Holborne is a comparatively new Swiss name. The company has hitherto concentrated on electronics, but recently launched a turnkey Analog 2 turntable package, complete with external power supply, mag-tape driven platter, ‘dualpivot’ arm and Benz-sourced MC cartridge. The package is said to cost around €5000.
One of the best rooms in the show was playing a lot of vinyl as a matter of course. The decks of choice in many rooms this year were Spiral Groove and Dr Feickert, but one of the more exciting sounding examples was the Scheu turntable and arm package playing through ASR electronics, Westforest and Thixar isolation systems, Organic Audio cables and YG loudspeakers. This was a system so good, it would be hard not to recognise it as star of the show.
Even record cleaning machines had more presence than usual, Okki Nokki had a whole stand devoted to the cleaner, but the most talked about record cleaner on display was the Audio Desk Systeme Record Cleaner, a slow, expensive, methodical and ultrasonic cleaner that is currently making a big noise in making vinyl a lot quieter.
Of course Munich wouldn’t be the same without a spot of extravagance, and that came in the shape of the Uranie by French amp experts Jadis. Costing something close to €90,000 the huge subchassis and stand are made out of granite, by an expert who spends six months of the year working outdoors. So he builds turntables in the winter and you’d better get your order in before September!
Perhaps the most epic vinyl room was the Swissnor room. The company was making some pretty fine tube amps and a very good sound, but it was also showing off and selling off some excellent refurbished classic Thorens decks, and even had a couple of one-off prototypes on show. Sadly, the glorious blue TD 124 had been snapped up long before I arrived, but I couldn’t help love the looks of a classic autochanger.
Last, but not least, the Munich show has far more record sellers than almost any show this side of Milan. The album traders take up a whole side of the show, selling new audiophile vinyl and classic well recorded albums alike.
Vinyl will never die if the Munich set have anything to say on the matter!