Some of our customers, friends and acquaintances know that Lynnette Seah is a close friend. In fact, we refer to her affectionately as ‘Elder Sister’. This does not mean that she did us a favour by becoming our brand ambassador. We know her well, and the fact that she does not compromise on her standards when it comes to music (and food).
In July 2016 we told Lynnette about the sensational performance of the REDGUM/Axis systems at home and in the demo room, then asked if she would agree to be our brand ambassador. It was important for Lynnette to know that our description of the system’s performance was not an exaggeration. So we told her that since we were going to be at her home on 1st August 2016 for dinner we would also bring our home system along for a demo.
So on the appointed date we brought with us the following kit:
- a MacBook Pro, streaming Apple Lossless and uncompressed audio files via Audirvana Plus;
- a REDGUM RGCD5ENR DAC/CD-player;
- a REDGUM Black RGi120ENR integrated amplifier;
- a pair of Axis Voicebox S & stands; and
- REDGUM interconnects and speaker cables.
We planned to play a selection of demo tracks on this system, and then on her system (the discounted cost of which was more than twice as much as the full retail price of our demo system). Lynnette’s son Maurice was also present. He used to spin at local clubs when he was at law school a couple of years ago, and would be someone Lynnette could turn to for a second opinion.
After dinner we started the demo on the RG/Axis system by playing (off CD) How Can You Mend A Broken Heart from Diana Krall’s Quiet Nights album. Lynnette was at the bar counter between the kitchen and the dining/living area. About ten seconds after cueing up the track we heard a bowl clatter onto the bar counter followed by Lynnette exclaiming: “What was THAT? It sounds so real!” We quickly played the same CD and track on her system, level-matched as best we could to the REDGUM/Axis playback.
It was ‘Game Over’ in under 30 seconds! And Maurice stopped the demo after about three minutes because there was no point in going any further. While we expected the REDGUM/Axis system to beat the existing system, we weren’t prepared for the comprehensive thrashing that was dished out. It was ‘take no prisoners’ stuff.
A little later we sat down with Lynnette and Maurice to get their feedback. Her first words: “I’m totally blown away! Everything sounds so real!” Voices had a life-like presence, orchestral instruments and hall ambience were reproduced accurately, and the imaging was phenomenal. This despite the fact that the left speaker was in a corner and no more than about 0.5m from the back and side walls. (Fortunately, the living room had a sufficiently short RT60 reverb time even though it was not acoustically treated.)
Lynnette’s observations are unassailable. Her hearing is as good as that of a young child— she can still hear a pin drop, and also the sound of snow softly crackling and popping as it melts. And of course she knows what real acoustic instruments sound like!
We left with rather less kit than we arrived. The REDGUM/Axis system was left behind because we were so happy to see how much Lynnette liked what she heard. She later took one of the first pairs of Axis Voicebox EBS that came off the manufacturing line, and then a pair of Voicebox FLS (for the smaller footprint). Lynnette uses her REDGUM/Axis system for music playback, for movie audio, and when she hosts Lynnette’s Kitchen guests to dinner.