The Voice That Is!, VIMBERG, TIDAL Audio and Antipodes – RMAF 2018

by Eric Shook

First-things-first at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2018, find Doug White of The Voice That Is! This is one of my personal rituals of the audio show circus, and it always pays off. Doug consistently sets the bar for best-in-show sound, so visiting his rooms first leaves me with an audible experience I can call upon when touring and summing other rooms. During my visit with Mr. White, I had the pleasure of taking the first ever press photos of the new VIMBERG speaker line, from VIMBERG founder and designer Jörn Janczak. You may know that name from his other company, TIDAL Audio. You know, the one famous for speakers costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Okay… for some time now I’ve been drooling over TIDAL loudspeakers. So much so, that maybe I’ve also been wishing for the day to come when a lottery ticket, or an out-of-court injury settlement can enable me to financially make that leap. Well… I wish no more. Welcome VIMBERG, from the makers of TIDAL loudspeakers. Take the best in material sourcing, and engineering, then draw upon decades of pedigree wisdom and craftsmanship — what you are left with is the VIMBERG Mino tower. Possibly one of the greatest bargains in hi-fi.

Imagine with me for a moment. Let’s say Bugatti decided that it wanted to build a car that sold for $29,000 USD, and this car would also look, smell, feel, and drive like a $215,000 USD Bugatti. Albeit some minor engineering and production compromises would have to be made, but overall — the experience and emotions it would produce would be almost identical. That is what TIDAL Audio founder Jörn Janczak has just done with the development of his new VIMBERG company.

Speaking with the ever delightful founder and creator of all things TIDAL and VIMBERG — Jörn Janczak — I learned about the personal mission he has with VIMBERG. Take everything he has learned with TIDAL over the last two decades and apply that wisdom and artisanship toward a new line and market of speakers.

The new VIMBERG venture will upset many competitors in, around, and above the $29,000 USD price range. Once you hear the new VIMBERG Mino loudspeakers, you begin to question Jörn’s sanity. During a listening session with “The Voice That Is!” owner Doug White — a dealer for VIMBERG (and TIDAL Audio) — I looked over at Doug shaking my head in disbelief, with that “Is Jörn crazy?” look all over my face. Doug looked back, and without saying a word, his face said — “Yes.” #shining

With miles of experience listening to TIDAL Audio electronics and cables, with TW-Acustic at the analog helm, I consider myself exceedingly familiar with the The Voice That Is! sound. When Doug fired-up my music request for something “break out the baby oil sexy”, it was apparent that the new VIMBERG fulfilled my every wish.   

Obviously the new VIMBERG models, of which the Mino is currently the smallest, will call into question the legitimacy of speakers from other manufacturers who have only ever designed and built their flagship efforts up to the $30-$50,000 USD mark. The new VIMBERG company mission is light work for Jörn Janczak, and as Shaquille O’Neal would say about his own competition — they are soon to be “Barbecue Chicken”.

The new VIMBERG line isn’t exactly going to run though its competition like a bull, it’s going to run through them like a whole herd of bulls. In some ways, I can’t bare to watch, but I also can’t stop smiling.

The System

VIMBERG Mino Loudspeaker – $29,000 USD (Available in black or white)

TIDAL Audio Preos Preamplifier – $32,900 USD

TIDAL Audio Impulse Dual-Mono Amplifier – $33,000 USD

TIDAL Audio Cables (Prices vary per type)

TW-Acustic Raven AC-1 Turntable – $15,500 USD

TW-Acustic Raven 10.5 Tonearm – $5,500 USD

Transfiguration Proteus Cartridge – $6,000 USD

Antipodes DX Gen 3 Music Server – $7,800 USD (1TB)

Skogrand Beethoven USB Cable (Prices vary per model)
Dynamic Design SW-16 Power Cord (Prices vary per model)
Stillpoints ESS Racks, Aperture Panels