The Munich “Bird” Report

Hi all as promised here you will find my report as good as I can do it after some time passed and now. I will need your help as well a little bit as I will have to write it a bit in multiple different post. And as there is a limitation in the amount of posts you can do without a response I need responses from other forum members to be able to complete the report. It might also take a bit longer to produce the report as I will be in surgery on Thursday, but let’s see how far we get. The report is intended to give you my general impressions and trends I see. I will also drop some music I heard which was used for demoing - which always also helps me to find some interesting stuff……

I hope you will all enjoy my report, and that we get some healthy discussion ongoing…… of course as usual also with a lot of pictures.

As a last ps. I was two days at the show so I got a good overall impression……


I’m new to hifi so I’ve never been to a show so its interesting to hear impressions of what they are like to go to.

1 Like

I am responding as requested!

I hope the surgery goes well.


Let’s first start to express some general thoughts about the show. Before get into the individual impressions.

  1. If you are into Hifi and or music the show is an absolute pleasure. Nowhere you will have a better opportunity to get an overall impression of what is being offered and as a bonus you hear a lot of nice music.

  2. After COVID. While I was a bit afraid that it would have affected the character of the show it didn’t. It was as usual a great pleasure and at choice you could wear a mask or leave it be. The setup had a bit changed in that the big ones didn’t get the space they normally had, or they chose to be less opulent. I belief that was a lost opportunity. For Naim I belief the old setup was much better for the brand and created an atmosphere that people want to have a look and are excited. Even while Naim didn’t have exciting news, I still see it as a missed opportunity.

  3. Misrepresentation of audio systems. I was shocked to see how some suppliers displayed the goods. I know a show is always a suboptimal display of products. But at least one can make the best of the conditions offered. I saw in quite a number of displays lack of at least basic room correction. I saw for instance as well the supplier Dali and also others by the way having there reference speakers being under presented by a mediocre streaming solution and average amplification. Also so,e suppliers demoed with tracks which demonstrated that their system was not so capable to deal with certain frequencies / styles of music. D’Agostino and Wilson Audio was the worst example. And absolute reference system in such a media room setup. It’s a bit porn at daylight (I use the words as I found their system hifi-porn, see also attached picture)

  4. Use of real artist playing along hifi systems. Saw it before at Munich, but now it happened multiple times. In one case a quite interesting offering as the artist had also recorded with this scenario in place (for instance no or limited reverb in the recorded instruments) and the system also blended well……, in other cases it was not a good idea.

  5. Even more as before using a ticket system for attending the demos. This is quite annoying as it means that you are forced to come two days to see it all. And I belief it’s not needed as things regulate itself.

  6. In general you hear show music. The typical tunes which display the hifi type of qualities people pretend to belong to hifi and obviously also a lot of music which just sounds plain nice on any system. But still it’s nice to get in touch with music which is not so part of your core catalogue, and like me I bought some for me new stuff based on what I heard at the show. It’s then also refreshing to every now and then listen to a demo with often odd system setups which often sound great, which dare to also give you “difficult” music like a piano concerto or something like that.

  7. The Vinyl setups sounded to me this year less Vinyl and more clean more digital. I listened to quite some demos for which the popping was absend and where the typical analog sound was less present. For me a petty as I belief clean analog setups offer a nice different sound which I don’t have myself, however I still can appreciate it very much.


Appreciate the write up so far, I hope there is some therapeutic benefit too!

1 Like

My first stop at this years show was the Monitor Audio Groups room. The speakers they demonstrated have been for me the most beautiful ones design wise. A unique modern design. With regards to the sound it was in my impression a bit analytical “precise” sound……, but as often just a show so one would need to listen also in better conditions. But I had the feeling that the setup was more capable….


This was a track which I already pre owned, which was used in two rooms to demo the dynamics of the system. In general I love the work Yuri Honing is doing, and can recommend his last albums which are of high quality…., but this is also an interesting track to have a listen to…., put it loud….


I was not into Fink before the show, but have gotten his collection on my NAS. He was really multiple times used to demo systems. Great music with also a nice audiophile aspects to it. I copied in two songs I heard, while I heard other songs from Fink as well……


My next stop was the Nagra room. An amazing system, must have costed some Euros. They played Chitlin’s Con Carne from Kenny Burrell’s Midnight Blue and an alternative version of message in a bottle which my Shazam didn’t pick up (a problem which occurred more as before I belief). Had to get a bit used to the massive soundstage and also the fact that the sound seems to partly come from above, perhaps also because of my seating position. A very capable system - but a bit missing the “emotion” in my opinion. But again one should hear this properly setup….


Next stop was Ortophon. Nice speakers. The overall setup gave the ability to give the overall layers in sound accurate and with the right level of emotion.
They played Paul Simon’s Graceland and a bluesy song I couldn’t get the Shazam off. But overall enjoyable sound.


Was not completely on board with Audio Physic. They played the attached Malia song. They had difficulty with the sound - perhaps also to loud for the setup, but it sounded edgy and no so nice round as on my own system.


Many thanks for taking the time & trouble to do this Bert; it is much appreciated. I have really enjoyed your previous show write ups and am enjoying the same on this write up!
Good luck with the surgery on Thursday; I hope that this is not for anything serious.


Hope the operation goes well !
The speakers on the Ortophon stand look like Audiovector R11s - or a very similar array

1 Like

Thanks for doing the write-up, Bert. Good luck with the surgery - I hope they do a good job fixing your broken leg.

1 Like

Next stop total DAC. They played Michel Jonasz, Le Temps Passé and Take Five from the Kenichi Tsunoda Big Band

The emotions come well across, good scale in the sound (in the big band). Ambience also comes good across. A bit tendency to boom…, but might be the room as well.


Enjoying the thread as usual first class……hope you have a good outcome and speedy recovery.


In the Verity Audio room I had the warm bath of the so well know Verity Audio sound to me. While these new speakers miss of course the scale of my own speakers, they where also running a minimal setup with their own specific amp and a Melco. Clean sound with the earth you also want to hear. Obviously I compare to my own setup and was missing a bit the body I have, while the speakers definitely are nice for people looking for that size of speakers.

They played:
Dire Straits - You and Your Friend
Musica Nuda - Guarda Che Luna


At Audioflight they played Friend ‘n Fellow and I belief also some classical piano with Fabian Muller while I am not sure as my notes don’t speak about piano….
However the speakers are capable, while sometimes the feeling that the sound was a bit raw and edgy……


The Naim room was kind of a disappointment for me as I compared it to the shows in years before. In which they had two or listening rooms and more then enough space. Now it was a walk in room with a constantly running NDX - 300 system… they of course also showed the new grey stuff which I saw I didn’t cover on picture. With two headphone editions with multiple different Focal Headphones.

The main system had a clean sound was pleasant to listen to. I heard Chris Stapleton - Death Row and Axel Thesleff’s Bad Karma. Overall with the speakers a good control of the baseline, but not the best way to demonstrate your system.

Then I spend some more energy on listening to the headphone edition with two Focal Headphones. I first had quite a letdown, as the iPad for the steering of the music in the morning was already out of battery…… (what about attention to detail).
But anyhow I later had a try again and compared the Stella with the Utopia. I preferred under those conditions the Stellia’s - they where more pleasing more round full sound. But again a
So affected by the show noise which is of course better isolated by the Stellia’s. Definitely a setup I will consider longer term.


I appreciate your report Bert, especially as I’ve never been to a big audio show. I’m familiar with Nagra’s excellent recorders, but had not appreciated they sold domestic hi-fi. Focal Utopia headphones are generally well thought of, but as you say a closed back is more suited to these conditions. Thanks, and the very best go luck with your operation.