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Interview and factory visit – Gauder Akustik

Gauder Akustik - Duitsland

Intro

Super-strong filtration, aluminium housings and ceramic units. Ow! And preferably diamond tweeters. That’s Gauder Akustik in a nutshell. Doesn’t this sound like music to your ears? We can imagine… But know that there are many roads to Rome. And that even with loudspeakers there are many things that cannot be predicted. Because the fact is: Gauder makes music!

The history of Gauder Akustik is a bit special. There are links with Isophon: a brand founded in 1929. In the Second World War, Isophon’s factories were destroyed, but afterwards a new factory was built in Berlin. Isophon made an incredible amount of loudspeakers for home use, stadiums, shopping malls, etcetera. In the 1980s the company was sold to Bosch. However, the rights to the name have remained with the owner – Roland Gauder. Roland Gauder decided to continue manufacturing loudspeakers under the name Gauder Akustik from 2012 onwards.

Gauder is not a philosopher

If we ask the question what Gauder’s philosophy is, we get a surprising answer: there is no philosophy: there is science. Roland Gauder believes in calculation, execution and testing. He can – according to his own words – calculate the sound of a loudspeaker. That’s diametrically opposed to many a manufacturer we’ve spoken to before. They still regularly apply trail and error. Or believe that a lot of things can’t be measured yet. Not with Roland Gauder… who believes 100% in measurement and calculation.

Now we have to say: all the Gauder speakers we’ve heard have the same signature. There is only one step in ‘more’ with the more luxurious models. If we go from the Arcona to the DARC monitor, we’ll hear more resolution, a grander stereo image… more definition in the layer… If we’re going to the DARC-60, that’s another step. More… bigger… But the same signature. We had a similar experience at Dynaudio. There it is also a step in scale and definition.

Pulse and punch

Characteristic of a Gauder Akustik loudspeaker is the impulse behaviour and punch in the low range. Now there’s a downside to the latter: it takes quite a bit of amplification to get that deep, punchy layer out. And some amps just don’t like it. That’s why all new models have a jumper that reduces the low-extension a bit. This makes that there is a little less low-frequency from the speaker, but it makes the speaker a lot friendlier to the amplifier. This would also allow a tube amp to drive a Gauder.

And that while Roland Gauder uses 60dB / octave filters. I see… 60dB! Madness. Definitely calculating such a filter. It took him a long time, too. And to make it more difficult: he only uses five components per transition; not the ten that would normally be needed. If you don’t believe it, you can measure it… according to Roland Gauder.

Gauder Akustiek makes his own PCB boards (on a CNC machine… so they don’t print tracks, they use a different procedure) with four times more copper than normal. The boards are also really heavy. The advantage of thick copper is, of course, that the conductivity remains good under all circumstances. At the same time, we only see solid components from Mundorf, among others. Also for the cheaper series. No cheap shit… that wouldn’t be very German either.

Aluminium

Another characteristic of the German Gauder Akustik is the use of aluminium. And in rib shape. Roland previously carried out tests with aluminium, but these were anything but successful. The solution for the ‘ringing’ and ‘harshness’ turned out to be the use of ribs. Each rib is disconnected from the other. This way the energy cannot be passed on. And the result is a particularly dead cabinet and the preservation of the clean character of the very precise Acuton units.

Now Gauder does of course have cabinets of MDF – Arcona and Cassiano – and even ‘ribbed’ models (Berlina) based on wood, but the latter is not supplied in the Netherlands. This is mainly for the Asian market. He himself reports that the new, aluminium models are better than the Berlina and also perform better in a smaller form. This is for energy conservation reasons.

Own course

It is clear that Gauder Akustik has his own course. The completely different structure of the DARC series, the use of extremely steep filters and the application of beautiful, pricey Acuton units is different than we normally see. Especially considering the reasonable prices. Although a DARC remains an investment. An investment for many years! Not to mention the upgrade possibilities…

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