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Munich 2009: Here, There and Everywhere
21st – 24th May (High-End Show: M.O.C.) / 21st – 23rd May (HiFi Deluxe Show: Flemings Hotel)
The AMR Equipment on Show

Timing could not be better for AMR in Germany. Hot on the heels of the glowing and witty review by Chief Editor, Mr. Roland Kraft at Image HiFi (May 2009 issue) of the AMR CD-77, AMR exhibited the CD-77 at the Munich High-End Show. This was courtesy of Emille Labs (valve amplifiers and phono stage). The system in this room also consisted of the Dr. Feickert Twin Turntable and Rethm Maarga Loudspeakers (high-efficiency, full range speakers).

Source: 6moons - Marja & Henk

In addition, through AMR’s distributor for Germany, Fast Audio, AMR also exhibited in 2 rooms at the HiFi Deluxe Show which was held at the Flemings Hotel.



System 1


System 2
The main room saw the CD-77/PH-77 with AM-77 (system 1: monoblocks and system 2: integrated) paired with the Montegiro Turntables, Marten Loudspeakers, Jorma Cables, Da Vinci arms and Lyra cartridges. The upstairs Fast Audio room saw the AMR CD-77/DPS Turntable & Tom Evans Phono, Accuphase amplifier, Kiso Loudspeakers with cabling by Acoustic Systems International.

The Shows

While some Show reports were not so kind to the High-End Show, we believe that fundamentally, these two shows cater to different clientele. The High-End Show is most definitely the “CES for Europe”.

Whereas the HiFi Deluxe Show on the other hand, is a smaller version of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The venue being the Flemings Hotel, is a small, intimate affair with medium to small hotel rooms used as audio rooms. This drew the most hardcore manufacturers as typified by not only an abundance of vinyl, but reinforced by the number the of unconventional speaker designs such as horns with valve amplification. Such low power/high efficiency designs go against the mainstream. We certainly found the overall quality of sound more musically satisfying from these rooms despite their difficult acoustic properties.

The AMR team spent time split between the two shows. It would seem that business go on and manufacturers, distributors, dealers and customers alike, all chose to focus on the major shows and Munich was top of the priority list. For sure, computer audio and vinyl were both well represented. In particular, vinyl was very strong in terms of turntables presented and vinyl sales. Our friends at Svieking Audio (CD and LP distributor) commented that vinyl sales in particular, was very strong and so far, they have had their highest sales for quite a long time.

The Sound

From having exhibited at a fair number of Shows, we have found that systems with AMR components do not attract comments of “great treble” and such. Instead, we receive comments from attendees that the (AMR) system was one of the few that they felt moved by the music.

We also receive questions as to whether it was the vinyl system or digital system that was playing which is literally “music to our ears”, as it is a real compliment on the sonic ability of the CD-77 to keep up with esteemed vinyl setups.

Furthermore, in addition to attendees but manufacturers that we team up are consistently impressed by the life-like nature of the AM-77 to drive the most prestigious of speakers to create the most vivid and realistic timbre which is seldom achieved by nearly all other amplifiers.

At Munch, in an after hours listening session, the AM-77 was put up against the “The Lars” Integrated Valve amplifier which is considerably more expensive at over EUR70,000k. Of those that attended, we were pleased to hear that there were some things the AM-77 did better and vice versa. Given the AM-77 was able to punch so far above its price class, we were very pleased indeed.

The Stats

Anecdotally, the High-End Show saw a 10% decline in exhibitors which is encouraging given the current global economic turmoil. We noted a larger number of small manufacturers this time around and this is in part, due to the “partnership scheme” devised by the organisers to put smaller manufacturers of different components together to split the cost of a room. Same as last year, two halls were used and this helped to ensure that thoroughfare between the two atriums was relaxed with the mad queues on the stairs from prior years a thing of the past.

The HiFi Deluxe Show on the other hand, is a dedicated 2-channel event, where nearly every room exhibited vinyl as the main source.

The venue for this show was small, Flemings Hotel and it was choc full of exhibitors (circa 25 rooms in total). The talk was that next year, a larger hotel will be chosen to accommodate more exhibitors as it was oversubscribed. The mood was more relaxed, helped in no small way by the intimate atmosphere and friendliness of exhibitors along with the laid back show times of 12pm-8pm. The Munich Show by contrast, ran from 10am-6pm.

In addition to the current economic situation, as the show dates for both these shows covered Father’s Day in Germany on Thursday and the Munich weather was exceptionally nice on Friday through to Sunday, overall attendances at both Shows was probably down slightly year-on-year. Despite this, it made for comfortable for attendees as they could spend more time in each room and get around the shows without too much difficulty.

The People

Kudos goes to the Montegiro team as they came up with certainly the most interesting music and we found most visitors agreed too, especially the chaps from the “Oslo Audio Club 2009 Munich Tour”! Who said music lovers don’t like to relax with a beer or two, especially when visiting Munich?

We were glad to meet up again with the 6moons team, Mr. Franck Tchang from ASI, Jacob George from Rethm, Dr. Chris Feickert, Jan Svieking, Will Bauer of DPS Turntables, Stig and Hara San of Lyra and Kiso Acoustic respectively, and Clement Perry from StereoTimes.

The friendliness of the Munich Show scene never ceases to amaze and we were pleased to meet Jurgen and Lief of Marten loudspeakers, Heicko and Bjorn of Montegiro Turntables, Mathias and Arim of Avant Garde, Mr. and Mrs. Jorma from Jorma Design. Last but not least, Vittal Gzebo and the Emille Labs team.

We also met with William Low from Audioquest and found his company to be delightful, in particular, his insights into the history of the audio industry and where it is heading.

Overall, it would seem that despite the economic turmoil, the Show scene in Germany is in a good state of health and remain very robust just as vinyl has remained the dominant format despite the worldwide dominance of compact disk!

   
   


     
 
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