Wes Phillips

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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
It is Friday, after all. I met this suave French kitty in my hotel's rooftop garden in Lyon. Even French cats have a certain je ne sais qua.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
Jean-Paul Guy's office contains his electronics test bench and a variety of classic French hi-fi. He's definitely one of us.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
Here's another example of how Guy.HF combines hand processes with modern technology. The finish room is state-of-the-art, combining heat with super-sophisticated polymer finish formulations. "Yet," Jean-Paul Guy told me, "there is always some orange peel. Machines can't detect it and they can't correct what they can't sense, so a human being carefully checks each piece and makes it perfect."
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
Focal combines high-tech work stations with a phenomenal amount of hand labor. Metal drivers and inexpensive dome tweeters are heavily automated, but many drivers are assembled by hand, especially Focal's "W" composite cones.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
Lyon, I was told, has an extensive network of underground tunnels, which helped its citizens hide Jews during the Occupation. As I walked by this wine shop, I snapped a photo of its stairs to underground Lyon.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
One of Focal's core technologies is its use of "multi-ferrites," Mahul having realized that it was more precise to use multiple magnets in big drivers than it was to rely upon finding enough truly huge, uniform magnets.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
This carved detail from a house in Bourbon-Lancy sort of snuck up on me. I walked past it, got about five steps down the street and did a classic double take.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
Fewer loudspeaker companies have anechoic chambers than you realize. They take up an awful lot of space, for one thing. Focal has one, and it has a twist—rather than have a suspended floor, the company puts its speakers on a hydraulic jack and suspends it 30' above the floor. This makes getting massive speakers into and out of the chamber a lot easier and safer.
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
It seems as though there's a QC employee for every assembly employee at Guy.HF. Not exactly, Jean-Paul Guy explained. Every G.HF employee is responsible for the work that comes to him or her—so after each employee signs off on a product as good to go, the next, um, guy inspects it before accepting it. "Mistakes get made," M. Guy told me, "but we try not to perpetuate them."
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Wes Phillips Posted: May 30, 2008 0 comments
A Guy.HF craftsman uses a precision machined winding stick to establish that a cabinet is true.

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