These 7 systems just didn't fail to perform they were downright embarrassing for the manufacturers. Whats concerning is that in all cases I think they felt their systems were performing well. The clue for them would be the amount of folk who walk in, listen for no more than 3 seconds and walk straight back out. This was not the case in my number one choice for disastrous sound quality where I think show visitors were just simply astounded at how ordinary it was and were trying to figure out how this much money could sound this awful.
6) Boenicke - I absolutely love the way these things look and the way they are made. The integral base allows the loudspeaker cabiniet to girate around on some kind of springing arrangement. It's amazing and beautifully executed! They are Swiss, they are stunning.....to look at........ They don't have a tweeter in the normal sense though and they sound like it. The have the treble quality of a Bose 301 from 1981. Not good enough at all in 2019 and definitely not good enough at the price. They also sound unbalanced due to the lack of extension in the top end. What a shame.
5) Magico - These were a pretty significant disappointment. The midrange had a real dirty sound to it and it was quite peaky and edgy. Somewhat coloured overall and many folk were just turning around and walking out. Definitely a case of not living up to the hype... at all.
4) Nagra - I don't know what was going on here. I love the way this product looks, the way its made etc but wow this was desperately ordinary sound for such a seriously pricey combination. Particularly dry sounding, a bit compressed and just wrong. Particularly so considering and comparing how good the sound in some quite affordable rooms was. A fail for Nagra at Munich 2019.
3) Elrog - Thomas seems like a nice guy but sheesh I have honestly heard better sound holding the phone at arms length while listening to 'on hold' music. Maybe that is overstating it slightly but seriously these enormous things produce no real bass, an incredibly coloured honky / wispy sounding mid and generally sound so little like the sound a musical instrument produces that they just have to be dismissed as a German curiosity. ???
2) Superjet horns. Oh dear. This gentleman was so proud of his creations. He needs to listen to some other systems at the show with an open mind though. These horns beautifully demonstrated all that can be wrong with horns. Screechy, hard, incredibly coloured and peaky. Completely un listenable even for seconds. They were just so wrong I and everyone else was busting to get out of the room. What a shame as he seemed like the nicest guy but he will not be selling any of these anytime soon based on his Munich Show this year.
1) Air Tight - This room actually didn't just offer the poorest of sound quality that sounded the least like any live music of any kind but it trounced it's opposition for dreadful audio quality by a large margin. I can't remember there being any bass but if there was it was forgettable but what wasn't was the nasty thin incredibly coloured midrange that reminded my of the sound of a broken iPhone playing through its inbuilt speaker. Trust me this was jaw droppingly terrible. A $1500 entry level system blind tested against this would have a 100% positive hit rate. Possibly the worst sound ever at Munich ever I give you the multi $100k Air Tight system. Massive fail!
I except that at another time, in another space with different music some of these systems may sound better than when I heard them. I suspect though where there is smoke there is fire and in all cases these systems were demoed with very easy to sound good music that on the vast majority of systems sounds very very good. These systems failed to impress, excite or sound like real music when playing back even the simplest of demo material.
Till next year, Phil.
Edited by Phil Fi