Munich High-End 2024

The AudioNec Evo 3

Kicking the trend at this particular show – where large speaker systems generally failed to convince – the ‘something over six-feet tall’ AudioNec Evo 3 put on an impressive, authoritative and musically communicative performance – in a Hall 4 sound cabin! Bass was especially impressive, which given the environmental limitations, is all the more astounding. Bi-amped by a combination of a darTZeel CTH-8550 integrated, paired with an NHB-108 stereo amp, this was one of the most coherent and engaging sounds at the show, as well as the best performance I’ve heard from the often-underwhelming darTZeel electronics. Hopefully I’ll be investigating the AudioNecs’ charms in greater depth later this year.



Long time comin’ – the Rui Borges Pendulum turntable

I first came across Rui Borges turntables many years ago in Lisbon, with a prototype of his large Pendulum model driving an impressive CH/Stenheim Reference Ultime 3 active system. Later I encountered several of his ‘table-top’ designs but soon after that, the brand appeared to disappear without so much as a ripple…

But in a true instance of past paths colliding, Fawzy Issa – founding partner at Hi-Fi+ magazine – pounced on me at the show, dragging me almost physically into the ZenSati room in his enthusiasm to display his latest interest. There, proudly dominating centre-stage was the finished beast – a Rui Borges Pendulum (along with its creator) in all its final glory: and glorious it certainly is.

As seen at the show (and in the pictures), the Pendulum will set you back €85K – a chunk of change but also something of a bargain compared to other top-flight offerings from the likes of TechDAS. But that’s only half the story. The ‘table at the show was fully loaded with all the options – including an upgrade platter and main-bearing, upgraded stand with massive, solid legs and a three-box power supply. The turntable actually starts as a table-top design priced at €13K. Adding the internally mounted , rocking, pendulum-weighted motor to that model, raises the price to €15K. From there you can advance by modular stages to the layered-chassis, floor-standing model with its massive and extremely long pendulum – which in its basic form, shorn of optional extras – will cost you €30K! That’s a bargain simply in material terms while every indication is that the performance is just as impressive as suggested all those years ago in Lisbon. From there, you can expand the power supply into its three-box transformer/super-cap/oscillator form, beef up the stand in terms of material and mass and indulge in more platter and a bearing to match. The ‘table will accept two tonearms of any length, but is crying out for longer armtubes, just to balance the overall aesthetic. But despite all those options and the costs entailed, I strongly suspect that the base model, long-pendulum version is a stellar performer. Time will tell as it looks like I’ll finally be getting to play with this fascinating and distinctly different turntable design.