Munich 2016

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Michael Lavorgna  |  May 10, 2016
The Rockna Wavedream DAC SE ($5,700) was new to me but not so for Part-Time Audiophile's Scot Hull who dragged, nay pushed, me into the Rockna room for a listen. The Wavestream DAC is FPGA-based, look ma no off-the-shelf solution, which means it can be upgraded and improved over time via software updates akin to PS Audio's DirectStream, among others.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 10, 2016
This system had an excellent soundstage which I attribute to a lack of EMI/RFI and jitter.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 10, 2016
The only real piece of additional information I have on the Ayre Acoustics QX-5 Twenty Digital Music Hub ($TBD) beyond my previous post/announcement, is this picture. Ayre exhibited in a booth in Munich, i.e. not a room, so the QX-5 Twenty sat and posed for this photo op. Ayre's Alex Brinkman will be reading a QX-5 for an in-barn audition in the near future.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 10, 2016
From the press release:
Munich, May 6, 2016—Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced a long-term licensing deal with music technology specialists MQA. The agreement – the first between MQA and any major music company – will significantly increase music fans’ access to hi-resolution music globally. The agreement paves the way for recordings from WMG’s diverse roster of acclaimed artists and its world-renowned catalogue to be made available in studio master quality through MQA distributors.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 09, 2016
Geoffrey Armstrong (pictured above) of Sound Galleries, Edward Hsu (Sound Test), and Emile Bok (Taiko Audio) have put their heads and hearts together to create the Sound Galleries music server SGM 2015es (€16,000). The other important ingredients in this equation are Jussi Lasko's HQPlayer, which was used to upsample and filter all incoming data to DSD512 before sending it on its way, and Roon as the interface to your music. The demo took place at the BMW Welt, a place that looks and feels like Disneyland for well-heeled adults.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 07, 2016
Pictured is Vincent Brient, Mr. totaldac standing in front of a stack of his creations along with gear and speakers from Voxativ filling out the system pic. I plan to head back to this room today and spend some time just listening.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 05, 2016
It looks like a Vega with an antenna (you can easily see the one on the right but there's two). You can think of the new Auralic Altair ($1,899) as a Vega and Aries stuffed into one chassis if you'd like, but that's not the case. A competitor might say some such thing, you get the performance of much more expensive separates form our one-box solution, but I'm not so sure any manufacturer would set out to make such a thing to compete within their own product line. While the Altair inherits many of the things learned from designing the Vega and Aries, Auralic has taught the Altair everything it knows but not everything they know.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 05, 2016
Sticking with tradition, I arrived in Munich yesterday morning (a day before the show opens), checked in, and checked out a museum. This year I tried out the Neue Pinakothek where I came across this lovely little number from Gustav Klimt titled Music (1895). I nice pictorial preview of things to come today. Off to the show!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 26, 2016
One week from today I head out to Bavaria for the Octoberfest of Audio in München. The High End Show feels like a party, a hi-fi and music bash, filled with people: Shiny happy people.