What sound system would you pick to dress up that room where you relax after a hard day in the world of power suits, the room where you also entertain high roller friends, and where million dollar deals are cut? What system could transform a not too shabby room into a feast for the ears and then some?
That system just might be the shiniest toy on the home entertainment block; the Steinway Lyngdorf, born from the collaboration between Steinway & Sons and Danish audio engineer Peter Lyngdorf.
An invitation for me arrives from the Steinway Piano Gallery of Nashville, to oogle at the first and only speaker system to bear the Steinway insignia.
I do a double take as I walk onto the showroom floor … there is a 9 foot grand and … what do we have here?!
I greet Brandon Herrenbruck (Office Manager, Steinway Piano Gallery Nashville) who introduces me to Matt Grant, Director of Sales with the Paragon Technology Group (they distribute the Steinway Lyngdorf speakers in Colorado and Tennessee.) Grant would give me the low down on the luxury system that not only wears the Steinway name but also its appearance from the luscious ebony lacquer and gilded brass trimmings, to the rubber strings wrapped in silk on the front and rear of the speakers to mimic the piano strings. Even the back panel of the speakers are made to look like the interior of the Steinway piano.
The Model D grand on the showroom floor, at which Steinway artist, Steve Hyman would sit and entertain us tonight was flanked by its namesake, the Model D speaker system which towered over me. The ultimate Steinway ensemble. Tres magnifique!
“Steinway & Sons wanted to create a world reference tool for their pianos. To sound great in any room regardless of size and shape and environment,” said Grant when he gave me a tour of the system. What really piqued my interest was the ‘RoomPerfect’ technology.
Designed by Peter Lyngdorf and his company formed in 2005, ‘RoomPerfect’ tunes the room where the system is placed, to eliminate acoustic traps – – finally, nary a worry about standing waves and such. To execute this tuning, a microphone is used to map, measure and calibrate nine points in the room, creating a 3-D image of its sound field.
Two modes are offered in the tuning of the room; the Focus mode aims at giving optimum listening pleasure to your favourite lounging spot. The Global mode provides great sound all round for your party guests.
The Model D speakers stand at 7 feet, the open baffled speakers consist of 4 x 12” bass drivers and are designed for rooms substantial in size. The “world’s 1st fully digital music system” — DACs are built into their active DSP-driven speakers, comes with a meter tall head-unit pedestal that houses a CD player. According to Grant, the Model D speakers utilise “more aluminium than an Audi A8, making it rigid and dependable”. Watch the video below where he walks me through the system. Also demonstrated is the Lyngdorf Music Server.
If you have a more modest sized room, the Model C, a two-speaker system that comes in a sleeker more compact design is your choice. The Model M Architectural Speaker System caters to in-wall, in-ceiling, on-wall applications to blend with the decor. The Model LS (Line Source) Grand Speaker System caters to home theatres.
The Model D will provide 1600 watts of intense pleasure to the ears in stereo and surround sound. According to Katherine Spiller, Director Sales & Marketing – Steinway Lyngdorf, “the (digital or analog) inputs available on the back of the head unit (allow you to connect) other sources; blu-ray players, turntables, ipods, laptops, music servers. The Model D speakers can be interchanged with speakers from our other collections to create a surround sound configuration. In this instance, the head unit would be replaced by the P1 Surround Sound Processor and A1 Digital Amplifiers.” I had hoped to be treated to the sonic power of this well-endowed beast but was to leave with only hearing CDs played over the system.
The specifications are certainly impressive and its performance lauded on numerous audiophile websites. In case I haven’t mentioned yet, the Steinway Lyngdorf systems are all custom made with the standard ebony lacquer ready for delivery in 3-4 weeks. Those of you looking to match the speakers with a treasured item; say, a racy sport car, will need to wait a hefty 4-6 months. The Steinway Lyngdorf speakers are distributed around the world. The price point? The Model D goes for US$188,000, and the Model C US$144,000. A steal for the owner of a Steinway grand looking for a system that not only complements it in appearance but like the piano, is unprecedented in performance!
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Photos & videos (c) 2010 Shueh-li Ong (unless specified, all articles written by Shueh-li Ong bear the photography, videography and digital work of its author.
The launch in February 2008 of the Model D Music System was announced by Peter Lyngdorf, and marked by a series of by-invitation-only events across the world, with Singapore being the first venue.
Peter Lyndorf is founder and owner of Hi-Fi Klubben (1980), Europe’s largest chain of hi-fi shops specialising in high-end audio. He is associated with NAD Electronics, Tact Audio ApS, and the Millennium amplifier.