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Reviewer: Joël Chevassus
Financial Interests: click here
Source: Apple iMac, Squeezebox Touch + Welborne Labs PSU, Jadis JD-2 Drive, Audio GD Ref 5, Totaldac, Trends UD-10.1, Wyred4Sound Music Server [on loan], Wyred4Sound DAC 2 [on loan], MacBook Lion with HiFace, iMac Lion
Amp/Preamp: Rogue Audio Hera II, Wyred4Sound STP-SE, SPL Volume2, Orpheus Lab Three M, Trends TA-10.2.
Speakers: Triangle Magellan Duetto, Vivid Audio K1, Apertura Armonia [on loan]
Cables: Legato digital cable, Skywire Audio 2020 digital cable, Naturelle Audio interconnects Live 8 MK2, Audio Art SC-5 SE speaker cables, Legato Precision speaker cables, Legato Fluidita interconnects
Power cords: Audio Art Power 1 SE, Furutech and Legato power cords
Stands & room: DIY stuff, Triangle TS400 stands, Vicoustic panels
Review component retail: € 4.998

Context. Fundamental technological advances don’t happen for audio signal amplification every day. Much technical background and reams of white papers have been developed already. They are easily accessible to both newcomers and established players. But such an environment still occasionally allows the most audacious of audio companies to at least attempt to reinvent the wheel. Continuous rumors about new amplification devices make this subject in fact quite hazy to most of us. Class D for example has already boasted a variety of hybrids, with the Devialet Premier perhaps one of the most striking performers in terms of measurements. The same Devialet has since joined the very prestigious circle of ultra-sophisticated audio engineering practiced by high-end companies like darTZeel, FM Acoustics, Orpheus Laboratories and Vitus Audio.

Refinement of circuitry and adaptation of the output device to its immediate environment (associated loudspeakers and various sources) have been ways for such companies to distance themselves from the competition. The usual flip side of that coin remains an elevated price that makes those very interesting products more of a wet dream than any attainable reality for many audiophiles.

The recently incorporated BMC Audio GmbH (founded in 2009 by Bernd Hugo and Carlos Candeias, with the actual initials standing for Balanced Music Concept) has chosen to concentrate their own engineering task force to create state-of-the-art audio gear at decent prices. To maintain costs under strict control, only the design and head offices are based in German. All manufacturing takes place in their wholly owned Chinese factory. Headed by Carlos Candeias the firm has sufficient multi-cultural and cosmopolitan backgrounds to efficiently manage all sides of their global business model.


A short flashback on various past activities of Mr. Candeias insures that relevant experience sits effectively in the house of BMC. This son of a seven strong Portuguese Spanish immigrant family founded  Candeias Audio Electronics in 1986 whilst pursuing engineering studies at the Berlin Technical University. Candeias worked closely with Japanese manufacturer C.E.C. and of course with his ex-wife’s Aqvox company as a lead designer. He has designed and produced very upscale parts for renowned audio brands as well.

Above all, Candeias wrote new patents and created proven technology such as LEF load-effect free circuitry which has been used by C.E.C CD players to avoid the use of end-to-end dual-differential architectures.

The new product released under the BMC brand now builds on his technical framework. I personally met Carlos Candeias and his wife Zhen Rong during the Munich HighEnd 2012 show and had the pleasure to discuss the entire breadth of the hifi business with them. Candeias holds a very pragmatic vision of market expectations and the quality of the retail network is another major concern. Unlike certain competitors, Candeias is not completely inured to the pricing issue and tries to keep BMC products affordable to the greater part of the audiophile niche market. His price policy seems more influenced by Vincent and NAD strategies in fact than his direct high-end rivals.