Goebel High End is one of those luxury audio brands that you either love or hate. As a reviewer, I should be open-minded, but up to now my relatively limited experiences with the company’s product were pushing me towards the “hate” side.
This year it was different. Very different. The demo was very good.
First things first; they brought smaller sub-woofer columns, consisting of “only” eight drivers per speaker module. Main speakers were obviously the Epoque Reference with the characteristic iPad wide-bander driver placed in the middle of the twelve 7” drivers (passive and active ones facing front and back). The smaller woofer column was much better than the two-times taller Baforce one as it did not load the room to its limits (and beyond) like on previous shows.
Electronics were also different, and probably closer to my taste, not to mention better-matching with the speakers too. CH Precision brought in the whole package with pre, phono stage and two massive power amps while Louis Desjardins set his top of the line Kronos Pro turntable with Helena tonearm and ZYX Omega Premium MC cartridge. Cables were the extremely well-finished ones from Goebel obviously. Ashkenazy on the piano sounded big, fast, and with a sense of inner-detail like never before with the Goebel speakers. Not enough to make me a “lover” but I’m definitely no “hater” either.