It seems that the world’s media is having a field day with all things Scandinavian these days, from Danish ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah by the way) to Swedish ‘lagom’. With all that hype you’d be forgiven for imagining that we’ve got this whole business of life sewn up here. Of course in reality it’s not quite that simple! That said, we Scandinavians do tend to have a strong connection with the natural environment hardwired into our DNA, and that’s something that’s a big deal here at Gamut.
We were delighted, then, when Hi-Fi Choice reviewer Chris Ward got curious about that and came to pick our brains. We met Chris at a recent demonstration of our flagship Zodiac loudspeaker at Stone Audio’s fabulous showrooms in the south of England, where he was suitably blown away by their sound. “There was something so analogue and so right about the sound, I had to ask Benno [Gamut’s CEO & chief designer] more about the naturalness that he achieves,” Chris explained in his subsequent Hi-Fi Choice article, ‘Natural instincts’.
Gamut Zodiac loudspeakers & Lobster Chair, Stone Audio
This gave Benno carte blanche to expound on one of his favourite subjects. “Throughout every stage of this speaker’s design and manufacture we turned to nature to find the best possible solutions,” Benno explained. So in the drivers, paper cones are treated with special plant oils “to remove the last hint of glare or greyness,” and hand-selected wooden dustcaps have transformed how the cones are attached to the voice coils, minimising distortion. Even small amounts of Angora wool strategically placed in the speakers’ cabinets were found to make a vast difference to the quality of damping, adding no colouration and allowing a well-controlled bass response. “This speaker may be the height of technology and performance, but it’s also 90% sustainable, and this is an ambition were are applying to our amplification,” Benno confirmed.
Multiple layers of sustainable real wood veneers form the body of every Gamut loudspeaker
But for us, this is about far more than just sustainability and environmental preservation. It’s actually primarily about sound quality. It’s about using very detailed observations of nature to figure out precisely how to achieve a sound that’s not just better, but naturally and organically better – more real and more alive.
Chris Ward gets it 100%. “Reverence for the natural world is extremely smart for an engineer,” he writes. Humans have merely “spent a few centuries grappling with materials, fixings, structures and tech” while mother nature has basically created absolutely everything since the dawn of time (including humans). “Nature is the most precise engineer on the planet, enabling trillions of tiny variations to hone the efficiency of an organism or structure.”
We couldn’t agree more. And of course it’s an ongoing process. It’s never ‘done’. As Chris wisely points out, “Everything in nature is a prototype, en route to something more efficient.” Nature has never rested on its laurels and nor shall we!
Our grateful thanks to Chris for his insightful article. You can read it in full in the August 2017 issue of Hi-Fi Choice
Discover more about the many nature-inspired materials and processes that go into the Gamut Zodiac loudspeaker (and indeed into all of the speakers in our range).