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Thread: Andromeda Design By Henk Jan Visit Report

  1. #1
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Andromeda Design By Henk Jan Visit Report

    Kedar and I became acquainted here on WBF with Henk Jan Netjes ("AndromedaAudio") of Andromeda Design, an up-and-coming builder of ambitious full-range, floor-standing speakers.

    While visiting Amsterdam we decided to check in on Henk Jan and listen to his loudspeakers. We also understood that Henk Jan is a reel-to-reel tape aficionado, and we never like to miss an opportunity to hear tape.

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    Henk Jan's system consists of a CAT SL1 Legend preamp, a CAT JL2 stereo amp with KT-150s, a Meitner streaming device, a Studer A80, a Studer B62 and a huge Telefunken tape machine from a broadcast studio.

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    From the Andromeda Design website as well as from our discussion with Henk Jan we know a lot of details about the Andromeda Design XPE loudspeaker:

    -- ultra-stiff and non-resonant monocoque, four-way loudspeaker with an M-T-M configuration

    -- cabinet is made from 40 mm HPL (phenolic resin composite) solid plates, braced inside with HPL, as well

    -- each speaker weighs almost 300 kg

    -- midrange driver membranes are made of stiff proprietary natural fibers which have a natural sonic presentation

    -- the woofers are made in Germany and are 11 inches and 12 inches in diameter, with non-resonant membranes with a natural presentation, and a very low resonance frequency

    -- the tweeters are a soft-dome type with a ring radiator design

    -- the speakers stand on top-of-the-line finite element cerabase classic devices, 70 mm wide at the bottom so they will not leave an imprint on solid wooden floors

    -- because of the heavy, inert cabinet and the natural presentation from the drivers distortion through speaker resonance has become a thing of the past with the XPE design at whatever SPL

    -- the bass response of the speaker can be tuned for different environments/rooms: the bass reflex port system consists of two pipes which can be used together or used separately; for difficult environments the system can function as a closed system in which the port opening can be closed completely

    -- bass reflex pipes are machined out of high grade aluminium alloy and then clear anodized

    -- high overall efficiency of +/-93 dB

    -- high impedance cross-over design with first order cross-overs

    -- XPE is easy to drive and will show its full potential with 18-20 watts minimum, making it a good partner for SET amps as low as 18 watts

    -- dimensions including footers: height 1345 mm, wide 300 mm, deep 670 mm, with sloping front for improved dispersion

    -- the speakers arrive packed in professional wood crates and they can be wheeled out of the crates

    -- price is 49.900 euro a pair and the luxury version is 53.200 euro a pair; these are consumer prices including VAT

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    On this brief listening session with unfamiliar music (Kedar and I brought our usual audition LPs but Henk Jan does not have a turntable) we thought the speakers sounded really good! We were particularly impressed with the speed and resolution of low frequencies. The combination of the 11" and 12" drivers mounted in a heroically inert phenolic resin cabinet resulted in tight, fast, detailed bass response.

    The midrange sounded natural and detailed. We did not have the sense that one frequency range was emphasized over another.

    Henk Jan's room is very lively due to a hardwood floor and five, large glass doors spaced across the front wall of the room and the right side of the room. We believe these hard surfaces were causing reflections which resulted in somewhat unclear sound-staging and in a bit of artificial brightness. I strongly suspect that damping these reflections would allow the soft-dome tweeter to reveal a transparent but natural and unfatiguing presentation, and permit sonic images to solidify.

    Overall the design and construction and excellent bass frequency qualities of the XPEs reminded me of Rockport Technologies speakers. The XPE speakers are beautifully finished and are completely professional and high-end looking.

    In the list price range of €50,000 I think the XPE is a good value and delivers wonderful sound.

    We also enjoyed comparing and contrasting the sound from Henk Jan's three reel-to-reel tape machines.

    If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam and you are looking at full-range speakers you definitely should call Henk Jan and ask for a demonstration!

    Henk Jan Netjes
    Owner
    Andromeda Design
    Wolbrantskerkweg 80 D
    1069 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Telephone: +31 06 24478548
    E-mail: andromeda-audio@hotmail.com
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000; tonearms: SME 3012R, Schröder LT; cartridges: ZYX UNIverse Premium X-SB2, Benz-Micro LP S; tape: Studer A820 Mk II; phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse; line stage: Aesthetix Callisto Eclipse; amplifier: VTL Siegfried II; speakers: Gryphon Pendragons; cables: MasterBuilt Ultra; stands: Herzan + Taiko Tana for Io, custom for turntable, Stacore Basic+ for amps; power: Benjamin Electric subpanel; Torus AVR60BAL; JPS in-wall wire; Furutech NCF outlets; room: 19' wide X 24' long X 14' tall; treatment: ASC Tube Traps, Lumitex drapes; tweaks: Shakti Stones, Shun Mooks

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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] andromedaaudio's Avatar
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    Hello ron and kedar ( ron thanks for the nice review ) ,

    It was great having 2 other audio enthousiasts visit and compare tapemachines/ talk audio .
    Glad you both liked the speakers , besides some room interference which i need to work on .
    You are off course both highly expirienced listeners and have heard it seen it all .
    It was a pleasure to be able to show you 3 different vintage tapedecks , whith some mastertapes actually being recorded by one of them( piano Basf tapes ) , gives a nice perspective on things .
    We also listened to the ultra analogue cello recordings, and i think we agreed on the fact that both the studers were a bit more detailed then the telefunken , the telefunken might have the slightest edge in bass extension it sounded a bit fuller
    We played on the studer with NAB reprocards because the ultra analogue tape is recorded that way , dont know actually with which equalisation the telefunken plays

    henk jan


    Ps Kedar did a through comparison of the 3 decks hope he will give his perspective on things , dont know how many times i switched the tapes / cables but it was many times , all in good fun
    Last edited by andromedaaudio; 02-20-2017 at 10:40 AM.

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    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Nice to read stories like this and the review of one of our own member's achievements


    Kudos Henk on a job well done
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    International Distributor of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] andromedaaudio's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    thanks steve .
    Seems both were quit impressed by the bassresponse/extension , always good to have an expirienced listener give his / her take on things for some confirmation .

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    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Personally I think the bass was better than the Rockports - I liked the hard kicks and the bass and it was clean. It was tough to make out the mids and layering and stage due to the live room and the glass all around. I will add a write up later. The dynamic range of the speaker is quite high.

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    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] Mike Lavigne's Avatar
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    thank you Bruce. the pictures of Henk's beautiful speakers deserved to be right side up.
    Wave Kin. NVS tt, AS-2000 ord. (2) Durand Telos (1-Sapphire) arms, CA Gold Stat, Ort Anna carts, -2- Studer A-820 RTR (1/4" + 1/2").*MSB Select II dac w/33 Femto clock + mono powerbases, SGM serv + (2x) 30 tb NAS. *darT NHB-18NS w/2 phonos, King-Cello. *dart 458 mono blocks. EA MM7. *Equi=tech 10WQ, (10) Abso Fid PC & (2) Evo Acou PC. *Evo Acou 12' TRSC and 8m + 1.25m 'zeel' ic's, *Tripoint Troy Sig + Elite, Entreq Sil Tel + Pos, *Herzan TS-140 & TS-150, Wave Kin. A10 U8's + 2NS, Adona GTX.

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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] Folsom's Avatar
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    It looks like you were too far away for regular dynamic speakers, without a large room and lots of treatment. If you gave them some toe in and got close you'd probably get a lot more out of the mids.

  9. #9
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] Mike Lavigne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folsom View Post
    It looks like you were too far away for regular dynamic speakers, without a large room and lots of treatment. If you gave them some toe in and got close you'd probably get a lot more out of the mids.
    I have to disagree. with a room that live the intensity of the reflective hash gets 'too much' as you move farther forward. so you move back to give your ears a chance with less intensive hash.

    this was exactly how my room was until 2 years ago. I always pulled back because the reflective hash drove me back. then when I tamed that reflection all of a sudden the world of near field listening opened up to me. now I get much more of the good and there is no bad.
    Wave Kin. NVS tt, AS-2000 ord. (2) Durand Telos (1-Sapphire) arms, CA Gold Stat, Ort Anna carts, -2- Studer A-820 RTR (1/4" + 1/2").*MSB Select II dac w/33 Femto clock + mono powerbases, SGM serv + (2x) 30 tb NAS. *darT NHB-18NS w/2 phonos, King-Cello. *dart 458 mono blocks. EA MM7. *Equi=tech 10WQ, (10) Abso Fid PC & (2) Evo Acou PC. *Evo Acou 12' TRSC and 8m + 1.25m 'zeel' ic's, *Tripoint Troy Sig + Elite, Entreq Sil Tel + Pos, *Herzan TS-140 & TS-150, Wave Kin. A10 U8's + 2NS, Adona GTX.

  10. #10
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    Very attractive looking speakers!

    david
    Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformers, Pheonix Engineering.
    Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.

    System 1: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 1
    System 2: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 2- Near field setup

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