LEHMAN AUDIO: Norbert Lehmann, Owner and designer of Lehmann Audio (Entec) HiFi products interviewed


Lucio Cadeddu (TNT-Audio):

LC >

May you tell our readers how did you get involved in HiFi (first) and in equipment design (later)?

NL >

When I grew up there was no question that anyone had to own a stereo setup. I bought my first stereo setup when I was fourteen years old. It was a stereo center by Rank Arena, a name I never heard before, consisting of a Lenco (!) turntable, a built in tuner and a built in power amplifier. I also bought cheap three way loudspeakers "120W true RMS power with original Pioneer chassis".

I was absolutely in heaven! Before that I had owned just a small compact cassette recorder and taped some radio broadcasts with this unit holding the microphone in front of a loudspeaker at the radio. You can estimate the difference even if you do not know the exact hardware setup 😉

Some years and some system upgrades later, when I already became a student, I borrowed an integrated, cheap Rotel amp and made an audition in a hifi shop. The "sparring partner" was the A1 by Musical Fidelity. I am a fan of single system comparison now but at that time we first listened to the A1 and then changed the cabling to the Rotel.

It seemed as if the same musicians who had been playing with great fun and maximum power before just went sleeping. That was the very moment when I really got caught by the virus of high-fidelitis.

The next step was a seminar held regularly by Prof. Matthes in Duesseldorf. He is now president of the Tonmeisterschule in Berlin. He does all the recordings with the Alban Berg Quartett. During one of those lessons he first demonstrated a vinyl lp. There was no high-end setup, just a Thorens turntable, small Ortofon cartridge and the phono input of an integrated amplifier.

Then he took the cd made of the same recording and switched to the cd player. We all wanted to rather turn the music off at that moment. Before that I had believed that the new medium cd is by far superior to the lp.

I came into electronic design because we could not afford an expensive mixing console or microphone preamp. So we built our own equipment. We compared circuits and exchanged experiences. This time was very important for me. Then I found out that it might be possible to get some money out of these devices and tried to improve designs and sell them. I got custom orders for balancing amplifiers, phonostages, microphone preamps and ms decoding circuits.

LC >

May you briefly tell us something about the HiFi and hi-end scene in Germany?

NL >

I fear I do not have to contribute much at the actual time. I am still a newbie in that circle. I just looked at devices during the past years and have got the impression the hifi scene became quite vivid with some really hot gadgets out there. The units are getting better, serious circuit design survives the hype oriented stuff.

Believe it or not: I visited the Frankfurt show for the first time this year - as a visitor. What I feel is that customers in Germany cling to ……..