The Sphaeron Excalibur speakers weigh over 3000 lbs each, use a powered plasma (ION) massless tweeter and have four 18 inch woofers per speaker.
If you listen carefully, you will hear notes in the music you have never heard before. That is because the notes have been on the CD all along [which was uploaded to a music server for this demo] but no speaker has been able produce the notes correctly and distinctly before [having to do with the high efficiency of these speakers, the accommodating load they present to the amplifier, the ION Tweeter, etc].
And it is not just the notes, so much more emotion and excitement of the music is also audible for the first time.
Who knew that all our music had all this extra yummy goodness all along, but our speakers just kind of weren’t up to the task.
Associated gear (all extremely modest as these things go): Acapella “Audio One” music server, prototype of Acapella’s forthcoming dac/pre, new Acapella monoblock amplifiers.
People: Neli, of Audio Federation. Hermann Winters, of Acapella Audio Arts.
and if you click through the rooms, and listen carefully to the Audio Note room, YOU will HEAR the difference [and if you listen REAL carefully, you can hear the difference the new AN prototype DAC makes! (the PLAYLIST: Munich 2019 in 24bit 96kHz).
This is the idea behind making high resolution recordings – so people do not have to rely on reviewer$ to tell them which rooms sounded best. Unfortunately I missed several rooms that, for example, JV thought sounded ‘best’ so this year we cannot prove the facetiousness of this year’s choices [but, seriously? What a ludicrous world we live in these days].
It does help if you have some kind of decent speakers and audio electronics for your computer when you hear the videos. And it may take a few listenings to start telling them apart – it takes some time to get over the shock of hearing this quality of sound on youtube videos of an audio show – and until you do, ALL of the room videos sound awesome.
All told uploaded about 70 videos of both the Munich High-end show and HiFi Deluxe show. Very busy and did not get to spend NEAR enough time in the Audio Note room [but Neli did :-)]
My other choices for good sounding rooms are Askja [Neli LIKES the look…], the TuneAudio horn speakers, and, yes, the Peak Consult room was fun too [more in the official Show Report]. These are other rooms where I wanted to stay and hear more, More, MORE music.
Back to DACs… Heard several top DACs at Munich. Aries Cerat [interesting speakers though], MSB (?!) DCS [in one of Kharma’s rooms. What a bizarre sound. Speakers sounded very capable but… Should have recorded this for posterity – somehow never got back there].
About once a year we talk about jumping on one of the “bandwagon lines”. You know the kind. You read a lot about how great they are but when you finally get to hear them they sound like poop. People still(!) seem to buy them for some reason so it would make good business sense for the store if we carried them. Typically they are SO expensive(!?). But if we carried them, we would have to LISTEN to them on a daily basis, and OMFG we LIKE listening to music [not sound effects]. So every year we decide they’re not a good match for us. So it goes…
And so…. believing our ears…. it looks like we are going to have to make serious changes to our plans here so we can fit in this new AN DAC when it comes out [it’s THAT big a leap forward in digital. No need for hyperbole folks, just listen to it]. *sigh*. We make plans and budgets and then something like THIS happens.
For those of you who have now or who will purchase the Audio Note Fifth Element/Fifth Force DAC/power supply – this will be a factory-installable upgrade, this new DAC is an addition to the Fifth Element’s circuitry.
Anyway, for us, we now have a [new] clear goal and path forward – for both our personal system and the store.
We are so spoiled.
We are so fcked.
We are not made of money. We have a budget. We want best sound for the buck and we are extremely critical of what we listen to
I know, I know. This is all just typical audiophile angst AND budget-busting wishlist heartburn. Nothing new about THAT, is there my friends…. 🙂
Like we said from day one: “Use the ears, Luke”. Listen, read not. If you can, try and listen closely to the recordings. Compare and contrast. Rinse and repeat.
Recorded in 24bit, 96khz on May 11, 2019 at the Munich Marriott during Hifideluxe 2019.
Vincent was accompanied by, well, Vincent being played back from a laptop into an Audio Note U.K. stereo consisting of:
1. X? a prototype Level 5 DAC (on the Fifth Element DAC platform with Fifth Force power supply) with a brand new very bold architecture which is a big departure from what anyone has tried before and a clear advancement of the state-of-the-art
2. AN/E SEC Signature speakers (on “J” stands)
3. Ongaku Kensei stereo 211 power amplifier
4. M9 phono preamplifier
5. TT3 turntable with Arm Three/2 and IO1 cartridge and S9 step-up transformer
6. CDT-Six transport