an image to enlarge.
‘Ballerina Sweetspot is one of the world’s first
purpose-built listening chairs.’
Crafted by Swedish designers Jonas Rylander and audiophile Michael
Hollesen for Klutz Design.
I wanted to include this stunning chair as part
of the Essential Accessories page. The right listening
chair is an essential item, after all, if your chair is the wrong
height, reclines too far, or is just plain uncomfortable, it will
dramatically impair your listening pleasure.
The search for my ideal listening chair began by
physically visiting various furniture stores in London and Surrey
borders, however, after weeks of worn out shoe leather and disappointment,
the search continued within the virtual world. I was immediately
bombarded with images of the highly celebrated Eames Lounge Chair
by Herman Miller (£3000 for originals or £700 approximately
for Eames ‘inspired’ versions) or the Gamut Lobster
chair by Danish duo Lund and Paarmann (£3000+). However, these
chairs (as nice as they look) fall short immediately due to the
fact the seating position on each is too low and they are not height
adjustable. Owners of electrostatic speaker (ESL’s) are passionate
about hitting that ‘sweet spot’. Seat height is crucial,
so finding a chair at the right height, or at least a chair with
adjustable seat height is crucial!
This gorgeous chair appears to have been designed
for a discerning Homer Simpson! It has many key features, adjustable
seat height (whoopee), 13cm headrest, lumbar support, vibration
supressing gascylinder support and (the Homer Simpson part)…
specially curled shaped arm rests to provide a home for your remote
controls (or small doughnuts)!
I fell in love with this chair and wanted to know
more, so I emailed Klutz Design.
Below is the response I received
from designer Michael Hollesen...
I am sorry to say that we've never put the chair into production.
Back when we launched the concept, the price simply became too big
for what the market could bear (USD 10-12.000) - but that was when
a high-end loudspeaker was around USD 25.000. In these days, together
with the advent of 3D printing we might be able to produce the chair
much cheaper than before... And now high-end speakers are USD 250.000.
We have only one chair in our possession - which has become somewhat
of a collector’s item. The most recent bid we had for it was
USD 15.000 (+ transport), but we still feel that it would require
more for us to sell this “object of passion”. This would
most likely be bought either by a leading high-end store that want
to use it in their most prestigious high-end demo-room as a “marketing
strategy” - or of course one of the most passionate high-end
listeners out there with a “setup to match”.
I'll be happy to let you know if we ever move into a production
- and equally you are welcome to let me know if you or any readers
would be interested in owning the single most interesting listening
chair in the world.
Best regards from Sweden
This chair is sweet! Same cannot be said about the
price tag, 15.000 USD (£11540 at the current conversion rate).
Obviously I just could not justify it a place within the Essential
Accessories range. I still want it though!
March 2015, I purchased a Mies Van Der Rohe Style
Brno flat bar Chair (£293) from Vita Interiors. The Seat height
is not adjustable, but it is the right height for my Martin Logan
Scenario electrostatics. No ‘curled shape arm rests’
for my doughnuts though.
(I don’t eat doughnuts anyway)!
June 2017, while travelling to a jazz gig, I was
fortunate to commander a parking space directly opposite to an established
barber shop on Charlotte Street WC1. As I peered through the immaculately
clean front window my eye was drawn to the beautifully designed
and very comfortable looking height adjustable chairs parked neatly
in front of mirrors.
My research into smaller height adjustable barbers chairs or stylist
chairs began as soon as I returned home that night.
Weeks later I settled upon my second (and hopefully final) chair
This barbers, or stylist salon chair is not flanked
with a designer’s name (as far as I know), however,
it is now the most comfortable chair I have. Oh, and the price for
this height adjustable, swivel, reclining chair with removable footrest,
a minuscule £136!
© Main text Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.
May - June 2017