Thursday, 1 May 2014

The End 2014 in Munich from 15th to 18th of May

Hello to everybody,

thirteen times we will wake up and than again is time for the "High End Munich",  "the high end show for excellent home entertainment" so the subtitle of the organizer. I am curious if this fair will survive within the next five coming years. Founded in 1982, with a first event in Düsseldorf, its current successor in Munich marks a end of a cultural development. The most people do not use anymore specialized audio components to listen to their favorite music, they stream now their songs from web resources or clouds or they do use their universal remote for all options, their smart phone for their personal audio entertainment. (Attention dear public broadcast companies, it is just some years of advance, when a similar development will match your business, youtube is watching you.)

So, if we know that music reproduction does not anymore rely to dedicated hardware or a particular storage medium, what the hell will be exhibited in Munich 2014 and for whom? And what kind of people are going there? To my estimation the first, second and third generations, the audio aficionados, the hifi nuts and the audio users, must now have been died of age, or must be already deaf, or have shifted to other interests with better prestige factor or better entertainment factor. Or they might have been sustainable impoverished as third typical option of this age. The few exceptions which prove the rule, cannot carry this event into long time business?!
At the fair some extraordinary events will entertain some public interest. As in the last years, Silbatone will do a show (no, nothing to sell, just proud korean ownership on sale) again with rare historic vintage Western Electric Equipment, yeah, a must to be seen,  – really? If you want to listen to such rare installation with authentic Western Electric Horns, drivers and dedicated extensions in a less than optimal prepared room, but instead with superficial loudness to impress the audience, than this might be yours.
But it shows as well the poor constitution of the hifi business itself. Endless presentations of repetitive loudspeaker designs, amplifiers, oil rig designed record players and streaming clients with million-megacycle-oversampling in 248bit mode do not carry any ingenious content or idea, nor do they offer any audible fascination. In direct competition the Western Electric collection offers a unusual, unique and outstanding sensational approach to catch even the interest of the flaneur. This 80 year old equipment outperforms almost everything modern with length, and might be able to shows a way of high efficiency with a low energy consumption foot print. If you want to take care about your ecological behavior, the acoustic mechanical amplifier principle of the horn coupler is a ideal device for audio even tomorrow. If you don't want end up with electrical class M devices or if you are to old to have wearables all the time as fashion accessoir, such a transducer has a lot to offer for the coming future. This horn principle of acoustic audio wave coupling with its inherent mechanical amplification harbors lots of possibilities even for the coming age of restricted energy consumption. In short such a well designed horn can perform mechanically very similar to a gramophone from the old days with extremely improved amplification factor to a unbelievable degree of audio performance just without electricity. But even with lowest powered tube amplification concepts, it is possible to maintain perfect audio harmonies and dynamics at a relatively low power consumption level. We need a well working DAC with optical input to match a device like tablet, phone ore computer, a 20 bit non oversampling dac with a tube output stage, working into DHT driver stage together with a 3 watts DHT output stage for amplification. This might couple to the driver of a horn like the WE15A/WE597A combo. Such a set up can outperform almost any stereo set built up to highest standards, just with a 10th of its electrical energy input. I am working on such ideas, as long it is not realized, there are some cheap options already available to bridge the time (image). But even for such a solution you don't need to go to Munich.

Read on soon, Volker