And yet it was very nearly missed by ‘Mr Gamut’ himself. CEO and chief designer Benno Baun Meldgaard took a tumble down a flight of stairs just a few days before the event and, confined to bed rest, was unable to travel from Denmark to Dorset.
But as the saying goes, you can’t keep a good man down and so, undeterred by his unfortunate acrobatics, Meldgaard was adamant that he’d be there at least in spirit if not in body. Cue live video link…
The new Gamut Zodiac is a true ‘flagship’ loudspeaker and the company’s ‘magnum opus’. Standing some 1.65 metres tall and weighing in at 196kg, this behemoth delves deftly into the depths of the frequency spectrum while effortlessly reproducing frequencies from 16Hz to 40,000Hz with no phase shift and a wonderfully organic, natural tonality. Every pair of Zodiacs is painstakingly built by hand, one at a time, in strictly limited editions. Just 12 pairs will be crafted each year, one for each sign of the zodiac.
Dorset-based Gamut dealer Stone Audio was the venue for the prestigious UK launch event which took place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th May. The store’s stunning showroom boasted a fabulous system, specifically designed to showcase the Zodiac’s extraordinary capabilities across both analogue and digital replay. For the analogue source, something very special indeed: a Gamut-modified Studer B67 master recorder, while the digital source was the superb dCS Rossini CD player. Gamut’s award-winning D3i dual mono preamplifier and M250i mono power amplifier guaranteed that the Zodiacs would be masterfully driven, while the new Gamut Reference cables ensured that absolutely nothing would get in the way of the system’s full dynamic potential.
Designer Benno Baun Meldgaard, having poured every ounce of his passion and expertise into the creation of the Zodiac, was keen to share the story of the many innovative technologies involved in its conception – which he was able to do thanks to a live video link from his home in Denmark.
Pushing the Zodiacs to perform at their peak were a selection of master tapes from Open Reel Records, Analogy Records, The Tape Project, Horch House, STS Digital and Opus 3. And perform they did, judging by the hushed astonishment of the assembled audience. Gradually the hush was broken by a slew of approving comments… “I’ve never heard anything like that,” “that’s the best sound I’ve ever heard,” and “oh my God, I need to remortgage the house and buy a pair!”.
“I keep forgetting I’m listening to hi-fi,” said one customer. “Even when I look right at the loudspeakers I can’t relate to the sound as coming from them. This is the closest I’ve felt to being in a great music venue at a sublime live performance.”
On the second day of the event, prog rockers Galahad joined in the fun and signed copies of their newly-issued vinyl back catalogue.
And, as a final layer of icing on the cake, two lucky attendees won a fabulous prize of a new Gamut Reference power cable, worth £2,700!
Discover more about the new Gamut Zodiac.
Contact Stone Audio to arrange a personal audition.