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The Sonic Equation Atelier 13 Pushes the Boundaries of High Fidelity


by Michael Dukes | Photograph by John Scarpati

n 1974, $3,000 was a lot of money. But by the time Cornell University student Konstantin Gregg-Saad managed to squirrel away that much, he knew exactly how to spend it. This was the 70s, after all. Naturally, he bought his first stereo system—a really nice one. The mysterious circuitry filling those boxes of wood and metal brought recordings to life in a way Gregg-Saad had never imagined. The emotional connection with the music was breathtaking. “I was hooked. Soon I started building gear from kits,” he recalls. “Then I progressed into building my own gear or modifying everything I could get my hands on. I learned that changing even the smallest component can have a profound influence on the sound. It was, and still is, a wonderful hobby.”

About ten years out of college, he saw an opportunity to connect even more deeply with the gear he obsessed over. Soon many of audio’s most elite manufacturers had found themselves an enthusiastic Swiss distributor. “I still had my corporate job, so I hired a couple of audio geeks to run the audio business for me. My banker wife graciously did the books. This went on for ten or twelve years, till I got a promotion that required a move from Geneva to London. At that point, I figured I couldn’t keep doing this other thing on the side. It was time to move on.” Fast-forward to 2011. A high-flying business career now comfortably behind him, the Belgian-Swiss tinkerer and his wife decided to leave Europe for an unlikely retirement destination—his wife’s home state of Tennessee. (left) Avantgarde Duo Grosso Loudspeaker

Profile for Nashville Arts Magazine

December 2014 Nashville Arts Magazine  

December 2014 Nashville Arts Magazine