At last we come to the Pianos, now in G3 form and another 10-20% better than the preceding G2. The Piano is one of Jorn’s most loved creations. With much affection he has stated more than once that it was the first speaker he ever produced and it will also probably be the last. Unlike most speaker ranges though, the sound quality from the entry Piano Diacera is as high as any other Tidal. This is a transducer that has resolution, finesse, delicacy, purity of tone and a degree of musical communication that is seldom found in any loudspeaker regardless of price or what strata it might occupy within a given manufacturer’s brochure.
The Piano does not of course have the room filling scale and weight of a Contriva or Agoria but it does possess all of the sound quality to do the mini Bugatti system full justice and of course is perfectly suited for smaller UK homes. A high quality subwoofer may also be added for a touch more bottom end weight; I have a couple of customers using then in this way.
A full Tidal system then, from streamer to source, amplifier, cables and loudspeakers. Simply plug into the home network and operate stored files, radio or Qobuz using your choice of app: Jplay, Lumin or Roon. There are very few manufacturer’s out there in existence who can furnish you with a completely interlocking top to tail system in this way, certainly none at this quality level of both sonics and craftsmanship. Its completeness, its dreamlike synergy is guaranteed. Even the voicing of the mains cables has a very special way of syncopating with the sound of the electronics and whilst Tidal boxes can make an incredible system into say a Rockport, Vimberg or an Avalon, you will never fully understand them until you run them into Tidal speakers. The same holds true of the reverse.
What does this system sound like ? Quite simply, classic Tidal which means it delivers a purity, a naturalness, a sense of ease and calm which tends to so completely overwhelm most people who hear it. Founder Jorn Janczak’s musical DNA actually lies in extremely dynamic driving electronica rhythms and techno beats so the Tidal house sound is first and foremost hugely dynamic, precise and stable, capable of instantaneous and vast energy swings and laden with an ever present dynamic pressure to even the very smallest of notes. But the fingerprint is a few grams rounded, gentle and beautifully nuanced. Organic and fluid without a single bead of harshness or transistor like staccato. Tidal keeps well away from the kind of ultra focused, biting, 1000 megapixel sound that many people imagine is high end. Instead you are presented with ever flowing liquid musicality. It exudes calmness and sophistication and possesses incredible harmonic saturation, fullness and richness, which isn’t the result of any added bloom or warmth but simply the result of a noise floor and purity of tone which is not very often achieved anywhere in this industry. If someone asks me what neutrality is, this is what I play them. In Jorn’s own words, it’s a ‘pure glass of water’.
To live with day to day, this system is capable of breathtaking moments of expression and fine detail, profoundly emotive artistic communication and is just agonisingly beautiful and joyful to use. It is a £160,000 system which just a few years ago would have cost you £260,00 for a sound not quite as good. It really has no weaknesses, deficiencies or leanings to one genre or another, and like all Tidal it completely aces that feeling of nothingness, the sense that there is no equipment or anything electronic even in the room; nothing other than pure sumptuous music reformed in three dimensions exactly as it was recorded.
Tidal Contros/Intra/Piano G3: £56,000 + £29,500 + £58,000
Tidal PC192 x2/XLR128/SC128: £10,800 + £5600 + £7500
System Price: £167,400
For bigger rooms and bigger budgets simply switch to the Tidal Contriva. Although similar actual sound quality, the Contriva is a different beast if it has the space to breathe. More weight, scale, depth and out and out macrodynamics. They are a no brainer if they are on the table as an option and only add £20,000 to the price.
For an additional £48,000, switch to the Ferios mono amplfiiers. A completely different level of transparency and detail again, not to mention bass control definition and response.
Tara Labs 0.8 or Muse (or beyond) interconnects and speaker cables for an upgrade over the Tidal reference cables.
Although the Arkas does much to make feeds from Qobuz and Tidal truly special, the addition of an audiophile switch and high quality Hemingway or Shunyata ethernet cable will render streamed music even more natural and believable.
Stillpoints Ultra 5 with adapters under the speakers.