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TomW

Sydney Audio Club Meeting - Sunday 9th September 2018 - Microphase Audio Design

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Bonjour… bienvenue..!! For our September club meeting, we will be entertained by Frenchman Jean-Marie Liere 
and equipment from his two ventures, Microphase Audio Design and French Vintage HiFi.  Jean-Marie and I 
spoke for a while recently – he’s a very engaging fellow with over 40 years of experience in electronics, 
speaker design, lighting, lighting controls and home automation.  His lifelong passion for design, 
architecture, music and its reproduction is well documented.  He is also a keen photographer and cook.  
So there is never a dull moment chatting with Jean-Marie.

 

Much of the detail in the following has been taken directly from the Microphase Audio Design (M.A.D. / MAD) website.

 

The speakers will be vintage Microphase SATs as well as their new MAD SATs MK2 and stereo subs SWS MK2.

 

The vintage Microphase SATs are minuscule monitors (SAT) that were first introduced in the mid-80s.  They had quite a following in France, Belgium, Germany and Scandinavia.  They were designed to be not only very high quality speakers, but also to capture the interest of interior designers and female clients. They were objects of beauty as well as a “melomane” dream (an enthusiast for, or lover of, music) come true in a tiny package (200x200x150mm).

 

30 years later, Microphase Audio Design introduced a modernised version of these monitors, aptly named MAD SAT MK2, with vastly improved performance, but still retaining the spirit and the look of the original concept.  This is a limited edition of a beautiful object reproducing music in all its splendour.  These speakers are designed for the melomane and the “aesthetician” [the branch of philosophy which deals with questions of beauty and artistic taste] who don't want their hi-fi system to dominate their living room.  They also appeal to the pro market as perfect recording studio monitors, as they are very revealing of all the details and nuances of the music.

 

The new passive SWS MK2 subwoofers also act as stands for the SAT MK2 and SAT MK2 Signature.  They come as standard SWS MK2 or as SWS MK2 Signature with the upgraded crossover components found in the SAT MK2 Signature.  The SATs are not filtered at the lower frequencies to retain their transparency.  The crossover is a 12dB/octave at 150 Hz feeding a proprietary 21cm driver from Audax France.  The plinth ensures stability to the whole unit and creates a stable and consistent surface to the bottom mounted driver.  The proximity of the plinth surface and the driver have other benefits and contributes to the linearity of the response from 40 Hz to 150 HZ +/- 3dB.

 

Jean-Marie will bring his own amplification (unspecified) with possibly a vintage surprise, if it arrives on time.

 

He will also bring his Arcam Bluetooth receiver so we can use Tidal/Idagio, etc. for streaming.

 

Our source for our BYO session will be the ubiquitous Oppo BDP-105D multi-format player.

 

 

The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO.   Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all.  So bring along your favourite music on CD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month).  All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting.  We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played.  Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go.

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others.  Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. 

 

Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound.


Venue:  Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park
Address:  26 Stanley Road, Epping


When:  Sunday 9th September 2018

 

Doors open 1pm
Meeting starts at 2pm

 

Best regards,

Tom Waters

President

Sydney Audio Club

W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org

FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub

E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au

 

Edited by TomW

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The sunny warm weather was apparently just too enticing on the day… likely why attendance was a bit down, but the interest and enthusiasm was high.  Jean-Marie first presented a vintage pair of original SAT speakers on separate stands without subs – the original Mk1 wasn’t available with subs.  In November 2016 Microphase Audio Design (MAD)  introduced the SAT Mk2 Signature speakers and the accompanying Signature sub woofers - they were launched at the Salon de la Haute Fidelite in Paris.  The SAT Mk2 Signatures and subs are identical in width so they look “as a piece” once setup.  The SAT Mk2 speakers and subs we had on the day were the Signature version.  The amplification was vintage NAD and an integrated amp designed by someone in HP!  Jean-Marie explained all the gear and answered the many questions.  He played us quite a few tracks to highlight how the system sounded.  Our room is large, but the smaller speakers with the sub managed to fill the room with sound so long as it wasn’t too demanding of bass extension and volume. 

 

People asked about the pricing.  To clarify, the SAT Mk2 Signatures and the SWS Mk2 Signature subwoofers came in at approximately $4500 USD.  Jean-Marie revised the shipping costs for local shipping which helped lower the costs a bit. 

 

Here is some feedback from the feedback forms:

 

“Speakers were innovative design, great potential.  Not suited to the room. Vintage amplifiers were excellent.”

 

“Very enjoyable.  Quite surprized how well the monitors filled the room.”

 

“Speakers very good for their size.”

 

“Pleasant meeting.  With a good recording, the small speakers were surprizingly good.”

 

“Great jovial atmosphere, friendly presenter, good music.  Big sound from such tiny system.   Speakers somewhat expensive, but these are handmade unique speakers so price is justified.  Thanks to Jean-Marie for allowing us an audition, good luck with sales.”

 

“Very pleasurable event.”

 

“Struggled in the room.  Speakers pretty good for their size.”

 

Thanks Jean-Marie for sharing your day with us!  Photos to follow …

 

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Edited by TomW

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Guest Arthur

I was quite amazed at the quality of the tweeters in these small speakers!

One of the sweetest high frequency drivers I have heard in many years. ... or perhaps, it's Jean - Marie's magic touch that made them sound so good?

 

These are highly specialized transducers, targeting (as we were told), the smallish Parisian apartment environment where, I am sure, will sound even better

from the excellent sounds we heard on Sunday.

 

One has to consider the fact, these little 'gems' did their magic without the help of any special multi $$$$$ cabling or power line conditioners etc etc.

 

My final thoughts were, Jean - Marie presented an 'honest' product - what you see is what you get - that communicated very well with the listeners and

made music thoroughly an enjoyable event!

 

Jean - Marie should be proud of his creation!  

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Well done Jean-Marie. 

 

Personally having heard these speakers chez JM's apartment, they blew me away by what they could do in a moderately proportioned room. Bass with extra loading off the wall from the rear facing drivers was more than ample and they just sounded sweet. As Arthur said, very articulate Audax tweeter. Lovely stuff.

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