I’m heading out today to High End Munich 2019, the biggest hi-fi show on earth. I’m an old veteran of what used to be the biggest hi-fi show on earth, the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, but that kind of fizzled out slowly over the last few years when it comes to “specialty audio” and most of us slowly came to our senses and stopped spending the big money to go sit in a lonely room for four days. I went to 15–Colleen went to nearly 30–and I think we’re both glad that we no longer have to rush through our holidays in order to get to Las Vegas the first week in January. Or, as I used to say when we crested that last hill and headed downhill toward The Strip on the horizon, “Ugh, this @#&%ing place again.”
When CES stopped being a major destination for our small but proud industry, everyone started saying the same thing to me: “The Munich show is now the biggest show for high-end audio. Are you going?” The answer was always “no, but I wish I could.” Now, thanks to Part-Time Audiophile, my dreams are coming true and I’m finally going to Europe to attend High End Munich. For the first time in my life. I haven’t been this giddy since I went to Australia back in 2015, which also happened to be the first time I left North America.
It’s strange that I’m traveling around the world to High End Munich 2019 to cover many of the products I already know well–McIntosh, KEF, AudioQuest, SoundSmith, Luxman, Tidal and Joseph Audio–but I’m also acquainting myself with many brands for the first time. That includes Miyajima (I’ve commandeered Scot Hull’s Miyajima Madake cartridge for a review and I’m sure he wants it back soon), Brinkmann, Silbatone, Crystal Cable, Living Voice and perhaps the one I’m anticipating the most…Kondo.
The intrepid Part-Time Audiophile team at High End Munich 2019–Scot Hull, Panagiotis Karavitis, Lee Scoggins, Richard H. Mak and me–will be posting our reports almost immediately, so check in daily!