Mind-blowing sound quality. As a music lover, this is what I am constantly looking for in my audio systems. And while I have yet to get around the automatic downgrading of audio bit-rates when importing files into iTunes, what I can rely on are some very clever guys out there that have invented audio systems that replace the lost quality when it is streamed; and this is what the Scottish brand of Linn have done with their systems. Now before we all throw our hands and wallets into the air, quality systems like this come at a price – a significant price to be exact. But then again, when it comes to enjoying anything of immense pleasure, does price really matter?
Well, not according to Sphere Custom Design, the brave guys who have decided to bring Linn in to the country. I was lucky enough to attend the launch event of Sphere’s showroom near Wembley Square in Cape Town, where the CEO of Linn flew all the way in from Scotland to give an incredibly impressive presentation on the restorative power of the Linn audio systems, as well the the superb audio quality of the systems. Seriously, when playing music through the systems, you realise that there is a whole world of sound waiting to be discovered; hidden locked away behind some curtain.
Sphere’s head is Christiaan Beukes, who has take great pride in creating a world-class showroom that seems more like an extremely luxury apartment. Well, this is precisely what he is going for. Christiaan is big on ‘the experience’. What he means by this is that audio and video systems, he believes, should not be seem as something you buy, but you should actually be going for the quality of the experience. He make a very good point, but you really get the message when you sit down in the showroom’s lounge, pour a glass of Highland Park whisky, and chill out to an incredibly immerse experience.
It’s no coincidence that I say Highland Park. Highland Park and Linn audio systems have a long history together, and a lot of shared values. Both have a strong belief in the excellence of their hand craft, and the exceptional quality of the experience the respective brands’ products promise. This partnership is clearly evident in the creation of the Linn Sondek LP12. This limited edition collaboration features Linn’s highest performance turntable which has been encased in a beautiful wood plinth, crafted from the solid oak casks used to mature Highland Park’s award winning whisky. The turntable has also been paired with a special bottling of Highland Park 40 year old, designed exclusively for Linn. The highly collectable offering brings together two powerful passions – music and whisky – allowing fans to appreciate the sounds of classic vinyl with the perfect dram in hand. You want one? Well, there were only 40 made, and each sold for 25 00o UK Pounds.
Candice Baker, the brand ambassador for Highland Park was there as well, and gave a great whisky tasting session. Personally, I discovered the joy of the Highland Park 18, which has been voted the best spirit in the world, twice apparently. Its worth a taste (more than a taste I discovered) – and perhaps you will also experience the saliva reaction. That’s as much as I’m going to say about this.