Zurich 2014

High End Swiss 2014: KEF


By Norman Williams

HE_Swiss_Logo_14Interesting room where they were showing off the speakers now available in more colour combinations by an actual KEF representative from the UK.

When I told him I much prefer the LS-50 to the Blades, he seems genuinely puzzled and said that he had heard similar comments before and all he can say is that they must not have been set up right (Zürich 2012 with Soulution amps, I think). He emphatically said that if he had set them up, there would have been no such equivocations as he thinks the Blades and Blade 2s are far better. Dunno, as they failed The PTA resolution cricket test on “Roadhouses & Automobiles” while the LS50 passed with flying colors! However, given how emphatic he was. I will give it a 2nd chance when next I meet the Blades.

The floor standing KEF Reference speakers did sound good in that small room though.




Zurich 2014

High End Swiss 2014: Ypsilon, Backes & Muller


By Norman Williams


HE_Swiss_Logo_14A very refined and appealing sound from the Ypsilon room. I spent enough time to hear a classical song and was impressed. I gave the thumbs up to someone who looked like the owner of the company and asked for confirmation of it being a French brand and he said no, GREEK! Again we exchanged thumbs up. No chance to get back but the speakers were excellent and the electronics all seemed top-notch.

Backes & Muller

I forgot to mention that the Backes & Muller room was one of my favorites, and as they had a big seminar room, they had greatd, balanced sound from some nice looking gear. Most notable is the fact that they had a new digital/analog preamp driving their active speakers. They do a new preamp every 15 years or so and strive to have it aesthetically “different”. This unit seemed like it was covered in acrylic permafrost and came from the wrong side of Castle Black’s wall in “Game of Thrones”. However, this “Wildling” combined with the big active speakers made beautiful classical music.