Peter Ledermann, Soundsmith and STST | CAF 2019

Scot Hull and I met with Peter Ledermann in the Soundsmith room at the 2019 Capital Audiofest–it was sort of a follow-up to our brief visit with him at High End 2019 in Munich. If you read that show report, you’ll know that Peter was on his way out to deliver a lecture when we arrived and he promised he would set aside some quality time with Part-Time Audiophile the next time around. He kept his promise and told us one of the funniest jokes I’ve heard in a long time–you’ll have to ask Peter to tell it to you since I couldn’t do it justice here.

Tenacious Sound
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Tenacious Sound.
Verdant Audio
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Verdant Audio!

Peter Ledermann was offering another one of his almost-all Soundsmith systems including his exclusive hand-made amplification and those remarkable Monarch monitors ($7999.95/pair) I’ve been raving about for years. He also gave us the scoop of those incredible German-made STST turntables he’s been featuring of late. In Munich he told me that he was acting as sort of the de facto distributor for STST, but he went into greater detail about them at CAF. These are simple, handmade beauties that Peter believes are one of the best analog rigs around–and that’s saying something coming from him. Here’s the scoop I promised–they’re built in small quantities in German by a single man, Stefan Strohmetz, and if you want one Peter can get it for you. The best thing? They retail for just around $9000, which in today’s analog world is very reasonable for a state-of-the-art product.

Peter Ledermann had two of these STST turntables in the system, probably the same two I saw in Munich. One had his now famous Strain Gauge cartridge ($8599.95) on it, and the other one with the Soundsmith Hyperion Mk. II SE ($7999.95). Both ‘tables used a Schroder tonearm–it was Frank Schroder who first brought STST to Peter’s attention.

The sound in Peter Ledermann’s room was, of course, magnificent. The Soundsmith Monarchs are one of those small stand-mount monitors that project a huge sound, one that suggests a big floor-standing tower with awesome bass and an incredible soundstage. The sound from the STST/Schroder/Soundsmith rigs was quiet, confident and possessing the type of analog sound you’d usually expect from one of those enormous self-contained rigs that cost well into the six-figure range. Peter Ledermann lives and works in the same state as I do, and he made his usual offer of dinner to Colleen and me–I hope one day I can take him up on it and hear more funny jokes and perhaps listen to a sound that has few equals in this industry.