I’ve spent a lot of time covering the French manufacturer JMF this year–simply because I think the sound of their gear is fantastic. I can say the same about Ideon Audio, a Greek company that is offering digital products that are truly innovative and unique. I can also say the same thing about Pear Audio Blue–I bought one of their turntables earlier this year after listening to a bunch of turntables, and the Kid Howard is the one that stole my heart. Now it’s time to start listening to GamuT.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
Why GamuT? If you haven’t noticed, all of these brands have one thing in common. They’re all imported and distributed into the US by Michael Vamos of Audio Skies. Lately I’ve been listening to Michael’s brands because they’re all so intriguing in one way or another. But I’ve actually been familiar with GamuT for many years. I fell in love with their designs ever since I traveled off-site at CES a good fifteen years ago to hear the GamuT LS9s, a speaker that seemed to peel away that last proverbial layer of artifice from the music. I can’t believe it’s been that many years since I’ve heard one of these Danish speakers.
The $175,000/pr GamuT Zodiacs, which look very similar to the LS9s, made an appearance in Michael’s JMF and Ideon room at the 2023 Pacific Audio Fest, and they were genuinely impressive. As I’ve been saying all year, the world of King of the Mountain loudspeakers has become more competitive than ever, and the audiophile camps have been fortified with rhetoric. Everyone is faithful to their six-figure behemoth, which sounds silly to me because there’s so much to hear out there. Put the latest GamuT Zodiac on that list.
The GamuT Zodiac speakers reminded me of that first illuminating encounter with the LS9s. Back then I remember closing my eyes and easily convincing myself that this sounded like a live, unamplified musical performance. The Zodiacs had that same pure and natural magic, which is even more impressive to these now-jaded ears. In fact, I wonder why it’s taken me so long to hear JMF with GamuT–Michael Vamos obviously knows there’s some extraordinary synergy at work.
I’m not going to forget JMF and Ideon’s contribution to this exquisite musical whole. JMF debuted their new HQS 7001 monoblocks ($77K/pr) with the PRS 1.5 dual mono preamp ($36K) and PCD 102 power line filter ($19K)–the latter product is used at 2L Recordings, which attests to its pedigree. Much of the cabling in the system was also JMF, just as it was in Munich. Ideon Audio supplied their epic Absolute digital stack–Epsilon DAC ($47K), Stream server ($20K) and Signature V reclocker ($22K). HRS contributed the equipment racks. In other words, the GamuT Zodiac had plenty of able support in this fine, fine system.