2013 Munich High End Show Introduction

Greetings from Munich!
My tailbone hurts a bit from 12 hours in an airplane seat, but I'm here in Munich safe and sound. I arrived Tuesday afternoon and was in my hotel room by five o'clock. Just a lovely little room. By six I had taken a quick jaunt across the street to a little grocery store. By seven I had polished off a couple of bottles of good German beer and a sleeping pill. By eight I was out like a light. So much for jet lag.

The next morning I arose early. I was excited to eat a real continental breakfast. Days Inn has no friggen idea.


The weather report looked quite sketchy when I left Bozeman, but my first full day here, Wednesday, turned out glorious. I walked downtown and took a few pix.


You have to be careful on the sidewalks here. There's the walking path, and then a parallel bike path. Lemme tell ya, you better know the difference or you get run over.


We Americans think a 100 year old structure is old. Around here the cobblestones are older.



Not much for religion, but I do love an old church.


Pretty sure this statue's not very old. But it sure was an interesting counterpoint.


Downtown. Man, I can't imagine how much time the stonemasons spent building this place.


Once in the maze of downtown I turned around to head back and found I could ignore the street and work my way back in the direction of the hotel zig-zagging through courtyard after courtyard.




What a lovely walk back. This big guy was in the university area. Must have been the art school.


Hit up the little grocery store again for beer, crackers, cheese, and some marinaded artichokes. Ate a lovely little meal watching some Swedish ice hockey narrated in German. Pretty weird, there are two English speaking channels, four in Arabic, and one in Thai.

Asleep by seven. Just crushing the jet lag!

Thursday is show day. A short ten minute cab ride to arrive at the MOC convention center, and I was greeted by six lovely Bavarian women with Alphorns.


Very cool! The tone was warm and organic. Here's a little video.

The MOC center is a wonderfully light and airy space, really an ideal place for an audio show. Display rooms ring the interior plazas, and are much better suited than stuffy hotel rooms for speaker acoustics.


But I don't want to get ahead of myself here, time to sign off for the day, tomorrow we'll start looking at some of the headphones from the show.

I'll leave you with a little video of the inside of the MOC.

Stay tuned...much more to come!

Seth195208's picture

Especially Germany and Switzerland. The most secure job in those two countries is probably street sweeping. Everything is so damn clean. 

JIGF's picture

LOL, literally.

Stephen Mejias's picture

I miss Munich! Thanks for taking me back, Tyll.

Tyll Hertsens's picture

I've thought about you quite a bit while here. Sorry you couldn't make it. Before coming I read all your posts from last year and I certainly agree with your sentiments: This is a terrific show! Who knows, maybe next year we'll both have a beer on the platz together. I'd like that.

MattTCG's picture

Thanks for the pics. I was there many years ago. Brings back memories. 

sofastreamer's picture

finally my account works. thank you. when will be the best time to meet you tomorrow at the show?

Tyll Hertsens's picture

Good luck with that. The only advice I can give is to look for the sweaty guy in an Hawaiian shirt. These things are pretty much all work and no play for me. Cross your fingers...

Redbeemer's picture

Hi, Tyll:

Thanks for those great shots of Munich and the venue for the high end show!  I stayed in Munich when I was about four or five years old(and that's a very long time ago) to have my tonsils removed.  I loved Germany, although back then it was anything but a modern city.  Thanks for bringing back good memories and I look forward to seeing your coverage of the show.  Hope to meet you in Denver at RMAF this year!

ultrabike's picture

Nice Pics Tyll! Other than the show, the streets seem a little empty. Long time since I visited there. Have a beer! smiley

RPGWiZaRD's picture

Nice shots, wish my town would look even 1/10 as inspiring as this. :p

Can't wait to read some of your thoughts on new products, always interesting. Especially I'm interesting in feedback on the yet unreleased headphones such as NAD Viso HP50 if they have them there. I'm a "basshead with detail" kind of guy, I like roughly 8dB of measured boosted bass but I'm also extremely picky about the rest, want as flat mids & highs to go with that boosted bass. I have pretty high hopes for NAD Viso HP50 fitting the bill as it's described as a PSB M4U2 (great measuring & liked headphone) with slightly stronger bass (which I need)


Tyll Hertsens's picture

I liked the NAD on quick listen, but I don't think it fits your desires---it's nicely neutral, from what I could tell.  Have you looked at the M-100 (maybe not as even above the bass boost as you would like) or the Philips X-1 (as long as you're cool with an open can, I like it)?

Dinny FitzPatrick's picture

I also had a quick listen to the NAD phones the other day and liked them (though it was very brief).  Did not strike me as basshead cans.  Comfy.

RPGWiZaRD's picture

The M100 has a bit too recessed midrange/not even enough mids & highs and I need a closed or at least some isolation. I think in case NAD Viso HP50 isn't for me probably the only contenders left for me remains the new ATH-WS99 (unsure if bass quantity suffice, but otherwise it seems to fit the bill perfectly) and Ultrasone Signature DJs (have the EXACT bass curve I'm looking for with a round hill shaped curve meeting 8dB at 80Hz. I want also about equal much midbass as subbass so it's important to be centered roughly around 80Hz => the "border" between subbass and midbass range roughly. However mids could possibly be tiny bit too recessed or the highs tiny bit too forward for my liking on it)

Still using an M-Audio Q40 which I'm still extremely satisfied and returned a few expensier headphones and came back to it as none has satisfied me more yet. It's just the upgradeitis biting me as I'm pretty sure there has to be a headphone out there that satisfies my needs more than these about $100 street price headphones but turns out to be hard to find a replacement. This has the bass I'm looking for, it also has pretty even mids and highrange only lacking a bit of extension up top. Soundstage is somewhat compressed though but for my music that's not a big concern.

Jazz Casual's picture

Even their breakfast cold cuts are laid out with German precision. 

Cami's picture

I lived several years in Germany and Munich is a city that has a lot to offer. Not the most affordable of cities in Germany, but tons to do. I guess you must be enjoying yourself at the High End fair, but it's great you had time to go out for a stroll in the sun and get a feel of the city.

I just sat down and got to check the list of expositors, and there are several interesting manufacturers to check out. I hope you get to take your time to focus, vs the usual rushing from place to place getting rather brisk impressions. I think that although the space is pretty overwhelming, it's well designed and allows you to move quickly. I was there in 2009 (the year Sennheiser released their HD-800s), but I had sadly not yet discovered the world of headphones and head-Amps yet.

I hope you can spend some time at Sennheiser and get your hands on their new headphone Amp and DAC/Amp, and I really hope you can spend some time at Violectric/Lake People and have a talk with Fried Reim and his ideas for upcoming Amps and DACs, as well as about his particular and interesting philosophy in Amp design. It would be awesome to see a longer note and/or more in depth interview with Fried at Innerfidelity, and also some space dedicated to Sennheiser's new DAC/Amp and Amp. Owning a pair of HD 800s I'm really curious about how they perform with them.

With the generally formal atmosphere at the High-End, you must really kick ass with your Hawaiian shirts, lol :D

Have a nice one.

Mkubota1's picture

Very cool post Tyll!  Being able to combine travel like this and headphones/audio- it doesn't really get any better for an audio nut!  It's also very cool viewing our hobby from a different cultural point of view- it's not all the same everywhere.  It makes things 10x more fun and interesting.

Case's picture

Hi Tyll!

Did you by any chance get to listen to the King Sound Emperor Electrostats? Given their very competitive price point and the manufacturer's experience in electrostatic speakers, I think many people are really curious how these will turn out.