Munich Highend 2018 – 2

Part II: selected amplifier treats, tubes and semiconductors.

I was so delighted to see that Audion is still alive! The history of the brand is an  interesting one, and involves several countries. The significance of Audion is that it was among the first manufacturers to join the 300B flush, like this one from the current Classic line.

Cayin’s new tube amplifier kit with the SC6L pre and CS-845 power amp, the latter  with 845’s at the output. Cayin was strongly involved in consolidating the position of the PP tube amplifiers when they made their new entry in the 1990’s.

Whenever there were more colors than the two, with a high probability the devices  came from Italy. Here’s a selection of Viva Audio’s tube amps, including the Egoista 845 headphone amplifier.

Ayon’s new Crossfire EVO – DELTA delivers 50 watts from a set of four AA62B triodes.

LampizatOr Pacific looks like an amp but is in fact a golden dac with DHT’s on the deck, and no switching power supply.

If I understood correctly this amp was a proto of the Hifiman’s Shangri-La Jr headphone amp with four 6SN7s in line.

In recent years Poland and the Balkans have been prominently present in the high-end audio, but less frequently in Hungary. Audio Hungary has decided to correct the situation with its 100W Qualiton APX 200 push-pull amp with 4 x 6P45S (PL519 equivalent), 2 x 6N23P and 2 x 12AX7.

Air Tight celebrated its 30th year with the new AMT-300 Anniversary version of the previous 300B amp. The same coupling but different feedback solution.

The Luxman MQ 88uC power amp with four JJ’s KT-88s, modified from the 1969 MQ-60 amp. Based on Mullard’s circuit the MQ 88uC outputs 25W with a small distortion.

It is always good to see and hear Convergent Audio Technology’s legendary CAT St-1 preamplifier and the equally legendary CAT JL-5 power amplifier in action. These amps were already there when not many believed in the future of tube amplifiers.

Nowadays tubes are of course mainstream, and one of the old stagers is Thomas Mayer, here with a selection of more or less rare output tubes.


Munchen is the venue to come up with bigger and bigger whatever the object is, and that’s fine. Block Audio’s A-Class 250-500 W power amplifiers weigh 110 kg.

D’Agostintino’s 1500 watt (3000 watts to 4 ohms, and 6,000 ohms to 2 ohms) Relentless Monoblocks look bold and absurdly big.

The French Apurna is a newcomer in a heavyweight series. The manufacturer emphasizes technology, as much as the external appearance which varies from one individual to another. These amps do not have a price ceiling, they can come packed with jewels and precious metals.

From the other end of the price range, Cambridge Audio’s new integrated Edge A operating in CA’s own Class XA with a very few components and ultra short signal paths.

Chord’s new Etude power amplifier, wrapped in a compact aluminum chassis it delivers 150 watts into 4 ohms utilizing the new error correction technology.

More Chords.

A transistor amp too can have a style such as this power amp by Vitus Audio.

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