Munich High End Show 2019

Chord Electronics

As part of the firm's 30th birthday celebrations, Chord Electronics has announced a new phono preamp, the Huei.

Compatible with both moving coil and moving magnet cartridges, it has high- and low-gain switching settings on the front panel for convenience. It offers further compatibility thanks to its impedance-matching and switchable rumble filters, as well as both balanced RCA and unbalanced XLR outputs, and RCA inputs.

For the first time in a Chord phono preamp, there's an ultra-low-noise microprocessor for controlling its main features, including a memory function. 

Precision-made from aircraft-grade aluminium, it looks a lot like their Qutest DAC - you can see its inner working through the top viewing window, and of course there's the company's trademark illuminated control spheres.


Arcam has announced its new flagship integrated amplifier from its HDA product range, the SA30.

Packed with features, including AirPlay 2 compatibility and state-of-the-art room correction technology Dirac Live, the company’s new amp will be on show at the High End show in Munich this week.

Driven by Class G amplification – 120W per channel into 8ohms and 220W into 4ohms – the SA30 aims to blend low-level detail with power by initially using Class A amplification with a single power supply, before utilising an additional supply to drive larger sections of the waveform.

Inside is a 32-bit supporting ESS Sabre ESS9038 high-end DAC, through which customers will be able to feed a volley of sources both old and new.

Among the SA30’s five analogue inputs is a switchable MM/MC phono stage, catering for turntables of all stripes, while a further four digital connections complete the array.

AirPlay 2 and Chromecast are also catered for, with Roon Endpoint status and MQA support ensuring the SA30 is capable of decoding the highest possible quality digital files. The HDMI ARC function, meanwhile, equips this Arcam amp to function as part of a home cinema set-up as well as in a tradition hi-fi system.


Canadian high-end manufacturer Classé has introduced the third generation of its Delta range. So far it consists of three products - a two channel preamp/digital-to analogue convertor and a choice of stereo or mono power amplifiers.

The Delta PRE is a well equipped unit. It’s not short of digital inputs featuring USB, AES/EBU and a plentiful supply of coax and optical. The analogue side hasn’t been ignored either, with there being enough balanced XLRs and single –ended connections to accommodate the most complex of two-channel systems.

Both power amplifiers have plenty in the way of grunt. The Delta STEREO outputs 250 watts per channel into an eight ohm load and doubles that as impedance halves, while the MONO (don’t forget you’ll need two for stereo) delivers an even more impressive 300 watts, also doubling that output into a four ohm load.

But these amplifiers aren’t just about muscle. Classé has considerable heritage when it comes to designing Class A circuitry and has put that experience into these new amplifiers. The STEREO outputs the first 12.5 watts of power in Class A while the MONO takes this up to 35 watts.

Take a look inside these products and you’ll find generously specified power supplies and plenty of premium components together with carefully laid-out circuits. Both amplifiers weigh in around the 50kg mark, so they’ll need a strong support.

Astell & Kern

The Astell & Kern Kann Cube is capable of twice the power output of the Kann through its balanced connection (12Vrms vs 7Vrms), with a new amplifier design that ensures that higher power capability doesn’t compromise on low distortion levels. Users can select low, mid or high gain modes depending on the headphones connected. 

Building on the Kann’s internals and specs elsewhere too, the Kann Cube utilises two 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs in a dual-mono configuration for superior performance, and features the latest quad-core processor for greater computing capability.

Onboard is 128GB of internal memory (trumping the Kann's 64GB, and expandable by a microSD card), a 7400mAh battery (up from the Kann's 6200mAh) promising nine hours of playback from a single charge, and file support for 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256.

13 May, 2019 by Michael Babb
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