I visited yesterday the first show since the high end. It’s called the Deutsche Hifi Tage which translates into the German Hifi Days. It’s my intention to again produce a report for you with my impressions. A good report of the played music, some comments about the hearing impressions, while this will be more of a music listened report. I again would need your support in every now and then responding to a post so I can continue the report without being stopped by the maximum number of posts.
Some first general impressions
It’s initiated / organized by two Hifi magazines in Germany and is located in the Darmstadium in Darmstadt - a nice event location with on average quite decent listening rooms, not totally a disaster as at other shows.
It was a having a bit less grandeur as the last pre-Corana edition in 2019. Our favorite brand was for instance also missing, while still there in 2019…
As it’s less rooms as the high end, as the room quality is much better and as the brands tend to give you a real demo experience it’s across the line much more a nice listening experience.
It was also nice to see that in multiple rooms they stayed away of the typical audio show evergreens and really gave you an experience.
So while it was a bit less than in 2019, it was nevertheless enjoyable.
The picture represents a big setup in the entry area which of course was playing bombastic music
As I promised I would also mention a lot about the music. The setup above played the above piece. As a ps at some demos Shazam was not working well. I have the impression Shazam was better at recognizing less popular music.
The first room and the first two pieces of that room. Geithain with another brand which I forget but you might be able to recognize it from the photos.
The presentation of the system was clean, airy, polished……, however I was missing also a couple of things. I wrote it down in my notes as “polite but what about rock” after the first song. Than later on I wrote it doesn’t sound filthy, I miss the balls and the emotions…. The system might work well for people who like light classical music, folk etc……, didn’t find it fitting for rock or large scale orchestral music……, but based on the demo I might sell them short.
The above songs have also been played at Geithain. The Kings Singer and Zuchero was still playing to the strengths of the system. While I also missed a bit of body for the kings singer. The Marcus Miller was for me displaced at that demo as the system was to polite for the piece ……
Oh. I saw the posters advertising, but did not go. I went a few years ago and had a not so nice experience. A guy who was loading our CDs onto a player for the customers had just been eating a greasy pizza. Well the cd came back with greasy paw marks all over it. I was not impressed. As far as the show was concerned, there were many rooms with the usual issue of hearing several of them which ruined any sensible demo or listening session. This is why I never bother with these events anymore
Then I got to the room of Wilson Audio and Dan D’Agostino. Based on earlier experiences I was looking forward to this as I always have had the felling that these two brands could represent an alternative choice when I would start all over again with audio. However with the big appreciation also a couple of footnotes emerged which made me think that you always need to find a good listening scenario to evaluate and also need to realize that even the best systems also have their shadow sides.
The first piece I heard was of Hubert Von Goisern. Not an audiophile piece but a raw piece of Austrian Alps Rock. The system was very capable to express the fullness and rawness of the song which evolved further in the song. The system was always in control, more or less effortless. It however left me with the question of refinement which I hoped to explore in the rest of the demo.
And interesting information was given about the setup. On the one hand they had placed the speakers very much crossing each other to deal in some way with the negative aspects of the acoustics of the room. And in addition they had also put foam in the bass part to make it a kind of closed back speaker, also because of acoustics.
The refinement was clear in the next piece of Sara K. Which came across in a very pleasant way…
I get your experience, the different rooms try to align a bit with each other to avoid the mentioned issue while it sometimes indeed still happens that you hear a soft classical piece while the neighbor room is creating a big party.
The most annoying however of these shows is sometimes the people who are there and use the show to have a friendly conversation with each other while you try to listen to the music - very very annoying.
However for me I still get more pleasure of visiting and living the experience than not going and missing out.
Still at Wilson Audio. We also could see the young generation of audiophiles, she by the way was behaving in a good manner a stayed quiet while listening with her father.
The Mancini piece was by the way actually a more recent version as you might think as it was re-recorded by Monica Mancini.
The Weavers interesting to listen to the low bass effects created by the foots on the podium. And how accurately it was done.
For Tannhauser it was good to position the sound in the recording location.
Braggin of Bob Dylan was sounding refreshing as I am not that much of a Dylan fan
For the Doors I found the high tones a bit on the edgy side, but it could also have been the recording itself, didn’t yet check it at home.
Berlioz - the conductor is overamplifying the effect, while it is very nice to listen to it on such a system which is so in control.
Pink Floyd, the music of Pink Floyd seems to be made for this type of a system, while I would have liked a bit more of warmth.
So all in all a pleasant demo, and yes I do still like the system. However if I would be in the market for such a system I would consider a couple of aspects to be reviewed and evaluated further…
The system is very very controlled. But would like to see a more home like off setup if the emotions and the warmth can also be transported well by the system, or if it’s just too much of focus on control.
I would also like to combine the amplification with a bigger version of the speakers, I have heard that before and I belief it then forms an even better combination.
I will continue with the show report later when I get some replies.
At Elac / Clearaudio I had an issue with Shazamming the music they played. Anyhow it was not so much to my liking from a sound quality perspective. Obviously also in comparison to what I heard before…. The system sounded a bit thin, focus was mainly on the treble and middle area of the sound spectrum…, bass was not pronounced enough….
I was shortly at Grimm Audio. The music they played fits well to the system on display. While at first the system sounds clear, clean a bit warm…., you soon start to miss the required depth…. While nice looking not my type of system.
Backes and Muller was my next stop. It was an enjoyable demo, while I don’t agree to all what they are talking about (the brag on the use of normal cables and normal electricity supply as the artists also just have simple cables etc…). Their argument you don’t have to spend large on things we tend to spent a lot of money as audiophiles.
What was quite interesting to see how they could tune the active loudspeakers to basically compensate for your room or adapt to your personal preferences. They have a kind of device which enables them to equalize and move certain frequencies forward and backward. They also showed pictures of difficult room situations of their customers for which they delivered the “perfect” audio system. They also explained a bit on how their system is capable to better control timing etc of the speakers… and I have to say it sounded quite fine while the refinement was not reflected in the demo, so would still be interested to hear how the speakers sound when they would play different kind of music with extreme heights or more refined.
By the way they demoed the bigger boys the Line 60 with this strange design - while it might look quite modern in a modern villa……
Still with Backes and Muller now about the music which was auditioned, a fine collection of pieces with balls which some systems wouldn’t be able to bring accross like this system could ….
Ozone Percussion Group, which I heard more during the day gives you a very nice way to test certain aspect ps of your system like attach, decay, tonality etc…needless to say that the speakers delivered.
With Daft Punk, as expected a clean and controlled bass, while a lot of people will not have the possibility to play the music at these kind of volume levels at home.
Friends of Carlotta - nice sound stage, demo friendly music
Patricia Barber - again sounding good, but I get to the point in the demo in which I started to ask my selves how well these speakers deal with for instance a soprano or other extreme high notes…., I wouldn’t get an answer for that during the demo….
Jim Keltner - I belief the speakers are made for these type of pieces as again we hear drums, while I would have loved to hear a piano…
The last one with Backes and Muller was mighty Sam, and it also sounded good. By the way this Friends of Carlotta is direct to disc thing and might be interesting to get our hands on it - I will have a look for it.
And as mentioned such a demo always leaves you also with some things you would like to explore more with the system. So if I would get another option I would like to hear sopranos and piano music to check how this is doing with that.
For people who are more interested and live in Germany apparently they have an extended demo and factory tour on the 15th of November in Saarbrucken….