A Visit to Audio Consulting CH

28.11.2014 // Jürgen Saile

I’ve had various machines from Schmidlin to review, all having excellent characteristics. Here we see once again that it ultimately comes down to the right combination and how well they sound with each other. However, one would first have to come up with the ideas that have been implemented here. For example, the speaker cable is made out of 0.15 mm(!) silver wire, attached to the transformers at the beginning and end of the wire in a special way. If anyone thinks that the dynamics could suffer due to the considerable number of components in the signal path, they should listen to this system. However, I have a totally different thought after the third look around: This doesn’t have anything to do with plug and play. I could also imagine that the “pearl of the house” - the one with the feather duster – better not come anywhere near this system. And probably also does not at all wish to.

The CD player still seems a bit unfinished and Schmidlin is considering whether he should continue it’s development. Maybe he already has other ideas.
The CD player still seems a bit unfinished and Schmidlin is considering whether he should continue it’s development. Maybe he already has other ideas.

The equipment reflects a bit of Schmidlin’s attitude towards life. For example, the batteries are charged by solar panels on the balcony. Switched-on cell phones are completely taboo, shoes may be kept on. Schmidlin has also taken an intense interest in the findings of the 70’s French magazine L'Audiophile. For example, the negative influence of thermal distortion on transistors reported in detail by a French rocket scientist of those days. Therefore, Schmidlin’s machines remain relatively cold, even after operating a long time. And because of this, of course, they consume less power. This resulted in the fact that while using my highly sensitive loudspeakers when reviewing the MIPA amplifier, I was able to listen to the system for almost an entire week on a single charge. In the development of his products, Schmidlin has taken the difficult path of a road less traveled. Many of his findings are in contrast to what is generally accepted in the hifi world. In spite of that, in this context I think: He who hails is right.

A great deal of idealism is of course required to start such a company. For the "cheapskate" faction, I would say that these machines are rather inappropriate. The mass market is based more and more on well-known brands, there is no widespread advertising. Who would buy his machines now? The oil sheik for his harem? A Russian mobster? The stock market speculator? Certainly not. None of them have time to listen to music and probably don’t know anything about it. The customers are all music lovers who have heard the system in Commugny. Obviously, word of mouth is enough. The customers are from all over the world.

We now come to the second highlight of the day: Dinner! This takes us to the Château de Divonne, a castle situated on the French side. After what felt like 25 loops around a roundabout, we finally arrive at an absolutely beautiful little castle, just like I remember from the Loire. It’s situated on a small hill with a magnificent view of Lake Geneva! On the horizon, I can just about see the “Spritzbrunnen” fountain, uh, the Jet d'Eau, with a bit of imagination and without glasses!

I don’t need to say much about the excellent French cuisine. That was again quite impressively confirmed here. The readers of company reviews from the very old days are now perhaps excitedly waiting to hear about the dessert. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you. I disgracefully left the dessert menu lying on the table. I'm just not a dessert fan.

The maestro himself at the historic winding machine. It’s probably still quite good for winding a simple coil. However, more modern equipment is needed for more complex designs. Or good old manual labor.
The maestro himself at the historic winding machine. It’s probably still quite good for winding a simple coil. However, more modern equipment is needed for more complex designs. Or good old manual labor.

The next day we planned on visiting the transformer winding plant in Geneva. Unfortunately, it turned out that the employee there was ill. Therefore, the Maestro personally sat down at the historic winding machine in the basement and demonstrated the simple coil winding process. However, I could see from some of the finished toroidal transformers, how delicate and complicated the whole thing is with more complex products. It was about time we had to get back. Strangely enough, I'm always the spoilsport, who pushes to go. In conclusion, one thing has really impressed us during the whole stay: Audio Consulting is a one man show. For me, it is always fascinating to see with what creativity the work is done. There will never be a completed machine. That would be totally boring.

The Michelin Guide says this 3-star restaurant
The Michelin Guide says this 3-star restaurant

  • Very Fine Solutions präsentiert den MSB Reference DAC

    Frank Vermeylen ist nicht nur der Inhaber des belgischen High-End-Vertriebs Very Fine Solutions, sondern auch der Europa-Statthalter von MSB Technology. Er hatte zur Eröffnung seines neuen Show-Rooms und zur Premiere des MSB Reference geladen, überraschte aber mit einem Konzept für ein Haus voller Kultur. Vor einiger Zeit erwog Frank Vermeylen mit Jonathan Gullman, dem Besitzer und CEO von MSB, ein Gebäude für die Präsentation der noblen Wandler und Verstärker in Europa anzumieten. Doch schließlich entschied…
  • Ein Besuch bei AcousticPlan

    Am Bodensee ist das Klima immer um 2 Grad wärmer als in München. Sagt man. Common Wisdom, oder wie der Kerl heißt. Das war aber nicht der Grund, warum wir dorthin gefahren sind, sondern es ging um einen Besuch bei AcousticPlan. Dem Klischee entsprechend war es dann auch in München bei Abfahrt neblig-trüb und am Bodensee begann bereits die Sonne zu scheinen. Neben den eher beruhigend wirkenden Weinstöcken links und rechts gab es auch ein…
  • Im Hörraum von Göbel High End

    Selbstverständlich tut Oliver Göbel alles, um bei den alljährlichen Präsentationen auf der High End die enormen Fähigkeiten seiner außergewöhnlichen Schallwandler zur Geltung zu bringen. Noch ein gutes Stück besser gelingt das naturgemäß im firmeneigenen Hörraum Schon kurz vor der Messe rief der Entwickler und Firmenchef in Personalunion an und berichtete nicht ohne einen Anflug von Stolz, dass es endlich soweit sei und der neue Hörraum nun so klinge, wie er es sich vorgestellt habe. Ein…
  • Vinylize, Budapest

    Nicht nur am alljährlichen Record Store Day, diesmal am 18. April, wird deutlich, dass Vinyl zunehmend an Popularität gewinnt. Dabei geht es nicht allein um das altbewährte Tonträgerformat. Vinyl ist in unseren Zeiten auch ein Stück Lifestyle – ein Wort, das Sie in Hifistatement ansonsten glücklicherweise fast nie zu lesen brauchen. Und Vinyl ist auch das Material, um das sich in Zack Tiptons Manufaktur alles dreht Doch bevor wir Zack in Budapest treffen und enthüllen,…
  • Eine Fabrikbesichtigung im bezaubernden Vorgebirge von Arizona – D'Agostino Master Audio Systems

    Petra und Dan D'Agostino sind zwei einer ganz besonders raren Sorte. Ja, Dans Vermächtnis ist sicher verankert in Krell Industries und jetzt in seiner Dan D'Agostino Produktlinie Master Audio. Dan ist eine Industrie-Ikone und weit mehr als das und er ist auch viel umtriebiger. Ich bin sicher, er stimmt mir zu, dass er sehr glücklich sein kann, so eine so wundervolle und talentierte Geschäftspartnerin wie seine Frau Petra gefunden zu haben. Diese beiden stehen für…
  • IDC Klaassen übernimmt den Vertrieb von AVID HIFI

    Die insbesondere für ihre hochwertigen Analog-Laufwerke bekannte englische Firma AVID HIFI wechselt zum 1.1.2015 ihren Deutschland-Vertrieb. Martin Klaassen ist sehr stolz, künftig die edlen AVID-Produkte im Sortiment seiner Vertriebsfirma IDC Klaassen führen zu dürfen Schon bisher konnte Martin Klaassen auf die Klasse britischer HiFi-Fabrikate zählen, nahm er seit der Gründung seines eigenen Vertriebes doch schon die die Lautsprecher von Q Acoustics, die Netzfilter von IsoTek und die Kabel von QED unter seine Fittiche. AVID HIFI…