Rotel Resurrects Revered Michi High-End Brand

In the early 1990s Rotel, already a 20-plus year old company with a rich audio history, announced the release of an all-out attack on the high-end audio space. It launched the now-iconic Michi brand with a limited range of super high quality products featuring advanced circuit designs born from astute engineering and bearing a distinctive Japanese styling (the gorgeous redwood side panels enhanced the elegant lines) married to superb build quality. Now, 30-odd years on, we again see the emergence of the Michi brand with an aim to revive the glory of the nascent products of yesteryear.

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Interview – DEQX’s Kim Ryrie & Alan Langford

Reviewer Barry Jones recently spent some time at DEQX’s Sydney headquarters where he met with Founder Kim Ryrie and General Manager Alan Langford to discuss the company’s rich history, its proprietary digital technologies and highly advanced processors. DEQX’s unique and refined products has seen the digital specialist grow into a powerful force in the digital signal manipulation field.

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“The Best Seat in the House” – Music Night at Sturmans Audio Visual

Bricks and mortar Hi-Fi stores, and the personalised customer service and experience they bring, are increasingly under threat from direct from manufacturer sales, ‘net only marketers and lounge room ‘distributors’ who often have neither the resources nor the know-how to support either the customer or the product. The latter might be big on Facebook but when it comes to crucial issues like component selection, system matching, installation, and tuning, the value of an ongoing face to face relationship for the consumer (and for the manufacturer too) cannot be overestimated. This was ably demonstrated at an event held by Sturmans AV in Wollongong recently.

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MrSpeakers Re-Launch Event in Sydney

As much as the headphone space in the low-to-mid price levels is somewhat oversaturated with products from around the world, the high-end echelons are a freer, more open space, where a few companies are able to stretch the boundaries of technology to create special products. MrSpeakers is one of the latter and from the company’s entry points, right up to the flagship electrostatic headphones, there is umm… loud and clear evidence of very clever engineering.

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Naim & Focal ‘Reloaded’ in Australia

At a trendy corporate functions venue in hip downtown Melbourne, Naim and Focal reaffirmed their powerful presence in the local market via a new partnership with major Australian distributor BusiSoft AV.

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Store Feature – Sydney Hi-Fi Castle Hill

From L to R: Michael Bigley, Owner Goran Sasic & Radiance AV’s Chris Strom

Recently, one of Sydney’s most prestigious audio retailers, Sydney Hi-Fi Castle Hill, underwent an extensive renovation which saw complete refits to the store’s numerous 2-channel and home cinema studios. There was a calling… an enticement too powerful to resist so, camera and audio recorder in hand, SoundStage! Australia marched off to Sydney’s Hills district to delight in the treasure trove of in-house audio joys and catch up with the store’s approachable owner Goran Sasic.

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Audio Solutions Opens Doors to New Bowers & Wilkins Sound Studio

As one of the premier audio specialist stores in Sydney, Audio Solutions should be considered a de rigueur stop for the enthusiast on a journey to audio and music bliss. The store is home to some of the best Hi-Fi on the planet and owners Tony Stantzos and Nick Papas could not be better hosts and whether you’re a curious listener, in for a chat, or on the market with intent burning the proverbial hole, Audio Solutions’ doors are always open.

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SoundStage! Australia’s High End Munich 2019 10 Favourite Exhibits

Once again this year saw High End Munich grow by percentage points indicating that high-end audio is indeed in a healthier state than some would have you think. Numbers across the board – exhibitors, trade visitors and overall attendance – increased by up to 8.6 percent which, when dealing with significant numbers to start with, translates to a substantial shot-in-the-arm for the industry at large. Also importantly, trade visitors came from all corners of the world – 72 countries in fact, according to a report sent to me by High End Munich organisers. And the spectrum of exhibitor offerings ranged across all the ‘disciplines’ of audio, as always. Once again, all those stats pointing to a firm indication of a healthy and resilient industry building further upon its oft-underestimated buoyancy.

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Record Store Day 2019 at Len Wallis Audio

On 13 April 2019, Len Wallis Audio again hosted the holy trinity of Australian audio manufacturers, Döhmann Audio, Les Davis Audio, and Brigadier by Serhan+Swift to celebrate Record Store Day 2019. Record Store Day was originally conceived to celebrate local independent record stores and vinyl culture at a grass roots, community-based level. It has since grown to become an internationally observed, sometimes compulsive Valentine’s Day for records that, for some, is in conflict with RSD’s founding ethos.

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KEF Music Gallery Hong Kong & Huizhou Factory Visit

One of my personal pleasures is in discovering the sub-level trinkets, the minutiae, which are often revealed when being educated on the workings and culture behind multi-faceted audio companies. In the case of loudspeaker manufacturing giant KEF, the revelations at Hong Kong’s elegant KEF Music Gallery and at the company’s advanced Huizhou factory spoilt me for choice, so abundant were the instructive, even enlightening, aspects of its operations. Admirable too was the solid ethos and, infectious, the passion of the people behind the company.

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Sennheiser UAE Event: Exclusive Listen to AMBEO Soundbar

As the lights dimmed inside our room at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai, it started to rain, a crash of thunder followed and then it poured – At least that’s what Sennheiser’s new AMBEO soundbar would have us believe. The rain from the Dolby Atmos demo actually sounded as though it was above us as well as all around us and the rumble of thunder was convincing. The clarity and quality of the spatial presentation was very impressive.

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Store Feature – Sound Gallery, Melbourne

While many enterprises are spawned by ambitious business minds with financial gain being the main driving force, some endeavours are the result of a dynamic individual who has been incentivised to transform a passion into a business’ core purpose. Loving the fundamental business mission, and with a healthy dose of tenacity and acumen hopefully, will result in success and financial comfort. In the case of Sound Gallery, proprietor John Ong’s passion for music, and his sheer drive and pleasure to see others enjoy it too, has resulted in an invitingly cosy and product choice-rich stop where a customer’s audio journey can take a leap forward.

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