Favorite Sound Munich High End 2016

You're looking at, among other things, a Western Electric 11A horn system c.1924 (before the advent of electrical recording) courtesy of the fine folks at Silbatone Acoustics. Silbatone's own electronics designed by J.C. Morrison provided the juice (using vintage, and I mean vintage VT-1 and VT-2 triodes), while one of Frank Schroeder's or Thomas Schick's tonearms rode the grooves. All-in-all, this was the most goosebumps inducing sound at The Show, at least according my goosebumps-O-meter, as it was able to convey the life in music. I find some systems, OK some modern systems, pale in comparison on this note, delivering a strained sounding imitation more intent on sound effects than music or in the worse case serving up music that is, for all intents and purposes, DOA. A corpse.

Joe Roberts, Silbatone's master of ceremonies and publisher of the much loved Sound Practices magazine of yore (I have a complete set), told me about how Western Electric demo'd these horns by placing them in lower Manhattan and listening to them in Hoboken. I love that.

When I say "favorite sound at the show" I do not mean best sound at the show as these are very different things. I certainly heard many other systems I enjoyed that would fall more easily into a "Best Sound" category including the dCS room, Nagra, MBL, and totaldac/Vokativ but even here each of these systems sound very different from each other making a Best seem sorta silly. So I'll stick to Favorite this year in Munich.