• Le Son story

  • Hello and welcome to this page, my name is Gregory de Richemont, and please call me Greg. I founded Le Son in 2016 when I gathered enough courage to quit my well paid job to follow my heart and dedicate my time to my passion: music and high-fidelity sound reproduction. “Le Son”, means “The Sound” in my mother language French.

    I discovered high-fidelity as a teenager when my mother gave me her Thorens TD 150MKII turntable and a crate of records. The Pink Floyd albums were there, and the cover of Dark Side of The Moon was clearly waving at me so I chose this one first. As the needle touched the record and the first track heartbeat started pounding, I felt really good, and when the album ended I was blown away.

  • Since then and along my life journey, I understood I could not live without music. It really enhances my life in many ways. The fascinating thing with high-fidelity sound is that you can reproduce music recorded at different times and locations, and connect again with the emotion of that moment. In that sense, high-fidelity makes you travel!

    After 10 years travelling the world as an auditor for multi-national companies, I went back to school and graduated from INSEAD’s executive MBA. This life-changing experience over, I settled in Shanghai and felt it was time to focus on doing meaningful things, so I decided to quit the corporate world in 2015, live on my savings and study high-fidelity sound.

    My research quickly drew me to the most important element in a high-fidelity sound reproduction: the source. I first focused on vinyl records and learned a lot on how to get the best of this great medium. After a failed attempt to build a vinyl record cutting studio, I discovered open reel tapes in an obscure vintage analog gear shop. I was blown away by the sound quality a Technics RS1500 tape deck could deliver after 40 years of existence. I therefore decided to buy 2 decks and refurbish them to hear how they sound at their best.

  • After about a year of hard work gathering information and refurbishing the first open reel deck, I felt it was time to test it on a high-end system. So off I went to the 2017 Shanghai Hi-Fi Show with the deck, and the owner of Analog Sound by Line Magnetic agreed to hook it up to his beautiful system. We played a 15ips CCIR Horch House tape (One Second, by Yello), and even if the equalization was different (Technics are NAB), oh boy I had never heard so much dynamics!. It was really a good start!

  • I then focused on another crucial aspect of high-fidelity: room acoustics. I studied during months and designed a listening showroom just nearby my apartment. With the help of my friend Pierre, we built the studio from scratch, it was a fun experience and the measured results were excellent!

    With this new asset in hand, I started an “Analog Sound Experience” using the AirBnB Experience platform. I wanted to share with people the intense emotions high-fidelity sound can procure and what it takes to make it possible. The experience lasted 2 hours, we would start in the living room with a phone playing mp3, then moving to FLAC files with a DAC, then vinyl, and then we would move to the listening studio with open reel tape and tube amplification. Thanks to this business, I met people from all around the world, discovered new music, and felt deep happiness reading many positive feedbacks from happy customers. However with only 2 seats at a time I could not make a living out of it and had to move on to a better business model to share my passion with the world.

  • After months further improving my reel to reel decks, I went to the 2018 Shanghai Hi-Fi Show with my best one. This year I was popular with my reel to reel gear, hence I could select 4 rooms to play in. This is where I met Dr. Cai Hongren (Ted). He had a room to showcase his ESTI brand electronics. First of all his room was to my ears the best of the entire Show, and second Ted showed much appreciation to my work. This is where we made an interesting test: record a digital signal on tape and compare it to the recorded signal from the tape. Believe it or not, we agreed that the tape sounded fuller, more 3 dimensional, better!

  • Since this day, Ted & I built a solid friendship based on the same passion for music and high-fidelity sound. I admire Ted’s deep technical knowledge and when he accepted becoming half of Le Son venture I felt grateful to my lucky star. Together we are dedicated to one vision: improve the world by helping people experience recorded music as an art.

    Sincerely,

    Gregory de Richemont

    Co-founder and CEO

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