The Sound Galleries Experience

I first encountered Sound Galleries at Munich High End 2015 where I was, um, impressed. In the intervening two years a lot has happened.

the Sound Galleries SGM Music Server

One of the things that happened was the Sound Galleries SGM Music Server which I reviewed and was, um, impressed.

This year, the system, when I was in-room, consisted of Ensis loudspeakers from Æquo Audio (€24,000/pair the company designed their own material for the front baffle), AudioPax monoblock amplifiers and preamplifier, the aforementioned Sound Galleries SGM Server (running Roon and HQPlayer) connected to the Metrum Acoustics Adagio DAC (€6'950) with cabling from Tellurium Q. You could say, I would, that my 2015 experience in the Sound Galleries room is responsible for my use of nothing but Tellurium Q Black cables in my system.

There was also this:

Taiko Audio Setchi D-1 (projected €200 excluding VAT) active (there's 9V battery inside) ground noise eliminators. They come with different connectors to attach to your different gear. Coming Q3 2017.

without active vibration control

with active vibration control

Taiko Tana Active Isolation Platforms that employ microsensors to detect and correct environmental disturbances (coming 3Q 2017).

the Æquo speakers in-use were clad in copper

The experience? To my mind and ears, the guys at Sound Galleries are onto something and that something is refinement. The sound this year was horn-like in its crazy sound carving clarity where music existed beyond the speakers, beyond the walls, and in space as a dimensional reality. In a word—captivating.

If I lived in the Principality of Monaco, where Sound Galleries is located (not necessarily the place the state), I'd make it a point to listen to what these guys are up to.

EuroDriver's picture

Michael, wonderful as always to receive your observations and commentary.

The Sound Galleries / Taiko Audio team now have happy customers in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

The active anti vibration family of platforms goes under the name of Taiko Tana. Pre-production prototypes are shipping at the end of June for customer testing and feedback. Judging by the results we had in the challenging Munich vibration environment, the Tana's can handle pretty much any home vibrational environment with significant sonic benefits

Best Regards

Edward Hsu
Sound Test Monaco

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I've corrected the post.


soundgals's picture

Hi Michael,

We are honoured once again to receive such a positive write up from you on the sound in our room.

Using Æquo speakers was a new approach for us. I still do a lot of my listening and evaluation on Avantgarde horns which I continue to love. As you noted though, the Æquo’s are quite horn like in a number of respects, with their fast, dynamic response. As you also heard this is coupled with the large sound stage they’re able to generate. I was telling show visitors, “they’re actually a big speaker, they just look small”!

When Paul Rassin and Ivo Sparidaens visited me in Monaco last winter they were very taken with the way their speakers sounded with Audiopax electronics, and requested a set for their own demonstration room. Thus the idea of working together at Munich High-End was born.

One of us mis-lead you slightly on the cabinet design, so here is a small correction from Ivo, the speaker designer: “…we use our own compound on the inside of the speaker. The artificial stone on the front and top of the Ensis are made with a high quality German version of Corian/Hi macs consisting of acrylic bound ceramic particles”.

The SGM as source, got a “free upgrade” when Jussi Laako, author of HQPlayer released a new version, which includes the poly-sinc-xtr up sampling family of filters. These combined with our own Process Lasso/OS optimisation, to suite these filters, constituted an improvement our customers are delighted with. Like a firmware upgrade for the SGM!

At Munich the Taiko Audio active grounding blocks and active isolation proved useful tools in our taming of adverse show conditions; but are also highly effective in the quietest listening rooms.

Tellurium Q Silver Diamond speaker cable and interconnects with Ultra Silver Power cable did a wonderful job of tying everything together, as always.

On behalf of the Sound Galleries team and our partners, I promise we will continue to be highly active in these areas of refinement and innovation!

Warm regards from Monaco and you’ll be most welcome to visit us here as soon as the opportunity arises!

Geoff Armstrong - Sound Galleries