My father once told me: “you bring a cow to China, it is still a cow”. It is especially true with speakers; you bring a good pair of speakers from Las Vegas, USA all the way to Munich,Germany; they still sound good.
Every year, the good speakers do not surprise me. On the other hand, it is the new good sound that I’m looking for. This year, one of my big speaker surprises is this pair of speakers - Epoque Reference from Gobel (Germany). It uses an interesting wave driver called "Carbon Excellence". From the description, the "Carbon Excellence" bending wave driver based on the patented bending wave technology by Gobel is the core of this Epoque Reference. The bending wave driver is based on the principals of sound creation through musical instruments and is the result of over 15 years of development that Gobel invested in order to achieve the most natural sound possible. The speakers indeed sounded great from vocal to big orchestra.
The Elac room also sounds incredibly good; another dealer from Dallas on this trip also agrees with me. The vocal is extremely seductive with what I called meat and bone. Once we learned its list price, I may say that the Elac speakers are the best sounding speakers at its price.
Another good surprise is the PMC room. While I walked into the room, I thought this room sounded good. When I look, they are the new PMC speakers. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the amplifiers behind it, but they are by far the most musical PMC speakers I have ever heard.
The Tidal room is always my favorite, and probably the room I stayed the longer to listen to music. The amount of energy and impact moved by these speakers is truly amazing.
Being an owner of Focal speakers, there is no big surprise of its capability, but it is always interesting to see/hear how it mingles with other component. The Focal + Soulution indeed is one of the best sounding room at the show.
The new YG – Sonja was one of the speakers I thought they sounded okay at the CES. This year at Munich, I heard a completely different sound, it’s as dynamic, as clean, as natural, but it has great emotions. I took note of the amplifier and preamplifier with this set – Qualia & Company. They don’t look cheap (the chassis is crafted from a solid piece aluminum), but probably one of the reason why Sonja sounds so good.