Listening in Room 1
Here are Miguel Castro and Javier Millán posing proudly with their new Kroma Elektra speaker. Miguel took care of the cabinet which is made entirely from Krion, which is the same material of which the Artesania Krion Platforms are made. Javier was responsible for the crossover design.
There was no shortage of vinyl!
This was the first night, during which only dealers and press were around, no guests just yet. This was just as well, because this turned out to be a difficult room acoustically, and some important tweaks were made over the course of this day, evening and night so that the guests could be treated to overwhelming sound the next day.
The amplification and digital side was courtesy of Swiss CH Precision, the only exception being the CD player which was by T+A. This is a fine player but still something of a makeshift solution, because the courier delivery of the CH Precision player was delayed. The beautiful pieces of furniture that the equipment sits on are the new Artesania racks, designed by Miguel Castro, named The Absolute Rack.
TechDAS Air Force III in all its glory on top of the new Artesania racks.
Unlike last time, this marvellous player was not fitted with a SAT arm and although there are many factors responsible for the sound, both times the same Kiseki Purple Heart NS cartridge was used, and so I am quite sure that this Kuzma 4-point tonearm sounds very different from the SAT. The latter on the same turntable was super-neutral and dynamic while the combination with the Kuzma sounded warmer, more mellow.
These are the new Artesania “The Absolute” racks, designed by Kroma Audio’s Miguel Castro. The racks are brand new and had been finished just before the event. They are made from a combination of Krion (the black parts) and Panzerholz (the wood parts).
The CH Precision M1 on top of the new Artesania Krion/Panzerholz floor platform. Cayetano told me that I could be in trouble after hearing them and promised me that I could review one of these floor platforms. This will be after the Munich show, so keep an eye on the HFA front page!
The side panels are flanked with a beautiful inlaid material. Very likely I will also review a pair of Kroma Audio speakers in the near future, but it won’t be these big’uns!
The CH Precision M1 power amp is a special piece of technology. Raphaël has told me all about it! For example, one can connect to it using a tablet and adjust all kinds of parameters. This is true for all CH Precision equipment but the amp’s functionality is particularly interesting because it allows free adjustment of the feedback. Want the sound smooth and free-flowing? No problem, move the slider all the way to the left. Want punch, power and control? Also no problem, move the slider to the right. Or somewhere inbetween. As we found out (best I could cope while eating, drinking and chatting) the value of 20 was the best compromise between fluidity and control. When we listened to the system again the next day, we were still happy with this setting and Raphaël told me that this indeed seems to be a setting that many people end up with.
I will publish an interview with Raphaël shortly, as part of a review of the C1 DAC and A1 Power Amp which will be supplied by Bjorn Mateijsen of Netherlands-based Audioingang.
Here’s Miguel cueing a record on the TechDAS. The sound of this system was acoustically utterly convincing, with absolutely lifelike timbre and huge dynamics. I’ve never heard vocals and percussion reproduced this realistically. Choral works were tear-jerkingly beautiful but the speakers worked very well with a wide range of music.
Naturally, the evening ended in the hotel bar!
Left to right: Cayetano, Raphaël, me and JW.