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Dear friends of AE.
To be part of the 6th AE Super Hi End Audio Gala, was as great as always. The re-union of the Super Hi End team, both from AE, the manufacturers and Audio Technique Magazine, is such great fun.
I feel proud of the common achievement we made, and from the reactions and excitement all friends of AE showed, the efforts were all worth it.
I’m especially glad for the warm welcome to our latest product ARNE, that some of you got the chance to audition when I made a short demo during the Sunday session.
Always looking forward to my next trip to Hong Kong.
707708 6th AE Super Hi-End
Still trying to fathom the
barrage of information from the "Seminar", I start off with the word
seminar. Now this was a little convention of audiophilia where four very
different settings were presented:
Noblesse/Zanden Kaun/ Wadax and Vertere/ Topwing Red Sparrow
(Brahms/Firebird)/Engstrom Monica, Eric and Arne, Hartvig Statement/ Wadax
3. Alysvelox Botticelli/
trinity golden reference / Da Vinci Gabriel
4. Full suite of JMF
Room 1 started off with a
slight disadvantage because returning connoisseurs would be very used to seeing
overstated speakers in this room (Divin Majestic, Cessaro Carmen, Cessaro
Universe etc.) Another slight disadvantage would be for those who have been
to the Divin Laboratory as well, as expectations and comparison would
come naturally. But putting preconceived opinions to a side, this room is
more mortal and down to earth. The speakers would just about meet the value
proposition of price vs size vs living space vs wife. When listening to
the pieces of music on friday,
when the room was not filled with seats and people, it was surprising that the
"baby Divin" was able to voiced out bars and bars of melody that
filled that huge room. The traits
of the Divin Majestic could be felt in the Noblesse. It delivers that balance of umph and sparkle when
needed. This is obviously music
and distortion (chairs, people x100 on the Saturday) dependant. The accuracy transcribed by Koichi-San’s
Red Sparrow cartridge set at RIAA reverse on the Zanden Phonostage to the music
of Yamamoto Tsuyoshi Trio – Midnight Sugar (USA reissue) was phenomenal. The Kaun redeemed itself from last
years problems. It worked
effortlessly in the environment given and showcased it unmistakable double push
pull Zaden signature. Well done
Yamada San…. This is another
mini Divin Lab in the making…
My adventure in Room 2
started on Friday when I was told by Chris that tension was running high
because the long awaited Firebird was still “flying”. Arrival and custom clearance meant that it would only arrive
at 0700 on the day of the event.
SO the Cessaro Brahms was hauled in to hold up the fort. And IT just did that! With the Wadax transport and Hartvig
Statement/thales statement/Blue Dragon leading the way, the Engstrom
Monica/Eric combination married it matrimoniously with the Cessaro Brahms. I cannot remember of such effect back
in 2016 when the Eric was paired up with Carmen. Track after track, digital or analogue, the non-fatiguing
flow of music kept on coming.
The Ferrari red, Cessaro
firebird stood tall and majestic on Saturday morning with an extra shine from
Ralphs smile of relief. With no
time to waste, it was made to work hard for the next two days straight out of
the box. Is it a horn or a
conventional speaker? The horn is
not big. There are two front
loaded drivers and 6 subwoofers driven by 6, 500watt amplifiers. Now this beast has a completely
different character to its brother of the previous day. It has characteristics of both a horn
and conventional box speaker. The
Firebird has a control panel in the rear with a myriad of connections. Apparently this will be able to be
controlled in the future via apps on your smart phone. I like the firebird for its control and
pinpoint accuracy and imaging. The
subs go really low. The air from
the horns is unbecoming of the small spout.
300B or not 300B?
When is a 300b tube not a
300b tube? This is the situation
when you line up 4, 300b tubes in a Engstrom entry level integrated amplifier
called Arne (Ar ne). I was especially
interested to know the capability of this integrated amplifier as it was paired
up with the colossal goliath, Living Voice in Munich.
Arne is a common first name
for Scandinavian males. Now this
Arne is far from being common, originates from the old norse word for eagle also
means the central stone in Norwegian Homes. Powerful in its name and powerful in its delivery. Lars has done magic again with the
Arne. He has been able to extract
bass from the crypts of the 300b tubes where no man has gone before. Absolutely
amazing! Reminds me of the Lars2….
Due to the Firebird
configuration requiring control to the subwoofers, the Arne was used as a stand
alone amplifier without running the subwoofers and once as a power amplifier
via the Monica. I must say that
it’s a true winner in delivery and aesthetics. The looks is unmistakably Timo Engstrom and its sound
is unmistakably Lars.. Kudos
Sorry too long like usual.
More to come.
707708 6th AE Super Hi-End Audio Seminar
Room 3 came as a surprise to me seeing a super accurate full range panel speaker being represented. Interestingly enough it was paired with the preciseness of the Trinity Golden Reference suite. My love for panels go back a long way. Its holographic accuracy, eeriness and presences in unbecoming. The Alysvox Botecelli / Trinity Golden Reference just brought this up by notches. The material used and the 1-2 cm displacement in the panels is far greater than the 1-2mm in yester years. The unrestricted flow of music produced by this combo was phenomenal. I will be very interested to hear more…
Room 4 was without a doubt the JMF room; from powercords all the way to the speakers. This was actually the first room I visited on Friday. Laurant explained the history and philosophy that started the company back in 1985 by his father and how the passion evolved over the years. Providing products for the industry made it very special and probably explains why I am unable to explain my emotions for this room. The most eyecatching piece was the speakers. With the large drivers facing forward and the GIP like ala Goto horn, one would wonder how difficult it would be to synergistically marry these two synchronously. But wow, didn't it just do it right?!!! Absolutely superb.
Last but not least are 4 words that could not have made the show possible: Skogrand, Dalby, Tripoint and Argento. They lay on the floor, plugged in and out and when selected carefully brings out the very best in everyone. Kudos to Knut, Lee, Miguel and Ulrik.
Chris and the AE Family, thank you for another mind boggling event for the senses. The amount of information attained was extraordinary. I wonder what else you have up your sleeve.....