View Full Version : L'Atelier de l'Audiophile, Montpellier, France

Steve Toy
28-06-2010, 17:20
Dimitri took me to a hi-fi shop (The audiophile Workshop) owned by friends of his.


This place certainly deserves a mention not least for their approach to system building - source-first, use of top-notch ancilliaries and home-grown valve amplification into a pair of Tannoy Prestige speakers.

I've now learnt that there is only one thing better than 15-inch Tannoys....

12 inch Tannoys :D

Apparently they had some 15-inch models in, I don't know which ones mind and rejected them. When I heard these 12 inch babies I could appreciate why.... They seemed much more agile, tactile and capable of more insight and subtlety than their bigger brothers whilst still being big enough to do the requisite scale and deliver deep bass.

The system:

DcS Puccini/Word Clock

Home-grown Audiophile Technologie pre into 25W push-pull integrated used as a power amp

Tannoy Prestige loudspeakers

Siltech speaker cables

Home grown interconnects and mains block/leads fitted with Furutech plugs. :)

The system was amazingly detailed and coherent delivering the musical presentation that me likes!

It was interesting that in direct comparison the home grown integrated used as a power amp wiped the floor with a rather capable nevertheless Air Tight ATM 300 a single-ended 7 Watt 300B affair. The 25W push-pull amp not only did (deeper) bass but it actually sounded sweeter in the mid too.

They are a viable alternative to Anthony's amps and are zero negative feedback designs too which probably explains the sweetness. They do lose out a little to Anthony's Copper amps in terms of bass drive though but only slightly so.

Anyway, many thanks to Alain Bavoux for letting me listen to his top-notch system knowing I wasn't going to be buying anything.

28-06-2010, 17:34
How long have they been going Steve?

I remember visiting a very good hi-fi shop in Montpellier in 1982. I don't remember the name but it was unusual, something like: l'Atelier de la Research du Haute Fidelité. It was quite a small place and they were agents for a few select but uncommon items: Lavardin amplifiers, EMT cartridges etc.


PS Those Air Tight amps are excellent, not only for sound quality but for their superb build quality.

28-06-2010, 17:41
I've now learnt that there is only one thing better than 15-inch Tannoys....

12 inch Tannoys

The only problem is they were in fact 10" Tannoys!! :lolsign:

Dimitri mentioned that you listened to Kensingtons, from the Prestige range, which have 10" drivers ;)

I've heard these too at a hi-fi show and was impressed, but there's no way I'd swap my Lockwoods for them. I doubt that Ian would swap his 15" Canterburys for them either... Each to their own, I guess. Oh, and you know what I think of DCS up-sampling pish! :spew:

No doubt though it was a very good system, where all the components synergised together really well.

Hey, at least if you come into some money you now know what to replace the Hecos with! :eyebrows:


Steve Toy
28-06-2010, 18:49
Barry, you'll have to ask Dimitri. I imagine that hi-fi shops in Montpellier were ten-a-penny back in 1982. It's that kind of city :cool:

Marco, the Puccini sounded nothing like the Scarlatti you heard at the Manchester show in Manchester at the launch of this forum. If you remember the system was poorly set up, used rather syrupy valve amps and the speakers weren't the most suitable either.

The Puccini actually had texture, detail and timed properly. On my return I'm hearing the same level of performance from the EIKOS which although lacks the off-board clock, makes up for it with off-board PSUs and a dedicated filter. The EIKOS perhaps is lacking ever so slightly in detail but has a bit more texture and it sync-locks different music strands a little better too.

29-06-2010, 21:39
10" Tannoys you say? hmmm..

A LOT cheaper than the 15's! I can feel a quick look see on evilpay approaching.

Steve Toy
30-06-2010, 01:48
They were still 10 grand :(

30-06-2010, 11:06
They were still 10 grand :(

Solid gold baffles? platinum wire? diamond encrusted grilles? Jeez that is a lot of dosh. :)

30-06-2010, 19:29
Solid gold baffles? platinum wire? diamond encrusted grilles? Jeez that is a lot of dosh. :)

AlNiCo magnets ;)

30-06-2010, 19:31
AlNiCo magnets ;)

I would still expect to come home and find them on the bed wearing suzzies waiting for me for that kind of dough!


30-06-2010, 21:25
I had a lovely day with Turnberry's and I think it was Kensingtons I heard on the following visit.

If you think they're good, you haven't heard Harbeth yet, have you? Similar balance, not that much less sensitive and SO much more expressive and less coloured in the midrange.

You know, I get this sneaking feeling that Tannoy don't really care any more, prefering to make boxes of different styles for their far eastern markets and pricing them as high as they can get away with (like the phono stage that could easily sell retail for under a grand but which carries a £2,500 tag just to make it even worth listening to in Hong Kong, where it competes with a £12,000 model and at least equals it.......)

Anyone going to try some DMT's at some point, as I reckon they may just have the best of both worlds and look reasonably modern as well.

30-06-2010, 21:28
I have always liked the look of Harbeths. I have never even heard any but somehow I know I would like them just from hearing so much about them over the years! If I ever am able I might have a listen, not the tiny ones though, maybe those HL5 thingies.

30-06-2010, 21:35
Nah, 40.1's or the P3ESR's are the stars of the show right now.

The HL5 NEEDS space around it if the warmth isn't to dominate. Hifi dave loves 'em regardless and I owned some first gen HL5's twenty years ago. Wifey hated the appearance when I got them back from the mate who had them so they were sold on...

30-06-2010, 21:39
yeah but 40.1's are silly money, well they are when you haven't got it. the P3ESR looks like a toy, or an LS3/5 not sure I could live with them after four 15" inch woofers.

01-07-2010, 06:42
I'm not suggesting you buy them, but 3/5A's the P3ESR's definitely aint.....

01-07-2010, 08:14
I'm not suggesting you buy them, but 3/5A's the P3ESR's definitely aint.....

I am sure you are right, like I said I have never heard them, they just look like the 3/5A

I would still like to hear a pair though.