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Da Vinci Gabriel and Equilibrium turntable

edited January 2019
Peter Brem, the founder of the House of Da Vinci, had passed away on April 3, 2013 at the age of 64. At the last moment when he could still open his eyes, he told me via whatsapp on Jolanda's handphone the following: "I am very grateful of all audiophiles in Hong Kong who have supported Da Vinci for many years. I had very good times with Jolanda in Hong Kong. I hope our Hong Kong fans will continue to support Da Vinci when I am gone."

Audio Exotics is Da Vinci's oldest partner in the world. We started working since 2003 when Peter Brem sent over a pair of drivers that weighted almost 100 pounds each channel. I mistaken they were a pair of amplifiers but in fact they were just the driver stages of an amplifier. That was the legendary Grandezza system. Our decade long relationship began there. Over the early years, Peter Brem had tremendous influence on my comprehension of music appreciation. He taught me the old school - transformer based tube electronics driving high sensitivity speakers. I remember vividly how the Grandezza system together with the Intonation speakers captivated the souls of many. Mr. DV was born after he listened to the Intonation/Grandezza system. As of today, Mr. DV is the only one in Hong Kong using a complete flagship Virtu system - both the Virtu Preamp and Virtu mono block amplifiers.

Then the AAS Gabriel Analog system gradually rose to international stardom earning 4 straight annual golden ear award from Absolute Sound. There are plenty of AAS Gabriel and Unison users in Hong Kong/China. To the best of my knowledge, no one can ever resist the musical experience from the House of Da Vinci particularly on classical music. The realism of tonality on strings and vocal instruments is simply phenomenal.

Peter Brem was not satisfied with the grandezza line and wanted to introduce another amplification system that could really reproduce all kinds of music well. During his early fights against cancer in the hospital, he invented the VIRTU amplification system. To cut a long story short, AE sold a total of 6 pairs of VIRTU amplifiers within 3 months. That includes Shanghai Bigpiece who fell in love immediately with Da Vinci's very first grandezza cartridge in 2007. His amplification system consists of Nifty Preamp and Virtu mono amp. He told me he is not interested in any other brands after listening to a complete DV system.

Then Mr. Danny So, who is a strong supporter of Da Vinci turntable and electronics, constantly impresses many audiophiles in mainland China thru his complete Da Vinci system - Gabriel/Virtu arm, Nifty preamp and Virtu mono block amplifiers. A few weeks ago, he still called me to merit the Virtu amplifiers even though he had been using them for over a year. On behalf of Peter Brem and Da Vinci Audio, we are gratified by your reverent recommendations of Da Vinci to mainland audiophiles.

Even Douglas (Mr. Dalby) installed the Virtu tone arm as his 2nd arm on his NVS turntable. He commented the tonality resolution of the Virtu tone arm is second to none. Elsewhere, Charles who had recently rejoined our community also could not escape the magic of Da Vinci and ended up as another proud owner of Da Vinci electronics.

Because of Peter's deteriorating illness in the past 12 months, there were issues that might have caused inconveniences on some of Da Vinci fans. We apologise sincerely once again. Rest assured that AE will continue to support Da Vinci. During this emotionally difficult period, we convey our sincere condolences to Jolanda, Natalie and Sandro. Peter is a fine man with a pure heart. This is evident from the sound of Da Vinci. May he rest in peace. His great deeds in the audio world will be remembered. And the spirit of Da Vinci lives forever.

JLam and Chris


  • He was still working intensively during his last few months.
  • This was taken when we visited Bern after Munich Show in 2010.
  • Peter, we shall remember you always........
  • A maestro to be remembered....may Peter rest in peace...Gabriel and Virtu arm in my system will remind me how DaVinci captures and passes the impression of Peter's interpretation of music!
  • My Gabriel turntable eclipses every other turntables that were given a chance to stand side by side with it in the realm of classical music, particularly chamber music, strings and vocal. This is a fine piece of analog art. I shall remember Peter through the beautiful music spinning on the AAS Gabriel.
  • This is just sad. The Gabriel, Virtu arm, and Virtu phono are all Peter's masterpieces. Of all the turntables I have ever owned in the last 3 decades, the Gabriel tops the list for classical music performance. It is pure music. The tonality of it is so pure resembling the real tonality of strings.

    I am sure the spirit of Peter lives in our hearts.
  • Well..Peter Brem is certainly a solid vanguard of the old school. The rise to "Maestro" is materialized by the creation of Virtu electronics. Not many old vanguards are able to break their old ideologies and take the risk venturing into new territories. Even some of them are willing do, the results could be disappointing. This is not the case with Virtu amplifiers.

    I may not be classified as hardcore Da Vinci fans but the ownership of Gabriel turntable makes me proud as the rendition of classical music is simply surreal.
  • Of all the brands AE carry, I always like Da Vinci the most. Although I cannot afford the Gabriel, the Da Vinci Unision has continued to offer me an immensely musical experience. The Nifty Preamp is also a solid state preamp that deserves a broader recognition. Life maybe too short for Peter Brem but he has created a legendardy house sound that will only continue to be adored and allured by music lovers.
  • Peter is always with me, PT and with Audio Exotics.

    The road is very long to success. I am sure Peter contributes great part of it for High end audio lovers.
  • The pictures was taken in Bern Einstein's home museum. Peter told me about his view on relativity based on Einstein's joke......

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love with hi-end audio music. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special Da Vinci system for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity!!!

    I always remember what you have said.......I miss you very very much.
  • The house sound of Da Vinci is definitely unique and special. The sound of Da Vinci must be introduced to more audiences. I only own the Da Vinci Grandezza cartridge but it is a masterpiece classic. May Peter rest in peace and hope for the best for his family in the future journey of Da Vinci.
  • The spirit of Peter Brem continues to live. Master Chik is setting up a Ferrari Red Gabriel with two Virtu arms today.
  • I proclaim he is the best analog technician in Hong Kong
  • New Da Vinci Virtu arm. It is straight instead of bending. The headshell is gone.  This arm has much better transient response than the original Virtu. 

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