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Här kommer lite historia på engelska..
Kompromisslöst....ända ner till minsta skruven..
Jörn Janczak, born in 1974, founded TIDAL Audio in 1999. FIDELITY had the honor of meeting this friendly yet some- what shy man, who stands two meters tall, as part of this feature. Cai Brockmann snagged the opportunity for a quick chat.
Cai Brockmann: Mr. Janczak, your prod- ucts are known for always being of the high- est quality and having some of the highest price tags around. Why is that exactly?
Jörn Janczak: It simply comes down to the company’s DNA. We always aspire to achieve absolute top quality, and over time everyone around the world has come to expect that of us. e high prices are an inevitable result of all the hard work, top-quality materials and manual cra smanship involved. e price tag is actually the last piece of the puzzle, because everything we do, right down to the very last screw, is uncompromising and therefore ex- pensive. But we never do anything just for the sake of it. If we did, we’d never be successful. Hi ing the jackpot with expensive products among Asia’s nouveau riche is one thing, but achieving a certain level of consistency and continuous growth is another.
TIDAL Audio has named its new top-of- the-line loudspeaker “La Assoluta” instead of the more grammatically correct “L’Asso- luta”. Is that supposed to be reminiscent in some skewed way of Ferrari’s LaFerrari? Ha! No, we actually did it rst. We have
been using the name since the project was launched back in 2011, and the Italian hybrid sports car came two years later. And if there's anything or anyone we want to be indirectly reminiscent of, then it is de nitely the “Prima donna assoluta” Maria Callas. We prefer to leave the use of car names to jazz up loud- speakers to others. (grins)
It seemed a few years ago that things had reached a point at TIDAL where they were as good as they were ever going to get with the Sunray G2. You even said so yourself. So why add another model to knock it o its throne? When did it become the right time to do so?
FIDELITY interview with Jörn Janczak, TIDAL Audio
We had come up with the idea for La Asso- luta a long time ago but it clearly entailed a nancial risk in the six- gure region. La As- soluta is, like most luxury items, dependent on supplier-induced demand. is means that customers don’t know whether they want something until they can see, hear and experience it. No one is waiting for 3D ren- derings or nancing kickstarter projects. at said, I've got to be honest: If a large number of satis ed customers all over the world were to express a clear interest in a signi cant upgrade, then that would make the decision
Assoluta or sports cars with 1,500 HP on the market. However, TIDAL will never cease wanting to further enhance the performance of its products. So, if we ever stop striving to achieve that, we could always branch out and make wellington boots ...
What was the biggest technical challenge you faced in developing the La Assoluta? Ge ing every detail of the design right so that it could live up to its name. None of the components existed previously. Everything was designed and built for the La Assoluta speci cally: the special drivers with the desired parameters, the mounting options, the large diamond diaphragms constructed in close collaboration with the company Accuton, the housing, the switches – basi- cally everything. But the biggest challenge was actually bringing all the parts together
to form one harmonious whole. A er all, parts – no ma er how good they are – are just individual components. Making every- thing work like clockwork is something quite di erent altogether. Especially when the whole thing needs to be brought together in a timeless and elegant design and needs to be instantly recognizable as a TIDAL classic. Furthermore, all the technology needs to be neatly hidden away.
And what was the easiest part?
Having a er-work drinks a er the rst suc- cessful prototype tests.
OK, let’s talk brie y about the diamond diaphragms. Do you they actually o er any real bene ts? Or are they just a super-ex- clusive gimmick to mitigate any objections raised by customers’ wives?
Of course: Husbands can justify it by saying that 54 carats at Ti any & Co. cost a heck of a lot more (grins) ... diamond diaphragms are just as unique as they are physically resilient and, thanks to their technical bene ts, im- prove loudspeakers’ performance. No other diaphragm material combines such perfectly polarized characteristics as hardness, low resonance and low weight. e voice coil also sits very close to the diamond diaphragm, the world’s best thermal conductor, and
Jörn Janczak, Tidal Audio
much easier. And regardless of that, if the human race weren't interested in knowing that things could be improved, or didn’t want to set a higher benchmark, we'd still be stuck in the dark ages ...
So you're saying it'll never stop?
Well, in the intermediate-term there probably won’t be any new loudspeakers like the La
is perfectly cooled. All these bene ts were previously only available for the high-frequency range. e diaphragm surface and the maxi- mum stroke of the diamond diaphragms in the La Assoluta, for the rst time ever, cover an unbelievable range, i.e. from the top bass range.
People o en talk about a “high-gloss piano lacquer nish” in conjunction with loud- speakers, but the reality hardly ever ts the description. What does TIDAL Audio have to o er in this department, in particular with regard to this top-of-the-line model?
What people o en refer to these days as a “high- gloss piano lacquer nish” wouldn’t cut it as a primer coat at our company! We’re extremely proud of the fact that for years now we've been se ing the benchmark for nishes all over the world. For a pair of La Assoluta loudspeakers, for example, we use 98 kilos of polyester lacquer – a er we've sanded the surfaces – 60 kilos of which remain on the loudspeakers at a unique thickness of three millimeters. But the whole process also involves 160 hours of sanding and polishing, which is all done purely by hand. We could even write a book about the lacquering and coating processes, the week-long drying times and the intermediate sanding. A er all, when you strive for perfection, the complexity involved in achieving absolutely at, smooth surfaces and such solid housing is o the charts.
Speaking of “solid”, each La Assoluta loudspeaker is around two meters thirty tall and weighs around half a ton – what are the minimum ideal dimensions for a listening room for a pair of La Assoluta loudspeakers? Where possible, we recommend that rooms have a surface area of at least 25 m2 and a ceil- ing height of at least 2.90 m. Our installations range from “the world’s largest headphones” to living rooms that don't feel much di erent than the Cologne Cathedral. But customers who buy systems in this price range normally have their own listening rooms.
I noticed you named a new TIDAL power ampli er – the “Assoluta Monobloc”. Will there soon also be a corresponding preampli- er or even a complete series of electronics with this name?
Yes, exactly. We will continue to expand the Assoluta series right down to the corresponding cables. Customers should soon be able to expe- rience all our products at TIDAL’s new location rsthand.
Jörn Janczak, many thanks for speaking with me. ■
for listening to music), or a Rolls-Royce fully customized to your heart’s content. Just to give you more of an idea of just what an exclusive luxury they are: Master cra smanship is aunted down to even the smallest feature, in a way only the best of the best can. In terms of quality and a ention to detail, it just doesn’t get be er than this. All this gives true connoisseurs a real sense of satisfaction.
With the TIDAL La Assoluta, fully unbri- dled musical pleasure is an absolute given – provided that all the other connected equipment is able to achieve an equally high level of quality. In fact, all the com- ponents in Mr. M’s high-end hideaway complement each other so well, and the entire system is so symbiotically interwo- ven with the listening room, that you nd you only reemerge from the subtle acous- tic hypnotic trance during longer breaks between songs. But let’s take a closer look at the other components. In particular, the three turntables (what a disdainful word to use for these three gorgeous champions of vinyl playback) don’t at all exist in our part of the world, and if at all, then only in extremely low numbers. e absolute star of the show in this high-end magical bunker is an extra-wide machine for playing vinyls, which in many ways is
similar to the Dragon “casse e recorder” (still cherished by Mr. M). When it rst launched, the Nakamichi TX-1000 was, from a technical point of view, one of a kind (think “center search”!) and is as elaborate as it is ground-breaking while still being visually unique – and it will still be an expensive but worthwhile invest- ment well into the future. Yes, even the Nakamichi TX-1000 is a piece of u er perfection and therefore worthy of being in the presence of a certain “loudspeaker” known as La Assoluta. ■
TIDAL Audio La Assoluta loudspeaker system
Functional principle: 4-way oor-standing loudspeaker, passive, optional extension with “Subtowers” to create the TIDAL Assoluta Music System | Drivers: 3-cm dome tweeter with dia- mond diaphragm, 2 x 13-cm midrange woofers with diamond diaphragm, 2 x 19-cm woofers with TIRALIT diaphragm, 2 x 25-cm subwoofers with TIRALIT diaphragm, 4 x 25-cm passive radiators | Dimensions (W/H/D): 38/232/65
cm | Weight: each 485 kg | Price for pair: from €495,000 | www.laassoluta.com
Transparent Acoustic | Dmitry Valdin | Louisenstr. 148b | 61348 Bad Homburg | Germany | Telephone +49 6172 9082697 | www.transparent-acoustic.de
TIDAL Audio GmbH | Jörn Janczak | Im- mendorfer Str. 1 | 50354 Hürth | Ger- many | Telephone +49 2233 9669225 | www.tidal-audio.com