Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage is Germany’s largest HiFi show after Munich High End. It is hosted in Holiday Inn Hotel in Hamburg from 4 to 5 of February. I have never visited such a show before and I was pretty curious to check how some very expensive systems are going to perform and what is possible in terms of audio reproduction.
The show was located not far from my home and was free of entry charge which sounded like an invitation. At the end I found myself in a wonderland labyrinth consisting of many rooms with their own character and sound. I had a chance to enjoy some cosy atmosphere and very good reproduction, though the limitations imposed by the small sized hotel rooms were obvious.
Hand made in England – Exposure XM5 integrated amplifier and XM3 phono stage made quite some impression. Rated at 60 watts per channel (8 ohms) the amplifier comes complete with HiRes DAC, MM Phono, Fixed AV, USB, Optical and BNC inputs.
MM & MC input switch plus adjustable loading & gain switches on the back panel of Exposure XM3 Phono Amplifier
System consisting of Dali Spector 6 loudspeakers (600 euro pair) driven by Exposure XM5 integrated amplifier (1.500 euro) and MoFi (Mobile Fidelity) turntable made me quite an impression.
Fisher & Fisher SN 70, compact loudspeaker made of natural slate
Fisher & Fisher SN 170 loudspeakers made of natural slate were paired with Electrocompaniet CD player and integrated amplifier inside Hi-Fi Racks Limited.
Innuos Zen MkII music server feeding KEF LS50 loudspeakers. Designed to minimise power noise, which highly influences sound quality, it features linear power supply, ulltra-low noise USB output, and medical grade mains filter.
Innuos Zen MkII music server sitting on top of a beautiful Qadraspire Rack
Odeon Tosca loudspeakers with full digital playback stack from Aqua Acoustic, Grandinote Proemio line preamplifier, Grandinote Celio phono preamplifier and NAT SE1 Single Ended Mono Block Power Amplifiers
Odeon Tosca driven by NAT SE1 mono blocks was one of the most involving systems on the show throwing very deep and well defined soundstage.
Live Act Audio’s Big-Diamant coaxial loudspeakers paired with EternalArts preamp and OTL Mono blocks. In spite of the lack of enough space one can easily access the big potential this system has.
Omnidirectional horn speakers from Duevel – Planets, Enterprise and Venus
Some new music was discovered
Graham Audio LS5/9 loudspeakers paired with EAR 834 push-pull stereo integrated amplifier, EAR 88PB phono stage and EAR Disc Master Turntable.
Harbeth P3ESR monitors driven by Creek Evolution 100A integrated amplifier, Starter turntable with The Wand tonearm and Croft phono stage. One cannot imagine what a big and well defined stage these small monitors are throwing.
There is a pleasure for headphone lovers too – Grado RA1 headphone amplifier
Ballfinger M 063 – 21st century analogue reel-to-reel tape machine. The processor-controlled drive is directly driven by specially developed, brushless DC disk motors.
GamuT B67 reel-to-reel tape machine — by now the best transport I’ve ever heard. I listened to some tape records of The Doors and the reproduction was stunningly real.
GamuT RS3i stand-mount loudspeakers
Little library of tape records at the GamuT room
Voxativ Hagen and Zeth full-range loudspeakers
The guy from Avantgarde acoustic explaining how the horn speaker works
The view from the Holliday Inn Hotel located in Hamburg