HVT: “Homogeneity is the key word for the MU1”

Dutch printed magazine HVT sports a second MU1 review, this time from long term journalist and audiophile Bert Oling. Bert brings in a few friends and everyone gets excited about the MU1’s sound quality. Especially about its power to unravel sonic details and present all elements in a natural balance. Bert writes:

“Homogeneity is the keyword of our musical experiences with the Grimm Audio MU1. As a common thread we used two recent recordings where the MU1 subtly adds something essential. We have not often encountered that in recent years. The emphasis with new High End products is still very much on “More”, more low, more detail, more space, more depth. But the Grimm Audio MU1, together with the Tambaqui DAC, does not play that drum.

First example: a new CD recording of ally Johan Brouwer – ‘Johan Brouwer plays Bach’ / Aliud Records. The instrument is a copy of a historical Vaudry harpsichord. Due to circumstances the recording was modulated hot and due to weather conditions – stormy weather – it was also recorded a bit closer up than the previous production with the same instrument. Together with a friend we played the CD, the MU1 upsampled the 44kHz recording to 176kHz. My friend didn’t like this recording much on his older Naim set, he thought he ‘heard too much’. He turned pale when he heard how it could be… Now he prefers the new recording over the much softer old one. He clearly heard more tonal character from the strings and soundboard.

The same happened to him with the last ‘Volume V’ of the Beethoven Piano Trios by the Van Baerle Trio on Challenge Classic (listened to as a DXD24/352kHz PCM file, brought back to 176.4 kHz by the MU1). At home he judged the dynamics as too large, forcing him to constantly adjust the volume. I have to admit that both the Triple concert (with the Residentie Orkest) and the adaptation of the Septet were recorded quite ‘limitless’ by Bert van der Wolf, the dynamics jump shamelessly out of the speakers. But due to the homogeneity of the reproduction, there was no tendency at all to damp the volume of the MU1. Particularly in the trio adaptation of the Septet, the microdynamics and the natural relationships between the instruments were much to be enjoyed. With as highlight the sound of the grand piano, a Chris Maene… And yes, in the end it is all about rendering reality.”

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“He turned pale when he heard how it could be…” 

Bert Oling, HVT
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