Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S03 ep11 : Peter Lyngdorf, Steinway Hi-Fi, [Denmark]

Interview with Peter Lyngdolf

Lyngdorf Audio is a Danish professional audio system company. which produces complete high end audio systems such as loudspeakers and amplifiers aimed at high quality and high performance audio enthusiasts. In 2007, the high-quality piano maker Steinway & Sons gave Lyngdorf exclusive rights to manufacture high quality audio systems under the name Steinway & Sons."


Steinway: This is the first time that Steinway and Sons as a name is used on a product that is not a
piano made by Steinway and Sons.

Steinway: A gentleman who knew the owners of Steinway and Sons he presented me to the
management and suggested we talk about creating a Steinway and Sons music system. We had the
first talk just under six years ago, I actually made three promises to Steinway and Sons. We are
going to set up a system that will reproduce a Steinway grand piano so that a Steinway pianist if
you blindfold him will not know whether he is listening to a piano or he is listening to our system
and we will do that in any normal room. And then we will also do it with the symphony orchestra
just for good measure. So they said it would be very interesting and if we could put up that trick
and fool everybody into believing that it was an actual piano we could … our business and about
six month later we did the first proof of concept in a hotel room in New York, the whole
management team they were flaberghasted one in the management team was a studio engineer by
education so he knew the challenges involved in reproducing sound in a random room and
everybody were super enthusiastic and we wrote a contract with Steinway and Sons very quickly
after that.

Steinway: They felt that if it was a product that could emphasise their brand also it would be nice
and actually the original thinking was that we would use the Steinway name only but it was when
they heard the complete system that the CEO at the time said that we could use the Steinway and
Sons name in its entirety on the product and it would be the first time that they’ve ever allowed


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Steinway: I always considered the Steinway grand piano the most important instrument in the
world because the piano, in my opinion is the king of all instruments, it has the greatest dynamic
range, you can do more things on a piano than on any other instrument everything else being equal.
And of course Steinway has like a 99% market share for pianos in concert halls.

Steinway: I heard the Beatles in the radio in 1963, 64 and I fell in love with their songs
immediately. At that time we had state television and state radio and they only transmitted pop
music one or two hours a day, the rest of the time it was real music, serious music, classical music,
jazz, old music. I lived in a small town in Denmark. So I couldn’t hear my preferred music so I
decided to buy myself a tape recorder and of coruse the built in speaker in the tape recorder was
lousy so I started to modify it first to see if I could modify the speaker, then I built my own
external speakers and then I built another pair of speakers, and then I built another pair of speakers
and I got totally hooked on how to work with sound so actually when I was 12 years old I’d already
built I think four different speakers. When I was 15 I built such a large speaker system that my dad
got really upset because I was playing music all the time and I loved my dad my parents, I still
love them and so on but when he didn’t like the Beatles I decided to get myself an apartment,
actually was in a basement where I could play loud, so I left home when I was 15.

Steinway: I got out of high school with the worst grades in the history of the school. I was not
interested and I had a full time job because I had to pay for my hobby, after high school I had two
jobs for three weeks each, one in marketing and one in shipping and then I started my company.


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Steinway: Well I always thought I was a little bit stupid so I was bad in school and so on but I was
just so enthusiastic about the sound that’s where I put my eggs. My dad used to say you know all
this hi fi is going to make you very, very poor and fortunately he was not right. Starting 1980, I
made my first retail shop and it became very popular and basically because I’m such an audio pig
and I love my customers so that one shop expanded into 5 shops, 10 shops and so on and now we
are 77 shops in Scandinavia, denmark, Norway, Sweden and in Holland we’re still fuelled by
enthusiasm for sound and for customer care.

Steinway: In my audio business, apart from having the retail, I ended up buying NAD Electronics,
I was part of the product development ideas team and so on and there I sought of got into
technology but it was really in 1980 I started my first speaker factory, the Dali factory which is
now I think we make more hi fi speakers in Denmark than anybody else.


Jewellery Theatre Elements

Steinway: I always want to make products that are absolutely practical and there are many, many
products that will do one thing exceedingly well and maybe a little bit of the other thigns but
designing a system in collaboration with Steinway and Sons we had to be able to do everything and
we have to do it with a dynamic range which is phenomenal also.

Steinway: The most fantastic demo we ever did was in a concert hall in Moscow in front of 550
people we had pre-recorded two Steinway grand pianos and during the concert we shifted from the
pianist playing the piano to our pre-recorded version and nobody could hear the difference until
the pianist walked out of stage everybody thought it was the pianist playing.

Steinway: We have some unique technologies that compensation for room acoustics which is our
technology. We have the best digital amplification technology which was invented by one of my
friends in Denmark back in the mid 90’s he invented the technology, I paid for the patent, we sold
the patents to Texas Instruments in 1999 but we still work very closely and using this technology
to the best possible degree.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Steinway: The amplification sits behind the speakers but these are not amplifiers in the normal
sense, these are actually the D to A convertors driving the speakers without use of an amplifier. It
has a number of advantages, one is no pre-… no power amp so we have a much simpler signal
path, we have actually two components in the signal path, we have a dynamic range which is much
greater than you can have with analogue systems, we make a power supply that is totally immune
to noise coming from outside so regardless of the quality of your mains current, you have exactly
the same quality of sound.

Steinway: So this is the volume, the remote control, volume up, volume down, runs on precision
bearings, only six controls for the whole system so it’s super easy to use so all of our systems, even
the most advanced multi channel system is totally user friendly and intuitive.

Steinway: It is actually a steel frame and aluminium and everything is suspended just like you
have suspension in a car so that you don’t get vibrations into the floor and it’s like floating in the
air but it weighs 188kg for each speaker so it will not start to move around the room so don’t worry
about that.

Steinway: With this system we’ve had the former President of the USA who came into where I was
invited for supper at a client when Bill Clinton comes in with all his security staff and everything
he walks straight past the host right up to the speakers and said wow


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Peter Lyngdorf, Steinway Hi-Fi, Denmark