Lyravox – High-end made in Hamburg – seriously different
Hamburg-based boutique hi-fi systems manufacturer, Lyravox, has made it its mission to throw audiophile dogmas overboard.
Götz von Laffert and Jens Wietschorke, who established the high-end boutique manufacturer, Lyravox, in 2013, discovered their passion for the world of hi-fi when they were children. In keeping with the cliche of the amateur audiophile boffin, Wietschorke assembled his first loudspeaker in the garage at home. “I caught the bug for the first time at the age of 14”, he recalls. “Back then I took all the money I had received for my confirmation, went into a hi-fi store and spent the lot on an amplifier – I couldn’t afford anything else.” Whilst studying oceanography, this particular audio enthusiast acquired a basic knowledge of the laws of physics that would later enable him to design his own audio equipment and ultimately qualify him to become a lecturer in loudspeaker acoustics.
In keeping with the cliche of the amateur audiophile boffin, Wietschorke assembled his first loudspeaker in the garage at home.
Götz von Laffert,’s passion was ignited in similar fashion, and he also dedicated himself at an early age to searching for the optimum sound. Before his hobby became his profession, he worked all over the world as an investment banker, and this way he also expanded his audiophile horizons. “Audio is indeed nothing other than culture”, von Laffert believes. The paths of both hi-fi fans crossed at the end of a long journey through the tube and transistor era, with literally many highs and lows. They shared the sobering realization that they had not yet discovered the perfect audio product. Both quickly spotted what the reason for that was. Common or established high-end systems consist of many separate components, which negatively impact on sound quality unless they are perfectly matched. “That was what got us thinking. You can pack a high-end system into a single unit – and you get better results than if you combine individual components”, says von Laffert.
“Seamless sound” is how the guys at Lyravox succinctly describe their full-integration approach.
“Seamless sound” is how the guys at Lyravox succinctly describe their full-integration approach. Nowadays customers frequently resort to compact audio solutions that dovetail better with the interior design of their homes. New technical opportunities provided by streaming have reinforced both audio craftsmen’s belief in this concept. The prerequisites for establishing a business at the River Elbe were therefore met. A new equipment category was required that combines perfect sound quality with premium design in an all-in-one system. Driven by the quest for perfection, the two craftsmen initiated a design and development phase that lasted several years. “Most providers stick religiously to a technical dogma. Our approach has always been to keep on challenging everything whenever technological progress is made”, is how von Laffert describes Lyravox’s philosophy. The upshot of this creative process was the Stereomaster – a wall-mounted fully integrated audio system, crafted by hand, which combines the performance of a superior stereo system with the aesthetic appeal of a perfectly designed sound source. “Lyravox has developed a completely new style of sound projection, which enables a conventional hi-fi system to be rendered obsolete and even to be bettered”, is how von Laffert confidently describes his “baby”, the Stereomaster.
The Stereomaster dispenses with sound bottlenecks, like cables, jacks or passive crossovers
This piece of kit features superb precision technology. The inside of the elegant housing therefore features handmade loudspeaker chassis by the Danish manufacturer, Scanspeak, each one of which is actively powered at 400 Watts by its own latest-generation Class D power amp. The power amplifiers each receive a specific frequency-, phase- and time-adjusted signal from a 3-core DSP. The Stereomaster dispenses with sound bottlenecks, like cables, jacks or passive crossovers. Its makers see an added benefit in the fact that it is designed to be wall-mounted. Whilst the sound quality of conventional stereo systems is dependent on the position of the loudspeakers within the room, this is not an issue as far as the Stereomaster is concerned. “Wall installation has enabled us to exactly match the sound delivered to any given interior, irrespective of where the customer actually places the equipment”, says Wietschorke. Fitting two additional loudspeakers to the sides of the Stereomaster generates a diffuse field, which dovetails with the wall installation and delivers a stereo sound throughout the room, irrespective of where the listener is sitting. The integrated CD player, USB sticks, music server, Internet radio and streaming services also act as sources, as do external analog devices, ranging from TVs to record players, or Bluetooth imports.
The Stereomaster’s outward appearance is also an expression of its designers’ high-end aspirations. Visually speaking the art deco design vocabulary is homage to the golden 1920s era of radios and radiograms. Even the design of the “Lyravox Hamburg” logo is derived from this era and spells out what the brand represents. Tradition, German craftsmanship, timelessness and quality. “Hamburg is also a part of the logo, since Lyravox is synonymous with Hanseatic values and with things for which Hamburg is well-known, such as music or handcrafted products”, says von Laffert. “We are self-confessed Hamburg fans, we love the city in which we live”, Wietschorke adds. And indeed it would not be a lie if “Made in Hamburg” actually appeared on the loudspeaker. A Hamburg-based cabinetmaker bonds the contoured front together layer by layer and then applies numerous coats of high-gloss piano varnish to the veneer. Final polishing takes up two working days alone. The logo and other metal components are also sourced from the Hanseatic City and are just as premium-quality and can be customized in the same way as veneers and varnishes, which are available in a wide range of different versions. Lyravox then handles final assembly in its own workshop.
The paths of both hi-fi fans crossed at the end of a long journey through the tube and transistor era, with literally many highs and lows.
Lyravox intends to expand further and is eyeing up the German market in particular, as well as Switzerland, the UK, the Middle and Far East and the USA. In future the company intends to add even larger and more complex products to its portfolio to complement the SM2-170 and the slightly bigger and more powerful SM2-200 models. Lyravox is also planning to make its own loudspeaker chassis, to enable it to compete in the ultra-high-end segment.
Lyravox Gerätemanufaktur GmbH & Co. KG
Phone +49 40/320897980