This review first appeared in March 2017 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of Marek Dyba or Vermeer Audio - Ed.

Marek Dyba
Digital sources: PC with WIN10, Roon, Fidelizer Pro 7.3, JPlay Femto USB card with Bakoon battery power supply, JCat USB Isolator, Hdplex linear power supply
D/A converter: LampizatOr BIG7
Analogue: J.Sikora Standard turntable with Schroeder CB tonearm and AirTight PC-3 cartridge, Tenor Audio Phono1
Preamplifier: Modwright LS100
Power amplifiers: Musical Fidelity NuVista-600 integrated, Modwright KWA100SE power amp
Loudspeakers: Ubiq Audio Model ONE Duelund Edition
Interconnects: Hijiri Million, LessLoss Anchorwave, TelluriumQ Silver Diamond USB
Speaker cables: Skogrand Beethoven, LessLoss Anchorwave
Power cords: LessLoss DFPC Signature, Gigawatt LC-3
Power: Gigawatt PF-2 MK2 and ISOL-8 Substation Integra; a dedicated power line with Gigawatt LC-Y in-wall cable; Gigawatt G-044 Schuko and Furutech FT-SWS-D (R)
Racks: Base VI, Rogoz Audio 3RP3/BBS
Anti vibration accessories: Rogoz Audio SMO40 and CPPB16 platforms with BW40MKII feet, Franc Accessories ceramic disc slim Feet and wood block Platform
European retail price: €17'900 [add €2'000 for LAN module]

If you remember, French firm Audio Aero of Toulouse achieved fame if not fortunes during the 1990s for their CD players like the Capitole Reference and Classic, later the highly acclaimed LaFontaine and LaSource. All of those should still ring bells. Even though the company no longer exists, certain music lovers—I know a few—still hang on to these components and wouldn't dream of replacing them; not for misplaced nostalgia but ongoing performance. It was a sad day when news broke that Audio Aero was out of business. Fortunately it didn't take too long before we learnt that another French company out of Lyon had acquired Audio Aero by late 2014. Users of LaFontaine and LaSource were happy because the new company took over service of their machines. Others who'd missed out on buying one of those outstanding digital sources suddenly had their second chance. Obviously Vermeer Audio no longer sell/make La Fontaine or La Source but instead, use Audio Aero's IP as platform from which to continue their own development. Their first model is the Vermeer Audio TWO. There are two more models coming in the near future – the top-line ONE and the entry-level THREE.

I'll start with a thanks to Mr. Marc Loubeau of Prestige Audio Diffusion, a French distributor I've been exchanging emails with for a few years now and whom I met during a HighEnd Munich show. We've been sharing information on interesting brands and products. I recommend some to him (mostly Polish ones), he returns the favour. As you might have guessed, he suggested Vermeer and even contacted their Bruno Ginard on my behalf. Amongst my audiophile friends, there has been a lot of interest in Vermeer's thus far sole model. Anyone who remembers how good the La Fontaine and LaSource were would feel quite piqued by Vermeer's claim that theirs inherits the best of Audio Aero with performance yet further pushed. Since there hadn't been a Polish importer to test these claims, my review would be our first opportunity. Again, Vermeer Audio undertook the difficult task of improving what many believed was already amazing sound quality. To achieve that they formed a team of various specialist who are music fans as well. The latter is very important. During my reviewer carrier, I've had a chance to test many different components. The best ones usually were created by people who built them as though just for themselves. It's not easy to satisfy one's own expectations. In this business, technical knowledge and design skills are necessary but not enough even though some think so. Only true music lovers are capable of building the best-sounding audio components.

Also important is reliability. For that, not only must the producer perform endless tests and maintain the highest standards of production but he also has to find reliable suppliers. As already mentioned, Vermeer Audio are based in beautiful Lyon which I had a chance to visit during my trip to Focal's headquarters. All their suppliers reside within a 300km radius of Vermeer's HQ. This makes cooperation and quality control much easier. The PCB and chassis are made in Switzerland, most other elements in France. Let me start by saying that the Model TWO is a visual stunner whose fit'n'finish are outstanding. All it takes is one look to realize that this must be a high-end product. Whilst audio sonic performance is the most important feature, making such a fantastic first impression before the music even starts will surely be appreciated by all those who value aesthetics and beauty as well.

I am not sure whether Vermeer Audio always deliver this way but despite the Model TWO being neither unduly big nor heavy, it arrived inside a solid cardboard box reinforced with wood (surely standard) placed atop a small pallet (possibly extra). When you ship electronics especially internationally, you don't want mishaps in transit. Packaging is very important and the French did a great job. Unpacking might take a bit longer as a result but I'm sure each owner will appreciate their new toy being delivered in perfect condition. Let's explain what they mean by Universal Control Center. The Model TWO is actually a two-in-one D/A converter and analogue preamplifier, ergo universal control center that accepts digital and analogue signal and due to variable gain, will drive a power amp without involving a separate linestage. If one treats it exclusively as DAC, it might seem quite big and heavy (25kg!). Considering its double function, size and weight are no longer as surprising. The chassis is made of high-grade aluminium and rests on three conical metal feet. After playing around a bit, I decided to add the Franc Audio Accessories ceramic disc slim feet which improved clarity and focus - not that without them anything was wrong.