A few kilometers from the Audioforum we now visited a listening room specially created as a stage for Hyperion and powered by a system specially developed for this purpose by Alfred Rudolph. This virtual concert hall goes by Krohne Auditorium due to the fact that in earlier times it was an industrial building belonging to Krohne Messtechnik GmbH, a world leader in flow-control systems. The initiative for this unique project traces back to local entrepreneur Michael Rademacher-Dubbick who long led the family business and now chairs its advisory board. Rademacher-Dubbick is not only an art and music lover but cultural activist with excellent contacts at the Duisburg Symphony. Against this background it's perhaps unsurprising that a notion materialized to enjoy recordings by the Duisburg orchestra in the best possible quality over a dedicated high-end installation. Since Rademacher-Dubbick and Alfred Rudolph from Acapella go back some time, the project quickly gathered steam. Unlike most home systems, the Krohne Auditorium offers plenty of space for listening to music in larger groups. The option of using the space in a larger format was planned from the outset. In the future, fine arts events too will be hosted here whose promotion the company finds particularly important. Also planned is that school classes from the area together with their teachers gain opportunity to hear the works of great composers at the best possible audio-visual quality. The Krohne Auditorium even offers interested company employees a chance to relax with good music after work. Work/life balance is obviously part of the Krohne's company culture.

From left to right: Richard Rudolph and Alfred Rudolph from Acapella Audio Arts, Mr. Michael Rademacher-Dubbick.

Anyone who sees the elegant lounge interior of the auditorium for the first time will probably be struck by the luminous colour scheme which gives the room a special atmosphere. Be prepared to be impressed. The present wall art was by Serbian artist Milovan Destil Markovic. Three of his works from the Velvet Lipstick Aureoles hung on the front wall behind the speakers. On the back wall was an installation by Czech artist Jindrich Zeithammel. The initiator of the project has enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with both artists for years already. The system driving the speakers sat in a rack of modest dimensions including amps, a music server/streamer, CD drive and turntable modified by Alfred whose gleaming gold front panel and controls turned from polished root wood added ambiance. All cables were carefully protected, a good idea with public traffic. If there's need for video, a screen drops down between the loudspeakers and a projector on a ceiling stem starts to beam moving pictures. Anyone hoping for a Sunday video stream of the Berlin Philharmonic would certainly be in the right place.

Alfred Rudolph insisted on personally demonstrating this pair of Hyperion whose horns were a slightly lighter shade of blue than those in the first auditorium. Shostakovich's Fifteenth played once more and indeed, the rendition of space now differed from what I'd heard before. With fewer boundary limitations, the orchestral sounds now flooded the Krohne Auditorium. Imaging of this quality is not usually offered even at upscale tradeshow demos. By comparison to the audio forum, Hyperion here seemed to make music in a more relaxed ‘cultivated' fashion. In the end, this impression may also have been due to the imaginative ambience of the Krohne Auditorium. Then followed some acoustic Jazz and as in the earlier audio forum, instruments seemed incredibly authentic, ensemble swing so compellingly infectious that I found it difficult to criticize anything about this performance. The members of the Krohne workforce who would soon gather to chill out after work had to be seriously envied. But even for us onlookers who are denied the daily enjoyment of these exceptional transducers, there will soon be a mass opportunity to convince ourselves of their qualities. Hello upcoming Hifi Deluxe show at the Marriott Hotel which takes place in parallel to the Munich HighEnd event. Most likely the brand-new Acapella amplifiers will also be part of that demo which, if we believe the claims of their maker, should catapult these exceptional loudspeakers to even greater heights. I'd say, don't miss this chance to hear them.