Joël Chevassus
Financial interests
: click here
Source: Esoteric K-03, Lumin S1, Apple iMac Yosemite/Audirvana, Trends UD-10.1, MacBook Yosemite JRiver Media Center 21, Etalon USB Streamer [on loan], Auralic Aries Femto [on loan], Exogal Comet [on loan], TotalDac Dual [on loan], Metrum Acoustics Pavane [on loan]
Amp/Preamp: Lumin M1 [for review], Coincident Technology Statement Line Stage, SPL Volume2, Luxman M-800a x 2 (bridged), Trends TA-10.2, Red Dragon S500 x 2 (bridged, on loan), Ypsilon Aelius [on loan]
Speakers: Vivid  Audio Giya G1
Cables: Esprit Lumina & Eterna USB cables [on loan], Skywire Audio 2020 digital cable, Esprit Lumina S/PDIF digital cable [on loan], Naturelle Audio interconnects Live 8 MK2, Grimm Audio TPM interconnects, High Fidelity CT1-Enhanced speaker cables, Phi speaker wires
Power cords: DIY, Triode Wire Labs 10+
Stands & room: Music Tools Alicia furniture, DAAD 4 bass traps, Microsorber room insulation, PYT Panels, Esprit
Review component retail: €18'200 (may vary according to local VAT and distributor sales policy)

Here is a brief factory tour published by TNT Audio.

Context: French company Metronome Technologie was founded in 1987 by Mr. Dominique Giner. He had been working as a furniture maker. As a music lover, he also designed A/V furniture and his own speakers which came in the shape of a metronome. These speakers became a runaway success with more than 1'000 pieces sold. Subsequently Mr. Giner launched his own audio manufacturing firm, the so-called Metronome Technologie. This small firm based in the South Western region of France in the city of Roquemaure (Tarn district near Toulouse) would specialize in digital front ends to rapidly earn public esteem amongst audiophiles, starting as a subcontractor for Jadis and their CD players. Later on, impressive models like the famous Kalista CD transport bestowed upon Metronome Technologie global renown.

But, international recognition and status don't necessarily equate to commercial success. Metronome never developed a broad distribution network to instead remain a small artisanal outfit. Certain hazardous choices in terms of promotion, through the previous Tecnodis 2000 partnership, did not help Dominique Giner to significantly grow sales within the audiophile market even though the very upscale design of his digital transports found some shelf space wherever exotic products were desired, especially in certain parts of Asia, Russia and the Middle-East. Even today, 90% of their sales occur abroad. Still, the challenge remained to increase market share in the mature US and European sectors. Perhaps this commercial pressure added to the dire necessity of developing network players and servers compelled Mr. Giner to pass the torch and sell his firm off.

The final handover became reality by mid 2014 when Christian Bat and Jean-Marie Clauzel, arriving from two completely different business backgrounds, acquired the company. The first one had worked as a finance director in the car industry. The second was an agricultural engineer. Today their business counts 6 employees and a few subcontractors which are located mainly in France. Metronome Technologie remain one of the very few manufacturers still assembling printed circuit boards by hand to support a very limited number of units sold each year (roughly 250) of which their entry-level CD player accounts for circa 50%.

This small concern employs the two new owners, one electronics engineer, one production supervisor, one production operator who solders all components by hand, and one accountant. If their strategy remains focused on the highest possible quality, I presume that their output can scale up for a certain period of time but then will require the hiring of a greater work force.