Peter Kvotrup — a living legend of contemporary audio industry. Man, generating a storm of indignation and admiration among experts, journalists and lovers of good sound. Some consider him a charlatan, wringing crazy money for amplifiers built on a simple scheme, others bow before him, believing that Peter Kvotrup — the only one today refers to the sound really serious. Recently, we have personally met with the famous «mad professor», seeing how he creates his own equipment, to listen to his favorite music and tried to figure out what is really a technique English firm Audio Note.
TEXT Michael Borzenkov
The thunder and the howling of the columns cast in the horror audience. What do we expect when Peter Kvotrup, sly squint, invited us to visit his home to listen to a complete top-end system Audio Note? A cozy house in a bourgeois quarter of Brighton and living room, framed cabinets with vinyl, does not bode incredible. Now we listen to some jazz and blues, maybe a little old rock, but of course, something of classical music … and what else listen to the fabulously expensive equipment lamp?
So, according to Peter Kvotrupa listen to it all. And so the first recording was the album «Split the Atom» the young Dutch team Noisia — furious dub step bass drum with hammers, howling and screeching synthesizers congested distortirovannyh digital sine waves. It is expected that a plausible reconstruction of a nuclear catastrophe in the living room you will need at least polukilovatta power and multiband grobopodobnye drawers with heavy-duty metallic diaphragms hard suspension. Normally, to listen to such a force after the first 5 minutes of fast running out. However, tube amplifiers Kvotrupa capacity of 45 watts and speakers with a single midbasovym diffuser made of natural fibers played this symphony of destruction as if it was nothing more than a string quartet. Bass lifted the couch, sparks fell from the chandelier, but every sound you can enjoy. And I have never listened to a record in the genre dubstep so long.
Of course, it was the attraction. So the beginning of Peter Kvotrup immediately puts all the points over the i, and the students understand — formal complaints to the equipment has not presented. Then you can listen «Nine Inch Nails», Nat King Cole, Tchaikovsky or Jimi Hendrix, but only for fun. «People do not understand — explain Kvotrup — that such equipment provides a much better bass, dynamics and a sense of power than whatever else. You can play any kind of music is very loud and you hear any overload or distortion.
Kvotrup not consider your company a commercial enterprise. He calls the Audio Note as much — research laboratory, which is forced to engage in production in order to recoup their experiments. Sales technique — it just means, in fact, are all passionate about only one thing — the search for the right sound. And then, of course, one can not forget the main theory of Peter, the debate about which has been going on is not the first decade Kvotrup completely rejects all established values of High-End-Audio. Ideas that the system should sound beautiful or detailed or seek to reproduce ‘living’ sound — all this, in his opinion, nonsense. Any music that we can reproduce — is recorded music, and the only thing we know for sure is that the recording process and all its components (from the microphone to the jack on the wire) influenced the sound of this record. So that each record has its own personality and different from any other. And therefore, accurate audio system — one that most clearly show us these differences. Because if you do not hear them, it means that something is wrong. After all, the two identical records do not exist! This is the main criterion, which is used in the assessment of Peter Kvotrup equipment. And therefore considers that a good technique to play any recording and any music genre preferences — for wimps.
In service to this idea posed and engineering philosophy of the company. The equipment used as simple schematic solutions, but not the main attention is paid to the achievement of certain physical characteristics of the signal, and the development of the most high-quality components. Kvotrup rightly observes that it is possible as much as necessary to select the best or most appropriate capacitor of the standard parties, but you never make a fundamental step forward. Climb up on the step can only be self-developed a capacitor that is not just a little better than others, but rather fundamentally, and it fits perfectly in the amplifier circuit, for which created. And yes, after a detailed development when only the cost of transformer cores, made to order, comes to 3,000 euros apiece, power becomes very expensive.
Central Research Laboratory Audio Note is located in the main resort town of Brighton in England. The company has two plants — in Vilnius (there are engaged in assembling CD-player and everything connected with digital sound) and in Austria, where the lower range was collected Audio Note. Flagship phones are produced only in Brighton, here are tested and configured under the personal supervision of the founding father of the company.
Peter Kvotrup himself lives in Brighton, so that the production had always supervised, and the head office and all around the corner. However, this is not the place looks especially respectable. The owner complained that his firm is most similar to an art commune, a gathering of artists and dreamers, and I must say that the chief visionary and artist there — he Kvotrup. He sincerely proud that did not wash the window of his Brighton shop for 16 years. Meanwhile, it hides one of the first representatives of the audio-class High End — an American receiver early 30-ies of the last century, which at the time was worth more than indiscreet house on the California coast.
Let’s go in the bins
According to Peter Kvotrupa, its stock (small room in the basement of the office) is spare parts for half a million pounds, including a 7-year-old reserve capacitors Black Gate, who now were only here.
Special pride — a room where collected personal collection of electronic tubes. The cost of this meeting Kvotrup estimated at 3 million pounds. Lamps are the most exotic, including, of course, the Soviet manufacture.
WORLD OF HOBBIES
For most of us it has always been Audio fad. But those who do, too, have their little pleasures, not related to music. Peter Kvotrup, for example, collects cars Mercedes in the legendary 124-m body. He now has 17 pieces, including rare instances of AMG. He always goes only to 124-m sure it’s still the best car in automotive history.
Andy Grove, collaborator and first assistant Kvotrupa in his case, in fact, engaged in the excavation of the internal resistor, and experiment with the transformer windings. We talked about how the choice of a particular material and found that mostly have to rely on intuition. In general, all physical parameters suitable materials have long been known, but explain why silver wiring sounds better than copper, it is impossible. The difference in the physical parameters of the minimum and the sound — drastically. As a result, Andy has developed a completely esoteric skills in working with the equipment.
«I perceive the sound as color, — he says — trying different materials and solutions, I can feel the change of colors and try to make the most complete sound palette.»
Of course, with so ardent a nonconformist and original, like Peter Kvotrup, we could not talk about the future of the music and audio industry. And of course, we found a very original forecast: replace digital download from the Internet come the good old vinyl will be the main carrier!
This, at first glance, zaviralnye Kvotrup theory proves quite meaningful arguments. Firstly, their own experience with digital content, which convinced him that the concept of music «lossless» in relation to the files on the hard disk does not exist. That is, no matter how high was the soundtrack, as a result, downloading and playing it using software errors and deviations are inevitable, it concerns all stages, even the process of recording information on the hard drive. It is known, is not stored in the form of a data array undivided and divided by the free sectors, and in fact, play the music files each time the computer reassembles it in parts with different speed and efficiency. And that’s the minor problem over which Kvotrup his comrades had fought and found it necessary to write your own player, a fundamentally different way to store data on disk. However, it also does not solve all the problems … But vinyl is solves. He is durable and beautiful, and, according to Kvotrupa, while any digital medium to surpass its sound quality and could not. So go ahead: back to the future!