Reviewer: Joël Chevassus
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Esoteric K-03, Lumin S1, Apple iMac El Capitan/Audirvana,  MacBook El Capitan/JRiver MC 21, Audiomat Maestro 3 [on loan], Lumin U1 [on loan]
Amp/Preamp: Coincident Technology Statement Line preamplifier, SPL Volume2, Luxman M-800a x 2 (bridged), Red Dragon S500 x 2, Lumin M1
Speakers: Vivid  Audio Giya G1, Vienna Physix Diva Grandezza [on loan], Leedh E2 Glass [on loan], Elipson Planet L
Cables: Skywire Audio 2020 digital cable, Naturelle Audio interconnects Live 8 MK2, Grimm Audio TPM interconnects, Phi Audio speaker and interconnects cables, Leedh speaker cables [on loan], Esprit Lumina digital USB and S/PDIF cables loom [on loan]
Power Cords: DIY, Triode Wire Labs 10+
Stands & room: Music Tools Alicia furniture, DAAD 4 bass traps, Microsorber room insulation, PYT Panels, Saratas stand [on loan]
Review component retail price: €24'000 (VAT included)

The man behind Tarim Audio is Alexander Tarim, founder and designer. Despite being a relative newcomer to our Western audio scene, Alexander is not strictly speaking a young man. He began his professional life as an industrial military electronics engineer and adjustment operator. He was involved in fine-tuning missile radars and early-warning homing systems. His interest in music and electronics naturally led him to audio engineering and the design of unusual electronics. In Russia he's known as a technical expert working for several audio magazines, especially Salon Audio Video where he held the editor's position in the 90s and early 2000s.

He also worked as a disc jockey using unique equipment of his own design and collaborated in various ambitious installation projects for audio and home theatre. He designed a mythic vacuum tube amplifier called FK integral amplifier which was entirely made by hand and built over a three-year period to sell just one exclusive unit which should remain unbeatable at any price amongst today's Russian tube amps. Tarim exhibited some of its best valve realizations at the Russian High-End show before deciding to work on solid-state amplification which could meet the demands of hungrier speakers.

In Western Europe meanwhile and perhaps also America and Asia, this man seems to have come from nowhere. Even in mother Russia, smaller manufacturers like Oxygen Audio whom I met during the last Munich High End exhibition had never yet heard of him. Indeed, Alexander Tarim seems a perfect stranger from the big East to find himself amongst a few other newcomers willing to convince Westerners that Eastern Europe exports other specialties than crude oil, gas, vodka, caviar, weapons and aeronautics.

Of course high-end audio is a small world with arguably too many small companies already. Just so, these undeterred Eastern audio markets exude fresh air, novel ideas and new style. As much consideration as I can muster for the new lines of Audio Research or McIntosh, I must admit that it's far more exciting to review exotic products like the Tarim Audio Flood House system. I want to take this opportunity to thank our editor Srajan Ebaen to allow me writing for 6moons as the sole audio magazine I know of which gives its writers this much freedom to review unusual gear. It's at the same time a technical and human experience which really differs from audio magazines which only cover the usual brands to bring very little change to our industry.

The Flood House system consists of four boxes whose combined weight of 46kg is massively overshadowed by the 130kg German ASR Emitter quad-chassis competitor. Tarim's quartet consists of a preamplifier with external power supply and two powerful monaural amplifiers. Their compact sizes are closer to Cyrus gear with 38cm depth and 22cm width for the power amps but these eschew any plastic or light aluminium parts. With the brown-chocolate face plate finish dispatched for review, they looked particularly gorgeous and well distinct from all others. They also seemed to be extremely robust as though designed for military purposes. Yet one could also view them as a kind of artistic Bauhaus expression. In fact they were perhaps the strangest devices to have made it to the first floor of my house.