From bumps to Blu-ray plans - gossip, insight and previews from the Munich show
If it's detailed product stories and picture-packed show reports you're after, Andrew Everard has already slickly done the honours in our news section and not one , not two , but three blogs. However, here I am with a few extra nuggets of inside info gleaned from the best-yet Munich High-end Show...
First up is a link to the brand-new, dedicated website for the much-discussed NaimUniti, which certainly has an attention-grabbing illustration:
And yes, that is a pregnant woman on the right - though we did see several beer-fuelled male bellies in Munich that could have done as stunt doubles!
The NaimUniti, plus the company's new Ovator speakers, aren't the only new products we can expect out of Salisbury in 2009. Watch this space for more Naim newness later this year.....
Arcam doubles up on Blu-ray players
Meanwhile, starting to look more like 2010 than 2009 are Arcam's two Blu-ray players. Both transport and player versions were on show at Munich, and they've technically evolved since an early, single-box appearance at the Bristol Show back in February,
However, with the stunning AVR-600 receiver starting its worldwide roll-out, and the forthcoming FMJ AV888/P777 multichannel pre/power amp combination about to muscle its way off the production lines, the Cambridge company has plenty to keep it busy while its Blu-ray players progress. We hope to bring you a review of the AV888/P777 in the next month or so.
NAD Masters Blu-ray - with VISO to follow
Staying with Blu-ray, NAD revealed there are no immediate plans for Blu-ray versions of its Award-winning VISO cinema systems. They are in the pipeline, but NAD's short-term HD priority is the separates sector, with a Masters Series M6 Blu-ray player due in shops by Autumn. More details/pics when they emerge.
VISO fans do, however, now have the option of matching speakers for their systems: the VISO Twenty 2.1 set-up and VISO Thirty 5.1 package. The Thirty adds a centre and rear speakers (pictured below), should users want to start with the 2.1 system and upgrade to full surround. UK prices and availability to be confirmed.
Pure goes with the Flow
Showing off its whole range in Munich - DAB radio is big in Bavaria - was Pure. As well as showcasing its new iPhone-friendly Sirocco system (cheaper than some of the vinyl on sale at the show!) and Flow range of web-ready radios, Pure was buzzing about five new product launches it's got planned. The mystery products will be unveiled in the UK on 23rd August.
Actively Pencilled in for Temptations
Adam Audio was showing off the new Mk3 versions of its Classic speaker series - including an active version of its Pencil floorstander (£4800), which we hope to test for the Temptations section of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision shortly.
Still no news, sadly, on when we're getting our review sample of the hotly awaited Sennheiser HD800s, which we had such an in-depth preview of earlier this year. Other reviews have started to appear, but they're of an early-production pair, not the headphones you'll finally be able to buy in the shops - Sennheiser has been making some tweaks following post-production testing of those early models.
We'll keep you updated on when our full production pair arrive. Meanwhile, the HD800's closest competitor - Grado's new GS1000i - are on their way, too. Here's to a high-end headphone shootout....
I also caught up with Christophe Cabasse, product development manager of French speaker specialist, Cabasse, who revealed that "WAF" - wife-acceptance-factor - has become a global term when speaker designers get together to discuss the styling of their products. And there's me thinking it was a whathifi.com Forums phrase....
We got a sneak preview of the PHI speaker package - so new, the Cabasse website doesn't have an English translation yet - which aims to be a high-end style speaker package, available later this year from around £2000+. We've requested a review sample of that, and in the meantime will be getting our hands on Cabasse's IO2 speakers (pictured below) for our forthcoming Ultimate Guide to High-end, on sale late July. We also plan to visit Cabasse's French factory where the iO2 and others are made - look out for a blog later this summer.
Finally, as someone who's made enough typos in her time, I won't name and shame the manufacturer whose carefully crafted presentation on error correction featured an ironic spelling mistake, but at least it proved I was paying attention.... unlike at least three other journalists who'd fallen asleep. Tiring work, this show business!