HIGH END Munich 2023 Show Report – Part Three

Totem Acoustic
It was great to find a true Canadian audio product manufacturer there at the High End show. Totem Acoustic is based out of Montreal, Canada. In fact, Vince Bruzzese, founder / owner of Totem was there in person presenting his latest products. The highlight of the room and demonstration was the new Totem Bison loudspeaker line. The Bison line includes three models presently: Bison Monitor C$2500; Bison Tower C$3500 / 3680 and; Bison Twin Tower C$4,500 / 4,950 – and that’s per pair! You can see the Tower and Twin Tower in the picture sitting inside of the slender flanking white Tribe Tower speakers.

The electronics included both YBA and VTL. While I visited, Vince espoused some of the features of the new Bison speakers as in the room I was able to hear the Bison Twin Tower.
The Bison line is Canadian-made, with all drivers custom designed by Totem. The drivers ensure maximum phase linearity, speed and off axis consistency for optimal spatial articulation. The crossovers are kept as simple and non-intrusive as possible and are handmade on fiberboard / insulated polymer boards rather than PCB’s, with mechanical crimping – all to ensure the best sound. Delrin decoupling claws are provided which break up standing waves and control resonance.
The Bison Twin Tower was played while I was there. This loudspeaker is a 2-way, three drivers, that incorporate one passive driver for extended frequency response of 31 to 31,000 Hz and a 90 dB sensitivity. The sound of this loudspeaker was surprising and perhaps shocking, in terms of its broad frequency response, evenness of dispersion in the room, natural detail and finesse, with a seemingly unbounded and natural soundstage. I walked away very impressed with the value given the performance and price point.

had a large static display of their products, a stylistic line that offers both form and function.

Being shown for the first time was the all-new Cabasse RIALTO wireless hi-fi active bookshelf speakers 2990 / pair. These loudspeakers provide three drivers in a single compact box with a concentric tweeter and midrange drive, paired to rear facing 17 cm HELD woofer. They are capable of incredible sound pressure levels, up to 121 dB peak for a stereo pair, and a frequency range of 30 to 27,000 Hz, given the internal tri-amplifiers of 300 W (tweeter); 300 W (midrange) and 450 W (bass). It also incorporates a Streamer / DAC as well as room calibration, with a lovely control/display on the top.

Also, being shown for the first time was the Cabasse Abyss – wireless hi-fi stereo amplifier 2 x 215 Watts per channel, with a convenient and attractive, front LCD colour touch screen control 1,690.

Davis Acoustics with Jadis Electronics
The Davis Acoustics and Jadis room was appropriately headlined as, L’Art de la Hifi Made in France, with these two French companies paired up to deliver some auditory delights. Appointed with some visually soothing ferns the setup was fronted by Davis Acoustics all-new THE WALL new concept loudspeakers 22,000 / pair, a relaunch of the companies Heritage Range of products. At 51” tall, 28” wide and 12” deep, THE WALL has an intimidating physical presence.

THE WALL is a 3-way / 4-drive loudspeaker. The grill conceals a midrange and tweeter while the cabinet itself contains two woofers in push-pull configuration. These loudspeakers were paired with Jadis Classic Series JA 170 Class A 85 Watt monoblocks 25,000 / pair controlled by a JP80MC preamp with JS2 Mk IV DAC and power supply. Listening to My Favorite Things by Youn Sun Nah, I was impressed by the silky sweet natural vocals while the track The Echo Game from House of Flying Daggers was marvelous with its impactful dynamics and quick transients.

Métronome with Davis Acoustics and Jadis
Close by was the Métronome room. Here Métronome provided their world premier of their all-new AQWO 2 Hybrid DAC + SACD / CD 20,000, paired with Jadis Electronics JP80MC preamplifier and JA30 MkII monoblock amplifiers, playing through Davis Acoustic Stellar loudspeakers 35,000 pair (black) or 40,000 / pair (wood veneer).

Off to the side was the magnificent looking Kalista Dreamplay XC CD / SACD Network Player 68,000 from Métronome.

The sound of this system was liquid with a pristinely open and airy treble that was relaxed with a beautiful tonality. Cables were by Audioplan, also a French company.

Wattson Audio with Enleum and Apertura
Wattson Audio
from Switzerland was showcasing their new Madison Lounge Edition (limited exclusive series) streamer / DAC 4890 that incorporates a number of enhancements over the standard Madison, including: new output stage topology, optimized circuit, internal voltage regulators and more robust power supply, exclusive very high-quality analog section components and enhanced filtering. Seen here top shelf just right of centre.

The Madison LE was being demonstrated with the first showing of the Enleum flagship amplifier AMP-54R (prototype) €25,000, playing out through Apertura Forté loudspeakers €7500.

This relatively affordable system sounded very defined and detailed with an expansive and wide soundstage and a cooler tonal presentation.

was aiming to make waves by providing patrons to their room with an opportunity to feel true sound. Being featured was the companies new R-N2000A Network HiFi Receiver €3799 and their all-new R-N800A €1100, paired with their NS-2000A €3499 / each and their all-new NS-800A €2100 / each (sans stands), respectively.

The sound of the R-N2000A with NS-2000A was rich in tone, with satisfying mids and a polite and unpretentious treble; a very affordable and musically engaging system that should garner wide appeal. On static display was also their all-new R-N1000A €1599 accompanied by a pair of Yamaha’s own NS-3000 bookshelf speakers, atop their matched stands.

PART 4 : (to come soon)