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STRATO ZOO

island of eternal living souls

ⓇES


The journey to the true soul of the analog sound began more than 40 years ago: on his way back home from school, ®es discovered a guitar neck sticking out of a garbage bag. Although it was only a small children's guitar with 3 strings, ®es was immediately spellbound. Within a few minutes he cut the first plectrum from a yoghurt pot and began playing his favorite melody over and over again: the famous Vicky the Vicking theme. Since that very day ®es was searching the world for the best electric guitar sounds.

Very soon he discovered his absolute favorite instrument: the Fender Stratocaster. Built since 1954, this guitar revolutionized the sound of the musical history in a way no other instrument did. The solid body guitar - with 3 hand-coiled pickups that can be combined differently - opened up completely new dimensions to musicians. ®es had found the love of his life.

However, he realized soon that Fender had built really magical instruments only until 1965 - before mass production traded craftsmanship and magic down.

That's the reason ®es started traveling the world on a visionary search for the most valuable woods and other secret ingredients. He even began to coil his own pickups by hand - not only to preserve the true magic of the Strato but also to guide it into new dimensions and stratospheres.

I, Florian "doc" Kaps, had the honor to visit ®es in his legendary Strato Zoo in Grenchen (Switzerland) for the very first time in 2014. After only a few minutes and the first cup of self-grounded coffee I realized that ®es became one of the last guardians of an incredible treasure: magical analog sound.

®es has not only dedicated his life to these touching vibrations, but he also created a place with countless instruments and sound documents that guarantee that the true soul of these analog sounds will fascinate people forever.

Vision


Founded in 1993 by ®es Kaufmann, the STRATO ZOO - located in Grenchen, 90km west of Zurich – is maybe one of the most exciting, yet undiscovered jewels of the worldwide analog revival.

STRATO ZOO is manifold, but most of all it's a place where the fascinating variety of the Stratocaster guitar is being celebrated, and where the terrestrial meets with the extraterrestrial, just like in the stratosphere.

In countless All Analog Live Recording Sessions, ®es Kaufmann has not only created an invaluable archive of high quality vinyl editions, but also a unique collection with invaluable treasures of analog recording technology and musical instruments.

In cooperation with ®es we are now making a selection of STRATO ZOO elements available to the public.

HISTORY


  • 1967 ®es Kaufmann was born.

  • 1976 First guitar out of a garbage bag.

  • 1976–1993 Countless hours spent in Aschi Moser's music shop in exchange of "obsolete" instruments. Foundation of the Strato Zoo collection.

  • 1979/80 His father gives him the book "Plants of the Gods". Up to today it's the Bible of the Strato Zoo and a faithful companion in the search for the true soul of sound.

  • Since 1986 Many long travels bring ®es in touch with the analog souls of this world's cultures.

  • 1993 Foundation of the Strato Zoo and regular music sessions, accompanied by all analog film screenings.

  • 1994 Legendary Strato Zoo concert in the Konzertsaal Solothurn. The advertising poster's ominous prompt "bring your own drugs" not only caused a worldwide stir, but also a sold-out concert, a lawsuit and a poster value starting from 25.000 SRF for an uncensored, extremly rare original copy.

  • 1995 Strato Zoo recordings become more important. Based on audio tapes ®es soon decides that vinyl records are the best medium for Strato Zoo. Production of the first Strato Zoo Vinyl Editions.

  • 1996 Acquisition of the Sonographic Studios of Alfred Wettler (former Tonmeister of Herbert von Karajan).

  • 1997 Takeover, transport and reconstruction of a complete record production facility from Vienna (Polygram). Re-located in a former watch factory at Grenchen's forest edge, several editions of precious records were being produced in collaboration with his brother Flo Kaufmann (el. ing.), Ivo Studer (ing. ETH), Andre Hüsler (el. ing.) and Christoph Schmid (CEO).

  • 2014 First meeting with Florian "Doc" Kaps from SUPERSENSE, who immediately turns biggest fan and ambassador of Strato Zoo.

  • 2017 Opening of a Strato Zoo exhibition at 25hours hotel Langstrasse Zurich featuring a small selection of Strato Zoo treasures. At the same time a selection of Strato Zoo items are being proudly presented and made accessible to the public at SUPERSENSE Vienna. The next chapter of the legendary Strato Zoo begins.

PRODUCTS


PROUDLY WE PRESENT SOME CAREFULLY
SELECTED STRATO ZOO ITEMS
IN OUR LIVING ROOM STUDIO
For the very first time you can now test and taste and even purchase a small selection of iconic Strato Zoo gear outside of the mothership in Grenchen. Please visit us at Praterstrasse 70/1 or call us if you have any further questions: +43 (0)1/9690 832.

STRATO ZOO VINTAGE E-GUITAR

  • Vox Standard 25
  • Three DiMarzio FS-1 pickups
  • 25½ inch scale

€ 2,690

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STRATO ZOO VINTAGE BASS-GUITARS

  • Custom-made jazz bass
  • With gig-bag

€ 1,850

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STRATO ZOO VINTAGE AMPLIFIERS

  • Various models of Eden Nemesis amplifiers
  • A legendary Marshall Lead
  • A Randall Commander II
  • A LAB L5

Starting from

€ 1,110

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STRATO ZOO VINTAGE LOUDSPEAKERS

  • Various models of Eden Nemesis speakers
  • A legendary Leslie Sharma Rotary speaker
  • A Crate 4 x 12 inch speaker

Starting from

€ 700

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