Unforgivably, several weeks have elapsed since we held our Vertere ‘event’ at Signals.

There I was all fired up about what I wanted to say and then I got diverted. Perhaps it’s an age thing. I know they really do need to pack me off to pasture.

First off, this was at least as much a voyage of discovery for us as for our guests. The only member of the Vertere team that we already knew was the ebuliant Mike Burns. He brought round a Dynamic Groove (entry level turntable in Vertere world) for us to audition and, having taken our order, delivered the new one to us. None of us had ever met company founder, Touraj Moghaddam, but we know several customers who have a huge amount of respect and admiration  for him.

In some ways, Vertere is an easy company to ‘take against’.  Their price list kicks off with a forty odd grand tone-arm, the range is pretty baffling, certainly to the uninitiated too. On reflection, it’s not so very different from Naim, Linn etc., but there are a lot of versions of superficially similar products.

I confess that my nose was put out of joint early on when the guys arrived and promptly changed all cables as a matter of course. Of course, Touraj knows the Naim kit well and his involvement in the development of Naim SuperLumina cabling is hardly a secret, so of course, he would want to take charge.

Despite all these negative comments, he’s also a disarmingly nice bloke. Really down to earth but clearly with a fine grasp of what has become his craft. What stands out is that he has the enthusiasm and passion (I usually avoid using that word) of the young man, fresh from university in London, who was moved to build his own audio equipment in the first place.

The ‘show’ that they put together was genuinely intriguing and mixed playing normal pressings with incredibly rare master discs that did rather make some of us mere mortals feel excluded from their world. The story that unfolds is that there are a small band of mastering engineers, Miles Showell being one of them,  who are so keen to raise the bar in vinyl replay that they use Vertere  cables as part of the cutting process and check the results on Vertere turntables.  As cliques go, this one’s a cracker!

Two of their more serious turntables, Magic Groove and Super Groove, were put into use in our big listening space whilst the Dynamic Groove was made available to listeners via a Naim 200 system in the larger of our normal listening rooms. Magic Groove and Super Groove were equipped with similar Super Groove Tonearms and various power supply and cable upgrades were applied to show the (not inconsiderable) impacts.

Cartridge was the comparatively modestly priced (in the scheme of things) Mystic MC and the Phono stage was the even more modestly priced Phono 1.

All this was connected to our Naim Statement pre and power amplifiers driving our much loved Dynaudio Confidence 60 loudspeakers. At last, people are beginning to appreciate just how good these are!

All cabling was from Vertere and it’s fair to say that some extremely serious stuff was in use.

High points were listening to the master of the Miles Showell half speed Abbey Road remaster of John Martyn’s Solid Air and to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Genuinely mind blowing. We have the retail pressing of the Abbey Road Solid Air disc, but this was something else.

Were we impressed? I don’t know if some sort of reality distortion field had kicked in but, well, we’ve ordered a Super Groove turntable, gulp!

It was a collective decision to leap in this deep. In coming weeks, we’ll come to know if we’ve (collectively) taken leave of our senses!  You are welcome to join us as we continue along our path of discovery 🙂

This really does feel like another world.

Many thanks to Mike and Touraj for all the effort they put in and to the customers who came along either out of genuine interest or to stop us looking like ninnies!