by Norman Williams
A quote from Adam, the Show boss says it all: “DSP equalised, fully active with analog amps driving all drive units separately — Goldmund may have a point here.”
Goldmund has proprietary software developed by acoustics math guru Dr. Veronique Adam (“Proteus” and “Leonardo”). The latter is for time-domain mastery, and the former is a bit more difficult to grasp.
Proteus is first and foremost a mathematical modeling tool to completely design speakers to exacting specs and performance, leaving nothing to human intervention with respect to tuning by ear, etc. Input all the parameters like dimensions, enclosure material, crossover characteristics and drive units to be used, and it outputs the complete design. This alone would be great, but, in addition Proteus is also a parametric based digital room corrector (no microphones needed) and can be used to do DSP correction for other brands of speakers being driven by Golmund Telos amps. Proteus is also scalable for full surround sound home theatre implementations. Golmund has moved to integrate all this tech into their new emphasis products in the ACTIVE-WIRELESS range of speakers. Yes, at its simplest, only a laptop with the supplied WiFi dongle is needed to start playing great music! Of course they have preamp/hubs available for convenient setups (Mimesis, Talisman, etc.), but the speakers are near complete music systems, with built in “Alize” DACs and one Telos analog amp module (class A/B) per driver. I was able to glean all this from a 20 minute demo session in their room, as they did “batch” auditions most of the time.
The stars of the show were their two new ACTIVE wireless speaker introductions: the mid-range Satya (similar to the old Logos model) and the all new Nano-Metis (sub-bookshelf size). The thin and elegant Metis Towers were only used as speaker stands for the Nano-Metis all weekend.
The Satya had all the bass needed, going down to a good 28hz and had the same sound signature was the tiny Nano-Metis, which probably didn’t go lower than about 70hz. BTW, that tiny $6K/pair Nano-Metis active speaker has exactly the same tech as the bigger brother, the Satya ($110K), which is also the same as the $600K Apologue. Except for really low frequencies, that tiny speaker will shock and destroy many larger speakers from anywhere above 70hz upwards. I was a bit taken aback….
I think the Devialet Phantoms are fun and I think they will do well as turnkey nightclub speaker installations, but they are NOWHERE in the same audiophile league as these Nano puppies. Clarity and refinement galore is all I can say, handling tracks like “Keith don’t go” and Chie Ayado’s – “Tennessee Waltz” with aplomb. I overheard a middle-aged Polish gentleman referring to the Nanos saying “why do we need more and bigger at home, it’s enough!” I get why he says that, for say 70% of normal musical fare, but fortunately there are larger models that will take one down an octave or two for the rest.
By the way …. notice the solid pane of glass behind the speakers and the lack or any physical room treatment? By right, the bass should have been chaotic, yet we were treated to stellar sound. This proves the capability of the Proteus/Leonardo software package to tackle and correct most any adversity found in common listening room. Not many people have “perfect” rooms in the real world.
Pictures below showing a Goldmund executive doing setup, the Nano vs the Satya for size comparison, the Mimesis hub and the Phantom exploded and “gutted” from the Devialet room.