AnalogPlanet Visits CH Precision in the Heart of Swiss Watch Making Country

Following "Making Vinyl Berlin" and a week before "High End Munich 2019" AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer visited high performance Switzerland-based electronics manufacturer CH Precision (among others). This is the first posted video from that trip.

Founded by Florian Cossy and Thierry Heeb (hence the company name—although, coincidentally, CH also stands for Confoederatio Helvetica, the Latin abbreviation for Swiss Confederation), CH Precision is a relatively young company, though the founders have a long history in high-performance audio beginning in the 1990s with their work for Goldmund. The two left that company to form OEM Anagram Technologies, which quickly established a fine reputation for its DACs, among other products. In 2009, with the encouragement of a group of distributors, the partners founded CH Precision.

This video gives you a detailed look at how the efficiently operated company manages to produce more than a dozen highly regarded, well-engineered products with what some companies would consider a "skeletal staff". While final assembly is "in-house", CH sub-contracts with local businesses to produce circuit boards and the high quality chassis and enclosures, which are manufactured by companies also involved in the luxury swiss watch industry, particularly (as you will see), Savimec, the machine shop owned and run by Mike Cassanelli, who you will see in the video.

You will also come away better appreciating why CH Precision's products cost a great deal of money. As with exotic cars (and of course watches), this is a level of engineering, design and construction detail and luxury that's beyond the means (and perhaps interest) of many. Life isn't fair. At least it's free to watch how it's done. Also, please visit the Stereophile website where AnalogPlanet editor and Stereophile senior contributing editor Michael Fremer's recent CH Precision M 1.1 amplifier review was recently published on Stereophile's website.

Htobin5051's picture

Latest Video has been taken down

MrGneiss's picture

It seems to play fine if you click through to YouTube!! :-)

Michael Fremer's picture
Sorry. There's a check box for "allowing embedding" that I've never before seen or had to click to make the embedded video work.
Wimbo's picture

I really enjoyed that. What lovely guys. Humble,Intelligent and able to explain things simply for dumb arses like me.
That last section in the listening room was hilarious and lightening.

garyalex's picture

I spent some time in the CH Precision room at the last RMAF. The sound of course, was superb. The CH guys running the room were clearly having a great time. They'd play whatever you wanted. They made you feel welcome and relaxed. My experience at these shows is that sometimes some exhibitors of equipment at this level can be a bit, ...stuffy and standoffish. They almost make you feel like they're doing you a favor by being there. Not these guys.

Ortofan's picture

... send it back to Switzerland. On whose dime?
Shipping cost, with insurance, for the 165 lb. $54K lump reviewed on the Stereophile site is probably close to $1K.
For that sum, one could buy a Parasound NewClassic 2250 v.2.

Michael Fremer's picture
You have hallucinated both a scenario and a fantasy ending.
Ortofan's picture

... says that their products should be returned to Switzerland for repairs.

Is there a US importer for CH? Who are they and where are they located? Do they have the capability to perform repairs?
The Stereophile review only references the address for CH in Switzerland.

150 lbs. is the limit for many shipping companies. The weight of the M1.1 exceeds that. Get an estimate for the cost of shipping a 165+ lb. package insured for $54K and see how much it is.

Are you volunteering to do a blind, level-matched comparison between the CH amp and the Parasound?

Have you driven a KIA Stinger GT?

Michael Fremer's picture
Has an American representative since they are "self-distributing". I will clarify who pays the freight for repairs but remember: they claim to not have had any failures in the field other than a small number that were caused by "user error".
Ortofan's picture

... warranty is included with (a pair of) these $50K amplifiers.
How long does it last and does it cover "user error"?
Maybe, for $50K, a technician comes to your location, rather than having to send the amp out somewhere?
Also, how many units does CH have in the field and for how many years?

misterc59's picture

I'm sure there are stats out there for the queries you're pondering (and would be nice to know, agreed), however, for the one percenters out there purchasing (or have purchased) this unit, is the cost of shipping relevant?
Perhaps the amount of time spent without a functional piece of equipment would be more of a concern? If I had the wherewithal to purchase an expensive sports car, I would likely be more concerned about any time with the vehicle spent in the shop than what any cost may be to fix it. Obviously "user" error is a consideration with any product (and factored into the cost), but I would suspect anyone purchasing any product would read the owners manual. If not, "you get what you pay for" would certainly not apply. Anyone not smart enough to read the owner's manual should get what they deserve. If there is no owners manual, then yes, certainly a company should be liable for user error. Interesting questions for an interesting product.


cdvinyl's picture

What percentage of the cost is in the casing and what percentage is in the electronics?

cdvinyl's picture

Will there be a test?

Michael Fremer's picture
I could swear I even put the link in the text!
Toussaint's picture

Given the very high prices of these components it would have been nice if Mr. Fremer had asked the company professionals to justify the prices. I got some of that from the video but certainly didn't finish it with a feeling that the prices were justified.

Rodan's picture

I really enjoyed this video; however, it generated some head-scratching on my part. The CH Precision guys mentioned that the new L10 preamp features adjustable feedback (switchable from global to local, as I understand it). Call me dopey, but isn't such a feature pretty much a tone control (and a very limited one, at that)? It's certainly the impression I got from the discussion on the video. Unlike the ability to switch absolute phase--a very useful feature in my opinion--the inclusion of the selectable feedback feature in the L10 seems to me something that is at best of marginal utility and at worst an indication that the preamp's designers couldn't decide on the optimal circuit architecture (hard to believe, based on their evident dedication and expertise) or simply a bell/whistle added because they could (more likely in my opinion).

That said, you sure can't argue with CH Precision's sonic credentials. Although I've only heard the CH stuff at shows/showrooms with unfamiliar associated equipment, in every case I found these systems to be, at minimum, excellent.

Thanks for taking the time to make this cinematic extravaganza!

Best regards,


sq225917's picture

These really do look like beautifully well put together and engineered devices.

I'm just guessing here but maybe the 20-40% saved by not using a distributor would help offset the shipping costs. Usually if a product fails due to design, materials and manufacturer then the maker picks up the shipping bill. If you fry the kit in a thunderstorm then it's on your own dime.

I like the utility of the switchable feedback option. If I'm spendig a huge chunk of chnage on a piece of kit I'd welcome controls that allow me to adjust the sound to suit my mood, the music or the kit its playing with. If it's good enough for Nelson Pass and every amp that ever had switchable triode/pentode operation then it's good enough for me.