Recorded in 24bit 96kHz at the Munich High-end show on May 10, 2019.
This was freaking loud and freaking awesome.
For one, it is so refreshing when a room does not play “audiophile music”. Luckily, at Munich, about 20-30% played real music.
It is even rarer that they play real music at volume.
The sound was, to my ears, very even handed top-to-bottom, very controlled, a little dense and not quite as much separation and ultimate dynamics as one might want… but it was awesome. This was a well designed system, IMO.
Music and the video presentation recorded in 24bit 96kHz at the Munich High-end Show on May 12, 2019.
Closeups of the $300K TechDAS Air Force Zero recorded the previous day.
I spent about 20 minutes here the previous day [day 3] when the Air Force ZERO was NOT playing. Had to change a battery or card or something, and I just sat and listened. Not a fan of these particular Vivid speakers [the bass sounds constrained and separate from the rest of the music. Other Vivid speakers we have found to be excellent, so a little surprising] and though the CH Precision gear has sounded awesomely wonderful on Magico speakers in the past, I have been having a hard time appreciating their sound on other speakers lately, including these here Vivid speakers [often sounding harsh and even a little bright].
When I peaked in on the last day [day 4] I was very happy to catch them playing the Air Force Zero turntable . I listened again.
What a difference!
I am NOT one of those that think the “source is the most important component”. In fact, the opposite: I think “the amp-speaker combination is the most important component[s]”.
But the music with the “Zero” was now fleshed out and nuanced and dynamic and it sounded Good. Yes, if you try you could still hear the flaws in the system, and as you listen to the 24×96 audio recording, you can hear that it does not sound as good as the Aries Cerat recording, even though the Zero here is a much, MUCH better source.
I brought Neli and Florian back here to hear this and I know Neli agrees this is something special [Florian thinks the Zero is ‘ugly’?! It definitely does have a utilitarian look about it, but I could live with it :-)].
So many people praise mediocre turntables, including a few in the $$$$$ price range. But to my ears, the Walker Proscenium, the Acoustical Systems APOLYT, the Clearaudio Statement and this Air Force Zero have immediately audible superiority over most other turntables.
Yep, some [all?] of these have what could be considered a particular sound and other ‘fatal flaws’ [in addition to price! and floor space required!].
And there are other statement turntables I have not heard or not heard in a manner that allowed me to clearly hear the effect of the turntable.
But, yeah, this was a room worth visiting [the 2nd and 3rd and 4th times] this year.
Video and audio in 24bit, 96kHz was recorded both times Neli and I visited this room – on the 2nd day then later with Florian on day 4.
The speakers and bass horns [very impressive sounding, positioned outside of the main speakers, not seen here] were well integrated. Clean, good separation, wide bandwidth, good dynamics, and a neutral sound. Analog sounded quite a bit better than the digital tracks I heard on day 2 – did not hear digital the last day.
Very different aesthetic than an Audio Note system at similar $1M price points which we find a little more musical and emotional and involving – though if we are talking about AN systems with AN speakers, this room had a bigger sound, more generally impressive [and certainly less room dependent setup constraints!].
Neli thought the end of the last track, the flamenco tap dancing, was too loud [I know! Didn’t know that was a phrase in her vocabulary!] The thumps of the feet tapping was indeed fantastically impressive and kind of distracted from the song – probably be fine if it wasn’t all being played back in such a small space at a hi-fi show at some significant volume [I thought it was fine, but I was in the front row, kind of between the bass horns].