Abbingdon Music Research at the High End Show Munich 2008 - Vorsprung Durch Organisation

Abbingdon Music Research (AMR) was back in Munch courtesy of its distributor for Germany: Fast Audio in Room D109 at the M.O.C. for the 2008 High-End Show. This Show marked the 10th anniversary for Fast Audio. It was also the 10th Anniversary of Loricraft's having worked with Martina Schroeder. It goes without saying that there was plenty of celebrating to be done and the AMR juggernaut was more than honoured to be part of the proceedings. So a hearty congratulations to the aforementioned parties!

Back to business and the momentum of the Munich High-End Show as "Europe's answer to CES" continues unabated: as evidenced by first, the 19% larger floorspace occupied by exhibitors of 183,000sq feet and second, the larger number of US reviewers and manufacturers alike that attended this Show. There were 231 exhibitors from 25 countries and the number of non-German exhibitors accounted for one-third of overall exhibitors (other Show organisers take note). This year, the Show was brought forward from May to April as it clashed with a rather large medical conference. By all accounts, next year's Show will revert back to May. Nevertheless, the Show was a resounding success; according to the High End Society, the total number of visitors increased by some 7.7% to 13,895 visitors.

A large part of the kudos for the establishment of this Show as the European Show goes to the High-End Society. Whether by luck or by acumen, with the top tier or level 2 taken up by a clothing exhibition, this year for the first time, the main Atrium 3 and Hall 3 were accompanied by the adjoining Atrium 4 and Hall 4 being opened. Last year's one and only gripe of extensive queuing on the stairs was thus negated with ease.

Through fare was easily achieved by the connecting walkways rather than the bottleneck of using the stairs.

There were also more places to eat and drink which could only have added to the overall enjoyment of this Show. There was also the customary kindergarten for the next generation that are not quite old enough to enjoy sound just yet!

In the Fast Audio room the equipment presented was:

System 1
AMR CD-77 Compact Disk Processor DPS Turntable with Naim and Immedia Arms and Lyra cartridge Lyra Connoisseur Phono Stage AMR AM-77 Pre-Main Amplifier Acoustic System International Tango Loudspeakers

System 2
AMR CD-77 Compact Disk Processor Garrard 501 with Origin Live arm and Lyra cartridge Connoiseur pre-amplifier and Karan power amplifier Duevel Sirius/Floating Systems' Sythese Speakers

The Fast Audio room utilised cabling by Fadel Art and AMR. Acoustic Systems International's new interconnect based upon materials used in its resonators was also in use, together with a wide range of accessories, including Acoustic System Resonators, Acoustic System Sugar Cubes, Sound Racks by Acoustic Systems to support the equipment, Fast Audio Diffusers and Absorbers and a Loricraft Record Cleaner.

Additionally, AMR had on silent display a prototype of the upcoming PH-77 Phono Preamplifier, which is creating a bit of a stir among both reviewers and customers.

AMR was not surprised by the popularity of Mr Thomas Fast as our room was by all accounts, the most popular throughout the four days of this Show. The fact that the Fast Audio Room was awarded "best presentation" by the High-End Society was a good reflection of the popularity of our room. Sonic duties in the Fast Audio room were split equally between the two systems and both garnered their fair share of attention and interest.

In the Fast Audio room, we were most pleased to again meet up with Mr Franck Tchang of Acoustic Systems International with his latest Tango speakers. With 6,000 Acoustic Systems' Resonators sold to date in Germany, this is one of the most popular markets in Europe for Acoustic Systems International. On first blush, one would not expect such an unusual product to become so widely popular in a conservative country as Germany but quite a few visitors to the room were already enquiring about the new product, the Sugar Cubes as they already have the Resonators installed.

We met Mr Markus Deuvel of Deuvel speakers where his prototype Sirius speakers were being played. We met Mr Ivan Schellekens from Floating Systems who was exhibiting the Synthese loudspeakers. We can honestly say that we were more than honoured to meet such down to earth manufacturers. Terry and Nigel of Garrard/Loricraft were great company as usual and kept ribbing us about our recent shipping troubles with our Garrard turntable that went AWOL on the way to CES and finally arrived at Avatar Acoustics four months later with more mileage than the space shuttle!

We appreciate our good rapport with the reviewing community which certainly makes attending such shows all the more enjoyable: Danny Kaey from Sonic Flare and Positive Feedback; Marja and Henk and Srajan from 6moons; Roy Gregory and Jason Kennedy from HiFi+; Steve Harris from HiFi News; Markus Sauer from Stereophile; Doug Schneider and Jeff Fritz from Soundstage and Steven R. Rochlin from Enjoy The Music.

Even the Greek AV website noted the exhibit in the Fast Audio Room ( and even as far as in Malaysia both Fast Audio's and AMR's exhibits
attracted much attention (a great pictorial of the Fast Audio room is here

German music lover Karel felt moved enough by what he heard to post about his experience in the discussion forum: "The room I enjoyed most was the Fast room... It made me enjoy music that I would normally file under "Don't Like", that tells a story."

Taking 5, Dave Brubeck style, listening to background music at the Kempinski hotel: from left to Darren Censullo of Avatar Acoustics (distributor for AMR: USA), Mr Franck Tchang of Acoustic Systems International, Marja & Henk and Srajan Ebaen of 6moons

Given AMR's predisposition towards well-made CD players, we could not help but be drawn like bees to honey to this year's display of vintage equipment which focused on classic CD Players and CD-drives.

On the whole, the Munich High-End Show goes from strength to strength and we heard many an American manufacturer saying that they must mark down the High-End Show as a must attend on the audio calendar. We wish all our readers a wonderful summer break and look forward to seeing you in the Autumn when the Show season re-commences.

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