Balance Engineer

Jean-Marie Geijsen

When I visited Japan in September 2015, I was introduced to the ECLIPSE TD-M1 speakers during one of my recording sessions. My good friend and colleague Akira Fukada set up these speakers as a monitor system for the recording to come. Akira played some of his recordings made in this same hall.

I was baffled, could this sound come from those little speakers?

I was very much intrigued by the sound, especially the imaging, it was so different from what speakers normally sound like, I did not trust my ears.

Since I was there for a recording session, I did not dare to use unfamiliar speakers, so I asked to switch back to the speakers I normally work with, speakers who have been my reference for many, many years.

After the sessions where done, I was introduced to Hiroshi (Kowaki of ECLIPSE), who engineered the speakers. He explained me about the speaker's concept and technology, and afterward I tried to introduce a pair of ECLIPSE TD-M1 for testing at Polyhymnia studio's in The Netherlands.

These speakers are designed to be used as near field monitor, so I put them on my desk in my studio I have worked for the last 20 years and started listening.

Normally, when listening to music, you cannot detach sound and technology. It's one and the same, as much as you enjoy the music, you are always aware you are listening loudspeakers. You realize it's artificial, so at the same time you are not only judging performance but just as much the sound quality of the speakers. This has been part of music reproduction as long as we know it.

Using the ECLIPSE TD-M1, suddenly there was this orchestra in the middle of my studio.

There was this beautiful music, not just music, more a performance, right in front of me. A complete sound stage, very wide and this enormous depth.  This is the sound equivalent of a Fata Morgana in the middle of a desert.

I was baffled.

Where are the speakers, there must be speakers since I could not see any musicians? It felt more like standing in the back of a very good concert hall, at the other side of the hall a complete orchestra on stage.

I am a audio professional and listen to music hours and hours a day. The problem I have, I do see music as work, not as entertainment or an art-form anymore. So I am not very easy to convince or astound about new speakers or technology. Over the years, I feel I have heard it all. Well not this one!

But where did all this beauty come from?

That was the miracle, the same as I experienced in Japan on my first encounter with these speakers. One knows the music must come from speakers and then you realize it's this tiny little speaker on your desk just in front of you, it's mind blowing, it does not make sense, this huge soundstage, these little speakers.

The discrepancy could not be bigger.

Recovering from this shock, and listing a bit longer you realize also these speakers are not perfect. There are some flaws as well, tonal color is maybe not as balanced as it could be, but it's not distracting or annoying in any way. (And I have not even mentioned the wonderful and elegant design)

I do not know how ECLIPSE did it, but they made something very special, a completely new sound concept. They have found the holy grail of loudspeaker building: speakers you do not hear!!


Jean-Marie Geijsen

At present, Jean-Marie Geijsen is balance engineers working for Polyhymnia International . From 1988 to 1990 he worked as a mastering engineer.

In addition he freelanced as a classical recording and PA engineer.

In 1990 he started working freelance for Philips Classics in Baarn as an editor and as a recording, remastering, and audio engineer.

In 1996 he was appointed a full-time position as balance engineer at Philips Classics.

Jean-Marie is very much involved with analogue electronics, and the audibility of electronics and cables.
He has worked with many top classical artists, including Alfred Brendel, Ricardo Muti, J.E.Gardiner, Valeri Gergiev, Seiji Ozawa, Fabio Luisi, and Ivan Fischer.

Jean-Marie studied audio recording at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague between 1984 and 1988, specializing in classical music.

He is responsible for many of the SACD's released on the label Pentatone.

Between 2011 and 2013 for the label Pentatone, Jean-Marie has recorded all 10 major Wagner opera's live in the Berliner Philharmonie.

Next to his assignment as a balance engineer, he has done numerous project on R&D when it comes to loudspeaker design and the development of audio equipment.

He is also frequently asked to give surround sound demo's on shows for professionals and consumer electronics like the annual Hi-End show in Munich, on AES conventions and others.