I am not too sure how I came to own one of these fancy French contraptions, and I have no recollection how it disappeared from my life, apart from the fact that I had a very naughty kitten at one point who really enjoyed playing with the antiskating counterweight!
One can always use a cover, I hear you say, but there is great debate out there, whether or not it affects the sound!
The cat certainly did!!!
This was quite an elaborate design, with a floating subchassis and an arm based on an unprecedented (and unrepeated, as far as I know) virtual design pivot.
I heard on another forum that JC Verdier had a hand in the design...If it is true, then it would have been the most inexpensive of his designs!
The whole thing was pretty difficult to set up and was very wobbly indeed, but the sound was quite an upgrade from the Dual it replaced.
It is also at that time, that I started to be very found of the Grado cartridges, certainly contributing to the notch up in quality from the inexpensive Shure cartridges used on the Dual.
It is also at that time that I started to work for HP in the Test & Measurement division - now Agilent, and had access to the best test equipment in the World!
I had a big garage at the time, all fitted as an electronic laboratory, where I played with MOSFET amplifiers, ICE amplifiers modules from Sanken (I used to sell them...) and curiously, not much with tubes and speakers. All this happened before I moved to Scotland and discovered NAD, and the battle between Linn and Rega, the emergence of the CD...and started designing the Microphase speakers.
All photos are courtesy of www.vinylengine.com
As most of us, after Uni, I got a job, married, bought a house, had my first boy, and basically speaker design was still there, but in the background. There was a venture into making special solid state preamps for the film industry, but that was not very successful, to say the least...
I worked for a while for the importer of Stellavox, the only competitor to Nagra, and got quite a kick out of selling these beautiful machines, eventually buying one for myself, and going places to record live music with it.
Eventually, I joined Hewlett-Packard in their Test & Measurement Division, and that changed my life, as suddenly, I was making good money, was exposed to the most up-to-date technology, and had access to some very sophisticated gear, including impedance meters and FFT analysers.
And I met a friend, Pierre, who would be the trigger for my next commercial project.
It was the time when the MIDI systems were introduced, still based on turntables, and most of the time, supplied with speakers in plastic boxes that were not doing justice to these miniaturised Japanese electronics that were quite decent.
So, an idea started to germinate in my mind: there probably was a market for a small speaker of the highest quality, at a decent price, to replace these speakers supplied with these MIDI systems...
Our next post will take through the genesis of these little marvels.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.