Audio Note at Munich HiFi Deluxe 2019

Recorded about 35 rooms in 24bit 96kHz at Munich,

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…. šŸ™‚

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.

 

Vincent Belanger ft. Audio Note U.K. at Munich HiFi Deluxe 2019 part 2

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 ā€œJā€ 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

Vincent Belanger ft. Audio Note U.K. at Munich HiFi Deluxe 2019

Recorded in 24bit, 96khz on May 11, 2019 at the Munich Marriott during Hifideluxe 2019.

Vincent was accompanied by, well, Vincent being played back on an Audio Note U.K. stereo with:

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

Vincent was accompanied by the Audio Note system which was – frighteningly(?!) – realistic. From where I was sitting I had to look closely at what Vincent was playing to tell which notes were by him and which were previously recorded [Cellos are much harder for a Hi-Fi to reproduce, to sound correct, than, say, electric guitar for which there are several of these types of live demos]. I guess that is the charm and entertainment here, and with these kinds of demos, but seriously, this was impressive.

There is more to this session in the Audio Note room which we will hopefully get to post shortly.