AUDIO EXPERIENCE FROM FRANCE
“The only thing that matters is bringing the music to life ; otherwise, you are just producing sound. Hearing sound is not the same as hearing music, and the hifi industry at present seems to be satisfied with just producing sound, all the while forgetting what is most essential – the music.” Jean-Christophe Crozel, co-founder of Lavardin Technologies, does not mince his words, words that might seem surprising coming from an engineer whose scientific rigor does not need to be proven.
In order to better understand, it is necessary to go back to the 1980s. An engineer, Gérard Perrot, was trying to figure out the reasons for which a tube amplifier offered a better musical experience than a transistor amplifier. Although a number of companies were content simply using this observed fact to relaunch the market for tube amplifiers, Perrot wanted to use a scientific approach to dissect and understand the underlying mechanism. Although music organizes itself in audio signals that are dispersed over time, efforts to improve music playback usually take into account everything except time. He got interested in the behavior of transistors and then discovered that distortions are affected by the signal itself and that electronic circuits demonstrate a degree of parasitic memory that is not revealed during performance tests. “The challenge was finding a way to mechanically detect this phenomenon, which is perfectly perceived by the ear,” comments Jean-Christophe Crozel.
After many years of research, Gérard Perrot released a first prototype in 1995 and subsequently met Jean-Christophe Crozel. Very quickly, they got together to form Lavardin Technologies. The device’s innovation relies on a complete reorganization of the circuits in order to be able to account for and deal with the memory issues that had been identified. To handle these tasks, all Lavardin amplifiers possess around 360 electronic components in total ; by comparison, a normal high-quality amplifier contains, at most, around hundred.
Amplifiers guaranteed for life! As for the rest, these amplifiers are magnificently well built and assembled with a watchmaker’s precision. Their front faces are first roughly constructed from aluminum blocks; they are then finished in a factory that handles digital machining. The buttons are made from whole pieces of metal; nothing is left to chance. Lavardin offers a level of quality that is rare, irreproachable. From the first, these products offer an immediate sense of sturdiness and durability. Lavardin also demonstrates clear faith in its products: they are guaranteed for life, which is rare for electronics. The leader of the collection of four integrated amplifier models is the Lavardin IS, which is commercially available for 2,250 €, a price that is simply without comparison for a hifi product of this level of quality.
Far from the showy and flashy crowds, Lavardin invites us into its delicate garden, a subtle and generous place where music flows through us with a disconcerting naturalness, where music lives and breathes!