Rooms to Visit, Products to Hear…

Living Voice – Room Atrium 4.2, E220

No – not the Vox speakers this year! Instead, Living Voice will be demonstrating the latest RW4 iteration of their Auditoriumcompact floor-standers. But what promises to be really interesting is the tube amplification from SJS. Really good line-stages are rarer than prairie oysters from a toy farm. Really good line-stages that cost less than a compact car are almost non-existent – but SJS make not one, but three! Their model 7 Enhanced line-stage weighs in at £8,500 (inc. tax) – and it’s not even the bottom of the range. ( With the standard Model 7 costing £5,500 and two models above the Enhanced (one with even fancier bits and one with all that plus copper casework) that’s four seriously interesting propositions that – in true Living Voice style – outwardly look almost identical. Similar multi-level offerings apply to the phono-stage and the Model 5, 300B power amp – surely the prettiest SET ever! The SJS electronics promise to be musical and sonic giant killers. Just which giants they slaughter is going to make for interesting viewing…

Living Voice – Part Two

And for all those for whom affordable tube excellence is a little low rent, you’ll also catch a glimpse (and possibly an earful) of the new Kuzma Safir tonearm. This exotic exercise in analogue engineering breaks with accepted practice, especially when it comes to effective mass. Results with Kuzma’s own CAR-60 diamond cantilevered cartridge could be very interesting indeed.

Stenheim/Dartzeel– Room Atrium 4.1, F113

Remember those, “Is it live or is it Memorex” adverts, all billowing soprano and shattering wine glasses? In an entertaining variation on the theme, Stenheim and Dartzeel will be hosting a series of live music events, featuring Saxophonist Jérôme Sabbagh and his band. Only in this case, while fron-man Sabbagh will be present in the room, his band were recorded in New York and their contribution will be played back via the new Dartzeel NHB-460 amplifiers and Stenheim Reference Ultime 2 loudspeakers. With a first chance to experience two significant products and a little live music thrown in, I suspect that this will be one of the hot seats at the show.

Wilson-Benesch– Room Atrium3.1, C114

The enigmatic and relentlessly high-technology, UK-based Wilson-Benesch continue to plough their own unique furrow. In fact, over the years, their distinctly different approach has actually helped obscure just what astonishing technological and material value their products represent – although with high-profile introductions like the massive (and uniquely sophisticated) GMT turntable and Eminence loudspeaker, that has finally started to change, with high-end purchasers starting to look at the products themselves, rather than just the price-tags. This year the Munich Show will give listeners their first chance to hear what just might be the company’s most important speaker in years. Unmistakably a W-B, the new Omnium floor-stander combines driver technology from the flagship Eminence with a new biocomposite cabinet material and segmented construction (making the whole thing considerably easier to ship, handle and install).  Representing something of a blueprint for future developments, the Omnium is priced at $169,000USD, pitching it straight into the maelstrom of the most hotly contested high-end market sector, face-to-face with some of the most popular brands and models. Expect the new Wilson-Benesch to come out swinging!