Unlike many similar sports car luxe high-end audio projects, TIDAL For Bugatti Royale’s beginnings have deeper roots with a different kind of ethos, going way back to 2012 when Janczak had his first rendezvous with the Bugatti Veyron hypercar. At that point, a conceptual idea and hand drawing were born, but it took time to materialize.
The project was already in motion before the Bugatti team scoured the high-end audio market and high-end audio trade shows in Munich to find a suitable partner for its cost-no-object audio system.
With Jörn Janczak and TIDAL Audio, Bugatti has finally found a partner that represents the same values they hold so dear at Maison Bugatti.
The concept of Royale was already mature when Bugatti asked Janczak to partner with them. The idea would have come to fruition anyway, but even a glance at TIDAL For Bugatti Royale suggests that the Ettore Bugatti EB logo was just waiting to be inserted into the lower front baffle of the Royale speakers; and it sits there perfectly, seamlessly in line and fused with the speaker’s organic curves.
What was originally envisaged and seemed like Janczak’s impossible-to-achieve dream found its way into reality in an even more dramatic way, encapsulating and even proudly transcending some of the virtues that have been exemplified in TIDAL Audio’s decades of meticulous effort to deliver the best possible on all fronts.
The Bugatti name certainly confers an extreme advantage, opening up new, previously uncharted territories seemingly impossible to enter. The effect has already proven great in many installations of TIDAL For Bugatti Royale around the world and in various environments that would normally require far larger systems or force far more hostile acoustic treatments in the given environment.
What followed in the initial online launch was something of a turning point for the brand. When the first product was unveiled TIDAL For Bugatti, the Royale sent the industry into a tizzy and stunned even longtime TIDAL audio dealers and fans.
But that was just the first mark. The second round and the disillusionment for skeptics was the Munich High-End Audio Show 2023, where the TIDAL For Bugatti Royale speaker system was shown to a select few for the first time.
The privileged and lucky ones who had the chance to hear these new extremes seemed to leave no one untouched, and judging by the numerous reactions, the hands-on experience from the show brought even more awe than the unveiling of what turned out to be a groundbreaking product. Not only for its luxurious traits and connection to Bugatti but also for its sound.
You have to say it out loud. Janczak is first and foremost an ardent, passionate audiophile, and Royale is an extremely refined product where form follows function in the most unique way.
The Alesca Atelier!
For two days I had the privilege and pleasure of experiencing firsthand TIDAL For Bugatti, currently the only pair in Europe on display in Alesca Audio’s fantastic, luxurious high-end audio showroom in Zurich, Switzerland.
From my first steps into Alesca Atelier, meeting Calo and Janczak, and after playing my playlist, it was clear that Janczak couldn’t have found a better partner or a more fitting environment for the Royale. Alessandro Calo’s pursuit of excellence perfectly mirrors Janczak’s path of excellence.
At Alesca Atelier, everything starts with the electricity, the hidden acoustic treatments, the superb lighting, the overall ambiance, etc. Every single thing is designed to the highest standards, and as with the TIDAL For Bugatti Royale, the photos just don’t do the Alesca showroom justice. Royale and Alesca must be experienced to be fully understood.
Alessandro Calo takes a different approach than the usual high-end audio retail, which fits perfectly with Royale’s pedigree. Calo knows the luxury business well, but he’s also an audio aficionado, a music lover, yet a hardcore audiophile who doesn’t want to cut corners anywhere or make his clientele feel otherwise. I experienced his commitment firsthand from the moment I landed at Zurich airport until the last minute before my flight home.
Calo has a very different approach to dealing with high-end customers and something that is expected but not exactly the norm for luxury pricing in the high-end audio market. He understands this completely, and while this may not be for everyone, it shows how it should be done by considering everything. By appreciating the time, interest, and willingness of his patrons to be interested in this type of product and experience, he has already opened the right doors. But more on that in a separate, upcoming article. To make a long story short. Calo nailed it.
It’s fair to say that I’m not a big fan of active speakers, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of the applications. Perhaps I’ve heard too many concepts and poor executions over the years, so I’ve simply ruled out the possibility of this type of product being executed at the highest level.
But Royale isn’t a typical active loudspeaker. Rather, it’s a state-of-the-art speaker with built-in, superbly tuned amplifiers. No DSP, only active and passive crossovers, a pure concept designed to pass the test of time by being completely analog.
It was quickly clear how TIDAL For Bugatti Royale delivers a deeper sense of musical truths by allowing startling originality of all varieties of music, be it the remarkable and fitting “Germania” by DJ Hell, the thunderous Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture, the delightfully emotional “Volver – Volver” by Buika, the mystical, deeply weeping Anne-Sophie Mutter – Carmen Fantasy, the soulful Jacqueline Du Pre Music For Viola and Cello, Rolling Stones “Wild Horses”, “Twist In My Sobriety” by Tanita Tikaram. etc.
The list goes on.
Royale breaks away from the aural niceties and immerses the listener in the music as it is, with a jaw-dropping dynamic and lyrical sweep from track to track, album to album.
As a kind of divining rod, Royale goes beyond the ordinary, managing to transcend time and space and expand the musical content in a different, extremely bold way, delivering a vivid tones, perfect timbres, stunning dynamics, one-of-the-kind holographic space and immersing oneself in the enchanting sound world with feather-light ease.
There is something fundamentally different about the way the Royale and MC-1 controller fosters a sense of open-endless, encapsulates diverse musical content, and offers unique contexts under one roof.
It just feels like the Royale has infinite power reserves, offering an endless foray into the submarine depths with music coming from the black Vanta background, acting like a true audio tour de force.
Too many high-end audio speakers, regardless of the exorbitant price tag, too often act as proprietors of vibrations that they pass them on in bundles.
On the contrary, the Royale concentrates and contracts resonances to a level of sonic permeability far beyond what can be considered ordinary.
Janczak took the Royale approach very seriously, pushing everything to the extreme without intending from the outset to position this design as a pure luxury product. Although inspired by Bugatti, Royale began as a fully audiophile high-end speaker system.
What emerged, however, defies the utilization approach in every way. The Royale reproduces music with lightning speed, natural transparency, and thunderous dynamism, never lacking in the tantalizing tidbits that make music so engaging and inviting.
If any sign of interpretation needs to be justified in any way, what is missing is the sheer purpose of luxury, the actual performance. Royale begs to differ in this regard.
TIDAL For Bugatti Royale cuts through the cloth of music in a bold, unapologetic way with laser-sharp focus and the best that German-made technology has to offer, embracing all the qualities of cutting-edge high-end audio technology while still avoiding many pitfalls that could have occurred.
Janczak prides himself on developing his sonic fashion that bears no signature, no fingerprint, allowing the listener to discover the treasure trove of wonders untold.
During the two days and hours of music listening, no music was deemed foreign. It felt more like a rediscovery.
TIDAL For Bugatti speakers fuses the power of might with grace and delicacy. Pianissimo as well as forte fortissimo passages come to life, conquer the heart and delight the ears. As befits this level.
Royale paints an exceptional sonic canvas on which the edgeless music never obliterates the contexts, but reveals the entire sonic fascination to the ears at every moment. It objectifies the sonic fact that there is no true music reproduction without power; that the listener is at the mercy of the electronics and speakers that provide the necessary control and synchronization with the amps.
It’s hard for any designer to maintain a distance, a boundary, to not shape their ideas and concepts in a way that prevents the music to unfold, to suspire.
Eccentrically Royale goes beyond the cemented boundaries, allowing frightening sensations that do not take away the verve of the music.
But there is more.
TIDAL For Bugatti can inflect the rigour, impart an infinite variety of tonal beauty, and deliver unrounded attacks, where every note feels natural and there are no hovering dynamics. Undulating musical elements spring back and forth easily and immediately, and sinuous rhythms are rendered lifelike and narrative unfolds without compromising tempi, and without focusing on any particular detail when it comes to portraying the music’s many facets. This was especially evident in orchestral and multi-layered, complex electronic music.
TIDAL For Bugatti system shines with precision, shimmering crystalline, with excellent fidelity to the score, making the music reproduction a unified experience that leaves awe and inspiration, with an excellent structural focus that makes the listening experience a genuine joie d’être.
The TIDAL For Bugatti speakers are not just an extravagant, nuptial of bling and luxury. It can enchant, and provide an omnipresent sense of music, beget seat-jumping experiences, with a mind-blowing sense of lightness and clarity, with a tingling effect that combines power and passion.
At so many moments, one had the feeling that Royale was covered with an invisible cloak that made the speakers disappear, much like a symphony unfolding before one’s ears, or as if one were involved in an intimate waltz guided by an invisible force.
The more differences one can detect, not only from album to album, but from track to track, the more transparent the system becomes, and Royale’s organic, anime, chameleon-like nature allows the music to resonate with nature and fins gently with the music flow.
There were too many moments to write down when TIDAL For Bugatti opened up arcane lores of music and expanded the seemingly well-known musical vocabulary.
Even at the highest level of ultra-high-end audio, not many speakers or systems can come close, if any, to decoding the music to its fullest extent, but rather just humming the mystery. I still feel that some of these systems are intentionally designed to hold back music because as has been observed so many times, many people are simply afraid of emotions.
For TIDAL For Bugatti Royale, the music is the hero ingredient that doesn’t need to be understood right away, as it appeals to people’s emotions rather than their consciousness and analytical adherence, and that’s where the splurge starts to make sense.
Janczak envisioned Royale as his perfect loudspeaker audio system, questioning where 21st-century technologies would be appropriate. What followed is a design classic that is sure to outlive its life expectancy.
Like TIDAL Audio, TIDAL For Bugatti continues Janczak’s commitment to excellence in workmanship and reflects the essence of music. Royale showcases TIDAL Audio’s renowned craftsmanship but takes it to another level. Each pair can be almost infinitely tailored to personal preference while keeping the technological core intact.
Royale is built around performance, and as befits the top tier, where the listener needs to be driven by performance. Not by bling-bling, flashy marketing bells and whistles, or grandiloquent names.
In a world where there are so many distractions, ambitions, and opportunities to be so-called creative, it is extremely difficult for patients to practice. It’s even harder to imagine your venture being the best in the world and not get lost in translation with all the distractions.
Janczak has followed his intuition and acumen to create a seemingly impossible combination that several high-end audio companies have tried their hand at, especially when paired with luxury and sports cars. Yet, Janczak found a perfect blend of technology, performance, and luxury.
The motto of TIDAL Audio on the emblem crafted like a fine Swiss watch is “We Build Emotions” and Royale delivers on the promise. The proof of concept came in motion and I shed a tear or two, and no, it wasn’t from the air conditioning.
Royale embodies the state-of-the-art, plug-and-play system wrapped in one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful functional art object where performance is the fact.
TIDAL For Bugatti Royale, like the MP -1 preamplifier I have tested in recent weeks, is undoubtedly Janczak’s chef-d’œuvre, a vraiment superb. A masterpiece in a class of its own. An end-game achievement!
Yes, Royale is synonymous with the legendary car brand, and there is a charming connection with the aura of Bugatti. Both products exude contemporary charm, idiomatic design elements, and contemporary materials and technologies pushed to the extreme and have an absolutely colossal impact by daring to be different. As La Voiture Noire, TIDAL For Bugatti Royale will or has undoubtedly aroused the envy of all those within eye-ear-shot.
Great design is always relevant, it can’t just be arbitrary for the sake of it and the TIDAL For Bugatti Royale has its way of rejecting the known norms. Everything is at the highest level, proudly German. Janczak has cut no corners to provide a rich, fulfilling listening experience, with Royale being just a touch away from becoming timeless with its shibui – subtle beauty.
Janczak has invariably followed his intuition, always left the safe side, and as he has done so many times before, including this time, he has acted boldly as a hard-core audiophile entrepreneur and invested his savings in this project.
There are always high expectations for a product with such a pedigree as Royale. Yet again daring to be different, the mantra that the best doesn’t have to be the biggest resonated with TIDAL Audio CEO and owner from the start, and Royale embodies this perfectly. From A to Z.
For Janczak, Royale reflects the performance and listening experience proffered by TIDAL For Bugatti. The iconic name was simply appropriate. As mentioned earlier, this system was not designed to mimic Bugatti, the “happy” coincidence merely factored in Janczak’s lifelong development of expertise, experience, and what he depicted as his personal ultra-high-end audio system.
Before the question is asked. Yes… As “We Build Emotions” reflects the TIDAL Audio raison d’être, and the “The Bugatti of audio. Literally.“ marketing slogan perfectly mirrors what Royale delivers in reality.
In this sense. The videos, 2D renderings, 3D videos, and photos can only give a certain impression, and outline an idea of how impressive Royale is in person. The one-of-the-kind aura, majestic presence, and sculptural beauty reflect Janczak’s fanatical dedication to every millimeter. Everything with a GreubelForsey meets A. Lange & Söhne haute horologie focus inside out.
During my visit, Janczak took the time to explain the processes involved in making the Royale, which led him to invest in new technologies and production equipment. There is so much subliminal perfection that is hidden from the eye, but it is there in abundance and calls for its own article in the future.
Not everything can be disclosed publicly, but for me, a technically inclined geek, it’s hard to contain my excitement when I’ve learned about a variety of technologies (many of them new) that are closely related to the production of Royale.
The Royale project was such a challenging undertaking that Janczak invested everything he had to make it happen, and it shows at every turn. Take the solid stainless steel feet milled from a single block and polished to perfection, the special screws with Bugatti logo on the back, and the massive 8kg
superbly polished balance bar on the back that not only looks good but also serves as a balancing element, the curved monocoque enclosure with the renowned TIDAL audio exquisite polishing that for Royale requires many times more effort and handwork than the already complex process used on TIDAL speakers, special and newly developed amplifiers hidden in a separate compartment that is splendidly finished both inside and out, a newly developed crossover that is insanely complex and expensive to manufacture and that nearly drove Duelund Audio owners Frederik Carøe and Magnus Pedersen to the brink of insanity to meet Janczak’s requirements, and so much more.
But you get the idea. The TIDAL For Bugatti is not just a repackaged and rebranded TIDAL Audio product. Rather, it is a revolution and an evolution combined where everything was guided and planned and in the end came together seamlessly by following intuition and premise.
I have never heard so much controlled dynamic mojo from such a compact system in my life, and to otherwise fill the Alesca Atelier showroom, you’d need some extremely weighty amplification and multiple speakers to achieve what Royale delivers with such ease. And it does so in a relatively modest package. Just two speakers, a controller, two balanced cables, an Ethernet connection, and two power cables. Voila!
I am still trying to grasp the sheer potency and subtlety that the Royale exudes in the nearly 300 m2 Alesca Audio showroom, about 150 m2 of which is dedicated to listening with the TIDAL For Bugatti Royale intentionally positioned well into the room, matching my reference setup and speaker positioning at home.
After this experience, the mission impossible begins. There are two options: either obtaining the Zero Synapse Repositioner, commonly referred to as Man In Black’s Neuralyzer, or…
Resistance is futile! Nil Desperandum! ❖