I’m probably going to visit Gunny from Sonner Audio any time he’s exhibiting at a high-end audio show. I always know I’m going to hear some unique and worthwhile music on a pair of stunning loudspeakers that I already know pretty well. But here’s the thing–is Gunny supplying all that magic himself? It’d be nice to tell him yes Gunny, it’s all you and your wonderful speakers. When I walked into the Sonner and Moonriver Audio room at Munich 2023, however, I realized I was listening to the results of a team effort, of people who came from around the world to meet and assemble a killer audio system.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
As I mentioned, I know these speakers well. They’re the Sonner Audio Legato Duos, and I’ve already reviewed them. They’re only $9,500/pair, making them a killer value as well. But this wasn’t just the Sonner room. Or even, as billed, the Sonner and Moonriver room, referring to the hand-built Swedish amplification in the room. No, it was the Sonner and Moonriver and OePhi and Pachanko room, four companies that delivered a memorable sound in a very large and busy show.
This is my second round with Moonriver Audio. I first heard these components at the Florida Audio Expo, where Philip O’Hanlon of On a Higher Note matched them with the glorious Graham Audio LS8/1 monitors. Moonriver Audio first popped up on my radar a couple of years ago, when I first saw them in an advertisement. I love the looks of this gear, all dark and streamlined and quite evocative of the ’70s receivers that got me into this hobby so long ago. Sonner and Moonriver made a glorious match, and the fact that both brands are high-value high-end audio is just the icing on the cake.
Then there’s OePhi cable from Denmark, which I heard in a system at AXPONA 2023. I was intrigued enough by this ladder construction back in Chicago, which prompted a long discussion with Joakim Juhl, the CEO. I have a loom on my “coming soon” list. Finally we have Pachanko, the company that brought the music server from the French island of La Réunion. I haven’t heard of Pachanko until now, but Gunny couldn’t stop talking about how great it sounded and I had to agree.
What I loved about the Sonner and Moonriver room was that feeling of four distinct companies coming together at an audio show and realizing hey, our stuff sounds great together! I had that happen once or twice while exhibiting at shows–that’s how I met the guys at Von Schweikert. But this was an instant brotherhood, and you could feel the love in the room.
There’s only one downside to the Sonner and Moonriver and OePhi and Pachanko room. Gunny, of course, played an album of Carmen variations that blew my mind. He’d been looking for this specific album for a long time, and when he finally found it he had to pay $150 for it. Looks like I have to follow in his footsteps. But that’s the price of knowing Gunny and his exquisite taste in music.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from Munich 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
Also don’t forget to check out our latest collaboration – a solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800g of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top which also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.