Hifi Pig in Munich Part 8; A Bird’s Eye View v3

Stuart Smith over at Hifi Pig has “syndicated” his coverage of the High End Show in Munich. Many thanks for letting folks on the wrong side of the pond in on the action!

Bird: UK slang meaning a woman/wife/girlfriend, synonyms: broad, chick, dame, girl, lass.

‘Turn it up, bring the noise’

It’s Saturday already so time to pack our bags, eat another huge breakfast and set off for our last day at the show.The fantastic staff at the NH München Deutscher Kaiser are looking after our bags until we come back for the train tonight, we don’t leave until very late so we can actually have another full day here.

The plan was to have a day seeing a bit more of the city but so many people have wanted to meet up with us that we still haven’t got round all of the show, so off we trot like good little piggies.

The weather is a bit wet again but not too bad and the underground is packed with people in ‘drinking trousers’ as we have come to call Lederhosen, and Bayern Munich football shirts, it’s a great atmosphere but more on that later.

First stop is a meeting with Pim van de Leur of Van de Leur, Dutch AudioDesign.


These are a young and very enthusiastic outfit who make some very purposeful looking and sounding amplifiers, they had some music playing from the STS Digital stand which, though at a low volume, had you looking for the (nonexistent) sub! Mr Hifi Pig will tell you more about our meeting with them in his report.

Then, the time had come, off upstairs to make my pilgrimage to the Avantgarde room, as this was one of my main reasons for wanting to come to the show I already wrote a separate report which you can read HERE.

After Avantgarde we had a bit of time for a wander before we had to get to the Gryphon Audio room for an invitation only listen to their new Trident II floorstanding speakers. Flemming E. Rasmussen, the creative force and CEO of Gryphon had invited us when we OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApopped in the day before. This was a very clever move on the part of Gryphon because it meant that a small group could actually have a proper listen in much better conditions. Flemming’s comment that if we heard any vibrations that shouldn’t be there, it wasn’t the speakers, but probably the ceiling about to fall down, was a little unnerving though!

These are incredible speakers.We listened to 6 different tracks of different genres of music, all of which sounded excellent.I had been worried about my Avantgarde experience spoiling anything that I listened to afterwards but it just showed how something could be a different kind of sound but still just as good.The Tridents were clean and clear and coped with anything that was thrown at them. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They were also showcasing their Kalliope DAC which Flemming said could play any current format and had been future-proofed to keep with some that were not even available yet, not sure how they do that, perhaps they have also invented the Gryphon Tardis!

There were only around 16 of us in the room one of whom was Sarajan from 6moons, who we had a chat with while we were waiting for the room to be set up.

Here at Hifi Pig Towers we do have a pretty wide ranging, eclectic taste in music which got me thinking, do the people that exhibit at shows actually listen to the music they play at the shows, at home?

Some rooms at Munich did play some really great sounding stuff, powerful blues, Pink Floyd and other stuff that you might just want to sit down with a glass of wine to listen to, but a lot of it could only be described as ‘challenging’.

You know the kind of thing; sounds like someone threw all their pots and pans down the stairs and then stood on the cat, or encouraged two bears have a fight in a piano factory and recorded the result (in very high quality, obviously).

I’m not a big fan of ‘stately home music’ (classical) either but I know a lot of people like it so I’m happy to hear it at shows, so long as that isn’t all that you get.

We were supposed to bring some music with us to play, but ‘someone’ forgot it, though I wonder how many exhibitors (with the exception of JoSound, who positively encourages people to play their own stuff) would be happy to play a few proper banging tunes?I imagine only the ones who are truly confident in the sound of their kit.

To be fair, the exhibitors will have paid a lot of money to be at a show and may worry that their room will be emptied by some nutter playing ‘child scaring’ music, so just stick with the safe option of playing their own, but some could be encouraged to take a leaf out of Gryphon’s book and include a more broad spectrum….. I would love to hear some Dubstep or really full on Techno played on some of the really posh kit (!)


The Tannoy room was the expected high quality with lots of wood and goldplaques in evidence, it was a bit too packed though to really listen to them properly.

They were showing the new Prestige Gold Reference range which was beautiful in that classic ‘brandy after dinner in the wood-panelled library’ style that Tannoy do so well.I personally really liked the new Carbon fibre finished Kingdom Royal Carbon Black speakers that they had in both red and black.

Read more at HiFi Pig!