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Anthony

Sounds and Visions – June 2019

By | Newsletters

Sounds and Visions

The Newsletter of Specialty Sound and Vision – June 2019

EAT Summer Savings: “6 for $600” Massive Clamp Promotion!

EAT’s “Massive Clamp” has proved a runaway best-seller. An 800 gram hunk of beautifully machined Stainless Steel critically damped at its base and periphery, the Massive Clamp makes a remarkable improvement, to ALL “Unsprung” turntables (VPI, Clearaudio, etc.) including EAT! Performance is comparable to clamps costing $500 or more but the Massive retails for just $195. For a limited time, VANA is offering a “6 for $600” promotion: order six clamps for $600 Dealer Cost. With Prompt Pay, your gross margin exceeds 50-points on one of the best analog enhancements ever! A surefire “Call to Action,” this promotion is a great opportunity to engage your customers.

Dynaudio Performance Series: Shipping This Month

Performance Series, Dynaudio’s NEW, value-priced line of architectural speakers, will ship in June. For those dealers who have admired the state-of-the-art Studio Series in-walls and in-ceilings but wished for something more affordable, Performance series is ideal! Offering Dynaudio performance at prices that compete with commodity products, Performance Series also offers enhanced margins, making them a no-brainer for all your architectural needs.

Cambridge Audio AX Series

Cambridge Audio’s Topaz series defined performance and value in entry-level high end. Now, Cambridge Audio introduces the AX series, a new range of hi-fi separates. Designed and engineered in the UK, AX has something to offer every music lover, hitting the perfect balance between performance and affordability. Currently consisting of a CD player, an integrated amplifier and two stereo receivers, the AX range takes design and innovation cues from Cambridge Audio’s award-winning CX and Edge product ranges and brings Cambridge quality to a uniquely affordable price range. The AXA35 Integrated Amplifier and AXC35 CD Player ($349 ea, MSRP) will be shipping in June, with two new Stereo Receivers, the AXR85 ($399 MSRP) and AXR100 ($499 MSRP) following shortly thereafter.

Like Topaz before it, the AXR Series is the benchmark in affordable audio.

Introducing AudioLab, Thorens and Goldring

Thanks to our long association with JAM Industries, we are proud to be representing:

Thorens: one of audio’s legendary brands, Thorens makes superb turntables at every price point, including a series of Fully Automatic Turntables, a rarity that many of our dealers and their customers demand!

Goldring: among the world’s finest and most well-known cartridge brands, Goldring offers a complete line of Moving Magnet, Moving Iron and Moving Coil cartridges from $99-1,500

Audiolab: complete line of audiophile electronics, DAC products and earbuds.

Please ask us how these superb product lines can fill gaps in your merchandising mix.

Brinkmann’s NEW Turntable and Integrated Debut at Munich

Among the highlights of Munich High End 2019, Brinkmann debuted two products which are destined to become high End Classics.

A stunning synthesis of Balance and Bardo turntables, Taurus combines the massive plinth of the former with the platter and bespoke Direct Drive motor of the latter and also features a wireless speed selector and the ability to add a second arm at will. Due in Q3 2019, $14,999 MSRP

More than just a state-of-the-art amplifier, Voltaire is a new category of component: the Integrated Sound System or ISS. Brinkmann’s ultra-performance hybrid features 150 high-current watts per channel combined with the ability to drive very low impedances. A port on the back panel accommodates either the Nyquist DAC module or a bespoke phono module, enabling Voltaire to become either a full digital or analog system in a single chassis. Due in Q4 2019, price TBA.

Sounds and Visions – May 2019

By | Newsletters

Sounds and Visions

The Newsletter of Specialty Sound and Vision – May 2019

Munich High End: Starts Thursday
The world’s largest HiFi Show begins Thursday, 9 May and Anthony will be prowling the halls, visiting our vendors and searching out the best new products. Hoping to see our friends there!
Cambridge announces NEW AX Series
Cambridge’ “Topaz Series” has defined ultimate value in Specialty Audio; however, time has passed, technology advanced and now Cambridge proudly introduces the NEW AX Series: the finest entry level audio components available. A collection of five superlative components, AX Series includes two stereo Receivers, two Integrated Amplifiers (one of which is network enabled) and a CD Player. All of which are priced under $500 MSRP
New Moon: The 860A v2 Is Here!
Improving one of the world’s finest power amps isn’t easy; in fact, it has taken Simaudio more than a decade of intensive research and development to create the 860A v2. Using parts and technologies developed for the $120,000/pr Moon 888 Monoblocks, the v2 represents a leap forward in performance, enhanced with convenience features like switches for monaural operation and AC coupling. $18,000 MSRP
Wisdom Tour
Joe Walters, Wisdom Audio’s Eastern Regional Sales Manager, just completed a week on the road with SSV. We showed everyone the NEW Insight On-Walls and discussed some exciting upcoming products. Thanks to all of our dealers for taking the time to meet!
Price Drop: Dynaudio Music
It’s not often that High End products actually go down in price but Dynaudio’s “Music” series of portable music systems now feature lower Dealer Cost and MAP, making the world’s most versatile audio systems the best values, as well. Please contact us for more information.
Summertime is Terra Time!
When the party moves outdoors your music should go with you. Terra Outdoor Speakers, a Leon Company, offers the most weather-resistant outdoor speakers made and, in true Leon style, are now available in a vast palette of custom finishes.

 

 

Sounds and Visions – April 2019

By | Newsletters

Sounds and Visions

The Newsletter of Specialty Sound and Vision – April 2019

 

PrimaLuna Introduces Evo Series

PrimaLuna’s first all-new product line in over a decade, EVO advances the company’s proven formula for success with upgraded parts, performance and aesthetics, expanded product lines and superior features (remote control for ALL Integrated- and Preamplifiers, headphone amplifiers on all Integrateds and transformer-coupled XLR connections on flagship models). Expect strong marketing, reviews, advertisements and, as a result, massive consumer interest. There has NEVER been a better time to be a PrimaLuna dealer!

Leon Debuts “Denza”

“Blending art with audio and design with technology,” Leon has grown into one of the dominant players in the CI Market. Nearly 20 years ago, SSV became Leon’s first Rep Firm and we’ve watched in awe as they’ve become our largest account! Having expanded their product range with Media Décor Edge Frames and Moving Art, Terra Outdoor Speakers and the wildly Successful TcFIT for Sonos, Leon has just introduced a unique, high end architectural solution. “DENZA” Furniture-grade on-wall credenza is a stunning piece of cabinetry which hides a potent pair of speakers and more than enough storage space for all of your audio gear. As with all of Leon’s offerings, customization of color and finish isn’t just recommended: it’s encouraged! Looks like Leon has another winner here.

Anthony and Dylan visit JL Audio

At the end of March, Dylan and I visited the JL Audio facility in Miramar, Florida. (You can find our travelogue on Facebook) To say this company impressed us would be an understatement: over 250,000 square feet of factory and office space is packed with high-tech machinery (much of it developed in-house) and hundreds of devoted employees. We have a newfound appreciation for the magnitude and professionalism of the JL operation, as well as the technologies involved in both design and manufacturing of JL Audio products. All of their subwoofers should be much more expensive, and would be if they were built by any other company!

Dynaudio Evoke Shipping NOW

Replacing the Excite series as Dynaudio’s “Bread-and-Butter” product range, Evoke features reimagined, sculpturally beautiful cabinetry and a new series of advanced, purpose-built drivers for the best sound in their class. Priced from $1,199-4,999/pr. Please contact us to find out why Dynaudio is quickly becoming THE Choice of dealers who formerly sold B&W and Focal!

NEW Wisdom Insight On -Walls In The House!

We have received our Rep Samples of Wisdom P2m On-Wall/Bookshelf speakers ($1,700 ea, MSRP), which partner the superb PMD (Planar Magnetic Driver) from the Sage ICS7a with a custom-made 5” woofer. Along with the larger P4m ($2,200 ) and S10 Subwoofer ($1,700), this new range combines the standards-setting sound quality for which Wisdom is renowned with amazing versatility: the P2m and P4m can be used as either an on-wall or Bookshelf speaker and mounted either vertically or horizontally, while the S10 sub works as upward-, downward- or side-firing. For applications where placement options are limited, these new models are real problem-solvers! Please feel free to stop by our offices for a visit and demo.

Cambridge Audio’s Alva: A Turn for the Better

Cambridge Audio’s first turntable is here, and it’s a winner!

Named in honor of Thomas Alva Edison, this turntable combines cutting-edge technology with serious audiophile credentials including a Direct-Drive motor, massive platter, one-piece diecast aluminum arm, high end moving-coil cartridge and built-in phono preamp. Alva ($1,699 MSRP) is the world’s first turntable equipped with Bluetooth aptX HD for wireless, High Definition connectivity. Streaming or hard-wired, Alva brings the joy of world class analog to any system!

“Teach Your Salesmen Well”

By | Anthony's Blog

“Teach Your Salesmen Well”

Why Manufacturers Need Product Training Programs

It has been a few months since I’ve posted a blog but Friday night, during a two-hour conversation with Richard Vandersteen, I was inspired. (Richard has a way of inspiring people!) We were talking about the fact that finally, after eight miserable years, 2-channel business seems to be making a comeback. Problem is, most of the old-time salesmen with a deep understanding of sound and equipment have either retired or uhhmmm… died. And since the audio business has been on life support for the past few years, dealers haven’t exactly been offering vast sums of money to entice a new generation of qualified HiFi salesmen.

As a result, we’re now confronted with a situation whereby consumers once again want to buy high end audio but there aren’t many individuals qualified to sell it. As the remaining “Old Guard” retailers (…and hopefully a few new ones!) gear up to court a new crop of stereo customers, they’re going to have to staff their showrooms with salespeople. But, since HiFi is, at best, an “Esoteric” discipline, the salespeople with which we’re likely to wind up might be experienced at selling Luxury Goods—cars, watches, pens—but know as much about High End Audio as I do about brevity.

It’s too late for us to do much about it: the industry didn’t incentivize educated young men and women to become professional High End salesmen, so we just don’t have any. Instead, we can draw from a pool of well-groomed, well-spoken luxury goods hawkers, most of whom have never owned a great HiFi and even fewer of whom know what makes a HiFi great. The challenge becomes training these newbies so that their audio knowledge approaches their sales ability.

So, who’s going to train these guys? Dealers will have to provide some instruction, magazines will be helpful and the customers themselves will offer guidance but it won’t be enough. And then, it occurred to me: this is the ideal opportunity for manufacturers to offer training as a means of gaining an advantage on their dealers’ sales floors!

In terms of audio knowledge, these “New Recruits” are a blank sheet upon which manufacturers can write their stories…and boost their sales. Let’s say a dealer offers three brands of loudspeakers. If only one of those three vendors offers sales training, you can bet that—all things being equal—the brand that trains will sell best. Dealers will welcome this service, as their training resources have always been marginal (dealers have historically hired enthusiasts who came to the industry with strong product knowledge). Problem is, very few manufacturers have developed comprehensive training programs. This should be easy enough to remedy and the benefits, as described, are obvious.

The lesson here is simple: product training is good business. The first vendors to develop training programs will be the most successful. Let’s get to work!