High End Munich - Fair report part 1
HighEnd Munich 2022 is over. It was exciting, loud, inspiring and also a bit exhausting. 😅 And although the head-fi, i.e. everything to do with headphones, only made up a relatively small part of the fair, it was worth it!
We had great conversations with some of our manufacturers, potential new partners, and were able to try out a number of exciting products - and even took two of them home with us. But more on that later. 😉
Special thanks to Spirit Torino, who, as co-exhibitors, enabled us to present a few Cayin products with their headphones.
Spirit Torino were represented by 4 employees and presented their entire range of headphones and a large selection of materials, also demonstrated the structure and construction and even had three completely new products up their sleeve.
These aren't industrial products like most of the competition - they're handcrafted - craftsmanship at the highest level. Except for the drivers, which are specially manufactured by the supplier in South Africa, every headphone, every single part is made by hand in Turin, Italy, and you can see, feel and hear it.
It starts with a variant of the Mistral, the Mistral Radiante (Pro). In contrast to the open Mistral (Pro), the Mistral Radiante is a closed headphone that, like the "Radiante" headphone that gives it its name, has a passive external radiator to reduce the pressure to regulate in the closed chamber. The result: the same tonality as the Mistral, but more bass pressure and, of course, acoustic isolation from the outside.
The Mistral Radiante is available as a Bluetooth (+cable) and pure cable version (Pro).
Spirit Torino have been looking for a perfectly suitable amplifier for the "Valkyria" for quite a while, but were not satisfied with any of the devices on the market. So, without further ado, it was decided to build such a device itself.
In Richard Wagner's "Ring des Nibelungen" Sigfried, the hero, and the Valkyrie Brunhilde are a couple. Andrea Ricchi wanted to achieve no more and no less when he designed Spirit Torino's new hybrid amplifier "Sigfrid", which was perfectly matched to the "Valkyria.
I saw live how the former boss of a well-known German headphone manufacturer listened to the combination of "Sigfrid" and "Valkyria", after a while jumped up from his chair, Andrea Ricchi and the im room and said it was the best headphone and amp combination he had ever heard.
Even Meze's founder, Antonio Meze, spent an hour in this station wagon and then left the room, his face pale.
The "Sigfrid" will soon be officially available and, like almost all Spirit Torino products, can be freely customized. You can choose from different woods for the front, different designs for the side panels and different colors for the volume control. It remains to be mentioned that the "Sigfrid" naturally also gets the best out of other headphones! 😉👍
Last but not least, my very personal highlight: Completely unexpectedly, I suddenly saw a version of the "Valkyria" dressed entirely in black in the Spirit Torino listening booth.
My questioning face met Guido Haschke, co-founder and longtime advisor to Spirit Torino, who just smiled and said this wasn't a Valkyria but the new sister model "Pulsar".Of course, I immediately wanted to know what it was all about and what the differences were.
He told me that the "Pulsar" was basically identical to the "Valkyria" and even had the same drivers like the big sister would use. The goal was to make the sound of the "Valkyria" accessible to more customers without having to forego the essence. Anodized aluminum is now used instead of titanium and the cable has been replaced by a simpler, but still very high-quality silver-coated copper cable.
Since the production of the "Valkyria" is extremely complex due to the titanium used, a whole chunk of money could be saved here, which is ultimately reflected in the price: The Spirit Torino "Pulsar" is sold for 6000 CHF/EUR ( instead of 12'000 CHF/EUR at the Valkyria). That's still a lot of money, but the sound it offers is definitely worth it in my opinion!
The "Pulsar" isn't just a stripped down "Valkyria" and calling it a "little sister" is almost a bit cheeky of me. 😅 I apologize in all form. "Twin sister" would probably be more correct, because the customer does not have to make any compromises in terms of processing quality and configurability.
The most important thing at the end: The sound is damn close to the Valkyria! You get the same signature, power, verve and grandeur as the Valkyria. Only a listening session on "Sigfrid" revealed small but subtle differences.
Due to the different resonance behavior of the materials titanium and aluminum as well as differences in the cable, there are tonal deviations that are not huge.
While the Valkyria goes to work with "weight", the "Pulsar" appears a little more light-footed, is a little more airy at the top and a little slimmer in the bass. Voices are just as clear, natural, and haunting as the Valkyria.
One thing is very clear: the "Pulsar" is just as much a flagship headphone as the "Valkyria"!
I would recommend the "Valkyria" to music lovers who already own a suitable flagship headphone amplifier or are planning to get one and simply want to have the maximum of what is technically possible.
For half the price, the "Pulsar" is a dream of headphones that is a little easier to achieve, but you don't have to make any compromises in terms of sound!
The surprise came at the end when Andrea Ricchi gave me his very first "Pulsar" ( Serial number 1/1000 🤩) packed, signed and gave it home so that our customers can test these extraordinary headphones themselves as soon as possible!
I just have one thing to say:
"Grazie mille, Andrea. Grazie a tutto il team di Spirit Torino cheer presente!"
You gave everything to present your wonderful products at the HighEnd.
Cayin & Satin Audio
As mentioned before, we brought some Cayin and Satin Audio products to test ourselves, which were presented in the Spirit Torino cabin.
The new large Cayin HA-300MKII tube headphone amplifier and the portable Cayin C9 were able to prove their skills with Spirit Torinos Valkyria, among other things. The new Cayin N8II digital audio player served as the highest quality source.
A Satin Audio Perseus cable (4.4mm Pentaconn to dual XLR) specially made for the trade fair and a Satin Audio Perseus jumper cable (4.4mm to 4.4 mm).
In the next part of our HighEnd Munich summary, we will visit Ferrum Audio from Poland and introduce a few new acquaintances and products
Stay tuned! 😉👍
HighEnd Munich - trade fair report part 2
F700 at the
Very nice pictures and interesting first report from the Munich High-End Show. I am looking forward to reading the next part :-)
You hopefully will drop one or two sentences about the Lime Ears Anima.