Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One of the Best Kept Secrets in Audio components - bel canto design

John Stroczer's office with  BCD one-off speaker

We just got back from visiting bel canto design in Minneapolis. These products come across as unassuming due to their diminutive size and simple design. That's where many audiophiles make their mistake. Inside each bel canto component is a huge array of proprietary technology and parts selection usually only reserved for crazed DIY people who want the best parts possible.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen sculpture
John Stronczer and Michael McCormick showed us around and inside the products. Its was eye opening to see all that goes into a simple product - that we might add is a USA product. If you have ever really compared bel canto products to other DACs or solid state amplifiers then you've heard the difference. If you haven't you need to. Nothing they do is off the shelf normal. Mr. Stronczer has an audio brain that extends back to his SET days. He know what music should sound like and that's what he works away at with his designs until he tunes them to achieve as little interference between the music and the gear.

Recording his own music and having a piano in his listening room helps. Mr. Stronczer told us sometimes his daughter plays along and they listen to the same piece through the system to make sure of the accuracy and most importantly the natural musicality.

Apple Computers and others have shown simple is actually very complex under the hood. Both bcd gentleman took us to John's house where we met his lovely Parisian wife "Martine" and the next cost-no-object set of components they will unveil at RMAF.

This 3-box system had only three connections. Speaker wires and a special BCD ST cable. That's it! No array of interconnects to stress over or worry about what they are injecting. The level at which this series digs deep into the music was eye opening. The music flowed effortlessly and powerfully or delicately as needed.

Minneapolis is seen as a sister city to Portland as far as its progressiveness with biking and the arts. It was very beautiful. We also got a chance to see the largest Hmong community in the US. The Hmong Village was great and the food was rip your head off spicy if you weren't careful. :-)
Hmong marketplace

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