StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: design

Bloc & Roc

Bloc & Roc is a new British audio specialist located on the outskirts of London. With a small team of designers and craftsmen, they are dedicated to producing high performance headphones made for everyday life. The Galvanize range has been two years in the making. The series combines high grade materials with British engineering, and has been designed as a superior alternative to the mass-produced headphones which currently dominate the market. The Galvanize series consists of two distinct designs - S1 and S2. Both have been crafted from 6082 aerospace-grade aluminium. The speaker chambers have all been hand-prepared then finished in either black, red, grey or 24-carat gold. The 24-carat gold plated deluxe editions. Photos by Bloc & Roc.

Nic Poulson - ISOL-8

Nic Poulson is a telecommunications engineer who studied and worked at the BBC in the eighties as a sound engineer. After leaving the BBC in the early nineties and further developing his passion for audio equipment, Nic has become a well-known designer of electronic circuits with Trilogy Audio Systems company. He also designed and implemented runway lighting systems at various airports. For us the most important thing is that he was one of the first people to notice the problem of power supply systems. That's why he founded IsoTek - in order to deal with this in an appropriate manner.

Albedo HL 2.2

Hi-end world may seem mysterious and bizarre, but when you understand some mechanisms and taste the close contact with the music, it is not hard to get involved in this hobby. Even cables and power conditioners are of major importance for the owners of hi-end audio systems. However the speakers are the most important element. To climb higher naturally we look for the ones which are more professional and refined. It's hard not to notice that the majority of speakers available on the market look roughly the same. Many manufacturers offer big, three-way speakers with four classic drivers, high gloss finish and leather, metal or glass accents. Woofers can be placed on the front, on the sides or on the bottom of the enclosure. Treble can come from a dome, ribbon or other stuff and so on, but the problem is that most speakers apply ventilated enclosures, which is too boring and obvious for many audiophiles. Instead, you can choose the electrostatics and magnetostatics, but it requires a lot of courage to make sacrifices in interior design. It may turn out that the best place for them is right in the center of the listening room. Additionally there is a need to purchase an amplifier with a very high output power.

The making of Rubicons

If you want to see how one of the largest companies in the loudspeaker business makes their newest speakers, you have to watch a video prepared by DALI. Danes recently introduced a completely new series named Rubicon and on their example you can see how to make cabinets, drivers, crossovers and everything you need to create whole loudspeakers. Additionally, you can listen to various members of the team and see what their job is like. In less than five minutes we are presented with all stages of the production, including listening tests, final quality control and packaging. Rubicon series models are interesting because they employ a number of technologies used so far in the top series Epicon. Most characteristic are lightweight tweeters built on soft dome membranes made of wood fiber.

Sonus Faber Olympica III

Many manufacturers of audiophile devices occupy a specific area of the market and introduce new constructions, designed to catch the attention of people listening to silver cables. However, there are some companies able to make their way in the world not only for audio freaks, but for other people as well. Sonus Faber is certainly one of them. This brand needs no introduction for audiophiles, but people interested in design, art and even motoring may also know it, because it is responsible for the Pagani Huayra car audio system. Its speakers can be seen not only in stores with amplifiers, but also in museums and art galleries. It is not surprising because the Italian designers treat their sets as works of art. Uncompromising approach to design coupled with a respect for tradition and modern technical solutions is particularly visible in the most expensive loudspeakers. That is why the set of Olympica III arrived to our office. This is the top model from the series named after the Olympic Theater located in the city of Vicenza.

Peter Bartlett - Cyrus

Some audiophiles claim that one of the fundamental principles when selecting hi-fi equipment is simple - if you are going to buy a speaker, amplifiers or cable, check out how big is the factory where it's built - the bigger it is, the better the equipment. I honestly don't know where this comes from, because Bentley has a much smaller plant than Toyota or Nissan, but I would rather drive a Continental GT instead of an Auris or Juke. Smaller, highly specialized factories are able to chase or even outrun big corporations. Some say this may happen with speakers or tube amplifiers - stuff that doesn't need innovative thinking, but when it comes to streamers or digital amplifiers, large manufacturers will always be ahead. But is that necessarily the case?

Paolo Tezzon - Sonus Faber

Sonus Faber is one of the most recognizable brands in high-end speaker market. The company was founded by charismatic Franco Serblin and it has built its reputation mostly on audiophile monitors. Massive boxes finished in real wood and leather have earned favor with music lovers around the world in a relatively short period of time, turning a small factory into the rank of a place where real works of art are born. One doesn't even need to know about technical matters to see the artistry of Italian designers and craftsmen. A few years ago the catalog has been fairly stable and divided into three main lines. Top models rarely changed, while slightly larger movement prevailed in the lower series.

Remote control by Encore Seven

A young company from Poland - Encore Seven - just launched a new remote control dedicated for Egg-Shell Prestige tube amplifiers. It is an innovative product both in terms of functionality, and design. The remote looks like a wooden sphere and it can be finished in gloss black or white color. The other interesting option is natural wood with visible structure. The remote doesn't have any moving parts. Instead you have to just spin it on a horizontal surface to change te volume level.

Focal Spirit One, Spirit Classic & Spirit Professional

Focal is one of the most powerful companies in the loudspeaker market, making mainly domestic hi-fi speakers and car audio components. Everything is produced in France under one roof, or rather several to be more precise. The scale of production has forced the company to build a large complex of factories and laboratories and take over the cabinet factory where most expensive enclosures are manufactured. After the launch of Aria and Easya models, Focal decided to expand its line of headphones. The first Spirit One model was very successful, so engineers decided to continue this winning streak and create a whole series of headphones based on the same design. New models had to be targeted at different customer groups. Because the basic construction remained the same, functions and applications of new headphones had to be different.

Triangle Color Floorstander

The French are very progressive. Not only do they want to be first in everything, but they often are. It seems that the concept of usual economy is sometimes limited in this country. If it wasn't true, they probably wouldn't build the famous TGV train or the Millau Viaduct. Travel with ordinary train or a bus would be much cheaper after all, and instead of a giant overpass you could easily build a road leading down and then up the valley. The French definitely can go crazy. From time to time they put aside the standard thinking and do something that others see later in admiration. No wonder that many companies producing hi-fi equipment have built their power in France. Especially speakers manufacturers. Triangle is one of three largest producers of speakers in France. Founded in the early 80's, it first came up with some unusually shaped speakers, but many people criticized the company for a lack of technical innovation in the drivers.