Rarely have we received such a lyrical text as the LS1be/SB1/MU1 system review by Meik Wippermann for German magazine Hörerlebnis. We were left speechless by his unlimited enthusiasm. Meik even allowed us to offer our readers an online pdf of the German text, one month before the magazine is printed! For everyone who does not master the German language, we translated large parts of the text. Please enjoy what Meik Wippermann calls ‘The end of a long journey’.
“Where to start, and more importantly, how can I put my impressions into words. (…) Although, actually it’s quite simple. In my 40 or so years of dealing with the wonderful passion we all have, I have never found anything better than the Grimm Audio LS1be with the SB1, period.
You are right to ask, nothing better – in what respect? First and foremost in what is absolutely crucial for me, namely that one does not perceive the loudspeakers as such at all when listening. The ingenious quartet of two LS1be’s and the corresponding SB1’s as sound sources recedes inaudibly behind a three-dimensional and absolutely tangible sound image, the perfect illusion so to speak. This is the real goal of high fidelity. Let the music speak for itself. And let the technique just be the means to achieve that goal. The term ‘sound transducer’ takes on a new meaning for me with the Grimm system and I realize that I was probably too generous with that term in the past. This because the naturalness and authenticity with which the LS1be and SB1 turned every style of music in my listening room into a live-like experience, introduced a new level of musical delight into my life.
And stunningly this did not demand any effort on my side, because the contrast with everything I heard before was so clear. To make sure I was not falling victim to a loss of objective vision, I asked my son to play a few of his reference tracks on the system and tell me what he thought. “Dior” (in 24/176.4) by rapper Pop Smoke, who died at the age of only 21, was among it. God knows it’s not my kind of music, but for the first time I understood why it excites so many young people. It is direct and unaffected – pure emotion even. And also superbly recorded, since successful rappers have access to the best studios. After two minutes my son was convinced that he never heard this track sounding so good. Neither in his father’s listening room, nor on his high performance headphones that he always preferred over loudspeakers – until now that is.
When the LS1be and SB1 on their own were already able to shake my audiophile worldview, that was even turned upside down in the second phase of my listening test, when the MU1 was added to the signal chain. (…)
We’re not talking about some details in playback quality here. It’s more like that of a quantum leap. Normal words cannot describe the extent to which the representation of any music track I played became ‘real’. I know that the term ‘real’ in connection with reproduction of music is quite dangerous. The recognized classical sound engineer and Grammy winner Andreas Neubronner rightly speaks of music recordings as a distinct cultural asset and not as reproductions of an acoustic reality. But I can’t think of a better word than ‘real’ since the Grimms have brought me emotionally so much closer to my live concert experiences than any other loudspeaker has ever done before.
“I have yet to find anything better than the Grimm Audio LS1be with the SB1, period.”Meik Wippermann, Hörerlebnis
The music examples that I like to present to you as illustration of my listening experience do not represent the complete musical spectrum. But these tracks left me with such a lasting memory that I just had to share my enthusiasm. I can assure however that in the weeks that the Grimms were available to me, I did not hear a single recording that was not beautifully refined by these fascinating transducers.
I would like to start with one of my absolute favorite voices. Russian bass-baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. (…) As an audio sample from the album “Where are you, my brothers?”, I recommend the first track “Somewhere Far Away”. Simply unbelievable how realistic the Grimms conjure Dmitri Hvorostovsky up in my listening room.
Also ‘live’ in my listening room was The Bassface Swing Trio with their new album Bossa, Ballads & Blues. Günter Pauler from Stockfisch did it again. To praise the Northeimer’s recordings for their sophisticated technical qualities would be to send owls to Athens. So I can focus on the music and plainly state that no jazz trio in my life has ever sounded so lifelike at home. The musicians were simply physically tangible, their exact positions in the recording room depicted holographically. More than once I asked myself whether one can hear so much in a live concert as with the Grimms. Of course I’m not talking about the atmosphere or the special emotional moment of going to a concert. No system, no matter how good, can replace that. But you have to have a damn good concert seat to hear so many details. It’s insane.
Happy hours I had with the LS1be, SB1 and MU1 by Grimm Audio. My deep respect for years of tireless fine work on these outstanding treasures. And my congratulations to Eelco Grimm and Guido Tent as well as to the entire Grimm Audio team for one of the absolute best transducers money can buy. A unique system – I have arrived!”