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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!

Stereophile LOVES PrimaLuna’s ProLogue Premium Power Amp!

By | Reviews

Stereophile LOVES PrimaLuna’s ProLogue Premium Power Amp!

In the November, 2016 issue of Stereophile, just released, reviewer Herb Reichert raves about the PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium Power Amplifier.

His conclusion: PrimaLuna’s ProLogue Premium has become my new reference for low-power, high-value amplification. Class A sound at a Class C price” It doesn’t get any better than that!

The Fun begins on Page 83: please check it out!