Magazine article Gramophone

How High Is High, and How Will It All End? the Upper Echelons of the Audio Industry Seem to Be Aiming Ever Higher with Their Statement' Products-But Just How Sustainable Is This Business Model?

Magazine article Gramophone

How High Is High, and How Will It All End? the Upper Echelons of the Audio Industry Seem to Be Aiming Ever Higher with Their Statement' Products-But Just How Sustainable Is This Business Model?

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Yes, it was called High End 2016, but wandering around the annual show in Munich a month or two back, two things struck me: one is that, as the show has grown in size, so the scope of products on show has expanded, and the other is that those companies fitting its original description are aiming ever higher in their search for customers.

The show has been organised by Germany's High End Society for many years now. But of late the show has changed: in the past it was an event of passing interest to the overseas visitor, usually to see the state of the market in Germany; however, in recent years it has become the major global exhibition for specialist audio, overtaking even the massive CES held at the beginning of each year in Las Vegas, despite that event's attempts to boost its hi-fi presence.

Why? Well, CES is very much a trade show, whereas High End manages to combine the twin functions of trade and consumer event: of almost 20,000 visitors over the four days, some 7000 were trade visitors, coming from 69 countries, while the 518 exhibitors spread over more than 28,000[m.sup.2] of floorspace came from 42 countries, with well over half of them from outside Germany. And British interests were much in evidence: after domestic visitors, the European countries best represented were Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and France, while visitors from beyond Europe were predominantly from the USA, Canada and China.

It's not hard to see why: the location of the show is easy in terms of transport links, both national and international, and the venue is excellent, with a mixture of open exhibition floor on which stands can be built and closed rooms for more sound-oriented demonstrations. That has played a large part in the expansion beyond the original High End brief into a wider spectrum of the audio arena, where you're as likely to see the superb little Astell & Kern portable players, Roberts Radio products or Naim's Mu-so wireless systems as you are heavyweight turntables and speakers.

What's more, representing Gramophone at the show, I was pleased to discover that not only is the recognition of the magazine still as strong as ever, but manufacturers were keen to meet me and discuss the possibility of products for review in these pages. Over the course of my few days in Munich, I was able to line up reviews for the next few months, not to mention politely declining offers of some very expensive equipment for consideration. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.