Taiko Audio Olympus And LampizatOr

LampizatOr writes: “Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the HQ of Taiko Audio, one of the leading brands in the field of digital audio. They are located in Netherlands, in a small town on the Dutch / German border.

Did I say ONE of the leading brands? Normally I am very modest but this is not about me – it is about another brand so I don’t need to beat around the bush. Taiko IS the leader of industry and shows the path moving forwards.

Emile, the owner and chief – as always was a very good host so even a strictly business visit turned into a nice experience.

After being properly and thoroughly caffeinated – I discussed with Emile the details of the connecting interface between their Taiko Olympus server and our top DACs – Horizon and Poseidon. The newly developed Olympus approaching its formal launch will revolutionise the definition of the term Music Server, especially in the context of words like flagship, reference, ultimate etc.

I have been in the business long enough to recognise that never in the history of digital audio (since the introduction of a CD player) has been an undertaking on such scale and scope. Olympus doesn’t take prisoners. As the vast majority of brands simply use with better or worse result the off the shelf PC building blocks, Taiko guys make everything by themselves. This is so rare that must be applauded. Obviously making an in-house designed and manufactured computer (on a small scale) is insanely expensive, but so is this hobby. Olympus IS insanely expensive and it doesn’t stop it from selling like crispy croissants on a Saturday morning.

I was lucky enough to be invited to one of two world class listening rooms where Taiko tests their products. The room itself as well as associated components are the best cost no object type of stuff, which I can certify as the guy who heard more rooms than almost anybody else. Needless to say that the Horizon is their test Dac in that room, along with AlsyVox biggest speakers and Conrad Johnson’s mono blocks.
The quality jump with the Olympus new architecture versus the best server before that – the former Taiko flagship Extreme – is quite shocking and hard to describe. The music simply sucks you in, like an industrial vacuum cleaner does a speck of dust. We are talking about entirely another level. Emile took two full hours to explain to me the details of protocols, jitters, clocks, data formats, heat dissipation, power noises etc and trust me I am a fast learner. I could swear that I hear all that mumbo jumbo hokus pokus technology in action. In short – I was in heaven.

Do I want to be a part of this? YES. Do I know how to do it – yes. We as Lampizator have already full compatibility with 3 out of five interface links – namely USB (least favoured by Emile, ) the SPDIF , the AESEBU and also in speculative theory – the not ready yet i2S (we both agreed not favourable). But there is a fifth interf§ace in the pipeline – the one which should bring the best out of both machines – the Olympus Taiko Server and the Horizon / Poseidon DAC and we both agreed that this will be co developed as soon as possible. We want to propose a low jitter high current loop to send the stream from Olympus and fully utilise its glorious sound quality. We discussed all important issues like DSD compatibility, muting functionality, clock switching and flagging, cable lengths, volume control, ability to use the DAC as a preamplifier etc. Also the retro compatibility package for the existing Extreme Taiko users as well as Horizon users. Nobody from that user group should be left out on the platform when this train departs.

If you ever have a chance to listen to this mean machine at some event, show, demo room or at friend’s – do it. You won’t regret it. I can imagine a number of guys that I know, already holding their breath and saving their cash.”