An alternative title for the report could be: “Affordable high-end for your bathroom,” given the bathroom styled curtains standing behind Manger’s P1 speakers.
Manger is a company who built its fame around the innovative driver they developed back in the late seventies, the MSW (for Manger Sound Transducer). This is not (as many think) just a fancy tweeter; it actually behaves like a full range driver capable of 80-35.000Hz. It is built with extremely low tolerances of just 0.008mm, around an array of neodymium magnets with double voice coil and goes against modern trends of hard dome drivers being flexible! In order to have a proper full range speaker, Manger adds to the sealed cabinet design a woofer which leads to an overall frequency response of 40-40KHz, and a moderate max SPL of 106 dBs. Price for the P1 is around 8000 euros.
During this year’s high end show, Manger partnered with Lindemann, who has been getting rave reviews lately for their musicbook series of electronics. Under the small form factor, Lindemann offers two DAC models, two network music players, and a pair of class D amplifiers, with prices ranging from 1800 to 3900 euros. Interestingly, all DACs and network players double up as headphone amplifiers, and in the front of the room, they were paired with a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880s. Next to the modern-looking musicbooks, they had a Bauer Audio DPS turntable with matching phono stage, which unfortunately was not singing during my visit in the room.
The entire system could be considered a bargain, especially when taking into account what the average Munich system has been in recent years. In my reports, the average system goes easily north of 200.000 whatevers (currency is not important here, $ or euros make no difference above certain price tags), and several climb all the way up to half a million whatevers or more. The entire Manger Lindemann system including the beautiful DPS Bauer turntable, Mac computer and bathroom curtains can be purchased for less than the cost of a single exotic interconnect.
Sound-wise, the system was nice with plenty of air in the upper registers and fast transients. Voices (and not singing) were remarkably spacious and sensual in Deborah Henson Conant’s And Then He Kissed Me. Actually, I came to think that human voices is where the Mangers excel at after listening to Ayado Chie singing Hallelujah and also could not avoid thinking that the small Class D amps from Lindemann sounded rather un-class D (not warm, but not cold or harsh either). Again, for the price of a single exotic cable, this was a nice system, a rarity seeing affordable ones in Munich lately.