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Inter.View with Lorenzo Corsi, chief designer at Strateg HiFi

by Lucio Cadeddu

[Italian version]

LC >
Strateg HiFi has been designing no-compromise Hi-End components for years, may you briefly summarize your history from the early years till today?

Strateg >
Strateg (the name comes from "Arte Stregata" which may be translated as "Voodoo Science" :-) - Lucio) was founded in 1987 with a very precise "mission" in mind: designing and building ultimate HiFi systems, with no compromises at all.
Lorenzo Corsi, the man behind Strateg, an expert in acoustical physics, started his carreer as HiFi designer back in 1962.
In 1972 he designed (and patented) a planar driver with a very original placement of the magnets and in the meanwhile he founded the HiFi brand known as Modulo, manufacturing hi-quality amplifiers and loudspeakers.
During the early Eighties he has designed and built the CYAN, a pretty unique bookshelf loudspeaker with an impressive low frequency response. This will become the first Strateg item ever and today it is still an absolute reference.

So in 1987 the Strateg was founded officially and Lorenzo Corsi starts designing hi-quality electronics too. Among these there were the mono power amp REFERENCE ONE (with Mos-fets) ----- the mono preamp REFERENCE ONE (with tubes) ------ a dual mono preamp called FORMA (with IC's) ---- the dual mono power amp STELLA (with mos-fets) ------ the integrated amplifier SINTESI.
In 1994 Strateg starts designing and manufacturing hi-quality cables: power, interconnects and speaker cables, then tip toes, multi-sockets and HiFi racks.
Today the Strateg line is subject to continuous upgrades, following the development of the research.

LC >
Till now Strateg HiFi components have been very expensive because of the no-compromise approach. The Italian HiFi market is suffering from a serious crisis and hence, without opening to richer abroad markets (USA, Far East Countries), we believe more affordable HiFi components would be best suited for Italian audiophiles.
Are you planning a more affordable budget-conscious line?

Strateg >
Undoubtly, till today, Strateg stuff was aimed to audiophiles who are just searching for ultimate audio quality. We are now designing new components such as a new loudspeaker, an integrated and some cable, meant to reach a wider market, without sacrifing the quality of the products we are known for.

LC >
Strateg is certainly well known in Italy thanks to the Cyan loudspeaker, even thanks to some rave reviews on the HiFi press. You make also interesting (mainly) solid state electronics, namely preamps, power amps and integrateds.
May you tell us which are the main ideas behind these designs and why did you choose solid state technology while tubes seem to be all the rage today?

Strateg >
We have built also some tube equipped component so we don't prefer solid state technology as a whole, we just try to exploit the best technology available to optimize the energy transformation, which has to happen as linearly as possibile both in space and time.
We are usually against HiFi components that make use of transformers (output transformers, I hope :-) -Lucio) and impedance adapting circuits (such as balanced lines).
It is very difficult to summarize in few words the philosophy of our research so if we had to choose one word, this would be certainly harmony.
This should summarize our continuous quest for designing HiFi components that must reproduce as faithfully as possible the musical event, without searching for "special effects" that may sound pleasant to the ears but that tend to "modify", in a way or in another, the real musical program.

LC >
Strateg makes also very expen$ive cables. We believe that cables play a key role into ANY HiFi system, may you describe your point of view regarding cables design?

Strateg >
Our cable (interconnects, power, speaker) are hand built following proprietary scientific criteria aimed to maximize the signal transfer as linearly as possible, both in space and time.
Regarding cables philosophy you should refer to the previous question.

LC >
The average audiophile tends to pay so little attention to the listening room and its acoustic properties while according to us this can influence the 50% of the final performance.
From your experience, which kind of advices may you give to our readers to improve the quality of the musical experience at home?

Strateg >
We completely agree with you. The listening room can deeply influence the final result so much that we think it is impossibile to explain what we think about this problem here.
For example, loudspeakers placement is so important that we give our customers a book where we explain the main rules to follow in order to maximize the performance of their HiFi system at home. Into this book we try to touch the following aspects:

  1. - Stereophonic reproduction
  2. - Cables
  3. - Loudspeakers placement into a listening room
  4. - Tonal balance
  5. - Harmonic richness
  6. - Dynamics
  7. - Selectivity
  8. - 3D imaging and soundstage
  9. - Transparency and 3D illusion
  10. - Judgement criteria
Our aim and ambition is to teach the customer how to interact with his system so that he can modify and upgrade the performance of it into the listening room.

LC >
As far as I know Strateg HiFi components are not so often reviewed by the Italian press. Is this your marketing strategy or simply do you have so little faith in HiFi reviewers?

Strateg >
Since we don't appreciate the opinions of the large part of HiFi reviewers our presence on the pages of the Italian HiFi press is a direct consequence. We don't even like the methods they use to evaluate HiFi components.

LC >
May you briefly summarize you plans for the future?

Strateg >
Here are five points for our "plans for future":

  1. We will try to save on production costs so that our products will become more and more affordable.
  2. Designing and building a complete line of HiFi drivers so to overtake the current limitations available in commercial loudspeakers
  3. Building differently shaped loudspeakers cabinets so to improve the performance and make installation easier.
  4. Designing a step-by-step easily upgradable one step at a time so that, via easy add-ons, one can improve dynamics, frequency response and imaging.
  5. Designing a new scientific model as an evolution of the classical stereophonic model, which will take into account the interaction of HiFi systems with room acoustics so to optimize several variables, both in space and time.

Courtesy Lorenzo Corsi for TNT-Audio.

Copyright © 1999 Lucio Cadeddu

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