Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, Fore Audio DAISy1, COS Engineering D1, Aqua Hifi Formula, AURALiC Vega
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, F5, F6, F7; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund/Job 225; Linnenberg Allegro monos; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos
Loudspeakers: Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; soundkaos Wave 40; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, 5m cords to amp/s + sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 5.5 x 15 metre rectangular space with double-high vaulted ceiling and stone-over-concrete flooring
Review component retail: CHF19'990/pr, matching stand CHF3'300/pr



The connection between this rendering and...


... the actual photo above is Geneva's luxury hifi house. Designed and manufactured now in Vernier but previously in the Plan-les-Ouates industrial zone which also hosts watchmakers Rolex [left] and Piaget [right], Goldmund's famous hifi wares are developed in this black-draped audition room. From there via a bespoke dealer network which includes Goldmund flagship stores in NYC, Miami and Asia, they appear in the manicured homes of an affluent international clientele. The connection with those of our readers who appreciate the sheer entertainment factor of reading up on what big toys wealthy folks enjoy—but who also question how any of it relates to their own wallets and life styles—are Goldmund's small speakers. Today's fresh catch is the new 5" two-way Metis MkII monitor with 175wpc Telos stereo amp per channel. "I'll take two, please." Good. Because we're so not talking mono Bluetooth here.


Keeping up with the Joneses. Instead of requiring a cluster of outboard electronics and wiring harness to connect it all, Goldmund's active concept packages the lot inside two compact aluminium chassis. Next it shifts the source feed of getting music signal to those hidden electronics into the wireless domain. VoilĂ , a USB dongle. Plug said transmitter into a PC or laptop. The driver installs by itself. Pair the speakers with the transmitter. Cue up a playlist of locally hosted/streamed files. Presto: music. The only cables are AC cords to each speaker; and one coaxial digital cable linking them. A wired source connection is also possible. There's also the solid aluminium Talisman hub [CHF5'000] with USB 2.0, coax, Toslink, analog, volume, 3.5mm headfi and remote control [right]. In another form the source interface can become the Mimesis 11. Aside from their big framed multi-box efforts, Goldmund also shrink their wireless active concept down into the S and XS ranges. Petite speakers mean smaller budgets and smaller rooms; even desk tops like this Nano Metis. It measures all of 13.8x20.4x18.5cm. Suddenly Goldmund are relevant to folks who'd never consider even their Logos Satya above; never mind the hulking somewhat robotic Apologue Anniversary of the R&D auditorium.

Taking the compact concept into the bassment is the wireless Metis Sub [CHF 14'100] which can accompany all the wireless models of Nano Metis, Micrometis, Metis MkII and Metis Tower. It drives its 10" woofer and opposing passive radiator from a 250-watt class A/B Telos amplifier inside a 22kg 35x32x30.5cm cube and may also be wired with a coaxial digital cable. For the full hi-tech assault Goldmund style, we invoke their Proteus and Leonardo code. The latter is a time-based correction algorithm, the former mathematical simulation software for speaker design as well as a DSP-based parametric room correction engine that can be scaled up to full multi-channel surround sound. In its most potent form when steered from a suitably equipped Goldmund controller, the Wireless Metis MkII thus becomes a fully active DSP-controlled affair with room correction and perfect subwoofer integration. Put differently, it's a building block which starts with the dongle on the desktop or lowboy, then scales up to a room-filling 2.2 stereo system with dual subs under the control of very advanced Goldmund-written DSP. It's how lifestyle meets uncompromised performance in bespoke Swiss fashion.

Stereo 2.0 Metis MkII wireless style.

In greater detail, here is how the various options break down: "The Metis Mk2 can be used with any of our digital processors or hubs but we recommend the Metis 10 [CHF12'125] and a wireless transmitter (CHF2'740). For a stereo-only system, the Mimesis 11 with built-in wireless transmitter [CHF11'250] is another option. The Leonardo II correction is built into the speakers themselves so this phase-correction algorithm running on DSP inside each speaker is completely source independent. Our wireless link operates with the same proprietary protocol whether one uses the dongle, wireless transmitter, Talisman or Mimesis 11. The very same wireless technology is used on all Goldmund products. A typical 2.2 stereo system would consist of two Metis Wireless MkII and two Metis Wireless Sub. This can be achieved with any of the mentioned wireless sources or in fact any Goldmund processor with S/PDIF outputs. These subwoofers use the same DSP-based crossover filter technology as the Metis Wireless MkII and are designed to integrate seamlessly with the latter's crossover filters. If any special room corrections are needed (i.e. room-specific filtering), it can be done using any of the higher-end Goldmund acoustic processors such as the Metis 10. So the different options from the simplest to the most complicated are:
Speakers + dongle: you only use your computer source for a stereo system (dongle included with the speakers).
Speakers + Talisman: You connect your player, TV or computer to the Talisman. It allows multiple sources for a stereo system. Only wireless output.
Speakers + Mimesis 11: Same as above but with 4 parallel coaxial 2-channel outputs in addition to the wireless output. 
Speakers + Metis 10: Needs to be used with a wireless transmitter. This is a multi-channel processor that allows room correction thanks to digital configuration files."


As to how original and MkII Metis Wireless compare, the replacement "has upgraded drivers, better phase correction (Leonardo II vs Leonardo code), better volume handling with wireless sources (full-scale wireless audio transport with volume metadata and internal DSP volume) and general improvements of the built-in amplifier. This Telos amplifier has two separate channels sharing one common power supply. That means available power can be weighted according to each driver's needs. The Goldmund aluminium finish is the only one available for this speaker model. The stand comes in the same finish." As to wireless resolution, "all of our WiFi transmissions downsample to 16/48. Our different sources simply accept data of various sample rates - the Metis 10 with wireless transmitter up to 24/96, the Mimesis 11 and Talisman hubs up to 32/384 and the USB dongle only 16/48, i.e. standard CD and DVD."
... to be continued...

Goldmund website