March
2020

Country of Origin

Korea

Rendez-vous

Reviewer: Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; Dr. Feickert Blackbird MKII/DFA 1o5/Zu DL-103;
DAC: Mytek Brooklyn; Mytek Brooklyn Bridge; T+A DAC8 [loaner]; TotalDAC D1 Direct [loaner]
Streaming sources: Devialet AIR; La Rosita Beta; Qobuz Desktop, Tidal Desktop; Sound Galleries SGM 2015 [loaner]
Preamp/integrated/power: Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); dual Devialet D-Premier; PTP Audio Blok 20; Hypex Ncore 1200 based monoblocks; Trafomatic Kaivalya; Trafomatic Reference One; Trafomatic Reference Phono One; Music First Passive Magnetic
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Podium Sound One; WLM Sub 12; Sounddeco Alpha F3; dual Zu Submisson MKI; Soltanus Virtuoso ESL
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; full loom of Nanotec Golden Strada; Audiomica Pearl Consequence interconnect; Audiomica Pebble Consequence USB; Audiocadabra Ultimus3 Plus Dual-Headed Solid-Silver
Power line conditioning: PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III; IsoTek Evo 3 Syncro; AudioMica Allbit Consequence
Equipment racks: Solid Tech and ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Indispensable accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Franc Audio Ceramic Disc Classic; Shakti Stones; Kemp polarity checker; Akiko Audio Corelli,Costello and Phono Booster; Pink Faun LAN Isolator; Farad external power supply
Online Music purveyors: qobuz.comtidal.combandcamp.comamazon.co.uk
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers

Room size: ca. 14.5 x 7.5m with a ceiling height of 3.5m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs, ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.5m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs
Price of review item: €2'500

VR&F. Like with Soundcat/JAVS, I hadn't crossed paths with this firm before their review solicitation. As do Jineung Audio Video Systems and Allnic Audio Lab, April Music, Astell & Kern, Aurender, Emillé, Metal Sound Design, Simon Audio, SOtM and Waversa, VR&F hail from South Korea. Their headquarters are in Seoul. What did they wish to see reviewed?

Vital Gbezo of UK-based Lamplitube Audio Marketing pointed at their stylish Rendez-vous server/streamer. Its optics of slanted disc with embedded display and singular control knob reminded me of Bang & Olufsen.

VR&F's 'who we are' page refers to extensive OEM expertise. Since 1986, they've worked for "several leading audio brands". That's a whopping 34 years of accumulated experience. Still, development of their own product with proprietary tech took them a solid 3 years with an R&D team consisting of "skilled resident senior engineers who represent Korea's crême de la crême".

Didn't that suggest a rather ground-up or carte blanche approach instead of filling old wine into shiny new bottles?

Having collaborated on earlier assignments—Emillé, QAT, X-odos—Vital and I agreed. On our staff, Marja & Henk were best positioned to do these particular honors. They possess the most experience with audiophile servers and best understand the IT which runs them. That now concludes the publisher's brief teaser until the designated reviewers pick up the proper narrative. – Srajan Ebaen

… to be continued…