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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
27" iMac (3.4GHz quad-core IntelCore i7, 16GB 1.333MHz RAM, 2TB hard disc, 256GB SSD drive, ADM Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory); PureMusic 1.86; Amarra 2.3; Audirvana Plus; April Music Eximus DP1; Esoteric/APL Hifi UX1/NWO-M; Audiophilleo 2 with Bakoon BPS-02, Asus Xonar Essence One Muses Edition [on review]]
Preamp/Integrated: ModWright LS-100 with Psvane CV-181T tubes, Esoteric C-03, Bent Audio Tap-X, TruLife Audio Athena
: First Watt SIT1 monos, ModWright KWA 100SE, Acoustic Imagery Atsah [on review]
Speakers: Aries Cerat Gladius, Boenicke Audio B10
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Audio Event, KingRex uArt USB cable with Bakoon BPS-02 uninterruptible battery supply, Stereo
lab Tombo Trøn BNC/BNC coax
Stands: Artesania Esoteric double-wide 3-tier with optional TT glass shelf, Rajasthani hardwood amp rack
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF2 on amps, GigaWatt PC3-SE Evo on front-end
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review Component Retail: €7.660/pr prior to VAT

Gediminas Gaidelis owns and operates AudioSolutions, a speaker house from Vilnius in Lithuania. This general address will be familiar to those who are hip to Louis Motek's LessLoss or perhaps the Reed tone arm. Otherwise it's likely that the global hifi market views this largest of the three Baltic states as mostly a white spot on the map. With an estimated population of 3.200.000, the country sits at the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea and thus to the east of both Sweden and Denmark. To the north is Latvia, to the east and south Belarus, to the south Poland. To get our hifi bearings, I asked Gediminas to talk shop and story.

How I started. Actually this is a very long story. We really must go back a few generations. My grandfather was the countryside's greatest craftsman. Other members of our family—like first glider Jonas Garalevičius—also combined wood with brains. As for me, I lived from my first days with my grandfather each summer. My first wood work dates back to when I was 3. Nails in a wood stick. At 5 I made my first 'speaker system'. Like all boys I was keen on music, automobiles, electronics and how things work. So I tore down a vintage tube radio, removed four widebanders and nailed together some box from cardboard. I even cut a hole for a port. I don't know why but I knew one had to be there.

I did much like that over the years including trying for my own driver. I took a bad one, kept only basket and spider and made all other parts including the cone, paper suspension and coil myself. What to say? It played and as I remember with great sensitivity but no quality and much distortion. So my childhood wasn't out on the street. I loved to play cards or board games like monopoly and meddle with electronics and acoustics. My first normal speakers came around 12 or 13. Those were based on a Soviet Radiotechnika S-90. I already knew that their midband was bad so I changed to a car audio driver which worked fine as far as I was concerned back then.

I began to understand crossover principles and how they operate (but here I'm still learning and believe I will until I'm very old). Everything began with these early speaker experiments. As time went by I gained knowledge faster and conducted many experiments with cabinets, filters, inner dampening and so on. But let's not exaggerate. No 13-year old achieves perfection. My understanding at that age simply had taken a few important steps forward. So from 12 to 17 my passion were loudspeakers - bigger, louder and better (mostly louder as I was a teenager). But at 17 there came an important change in my life I never expected.

Gediminas engaged in advancing another hobby over the years - RF-controlled model airplanes.

I actually dreamt to get a degree as a C++ programmer or something in mathematics or physics. I never imagined turning my hobby into a job. But then a friend asked me to build him a pair of speakers. I made him two quite ordinary looking floorstanders painted in black and received my first paycheck: €10 for two weeks' work. Since I was 17 and still lived at home, that seemed sweet. After this I began to feel the allure of combining pleasure with getting paid. I already knew the principles of crossovers, how cabinets work and how to damp out certain irritating effects of the enclosures or drivers. Instead of looking for a summer job I started to build DIY speakers. I had no money and was at ground zero. So I convinced my parents to let me work in their basement. That was a 12m² space where I would actually soon manage to build three pairs at a time.

My former Yamamoto A-09s sold to a Lithuanian reader in Gediminas' room for an informal audition - small world...

Thinking back I don't know how but I guess I really had the desire. My first speakers used old furniture MDF. I wrapped that in synthetic veneer tape. Those first few speakers looked miserable. I hadn't had enough time to work in wood before my grandfather died when I was around 10. But I persevered and after a few pairs things began to look up. After a year I built a pair where people couldn't distinguish whether it was real wood veneer or textured PVC. It was the latter of course but I really had done a splendid job if I may say so myself.

The heavily criticized earlier model
  Later I moved to a 25m² garage where I worked until AudioSolutions. I learnt every woodwork technique, crossover and box calculation and other measurements I'd need. Before I launched my company I already had all my measurement gear and knew how to use it to design good speakers. I became well-known in Lithuania. People said my speakers were better that those the hifi stores sold. And so I managed to sell around 300 pairs of various models over an 8-year stretch before AudioSolutions arose. How that began was interesting. I'd reached pricing which was quite high for Lithuania and for being generated out of the house. Sales slowed down yet I had no interest to go back making cheap crap. So I went to a local audio store and offered them my products. Here I suffered much criticism to feel quite shocked in fact but I don't give up easily. Only in hindsight did I realize that said criticism came because these hifi shops were sick of my products competing with theirs. Ours is a small country. For its demographics I'd done really well for myself but also pissed off the professionals. That criticism became a challenge. Without it I wouldn't have launched AudioSolutions. I paid attention to all their feedback on packaging, owner's manuals, brand name, industrial design and such. Now I began creating something I hadn't before, something new and from my heart. Deep down I was upset and broken. I had to express myself and prove what I was capable of. I also didn't have much time. This was 9 months before the AudioGourmet 2011 hifi show where I wanted to debut.

AudioGourmet 2011 exhibit with Reed

My first autocad sketch still was like all my all prior speakers had been - a simple box. So I started to think in different ways on how to improve the sound and cosmetics. That's how the usual rectangular box became curved and faceted. After my debut there was much praise and this was my best medicine. Today our goal is to a grow a little more and move into a bigger space with a few more employees. We are trying to establish a team of people who aren't merely keen on getting paid at the end of each month but have a real interest in loudspeakers. I know a few who are young, enthusiastic and want to join. The real need at the moment is to develop the retail end and sign up dealers. We had many open-door auditions with excellent feedback so we simply need to show, promote our wares and perhaps pursue a few reviews.