High End 2013

Tucked away in the corner of a very large space on one of the ground floors of the MOC, site of High End, was a glass counter that could have served as a jewelry case in an upscale department store, but in this case it contained audio jewelry designed by Dietrich D. Brakemeier of Acoustical Systems of Utting, Germany. One case contained versions of Brakemeier's fascinating turntable-setup protractors, which appear to exceed all other versions in complexity, detail and price. The top-end model, the UNI-Protractor, is priced at 795 and the step-down SMARTractor a less breathtaking 449. Dietrich agreed that the top model is aimed at the professional who sets up systems for a living, while the SMARTractor is a much "smarter" buy for the keen enthusiast with only the occasional need to change cartridges or tonearms.

In the other case was the Axiom tonearm in several versions and the matching Arché headshell. The tonearm is a dynamically full-balanced pivoted tonearm and can be ordered with a fixed or detachable headshell. The options are beyond the scope of this show report, but the tonearm's base price is 11,800 with a fixed headshell. The Arché headshell starts at 495 and climbs from there. Despite the stiff cost, the Axiom had audiophiles drooling on the counter.

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