StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: design

Ken Ishiwata - Marantz

Ken Ishiwata is probably one of the most influential personalities in our industry. His engineering talent allowed him to design many great devices and modify Marantz's standard equipment. Amplifiers and CD players signed with his initials are very sought after, and regular models only go into production after gaining his approval. Born in Japan in 1947, Ken Ishiwata is also one of passionate music lovers who had a chance to experience almost every major technology and music format, from tube amps to streamers, from mono recordings to hi-res music files. Privately, he's a very original person who likes to share his passion with other music lovers.

Klipsch Heresy III 70th Anniversary Edition

We live in strange times when people often throw away old stuff to buy something new, not always better. Everything gets replaced faster and faster, sometimes just for the sake of making small changes in our lives. Not surprisingly, some people are not taking part in this process anymore. Instead, they started looking for true quality in products that have been manufactured long ago. The only trouble is, these things are not easy to find.

Chartwell LS6

British monitors gained an exceptional appreciation in the audiophile world. Many manufacturers of such sets have rich and interesting history, often intertwined with famous recording studios. Even today, in the offer of PMC or ATC there is a sharp line dividing the consumer and professional segment. Obviously, every manufacturer dealing with professional equipment likes to boast about it everywhere, but it is also fair to say that many British companies have the right to do so. Among many institutions, one has become the real breeding ground of speaker talents - the British Broadcasting Corporation. Boxes originally developed for the BBC have 'that something' - the sound which is difficult to replicate even today. Most of the engineers have abandoned the old way of building the speakers, but a few companies are still faithful to those proven solutions. Graham Audio is one of them.

Eryk S Concept Red King Premium

Companies making audio equipment can be divided into those big ones, which produce relatively considerable amounts of generally likeable equipment and smaller ones - usually very specialized workshops whose products are often more original, distinctive and individual. Those smaller factories are the ones who create advanced amplifiers in individualized enclosures, speakers using extraordinary drivers or turntables shaped like works of art. Inventions like that are made for the music enthusiasts and connoisseurs. They are not mass-produced in giant factories. These items are made for those who generally appreciate such a sophisticated equipment, and sometimes they are personalized just for one client, who ordered speakers in a specific colour or with some modifications applied just in this one instance. Eryk S Concept is one of these manufacturers. Here, every device is unconventional, and almost every element of an amplifier or speaker deserves our attention. Is the new Red King Premium going to sound as well as it looks?

Xavian Ambra

Whenever I hear about the possibility of reviewing Xavian speakers, I'm already enthusiastic. These speakers are designed to stand out from the mass-produced crowd, but this is not the end of the story. As almost every review begins with the company's history, this time I'll skip the story about a charismatic audiophile who moved to Czech Republic from Italy for his wife, hired talented carpenters and so on... One can just visit Xavian's official website or take a closer look at its products to realize that we have some seriously specialized activity here. In Xavian's speakers there is no cheap plastic, gimcrack, drivers for half a dollar or wood-like veneer that comes out of the printer. Roberto Barletta doesn't design the speakers that will work with any cheap receiver, and the tuning of each new model takes several years on average. Perhaps that is why every new product and every major change in Xavian's catalogue is a big deal. The introduction of Perla and Orfeo monitor speakers was just such a step change. Now new boxes joined the family.

Siegfried Amft - T+A

In a complex world of audio equipment it's now all about not just products and brands, but most importantly - the people who stand behind them. This applies to manufacturers as well as distributors or retailers. It seems that in the era of ubiquitous fakes, the authenticity driven by a true personality begins to matter more and more, becoming something unique and very desirable. Many new companies on the audio market have been established as a result of the agreement of several people who, in most extreme cases, know nothing about the hardware and music. It is easy to note, however, that the most respected and iconic brands have always been associated with real people whose philosophy works for years.

Audiovector QR1

Audiovector is a company which doesn't need an extra philosophy - what it already has is enough to tell the story. And the story was mainly created by one man - Ole Kliffoth. He is responsible for most of the solutions Audiovector uses in its speakers, including five foundations of corporate technology - ADC (Active Direct Concept), IUC (Individual Upgrade Concept), LCC (Low Compression Concept), SEC (Soundstage Enhancement Concept) and NES (No Energy Storage). In conjunction with other features, they have one job - to make the sound faster, more direct and more dynamic. Audiovector's products are easy to recognize because of the curved side walls, metal panels with drivers and various, sometimes very bold, finishing versions.

Audio Physic Cardeas 30 LJE

I guess that each of us likes making oneself a gift. Some people do it at the first opportunity, others wait for specific achievement - a promotion at work, running a marathon, passing an exam or losing weight. A new watch, family trip or just a day for small pleasures may be the prize. But can you imagine what gift would you make if your very successful company celebrated its 30th anniversary? For sure, it would be something special. Such an extraordinary occasion has been celebrated recently by Audio Physic. Did the crew open a bottle of good champagne or at least go for a beer and a schnitzel at the local tavern? I guess so, but first of all, they have done one more gift for both themselves and the loyal fans of the brand - a limited edition of their best speakers.

Fezz Audio Titania

Fezz Audio is an example of a brand that has kicked-off fairly recently, but the onset of the launch of their very first product, it has already had a considerable baggage of accumulated experience, facilitating a strong, heads-on jump-start. From the very beginning, it seems that the manufacturer has not only embarked upon the right concept when it comes to the design of the device itself, but he has also pointedly targeted an extremely attractive price range. The tube amplifier in question, called Silver Luna, has perfectly blended into the demands of audiophiles, a product trait which we have witnessed only very rarely in recent times. From the outside - it holds the traditional looks of stereo tube amplifier, made available in a range of intriguing color schemes. From the inside - a respectable powerhouse built of components stemming from the companies in-house production. And all of this comes at a price that would, under normal conditions, restrict us solely to a product range comprised of middle-class solid state amplifiers or, possibly, to some Chinese tube amplifiers, of questionable quality at that.

Manfred Diestertich & Dieter Kratochwil - Audio Physic

Audio Physic is one of those companies driven by consequence, consistency and obstinacy. It's not the world's biggest loudspeaker manufacturer, but every audiophile must have heard of it at some point. German speakers are often treated as a reference in terms of resolution, dynamics and soundstage, and not without reason. No loss of fine detail - the company's slogan - can be found not only on the front of every Audio Physic speaker, but also in its sound. Not long ago almost every model in the catalog was upgraded to "25" version to celebrate company's 25th anniversary. Another five years flew by and to honor these three decades of chasing perfection, the designers gave us something really special - Cardeas 30 Limited Jubilee Edition - which might actually be as perfect as it looks. Majestic floorstanders are limited to just 30 sets, and the first one just arrived at our listening studio. But first, we got a chance to meet its makers - Manfred Diestertich and Dieter Kratochwil.