High End 2014: Thomas Mayer and Wolf von Langa, rising stars


By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis

Back in the States, these designers are not so famous and even here in Europe, they could be considered almost newcomers when compared to historic brands and their famous founders. New ideas are always a breath of fresh air in the audio industry, only in this case there is not much new here. As a matter of fact, Wolf von Langa builds custom field coil speaker systems and Thomas Mayer designs tube amps. Some 80-year-old technology.

So, what’s special with this room? The way both these guys implement such antiquated principles. Von Langa presented the “Salon” a 25-22,000 Hz, 100 dB/1W/1m field coil system with tweeter, mid and 2 woofers in a flashing-white wave-guide cabinet that looked like nothing else at the show. Mayer, on the other hand, went all out with his stunning 211/211 Ag. The name indicates that an Elrog 211 triode tube drives a second 211 tube and Ag points to the silver-wire output transformers. These amps are monos with external tube rectified power supplies, so a total of four chassis just for the amps. A double-chassis line stage and another double-chassis phono stage by Mr. Vinyl Savor complete the rig.

The two designers have more than one thing in common. Besides implementing “antique” principles they have extremely modern aesthetics. The Salon is semitransparent vivid white and would create a visual statement in any room (that can fit in), while the 211/211 is half a meter tall and can be ordered in a metallic, wood or transparent enclosure.

Music played through a modified Commonwealth turntable with exquisite Lyra Etna MC cartridge on Primary Control tonearm.

The sound was particularly involving, articulated and clean from audible distortion in Nightmares on Wax LP, Carboot Soul.

Forgot to mention, another characteristic that both designers share is the price range. The 211/211 Ag comes at 115.000 euros while the Salon as presented in the show is 350.000 euros. I let you do the conversion in $, just make sure you are seated when you do so.






About Panagiotis Karavitis 212 Articles
Doctor and Editor @ Part-Time Audiophile Publisher @ Audiohub.gr