we’ve had a play.

It does have a 6.35mm headphone socket on the front – and with audiolab devices usually, they’re generally of good quality and with care taken on the power supply and components used here, this could be a great desktop DAC solution with headphone amp built in for the streaming transport and computer user.

LUXMAN

Japanese beauty, a heritage of expertise in rich, warm and powerful solutions with pioneering electronics – Luxman have been busy releasing an entire new class of products replacing their older Reference series products.

So far this year we’ve taken delivery of the C-10X control amplifier, M-10X power amplifier, D-10X SACD player and DA, PD-191A  turntable with LMC05 cartridge, NT-07 streamer and two new integrated amplifiers (L507Z and L509Z).

At the show this month, they announced three new products!

Firstly, the new Reference series phono stage – the E-07X solid state phono pre-amp.

Second, the brand new DA-07X DAC featuring:

  • ROHM DB34301EV DAC (dual mono)
  • Support for DSD 22.4Mhz over USB and PCM 768Khz
  • OP-Amp plus fully balanced discrete circuitry on the analogue output stage

The DA-07X supports AES, USB, coax and optical inputs and has parallel balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA output as well as digital coax and optical outputs too.

This product perfectly complements the  NT-07 streaming transport and at a price point that looks very reasonable when comparing against the D-10X SACD and DAC that customers are currently using. Due to ship in August – we’ll be adding this straight into our system!

Finally, the entry level L-505Z integrated amplifier which is rumoured to be priced at £5500. With 80w per channel Class AB, VU meters, EQ control, MM/MC phono stage and balanced inputs, this appears to be a lot of product from Luxman for the money!

 

HIFI ROSE

A brand that has done exceptionally well for us in store and one which many customers have installed in their systems (both 2 channel and home cinema) – the South Korean brand has released several excellent streaming products in the last 2 years – with the RS130 streaming transport and fiber hub released last year.

This year sees a welcome high end product – the RD160 DAC. This product sits with the RS130 streaming transport and the RA180 2 channel amplifier.

Designed with a luxury hidden screen, a new completely isolated architecture, three new linear power supplies, J-FET input dual OP amps and a very high precision OCXO clock for long term jitter reduction.

Based on the AK4499EX * “chipset – the RD160 features a number of digital inputs:

AES-EBU, I2S, Digital Coax, BNC, Optical, USB and has both single ended and balanced outputs. There is also connectivity for a 50ohm and 75ohm external clock too.

I did get an active demonstration of the pre-production unit with the RS130 and RA180 in a complete system (as we will have it in store) and was delighted to hear significant improvements over our current pairings of the RS130 with other high performing DACS. HiFi Rose continue to take big steps forward in clear architecture, great styling and products that make a positive improvement on 2 channel streaming solutions. Top work once again!

* to be confirmed upon release.

The screen when the device is powered off is impossible to see. However, once the DAC turns on, the input, filter, scaler etc are all displayed through the apparent full metal front cover (available in black and silver).

Expected to be priced between £4500 - £5500 and available August/September, we’ll bring more information to light about the RD160 once we learn more about it in the summer.

There was loads more to write about, but I’ll cover the remainder in a YouTube video with some of the products in the coming weeks!

To give you a sneak peak into that ...

Build your own Linton and Denton with a DIY kit from Wharfedale!

High End turntable and phono pre-amp from Gryphon

New loudspeakers from MoFi with a new SourcePoint floor standing speaker

QUAD reborn with the new QUAD 33 and 303!

Next Generation models of the ZEN NG and the ZENITH NG.

 

If any of the above interest you, feel free to reach out to me via lee@yorkshireav.co.uk or call to the office on 01757 826111 for more information.

Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping