Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Arteluthe Satie show to Brosseau

juillet 10, 2013 by · 1 Comment 


Presented for the first time at the 2013 Montreal Salon Son et Image’s Canadian pavillion last march, the Arteluthe Satie were on static display. Today, we had the opportunity to see and hear the active Satie on the occasion of their world première presentation. Active speakers are what tomorrow’s audio will be like, and we witnessed the future first hand.

This presentation results from a partnership between Brosseau Audio-Video, located on Montreal’s south shore and Robert Gaboury, the speaker’s designer and owner of Arteluthe.

Since Patrick Sareault took the helm as sales manager, Brosseau Audio-Video is apparently on a new, refreshing and oh so welcomed upswing, with a can-do attitude.

Auditorium de référence Brosseau Audio & Vidéo

Auditorium de référence Brosseau Audio & Vidéo

Brosseau’s new owners, Éric Périard and his associates must be impressed by the overhauling of the store and main listening rooms since Patrick took charge. Changes are impressive and apparently on time and on budget.

The presentation gave us the opportunity to discuss with Robert Gaboury about his latest creation.

Robert Gaboury en arrière de sa dernière création, la Satie.

Robert Gaboury en arrière de sa dernière création, la Satie.

Robert, tell us a few words about today’s presenation

This evening wouln’t have been possible without the people who came to be part of the evening, but also and perhaps more importantly without Brosseau Audio-Video. I wish to thank them for making it possible and a success. I found the experience extremely positive and would certainly like to repeat the experience, perhaps with a new model. At some point, I’d like to present a Pro-audio setup so people could hear what’s happening outside Audiophilia. Brosseau seems the best place to initiate this type of meeting because they are very active in the audio, video, home cinema and custom install markets. Perhaps a music oriented 5,1 setup would be fun.

What where the main questions you had from people at the presentation?

Active speakers, DSP implementation has been around for quite some time in the professional realm, with sound studios, movie theaters, live concerts, etc. However, in the audiophile world, Digital Signal processing (DSP) and active speakers are not common. This will change, but it may take some times.

Since the analog signal needs to be converted to digital, many persons asked about the possibility of feeding the speakers with a digital stream and do without the conversion. The answer is yes, but only on pro versions of the product at this time. In some years, pure digital chain will become the norm at some point, but at this time, there is no real universal digital format: Redbook CD, MP3, FLAC, AAC, WAV, different sampling rates, different word length, etc. Since all formats are different, there will always be some signal conversion.

That being said, it is possible, today, to order a Satie pair with digital input. For this, we offer an adapter that makes it possible to feed the speakers with a digital AES/EBU signal on Ethernet, using regular RJ45 plugs and cables (CAT5 cable), and using a dedicated AV only digital network, controlled by a dedicated PC that takes charge of all digital manipulation and adressing. This system is extremely powerful, but also a little complex to operate, therefore we reserve it to the Pro market for the time being.

Going full digital for everyone is a little too complex right now – outside of one-box solutions like B&W Zeppelin and similar products. For optimal sound quality, seperate Left-Right enclosures are required. However, digital signal has both cahnnels on the same wire, so for true stereo, it is required to have a wire that would go from one speaker to the other, and some kind of center box to adjust the volume level, which, if performed in digital, involves signal degradation by throwing out bits. For best results, it is always better to use an analog pre-amplifier – or a high resolution system operating on 32 bits.

Arteluthe modèle Satie chez Brosseau lors de la première mondiale.

Arteluthe modèle Satie chez Brosseau lors de la première mondiale.

What about power supply?

We use Switching mode power supplies or SMPS. Contrarely to common audiophile wisdom, these power supplies are able to provide very good sound quality. Like everything else, good and no so good co-exist, but high quality power supplies yield high quality musical reproduction.

ICE Power? Hypex?

No and No. There are many vendors of Class D solutions. All major chip makers offers lots of different Class D amplifier solutions. We use a technology developped in Denmark by Pascal http://www.pascal-audio.com/producttour.html
The main benefits of Class D are high efficiency in a compact form factor taht generates little heat and is perfectly suited to be embeded in loudspeaker enclosures.

Regarding DSP (for Digital Signal Processor), this is a technology that applies mathematical or logical operators to a digital signal, to modify some aspects of the signal. Since we deal with sound signal, these aspects are frequencies, time (phase and delay) and dynamics. Logical operators can also be implemented, like « if », « then » situations. For example, if sound level is over « x », then « do this ». Naturally, we do not use DSP to change the content, but only attributes.
We use an AnalogDevice chip to perform digital and analog conversion and re-clock the signal to any sampling rate and 24 bit word length.
We program the DSP to perform 3 basic tasks. The first one in inverse correction, where minute deviation from neutrality, inherent to drivers, are corrected for flat frequency response. We also use use the DSP to perform crossover function, which enables us to use « brickwall » type filtering, that is extremely steep curves in order to minimize drivers overlap and corresponding phase and directivity problems. For example, the crossover point is a low 1,5 kHz – something that would not be possible with passive filtering. With ultra steep curves, each driver works in the perfect comfort zone and also with optimum dispersion between both units. This in turn reduces distortion and make a large soundstage.
Power is plenty, with up to 350 watts per driver – or over one full kilowatt for the pair!.

Components are made by Morel (woofers) and ScanSpeak (tweeters)

Made in China?

No. Chinese made products CAN be of very high quality, but chinese production makes it difficult or impossible to work on human scale production. Arteluthe is a contraption of Art and Luthe (derived from Luthier – or stringed instruments maker). We make products one at a time, and production is long – from 4 to 6 weeks. Building products in China requires from the « manufacturer » to build enough products to fill one or 2 or three containers. This means that not only products can be shipped quickly to consumers, but also that products MUST be shipped to offset warehousing and inventory cost. This is a totally different thing and we decided to work on a small scale to accomodate different requirements, such as special finishes and specifications. All Arteluthe products are made for a unique individual.

Arteluthe Satie (fait au Canada)

Arteluthe Satie (fait au Canada)

What else can we expect from Arteluthe?

We’ll slowly build a stock of parts and components in order to fulfill orders. All models basically share the same AirForce™ folded horn enclosure, and driver type and DSP program differentiate the models, so we’ll organize production accordingly. At some point we’d perhaps like to build a special product – we closely monitor what’s being done in automotive finishing and we see a trend where high-gloss finish is getting out of fashion. Another project that kept us working late is an architectural modular active system that can be used either with high quality music reproduction up to insane IMax style cinema systems. This system is designed to be integrated in the walls, on where a complete room can be built around the system. As such, it does not need to be sculptural (like AirForce products), so the system can be much more cost effective.

Will we be able to review actual products?

Absolutely! In fact, we’d like to send a pair of Alegìa – which means JOY

Can you talk a little about the carbon based models?

We use the carbon fiber woofer in Aegrìa and Kantate models. This is a marvelous driver. I always like Accuton ceramic drivers for their lack of sound coloration. I would say the carbon drivers offer all of the ceramic qualities of transparency, but they sound fleshier and less sterile as well. Obviously, this is entirely a matter of tastes, but I feel the carbon fiber units are as transparent and neutral as can be, but at the same time, sound warm and inviting, while the ceramic drivers are a little brittle. Sound character is only one aspect, the other aspect we consider is the ability of the driver to withstand power and stress. This is the Achille heel of ceramic, and the carbon fiber drivers are much better in keeping up with stress, power an heat – with a huge 3 in. voice coil, they mate very well with active technology. Another bonus is that they behave almost like full range drivers with smooth output up to 10 kHz with no or little break-up.

How about export sales?

For some reason, it is easier to sell outside Canada. Arteluthe is a new brand with no history, so we start from scratch, but not really as we were lucky enough to count on the support of Mindtech in Denmark. We also had requests from France, Italy, Germany and Asia. There is a man in Australia who collects all of my designs, I think he could open a museum! Audiophiles are fanatics and we try to keep them busy with exciting products, technologies and designs.

Our competitors are not speakers manufacturers. We compete with Leica rangefinders, Harley davidson motorcycles, Patek-Philippe watches, Triumph cars, etc. We build something in very limited numbers, something that offers style and performance, and something that cannot be found in mass manufactured products: style and spirit and uniqueness. We make unique products – each is genuinely hand-made and even manufacturing defects are part of the story, because there is no manufacturing 🙂

This is your World première – are you satisfied?

After the Première is over, we’ll follow-up with a second and a third… I don’t see the « market » as a number or something that can fit in a spreadsheet. There is no market – only individual persons. There is no target, we don’t have a business plan established on numbers and curves and statistics. All clients are unique and my products reflect that. There are no container loads of products and no container loads of clients either. If someone wants Arteluthe, they will manage to find Arteluthe. We do not offer a commodity. First of all, horn loaded speakers are not common. Active speakers aren’t either, so are people who like what we do. We deal with authentic people and we offer authentic products.

This is a dynamic that wouldn’t have been possible before internet. We see Arteluthe as part of a world wide community of individual who happen to have something in common. Hifi is only a pretext to get people together around music and sound as an intellectual and sensorial experience. One cannot exist without the other.

Arteluthe Satie, un monde de musicalité vous contemple.

Arteluthe Satie, un monde de musicalité vous contemple.


One cannot exist without the other – exactly. We were able to live first hand the design and build of the first Satie We were also able to share a listening session of a Studio monitor, designed and built by the designer. This monitor was a test bed for Arteluthe, where enclosures, drivers, DSP and amplifiers all come together as one, wholly engineered product. For a price that is still « affordable », every aspect of the products offer a level of musicality and integration that would not have bneen possible before. I wrote it before, and now, more than ever, this is what the future looks like.

Effectivement, l’un ne va pas sans l’autre, à l’évidence.
Après avoir vu de près la fabrication des Satie. Après avoir eu l’opportunité d’entendre les moniteurs de studio 3112, chez le manufacturier; la conclusion à laquelle j’arrive est que nous avons atteint un seuil de qualité incroyable, pour un tarif encore « démocratique ». Ce qui était inconcevable il y a encore quelques années en arrière est maintenant devenu réalité.
Il me semble déjà l’avoir écrit:

l’actif c’est l’avenir.

Now that our music files are digital and reside on hard discs, network storage and portable devices, the total integration of speakers and amplifiers was written in the sky. At least, it certainly looks like it after hearing a properly engineered active system. Of course, passive systems will continue to exist, but if you ever compare with an Arteluthe product, you may very well change your perception of « high-end ». I would have no hesitation in comparing these to other traditional system sold for 3 or 4 times as much.

Arteluthe and its designer offer real plus value. Not only in terms of technical know-how, but also, and more importantly, as a man behind a product. There is a human aspect that eludes so many other manufacturers. Canada and more specifically Québec is a fertile breeding territory for loudspeaker manufacturers: Arteluthe, Ledoux, Verity, Lafleur, Gala Solo, etc. Let’s not forget about it – we are lucky to have so much talent on our own grounds.

Les humains en arrière de cette soirée mémorable, de G à D: Frédéric Brosseau, Robert Gaboury, Patrick Sareault et Olivier Brosseau.

Les humains en arrière de cette soirée mémorable, de G à D: Frédéric Brosseau, Robert Gaboury, Patrick Sareault et Olivier Brosseau.

At this point, let us talk about dealers. Dealers are specialists who act as transmission link between designers, manufacturers and audiophiles. If you ever wonder what dealers are about in these days of internet-direct sales, two things come to mind:

1. Dealers are able to show and demonstrate products they actually have in stock.
2. They deliver, install and calibrate the products they sell for optimum operation, maximizing your investment.

Internet is a fantastic tool to gather information, read and learn about products. When it comes to actually listen to the products, the dealer will offer time, advice and a comfortable space to listen to not only products, but complete systems. It is only fair, to give a little back to the dealer if and when you wish to purchase a product. More and more people literally waste the time, energy and enthousiasm of dealers only to try to find a lower price on Internet. Please remember that our society was built upon trust and exchange. Changing the rules helps no-one, and when you « cheat » on a dealer, you make it hard for him/her to stay in business, pay rent and employees. In the end, you may find out that a good deal is not always the best deal.

La signature du concepteur, Robert Gaboury.

La signature du concepteur, Robert Gaboury.

That being said, DSP and active must be auditioned. A new technology – at least for audiophiles – takes time to establish, and experiencing active technology is an eye (ear?) opening experience. Active is here to stay, and those pioneering the technology will be ahead of those who wait.

Just imagine the incredible simplicity of the concept: digital music files (whether iDevice, Network, hard disk, cloud – wherever), DAC and speakers – that’s it. No more racks, no more audio real estate, cluster of wires, amplifiers, pre-amps, interconnects. This is audiophile de-hoarding! With Arteluthe solution, a pair of XLR cables for the signal, a source and you’re in -big – business! The speakers are gorgeous looking – what else could we wish for?

4 seperate user selectable adjustments for different frequency curves to adapt to tastes and room? You got it. With Arteluthe, the future is now. With a retail price of $7999, the combination is extremely attractive. However, all types of finishes are possible. For example, the « Black magic » color on the demo pair goes for around $11000. You want gold? not a problem. The basic color is a pearl white with soft touch finish which is almost impossible to scratch.

Included in the price, 4 seperate amplifiers, 2 DSP channels. Do the math and you will find out that you can do without those expensive speaker cables, a least one interconnect pair, amplifiers, rack and living space. Heck, most of us could even sell those big seperate amps and buy a complete active solution with spare change for music files.

I can’t wait to hear those in my own house.

Contact et information

Arteluthe créateur canadien d'instruments de reproduction   fidèle des sons.

Arteluthe créateur canadien d’instruments de reproduction fidèle des sons.

Président: Robert Gaboury
Courriel: sales@arteluthe.com
Page web: http://www.arteluthe.com

Revendeur au Québec

Brosseau Audio & Vidéo sur la rive sud de Montréal.

Brosseau Audio & Vidéo sur la rive sud de Montréal.

Brosseau Audio & Vidéo

Directeur des ventes: Patrick Sareault

Pages web: http://brosseau.ca

La pensée du moment

Lorsque tu fais quelque chose, sache que tu auras contre toi, ceux qui voudraient faire la même chose, ceux qui voulaient le contraire, et l’immense majorité de ceux qui ne voulaient rien faire. [Confucius].

Qui suis-je?

Marc PHILIP, manufacturier canadien de panneaux acoustiques, meubles tripodes et accessoires hifi www.inovaudio.com, mon blog www.magazine-audio.com est la partie média de mon entreprise. Je m’exprime librement sur l’industrie de la hifi, cinéma maison, musique et arts multimédias où je partage avec vous mes « coup de cœur ». C’est aussi le prétexte pour moi de pratiquer la photographie. J’ai pour réputation de ne publier que la « crème de la crème » en toute indépendance. J’ai décidé de faire de mes passions mon métier, j’aime ça et je le revendique.
Les rêves sont faits pour être vécus, alors si vous aussi avez des choses à dire, à montrer; mon conseil, n’attendez pas que la mort vienne vous cueillir, réalisez vous. Dans le pire des cas, amusez vous, votre seul vrai risque, c’est d’essayer 🙂

Cet article a été rédigé par Marc PHILIP, rédacteur indépendant, tous droits réservés, copyright 2012, les textes et photos sont la propriété de l’auteur et du magazine, sous licence creative commons.

Bon divertissement.


One Response to “Arteluthe Satie show to Brosseau”
  1. Brian dit :

    This is Gemme Audio ll. Why did the previous incarnation fade away?

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