Sounds & Vision: July ’20 Newsletter

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Hello Specialty Sound & Vision Dealers,

Please take a moment to check out our latest newsletter….

 

Pandemic/ What Pandemic?

In his masterpiece “The Waste Land,” T S Eliot wrote “April is the cruelest month….”. He was right: we hit a COVID-induced sales slump in April but business bounced back in May and sales grew again in June. .

Looks like people are investing in their homes and we’re actually ahead of 2019 in most categories, especially reasonably priced, two channel gear. Let’s talk about brands that might work for you.

 

LEON TcFIT Universal Shipping NOW!

Leon’s original TcFIT has been the most successful product in company history. Our new, “Universal” version is poised to reach an even greater audience! A new, adjustable frame (Patent Pending) enables TcFIT Universal to work with all SONOS soundbars, as well as other brands. The ability to custom-match virtually any television and soundbar is a unique and powerful advantage that no other audio company offer. Please contact us for details.

 

Cambridge Awards Keep Coming and Sales Keep Growing!

Cambridge’s value-packed AXA35 Integrated has just been named “Best Budget Integrated” by Gear Patrol while our AXR85 AM/FM Stereo Receiver (we’re one of the few companies that offer these) has been featured in the nationally syndicated “Sound Advice” newspaper column and praised by Journalist Don Lindich “…It’s very satisfying to own and use, and does an especially good job with FM radio. I have recommended the AXR85 to many people who have emailed me for recommendations, and everyone has been very pleased with their purchase.” Thanks Don!

Meanwhile, the CXA81 keeps generating positive reviews, including one from Anthony, who bought an ’81 for his shore house and LOVES it! Meanwhile, Analog Guru Michael Fremer (who has reviewed virtually every state-of-the-art turntable) was mightily impressed by our Alva Bluetooth Turntable and highly recommended it in his “Analog Planet” website.

 

JL Sales Skyrocket

JL Audio subwoofers might not boom but sales sure have! June sales were up approximately 30% versus 2019, which had previously been a June record.

Installer’s Note: JL Audio now offers a 100’ microphone extension cord, which facilitates DARO Calibration when the equipment rack isn’t near the subwoofer. Please order Model CAL-MIC-EXT, sku # 90488

Explore their powered subwoofers »

 

Dynaudio Architectural Scores Big!

Dynaudio’s Performance and Studio series of architectural speakers have been gaining widespread acceptance from NY Metro dealers, including some of the largest integrators in the territory. Sonics, build quality and a useful assortment of models have made Dynaudio Architectural a smashing success. Please ask us why.

Learn more here »

 

Thorens TD 1600 Series Is Here!

Founded in 1883, Thorens is the world’s oldest consumer electronics company and has quickly become one of SSV’s best-selling and fastest-growing product lines.. The company’s new TD 1600 and TD 1601 suspended-subchassis ‘tables evoke the heritage of the classic TD 160 series while delivering state-of-the-art performance. Highly recommended.

 

SBooster: The Ultimate Pandemic Purchase

What if you could transform the performance of ANY product with an outboard “Wall Wart” power supply? SBooster utilizes a massive toroidal transformer and a bank of high quality capacitors to generate pure 60Hz power, free of noise and voltage fluctuation, to massively upgrade any Turntable, DAC, Phono Preamp or other component that relies upon a dinky wall-wart. We’ve tried these on EAT Turntables, EAT and Simaudio Phono Preamps and the results we NOT subtle! At $399, this is a product that’s inexpensive enough to sell all your customers without an audition, and good enough that they’re sure to love it!

Visit Upscale Distribution for more »

 

 

As always, SSV is here to support you!

July’s SSV News…Get It While It’s Hot!

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Introducing Denise Ebanks 

Anthony is proud to announce SSV’s new Office Manager, Denise Ebanks.

Many of you have already spoken to Denise and she’s grown into her new position with surprising speed and skill. A veteran of the motion picture industry, Denise is responsible for the improved aesthetics of our email and Social Media communications. Her mastery of SSV Operations has empowered Anthony to spend more time supporting sales activities. Please join me in welcoming Denise to the SSV Team!

Leon: TcFIT for Sonos Arc Ships Friday!

While we await the NEW TcFIt Universal, Leon proudly offers the Modified Tonecase FIT for Sonos Arc.

Using “C” Bracket Adaptors enables the current-generation TcFIT to accommodate Arc. Depth is 4.85” (5.35 with Grill). Best of all, Modified TcFIT and TcFIT-OS (for TVs exceeding 75” in diameter) are offered at identical pricing to our standard models, $650 MSRP/750 MSRP (for OS)

JL Audio: Free Freight Ends Friday!

Just a heads up that JLA’s “free freight on any order” offer for HOME products will expire at the end of this month (Friday, 31 July 2020). Most dealers are reporting strong Summer business and JL Audio Sales in NY Metro continue to skyrocket. JL sacrificed to support its dealers during the “Lean Months” but as the crisis abates, it’s time to return to business as usual. Dealers with pending sales might want to place one last order by close of business Friday to save with JL’s “free freight” offer.

Trinnov: YouTube Reviews

On his YouTube Channel “Spare Change,” reviewer Shane Lee has posted a series of extremely informative videos, one of which features Trinnov USA Managing Director Jon Herron’s insights regarding future upgrades. Our Thanks to Robert Zohn and Value Electronics for connecting Trinnov with Shane! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwWc8q6ZnIKxMOhcUTFxrVQ

Marten: First Review of Oscar Trio

The first North American review of Marten’s Oscar Series has just been published in Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, and it’s a major triumph! Reviewer Piero Gabucci concludes: “…I always ask myself the same question; could I live with this speaker if it were my last and my answer with the Marten Oscar Trio; wholeheartedly yes! Highly recommended.” Please read the full review:

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/speaker/floor-standing/marten-oscar-trio-loudspeakers-review/

Thorens: Michael Fremer LOVES the TD 1601!

Hot off the press! In the July 15 edition of Analog Planet, vinyl avatar Michael Fremer raves about Thorens’ NEW TD 1601, calling its isolation “Perfect.”  One of the best sub-$10K turntables and a steal at the price! Read it here: https://www.analogplanet.com/content/thorens-td-1601-turntable-it-might-well-be-sprung

 

Good times or bad, SSV is always here to support you! Please let us know how we can help.

Anthony’s Blog – April 2020

By Anthony's Blog

“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”
(Or, how a cast iron pan inspired me to fire up my tube amps.)

Mae West probably never realized how well her innuendo explains the correlation between “High Maintenance” and “High Performance”

I realized this the other day while searing steaks.

When it comes to cooking, I’m a total gearhead. Over the years, I’ve collected dozens of pieces of cookware, many of which, clad in stainless steel, enamel or hard-anodized aluminum, are virtually maintenance-free and cost more than a turntable. But last week, when I wanted to prepare two insanely expensive USDA Prime Ribeyes, I dug out the cheapest pan in my arsenal: a cast iron skillet purchased decades ago for less than $20. In a kitchen packed with pricey pots, this slimy skillet is the ugly duckling: wrapped in plastic, slathered in vegetable oil and crusted by years of high temperature cooking, the thing weighs a ton, takes forever to heat and demands fastidious maintenance. In short, this pan is a pain. So why do I bother?

Anyone who knows cast iron knows that, for preparing a pricey piece of meat or any recipe that requires consistent cooking temperature, no other material comes close; for this reason, experienced chefs suffer the masochistic rituals of care and cleaning demanded by these cheap, ugly vessels. Which brings me to the audio business….

SSV’s offices adjoin our demo room, which houses complete hybrid, tube and transistor stereo systems. Dylan and I typically have background music playing all day and, to keep things simple, our solid state rig is powered-up continually, fed by Qobuz streaming through a world-class DAC and driving one or another pair of statement speakers. Sounds pretty damn fine, especially given the low levels at which we typically listen. Frankly, considering the long hours we spend in the office and the coddling which tubes require, I hadn’t stoked the valve rig in weeks. Until I seared those steaks….

If it had been two months since I connected my tube gear, it had been three since I last grabbed my cast iron skillet…long enough to have forgotten its capability and be amazed by it. After my steak experience, I sought one after another recipe which played to cast iron’s strengths. Not even the annoyances of cleaning and re-seasoning could diminish the mouthwatering memories of charred asparagus, potatoes au gratin and skillet cornbread. Thoughts of which, strangely enough, compelled me to fire up the tube amps.

As with the skillet, music played through the tube system proved an epiphany: bigger soundstage, more fleshed-out images, richer tonal colors, more detailed timbres, well, you get it. Of course, there was the half-hour warm-up, the need (read: compulsion) to check tube bias and all the other chores which had prompted me to embrace solid state in the first place. Eventually, these drudgeries will probably coax me back to transistors but for the moment, I was falling in love with HiFi all over again, so much so that I took the dustcover off the turntable and started spinning vinyl which, despite the need to clean records and styli, clamp and unclamp each disc and jump up every 15 minutes (tougher after the second Martini) to change albums, elevated my listening to an even higher level of palpability and involvement.

Like All-Clad and Le Creuset cookware, Transistor and Digital Audio Gear are virtually flawless: extraordinary performance, low maintenance and ultimate convenience. And yet, despite the hardships—or perhaps, perversely, because of them—which attend tube and vinyl fandom, these ancient technologies offer a connection to the music that modern devices have yet to equal. There’s a bit of “Magic smoke,” those powder-fine details that elevate recordings to reality, that’s lost in the pursuit of convenience but which, once experienced, becomes addictive.

Okay, I’m not crazy and I don’t expect any of you to ditch your modern music systems; on the other hand, I’d commit a disservice if I didn’t emphasize what’s missing as well as what’s not. As Luxury Audio struggles to recover from this pandemic, we’re going to have to sell “Magic smoke.” We’re going to have to demonstrate those subtle-but-tangible differences which make High-End a value proposition and we’re going to have to train customers to appreciate those differences and pay for them.

During the past few weeks, our clients have probably spent more time listening to music and watching movies than they have in the past year. They’ve been enjoying their systems and also, hopefully, noticed “What’s missing.” There has never been a better time to demonstrate the benefits that Luxury Audio can offer connoisseurs. We can either use this opportunity show our customers what we deliver or, like Coronavirus, fade away. Before the sound in our clients’ ears—or, as with that perfectly-seared steak, the taste in their mouths—fades into memory, let’s prove we’re better.

HOW TO MAKE STEAKHOUSE-QUALITY STEAKS AT HOME
Place a cast iron skillet on high heat, coating the cooking surface with grapeseed oil; meanwhile, turn your broiler on. Once the skillet starts smoking (5-10 minutes), gently place the seasoned steaks in the skillet. After 3-4 minutes, flip the steaks, place pan under broiler and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove, transfer steaks to a warm plate, tent with foil and wait 5 minutes…perfection!

Dealer Training Opportunities During COVID-19 Closures

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Specialty Sound & Vision Announces Dealer Training Opportunities During COVID-19 Closures

 

“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…product training!?!”

With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, NOW is the perfect time for you and your team to develop deep knowledge of the products you sell.

We’ve compiled a catalog of training materials for our brands and we’re ready to facilitate trainings for your dealership. If you and your team are looking for worthwhile ways to fill your time, please contact us with your requirements: we’re happy to develop a training geared to your company’s needs.