High End Munich 2022 Analog Coverage Day 3

Yukiseimitsu Audio AP-0 analog record player

One person can't possibly visit every room at a convention center show as large as High End Munich—even if your sole goal is to cover analog products. Maybe that was possible a decade ago but now? No way! You must make editorial decisions and pass by some rooms. For instance, having given Avantgarde Acoustics and its new powered G3 iTRON loudspeaker system full coverage at AXPONA, I decided I could skip their Munich room. Little did I know that SME would be demonstrating its new Model 60 in the Avantgarde Acoustics room, so the Model 60 is not covered here. However, I did visit the factory for a semi-exclusive look so if you've not seen the coverage, click on the hyperlink.

Another odd anomaly in the coverage is that while I was invited to play records in the Nagra room in a "prime time" Saturday 3:30 afternoon slot and did so for almost an hour and a half, I didn't cover the new $175,000 Anniversary Reference turntable even though I played it! How did that happen? The room was SRO packed every time I visited and the idea of stopping the music to get a turntable "walk through" just seemed wrong. There was a second turntable out by the entrance but that area was also packed with visitors, so it was nearly impossible to get a "tour" there as well. However, the sound produced in that room using the new turntable, a full array of Nagra electronics including 4 HD amps, 2 driving Wilson Audio Specialties XVX speakers and 2 driving a pair of Wilson Watchdog subwoofers was voted by many as "best in show".

It sounded great but I'm not qualified to vote since I heard so few rooms, running from one to the next just documenting the new analog offerings. I played an interesting mix of music including an acetate of AC/DC's "Nick of Time" that sent a few audiophiles running from the room. I love when that happens! I also played the 45rpm 12" single Classic Records version of "Stairway to Heaven" (got applause), an unrelease 45rpm version of The Who's "Baba O'Reilly", the Electric Recording Company's mono cut of "Giant Steps", Bill Evans' "You Must Believe in Spring" from a forthcoming double 45rpm edition from Craft Records and an acetate of Hank Mobley's "Soul Station" as well as the 45rpm acetate of part of side 3 of Tommy. No Beatles, but a splendid time was had by all!

The new Nagra turntable's design concept and execution was covered in an analogPlanet news note.

I chose to go home on Sunday so had to fit it all in in 3 days. Day 3 was hardly "leftovers" as you'll see many really interesting new products including the AP-0 pictured at the top, from Japan's Yukiseimitsu Audio, though I wasn't happy to not see an offset angle on the head shell of the straight pipe arm.

I did manage to get cajoled by a friend into the iO room on the main show floor where I heard the €80,000 baffle-less iO NAKED loudspeaker system consisting of 3 different driver types (cone woofers, planar-magnetic midrange, and ribbon tweeter) suspended on a finely finished girder-like superstructure. Three driver types is a recipe for sonic confusion but the rendering of Pete Townshend's voice on a from-vinyl digital file I supplied of a track from Rough Mix was the most startlingly real sounding vocal I've ever heard from that track. I hung there for many tracks sourced from my USB stick and when I left the individual asked if he could keep the tracks on his server and of course I obliged. Despite the open baffle design, iO Design claims for the speaker 22Hz on bottom. Not sure if DSP is involved.

At day's end I hustled over to the Marriott to see two new phono preamplifiers from JMF Audio—a French company that's strongly associated with pro audio. It's now being imported to America by Audio Skies. The person with whom I spoke made his low regard for audiophiles clear in his tone if not in his words. When it comes to EQ curves and when to deviate from the RIAA curve we are on the same page. He seemed surprised by that since I'm an "audiophile reviewer".

You'll also hear that the show was super-crowded on Saturday and the noise level made dicey recording people talking. I think it fair to claim that analogPlanet's Munich High End 2022 analog coverage is the world's most complete. If you think otherwise, please provide the URL(s). Enjoy!

ONZOW Labo's picture

Dear Michael Fremer

We are waiting for your reply to our e-mail sent on May 11 regarding your claim on our product ONZOW ZERODUT.

If you are a real audio fan and have the responsibility to deliver proper information for each single post to your followers who must love music and audio devices, we have the responsibility to deliver ONZOW ZEORDUST, which needed over 10 years of research before it became a reliable product all users can safely use and not cause anything alike what is written on your below posts.



Below is the text of my e-mail I send to you on May 11 in case I send it to a wrong address.

-- send on May 11 --

I am Akira Ishibashi CEO of ONZOW Labo.
I'm sure you have read my post dated April 21st but here is what I've posted in case you've missed it.

Dear Michael Fremer

I am Akira Ishibashi CEO of ONZOW Labo.
I want to hear your prompt opinion for not having made any notice to us before posting the article dated November 28th and 29th 2021, especially when your information provided by WAM Engineering was still under investigation.
You’ve also received a few comments advising you to contact us, we have been waiting for contact from the day you posted those articles but you remained silent.

What is your responsibility of your media to your followers, especially when you target to criticize is a specific product, and how will you take responsibility to the misinformation you led to our product ONZOW ZERODUST.

For users led by this misinformation, no plasticizer is contained in our product and is absolutely safe to use, we are proud of our product.

Akira Ishibashi CEO of ONZOW Labo.

As mentioned in my post our product does not contain plasticizer which is used to make urethane products.
However this is unfortunately contained in other brand products.
The comment posted by wally tools on Nov. 29th saying they found 'tons of plasticizer' is right if they took another brand product by MISTAKE???
Also, what they experimented using UV or washing with boiled water is absolutely nonsense.
In what circumstance users will have to expose the ZERODUST under UV and heat???
Any product, including your precious vinyls will all get damaged.

The characteristic of urethane by age, being in hydrolyzed state urethane can melt and stick to the stylus.
This is why we do not use this compound.

We are prepared to answer to any of your questions.

With regards,
Akira Ishibashi

Michael Fremer's picture

Firstly: I did not see that email, but more to the point, I made no “claim” about your product. I reported the findings of a responsible party named in the coverage. I believe therefore that your email should be addressed to that party not to me. I reported his findings. I made no claims. He stands by his findings and will soon report on exactly what is the residue material.

tnargs's picture

Quite right. And yet, as commented by @SkepticalEye on ‘your’ Nov 2021 article, “I am surprised that MF hasn't at least shot an email to Onzow asking for their perspective. It would take, what, five minutes?” That’s what journalistic integrity looks like, of course. Yet here we are 6 months later.

But the quick sidestep approach to reportage also works.

WallyTools - WAM Engineering LTD's picture

Hello Mr. Ishibashi,

I am very happy to connect with you by phone or video link. Feel free to reach out to me via my website and I will then pass you my personal contact information. Thank you.


jazz's picture

if you have such high trust in Wally Tools, that you publish their opinion without necessarily making it your own, given your publicity, it will get quite important for other manufacturers, what Wally Tools thinks of their products ;-)

Nothing against Wally, I appreciate all the inputs. But this constellation can quickly wipe phono products from the scene. In case justified, it’s good service for consumers, in case not, it might occasionally feed some lawyers ;-)

mdiehl's picture

Hello Michael,
did I miss something or is it correct that you did not have Acoustic Signature at all in your videos? Did they not attend the show?


Michael Fremer's picture

Chose to not exhibit this year but I met with someone from the company in Munich

ivansbacon's picture

Are there any Low End Audio shows?
Shows that include things a middle to low income person can afford. (i am in the latter category and do not participate in the go into debt in pursuit of the American dream scheme)

I love to look at the high end stuff but when i see the price my eyes glaze over, i clutch my chest and struggle to breath.

Jazz listener's picture

under the banner “BestBuy”. Check it out, they exhibit in most cities.

ivansbacon's picture

Cheeky (maybe, and i love cheeky) but not helpful to a genuine question.

A retail store is not an exhibit nor can you speak with the reps from the companies. (or read reviews from trusted publications)
A show for the person who can not, or chooses to not to, pay a years salary or more for one component of an audio system.

Yes i make less than $40,000 a year and I have never purchased anything that cost more the $5500.

My love/desire to have quality sounding audio equip equals any other audiophile but my budget is well below that of the high end show offerings.
That technology does trickle down albeit with compromises and i was asking Mr Fremer, since he would be in the know, if there are shows for people like me who want to learn about such equip. He reviews such equipment but i was wondering if there was a show that was all inclusive and not just high end. I have never been to an audio show so i do not know all the offering on display at one or how they work.

Glotz's picture

At AXPONA, there were rooms with very affordable gear.

But most mfgs are trying to show innovation at these shows, as well as trying to impress trade reps and reviewers with great sound and new products. Many brands that are trying to get noticed are smaller firms with higher prices, because they realize they need to compete at a higher level.

It is a shame that there isn't more of a budget focus across the board in the industry, but my guess is the headphone crowd has dictated the lower end of the market. Perhaps they feel their marketing dollars are better spent online versus competing with the way high-end at audio shows?

eugeneharrington's picture

Great show coverage, as always, Michael! I too missed out on seeing/hearing the new SME 60 flagship turntable. There was no mention of this either on the show material or on the App. If you searched 'SME' you got a blank screen. It may have been a late decision or inclusion. I really enjoyed your discussion with the charming Japanese lady and the designer of the Yukiseimitsu Audio AP-0 analogue turntable. All in all, this was a very good show for analogue and a highly enjoyable one! Keep up the great work.