Updated: Dec 10, 2019
I started the little audio company for a number of reasons. One of those was with the intention of offering something a little different - products not available in the local or surrounding areas. This reason alone has numerous aspects...
Firstly, the obvious one - you get to see products that you otherwise wouldn't get to see or hear within, in some cases, a hundred mile radius. You don't have to wait for a hi-fi show to be able to even see a product.
Secondly, walk into any number of random hi-fi stores around the country and you're generally met with the same brands, over and over again. That's like walking into a number of different supermarkets, only to be met with the same brands of run-of-the-mill cheeses or wines, and a very limited choice at that. Sometimes it's nice to experience something different.
Thirdly, and this is one that has surprised even me - there's a world of alternatives out there that are competitive in every single way to any award winners you care to mention. And not only do they compete on sound quality terms, they also compete in the value for money stakes, as well as build quality.
Let's take one product example. Loudspeakers under £1,000. In the past, there was only ever about three products I would have paid out my own money for - KEF LS50, Q Acoustics Concept 20, and Sonus Faber Toy. The latter are long since discontinued, so that list is now down to two. But when you don't have access to alternative brands, you're not aware of the Ophidians and Amphions of this world, to name but two. The latter designs and builds speakers in their own country of Finland from just £480 per pair, and British manufacturer Ophidian designs and build speakers in the UK from £695 per pair - how many British speaker manufacturers can claim that nowadays!
Much of my listening over the past few months has been with these types of speakers. Whilst they may not be the size of wardrobes, they're no slouch when it comes to the size of the three dimensional image they produce, the micro details they're able to unearth from the signal, their transparency, their speed, and bass is unbelievable for their size. Things really have moved on.
So next time you're thinking of an upgrade, do a little bit of research - there could be the perfect little gem out there just waiting for you to discover it...
davidf @ the little audio company