Sonny – What makes a booth/room at a HiFi show? Great gear or a little treat for your taste buds? Well after the Bristol Show I was super happy with Leema Acoustics for giving out Maoms (my favourite sweet) as well as having tiny speakers that gave a big punch. That being said, Munich was more about the drinks, beers were a plenty and so I decided, there had to indeed be a drink of the show.
Leema were also present in Munich and didn’t dissapoint with a bowl of Maom!
Runner Up – Audio Technicha
Cambridge Audio were briefly in the running with their Camden beer but in the end I had to give the runner up spot to Audio Technicha for having their own branded energy drink, which went down a treat on these exhausting days. That being said it didn’t taste as good as Red Bull so was only good enough for the second spot.
Winner – Bryston
Bryston were making coffee and I mean proper coffee. They were crushing the beans in front of you and making delicious cappuccino or espressos on a Pavoni machine that was clearly the real deal. Man it was good and I am not afraid to admit it but on the last day just before we got the airport shuttle, me and Josh sneaked up for a cappuccino. The coffee was on the entrance but once you had got your refreshments you went into the listening room which fortunately, made the room even better because Josh was mesmerised by the system, I will let him go into more detail.
These guys didnt stop making Coffee through out the show!
Josh – Quite a few of the rooms at Munich went to a far greater effort than simply setting up the system at the back and putting some chairs in some sort of arrangement as you entered. Bryston was one of the companies that went to town on the room setup and feel with a cordoned off area for listening behind a pretty hefty partition that separated you from their extraordinarily good coffee service. They went the extra mile within the listening area too though, all of the absorbent panels were a lovely wooden finish which matched their lovely MiniT “compact” speakers. They also matched the benches that we were all sat on and when you combined all of this with the lighting and the ambience they managed to create it was a really great place to be, you could argue that while you were in there it didn’t feel like you were at the same show! It was like you was in a homely cabin in some Canada mountain range, they have had a cowhide rug!
On to the gear though, and they were demonstrating their £3125 BDP-2 Linux based digital player with their £2600 BDA-2 external DAC, the £4250 BP26 pre-amp and a pair of the very powerful £10,500 (a pair) 7BSST mono block power amps. All of which sat on a rather nice, rather large stand, and all powering Bryston’s own £3000 wooden veneer MiniT speaker which was really nice actually as I’ve only ever heard Bryston tech powering PMC speakers prior to this as PMC distribute Bryston here in the UK. I thought that these speakers looked great, the wood veneer could have been a little more convincing but they were imposing and I like that, maybe because they were surprisingly large for a stand mounted speaker at 571mm, 267mm, 250mm.
Something else that was surprisingly large was the sound that was being put out. It was a large involving sound that I couldn’t help but get sucked into. I found it really engaging and above everything extremely easy to listen to. There were no frequency spikes or any harshness from anywhere. We had some really good bass extension and texture which was controlled wonderfully by the 600W powerhouse behind them. I took away from this room an impression of a really enjoyable, engaging system and the idea that these speakers sounded far larger and far more accomplished than that fairly modest price tag suggested. I found myself so transfixed that Sonny repeatedly asked me to “hurry up” and “come on” but I just wanted to sit, and listen.