ERIC, MONICA and LARS by Engström

Here comes some new product photos.

// Timo


  • Timo,

    These are very beautiful with understated European aesthetics.  

    Are there any new updates to the type 2 amplifiers?  

  • I took these photos about an hour ago and attempted to start writing my review on Eric and yet I could only focus on writing now because I cannot stop myself indulging myself in the music reproduced from Eric playing straight thru the Dvorak, From the New World conducted by Istvan Kertesz and Falla, The Three Cornered Hat by Ansermet.  The two pieces of music have led me to the uncharted height of orchestral playback in my own system which is unheard of in the past!  
  • I can only think of using ‘crazily real’ to describe what I have heard!  Monica/Eric combo throws out a deep and wide soundstage at ease with a scenic integration of musicality, transient and attack.  Dynamic headroom is seemingly ‘no top and no bottom’ just following the surfing wave of the original recording!  
  • I welcomed 2018 with the addition of the Monica/Lars combo to my family.  It looked like a daunting task to set it up but the only difficult thing was to carry it to room.  The setup was straight forward with the tube placement well mapped out.  I deployed every single opportunity to ground all the components.  Getting the remote app was a bit of a mystery for me til Chris and Timo explained the process.  And now i walk around with it everywhere i go.

    The build quality and the aesthetically pleasing design have awed those who came to visit me.  The glass covers of the Lars is an architectural feat that has form and function (heat transfer from the tubes).  I especially love the 90 degree, 2 sided, curved edge facade in black and chrome of the Monica and the power supply.  Even with the system off, it lies there looking regal and majestic.

    I warmed up the Zanden 1200Mk3 phono, Monica/Lars and the Kronos TT.  

    Music selection would be the same as that when i listened to the JMF PCD302:

    Sinatra at the Sands (reprise, 1966 white label promo) – fly me to the moon

    Nils Lofgren – Acoustic Live– (AP reissue) – Keith don’t go

    Dave Brubeck – (King Records, 1965 white label promo) – Take 5

    Kenny G – (Arista, 1989) 

    Michael Jackson Thriller – (Epic, 1983 – white label promo) – Lady of my life

    Dead Can Dance – Into the labyrinth  (1993) – Yulunga

    Metallica – Black album (1991 Elektra (reissue) and Vertigo) – Sad but true

    Gounod/Bizet – Faust/Carmen (RCA Victor) – Carmen

    Ella and Louis – (Mono, white label promo) – Lets be friends

    Ernest Ansermet – the Royal Ballet Gala Performances (RCA Victor)

    Addition: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

    I wasn't really prepared for what i was about to encounter over the next 10 days.  I surprisingly picked up the Gounod/Bizet piece.  The drop of the stylus revealed an expansion of music beyond the boundaries of my side and front walls.  My eyes were looking everywhere, placing each instrument in its holographic bubble.  Each instrument can be heard as a separated entity and they still have the cohesiveness and unity as a group.  Instruments crystallised and became palpable.  And then came the bass.  I know at the beginning i was not getting bass below 60Hz as i had not repositioned my speakers to accommodate for the change in the amplifier.  Now that i have moved the speakers very close to the back wall and further apart, this has made the bass lower and opened the soundstage even more.  The music being played was way beyond my expectation.

    Then came the acoustic LPs.  The complexity and speed at which the Monica/Lars system portrayed was unbelievable.  It was not exaggerated at all.  It was just right...  Everything gelled heterogeneously.  I play my music pretty loud.  It was pleasant and not tiring.  I only got tired because of the sleepless nights due to prolonged listening sessions.

    Vocals...  Its a 300b and XLS to be exact.  I think the Emissions Lab 300bxls tubes are really amazing.  I can only reiterate the word Chris has used and that is "sonority".  Couldn't be more accurate as that.  Again, its just right.

    Last but not least came music of the Pop era, heavy metal and electronic music.  I find these albums extremely and increasing entertaining.  I was wondering if the Monica/Lars combo could keep up with it....  I shouldn't have doubted it at all.  Playing the electronic music of Daft Punks, Random Access Memories shed a lot of meaning to the music.  My wife was floored when listening to it. My second set of ears told me that sound of liquid flowing at the end of the music sounded visceral.  Metallica and Dead Can Dance are lovely tunes again for base, speed and surprisingly transparency.

    Overall, the Engstrom&Engstrom products i.e.: Monica/Lars or Monica/Eric are real statements in the super high end world (sonically amazing and aesthetically a masterpiece).

    Thank you Timo and Lars for your invaluable contribution to Super High End hifi equipment.  Your approach and ease of friendship and communication makes me feel very much part of the EE family.

    Chris, what can i say?  Thank you yet again for another winner.  Engstrom&Engstrom has reached Southeast Asia and it has opened ears and eyes.  

    Now i have to go through all my LPs again and again to get reacquainted with what i have missed out over the years.  And i missed out a lot.....

    Happy listening


  • Dear Marvel and kfm.

    It makes me very happy to read about the pleasure our products bring you. That is whats makes my work meaningful and encourage us to improve and create what we believe is honest and pure, a Scandinavian sound.

    // Timo
  • Apologies for not reporting for several weeks on the Monica/Eric combo as I have replaced the tubes in Monica and the rectifying tubes in the Eric based on the recommendation by PT therefore necessitating a few weeks for burning in. 

    Needless to say,  I am using Seiryu/Vertere/Takumi MC1 as my reference source at the moment!  This combo fearlessly and faultlessly picks up the recorded signal and let Monica/Eric carry on with the Devine job of, again,  fearlessly and faultlessly,  unleashing the dynamics and transient,  be it from a piece of cello sonatas by Jacqueline de Pre or Belafonte at Carnegie Hall or the Brave New World by Karajan!  This amp combo delivers an unprecedented calmness in resolving all the intertwining of musical passages leading out from various performers on various instruments.   All the diversified but yet concerted touching and tempo are meticulously presented not just audibly but also visually in front of me!

  • Please let me wish you all fellow friends in and around Hong Kong, a Happy New Year.
    I wish I was there to celebrate and get the party started on a system like Marvel´s.
    // Timo
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