Serge Schmidlin is one of the most reserved characters that the Hi-Fi market, accustomed to hyperbole and exaggeration, has ever seen. A designer with a good preparation that goes beyond the confines of sound reproduction (he has a doctorate in biochemistry but has acquired a vast knowledge of biophysics and physics) we could define Schmidlin as a person perpetually engaged in the scouting of the best solutions for music reproduction, which he faces without preconceptions to the point of having put together, under the types of Audio Consulting, a company located in Switzerland near Geneva, a series of projects of various nature and forge that all comply with a precise philosophy (amply illustrated on the site of the company). It is a limited series production characterized by the particular care both in the design and in the realization, with the aim of reaching a live sound able to excite the listener. Exclusive products also for the costs, often out of my mind but that, for direct experience, have very impressive sonic performances: at the Munich Hi-End 2015, a plant including Audio Consulting products was declared by us "the best of the realm" "! After an attempt that dates back to many years ago (August 2007), today those products come back to Italy, starting from the Pre Phono “Silver Rock Toroidal Phono Amplifier”, available for listening at the importer's premises, whereas the other Audio Consulting products are, at the moment, available on request.
- Paolo Corciulo -
Phono unit: Audio Consulting Silver Rock
Street price: € 32.500
Distributor: Musica & Video – www.musicandvideo.it
“This superbly crafted Swiss unit uses twin lead-acid battery power supplies (one for each channel) and twin, silver-wire, toroidal-core step-up transformers, followed by active solid-state circuitry for RIAA and a toroidal-core output transformer, to generate 70dB of gain—quite enough, it would appear, to avoid the usual pitfall of transformer-based phonostages (to wit, dynamic compression). Though no fan of transformer-based phono preamps (or of units without capacitive loading) in the past, JV finds the Silver Rock to be an exception. Paired with CH Precision’s M1/L1 (or other high-qual- ity tube or solid-state electronics), the thing simply sounds like the absolute. While not quite as hard-hitting in the bass as phonostages without transformers, it is so neutral and natural in timbre ev- erywhere else, so extraordinarily high in detail, and so quick on transients JV doesn’t care. Nor should you. Perhaps the highest-resolution phono preamp JV has auditioned—and in the midband one of the most fool-you realistic—the Audio Consulting Silver Rock richly deserves the second of TAS’ 2017 Phonostage of the Year Awards. “ - Jonathan Valin -
- Positive Feedback - by Marshall Nack -
" Infrequently, gear comes along that asks you to put aside the analytical side of your brain and just listen. The components from Audio Consulting do that. When the analytical retreats, music appreciation comes forward. The new SWGLA Preamp and Silver Rock Toroidal Phono Amplifier do things that you don't hear from other components. They reveal the kind of performance details and insights that conjure live sound.
This is not to short change how well they perform on the audiophile report card, with excellent grades across the board. But the Audio Consulting gear will obviously have greatest appeal to those who treasure musicality.
The Audio Consulting duo stimulated a pleasure factor, and all who heard it agreed: reproduced music should have that more often.
If the shoe fits (and you can afford it), there's no need to look further. Your search would likely be futile."
(- TWOGOODEARS -)
(- TWOGOODEARS -)
Every time I visited Serge's place and listened to his system, with Meteor's Phono and Line stages and crazy, superb direct driven turntable and MIPA power amp and Rubanoid's speakers, I always, SAY, always felt the improvements going on in music rendition: from multiamping to mono amping, bass Rubanoids' so resonance-free sounding, and seldom heard depth of image and detailing...
The overtones and harmonics in acoustic instruments are so, sooo.. natural!
Best of the show contender:
"Jonathan Valin - The Absolute Sound"
"Stenheim showed its €50k Alumine Five four-driver three-way with Audio Consulting turntable, preamp, phono amp, and amp, Nagra digital, and Brandt cable from Geneva. This was quite a remarkable setup as I heard things through it that I hadn't heard as clearly on anything else, such as Paul's fingering of Sebastian (his twelve-string casket-style guitar) on my PP&M LP. A Best of Show contender, for sure."
"The Absolute Sound - Julie Mullins"
"I had the pleasure of visiting a wonderful-sounding room, a second one from Audioarts (that nearly made my top five) in Hall 1 with all-Swiss-made gear (along with some tasty chocolates) including a couple of exciting debuts: the Audio Consulting Meteor Mipa power amplifier and the Stenheim Alumine Five loudspeakers. The Meteor Mipa amp’s Zeppelin-like shape not only looks exotic, but it also reduces infernal standing waves. Other distinctive qualities of this high-efficiency amp are that it’s battery-powered with a chassis made of real wood (American maple) that can be painted in a variety of custom finishes. It’s slated to be in market by summer and to retail for around $45k. On Dean Martin’s breathy baritone and Peter, Paul & Mary’s smooth harmonies, this demo proved to be one of the more transparent I heard at the show—quite natural, realistic, and beautiful with striking resolution and finely filigreed detail."
Articles by Marshall Nack - Positive Feedback ....
Audio Consulting Silver Rock Toroidal
“This unusual battery-powered Swiss phonostage uses toroidal-core transformers at the input and the output in a solid-state circuit in which the RIAA crossover is induced via coils.
The Silver Rock…is in fact, extremely fast, powerful, and extended, with simply phenomenal resolution of low-level detail.
On both instruments and voices, the Silver Rock Toroidal comes close to being the most realistic phonostage Jonathan Valin has heard…If you want to hear absolutely everything on an LP – and you want to hear it as if the performers are in the room with you – you’re gonna have to go a long, long way (and spend a lot more dough…) to beat out this little marvel.
One of Jonathan Valin’s two references.”
>>> Silver Rock Phono Toroidal
Silver Rock Toroidal Phono Amplifier
Dr. Serge Schmidlin (mastermind of Audio Consulting) is very enthusiastic regarding the performance of our active damping system! He developed their reference turntable R-evolution Stealth while integrating the Silencer_Vario system as the one and only setup...more
Audio Consulting - Chinese language book
"It is a clean sound, like only battery power provides; a pure sound, like only passives allow.
With links to the past in its naturalism and aspects of contemporary in its dynamics and resolution—still, it bears little resemblance to modern digital.
In fact, this type of reproduction only points out how artificial modern digital really is."
- Marshall Nack, Positive Feedback - read more..
"Jürgen Saile at HIFISTATEMENT"
Serge Schmidlin and Autor Jürgen Saile
".. Immediately after the first few bars we could hear just how much potential this system has. I have just one word: amazing! This system plays with more dynamics than I have ever heard and I’ve heard quite a lot. But not only that - tonality, airiness, imaging, and the illusion that real musicians are playing in the room are all at their finest. Nonsense - at their very best! These properties are, of course, not only evident listening to the Qin, but on all subsequently played tracks – irregardless of whether playing a record or a CD - a stunning performance was delivered. Drums played on a hifi system usually sound like “feet that fell asleep.” Whoever does not want to believe this should take a seat right near my drummer. It sounds like a shooting gallery with impressive reality and that reality very close by. Of course, a big horn speaker system could also have its say." JÜRGEN SAILE - HIFISTATEMENT ...more.
"Chapeau to Serge Schmidlin and Audio Consulting of Switzerland for reaching such an high level of musical bliss... making it so easy to be appreciated and enjoyed.
Difficult things made easy is something which only happens to the best... the very best.
- Stefano Bertoncello's Blog - ".... more
The Meteor AVC passive preamplifier was reviewed by Jürgen Saile at HIFI Statement:
Silver Rock Meteor AVC
"Die beste passive Linestufe, die ich bisher gehört habe. Wenn ein Eingang ausreicht, kann sie einen Vorverstärker voll ersetzen. Sehr dynamische und mühelose Wiedergabe. Für Puristen. Mit dem nötigen Kleingeld. - JÜRGEN SAILE - HIFISTATEMENT"
"CES 2014 - Stereophile - by Jason Victor Serinus"
"CES 2014 - Stereo Times - Staff Report"
"CES 2014 - Stereo Times - "Staff Report Part 2"
"CES 2014 - The Audio Beat - Paul Bolin"
"In this sense, I can define Audio Consulting devices and systems designed by Serge Schmidlin as the most live, vivid and close to give back "the air" of the original sound event, through an audio reproduction, than I have ever had the lucky and the honour to listen to.
And the air, if you notice that, is the element into which the music spread." - by Giuseppe Castelli - ...more
"Statement: Ich muss leider gestehen, mit dem RCA Reference spielt meine Anlage auf einem höheren Niveau. Ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass mit der CD eine derartige Fülle an Klangfarben und homogener Wiedergabe möglich ist." - JÜRGEN SAILE HIFISTATEMENT - ...more
".... So far, with the Silver Rock in the system, it's been one of those "died and gone to heaven" type experiences. I can only imagine what the rest of his components would do. It's hard to believe folks that just starting out with battery-powered phono stage, could infuse this much magic into my own rig. Yes, and it's only the start! " - Stereo Times - ....more
... also if "little" he's not... he's a giant, actually... and still a Prince of taste and kindness and bon vivre, a truly sincere, open-minded and both young and passionate, old-timey gentleman.
Since 2000, is still walking in awe on it, experimenting and building and learning and improving, trial & errors, illuministic and illuminated as he can be, a visionary unafraid of world, detractors and market sirens and dogmas, yet a scientist and not a voodoo wannabe!
What I heard yesterday represents the Zenith - my personal and maybe, to a broader/broadest/universal extent - of the detailing and "rightness" of reproduced sounds and music at home.
Nonetheless, Rubanoid's speakers with their Japanese coffee-colour handmade paper and gorgeous wood short horns simply disappeared and became the time and sound and air bubble where maestro Bailes performed his seldom heard lute music; the growling low notes and the music arrived straight at our hearts in a truly seldom heard way! ...more
"To me, some transistor equipment sometimes sounds too much like hifi and too little like music. This is totally my personal opinion that you, of course, may disagree with. Here, however, a piece of equipment is only successful if it can really make music. And nowhere is a tube to be found! Its sound reproduction is very clear, especially in the upper frequencies. But also an acoustic bass is reproduced with a lot of color and nuance. Particularly for a "grandma", bass sounds are not a black hole, a clear distinction between open and fretted strings must be heard. When connected to speakers with the right efficiency, reproduction on the MIPA is tremendously exciting and fast. The music gets very intense – reading the newspaper at the same time is not possible!" - JÜRGEN SAILE HIFISTATEMENT - ....mehr
Stereo Times, Key Kim
R-evolution “Stealth” turntable
Audio Consulting of Switzerland: A Day in the Life...
Stereo Times, Clement Perry
A visit by Clement Perry, Stereo Times, to Audio Consulting
Video - Stereo Times visits Audio Consulting
Clement Perry (Stereo Times), Serge Schmidlin (Audio Consulting), background new
R-evolution Stealth Turntable - the article will be published soon.
Clement Perry, Stereo Times:
"For starters, my first stop was Geneva, Switzerland a full day before flying to Munich. This trip was by way of an open invitation from Audio Consulting of Switzerland designer Serge Schmidlin (photos above). At the '09 High End show (here), I awarded his eclectic battery-powered electronics Best Sound. The sound, as I mentioned to anyone who'd listen, was indefatigable: totally devoid of any electronic haze and/or interference whatsoever. In addition to giving it Best Sound, Audio Consulting of Switzerland immediately became my new reference standard. In a world of insanely expensive gear I would view Schmidlin's wears as "reasonably obtainable" (I've heard far more expensive rigs, one belonging to the Frenchman Jean Yves Kerbret, whose setup sounded every bit as good but at one million dollars...I don't think so!). See my full report on this amazing system and my sonic impressions at the conclusion of my show report."
R-evolution Minima: Article in Russian magazine
Silver Rock Phono
|Test LP 4/2010|
"Serge Schmidlin has built a sensationally good phono preamp. This is a phono preamp with almost magical properties of sound. "
Showreport High End Munich 2009 - StereoTimes - Clement Perry
Showreport High End Munich 2009 - StereoTimes - Carlos Sanchez
High End 2010 Munich
- Clement Perry
"Best Sound? The Audio Consulting crew of Switzerland setup that featured a slew of battery-powered electronics and loudspeakers from Jean Hiraga did a number on me last year. That wasn't simply the best sound at the show, but among the best I ever heard. This year, I was very disappointed to find they were not in attendance at this year's event. Their website shows some of the funkiest looking loudspeakers I've ever seen called the Rubanoide Dvaijnoy (which uses a midrange driver that's an off-shoot of Paul Paddock's Lineaeum driver technology). I could only imagine what something like this sounds like considering the quality of performance they achieved in Munich last year."
REVUE DU SON DU HOME CINEMA
Photos et reportage par Jean Hiraga
Place d'honneur au haut parleur "Rubanoide"
Die Rubanoide-Lautsprecher von Serge Schmdilin entführen Sie in den Klanghimmel.