Monday, May 16, 2016

Brigadiers Audio Debut at the Newport Show!

"All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

If you've been following this blog you'll know I went to Sydney last summer and worked with my mates Brad Serhan and David Allen to perfect an already freakishly good two-way monitor called, at the time, the Compact. I had them playing at my house for the first six months of 2015, and then I packed them up and spent 20 hours at 35,000 feet in order to return them and offer my opinions. I spent the next three weeks with Brad, David and their partner Morris Swift and sat in a big comfy chair while they played around with resistor values, speaker positioning and other strange design rituals. By the time I returned to the US, the newly-christened Brigadiers BA2 monitors were performing at an incredibly high level of fidelity.

I started off this Down Under Audio project of mine right here in this blog with the somewhat lofty and delusional title "In Search of the Perfect Two-Way." I'm not going to be all sappy and say this speaker is it--as Judy Spotheim of SpJ Turntables told me, there is no such animal as a perfect two-way--but I did give the brigadiers my blessing with the declaration that I could buy the BA2s and be happy for the rest of my life with them.

Since I left Australia last September, Brad and David and Morris have continued to work hard to make the BA2 and its bigger brother, the BA1 floorstanding loudspeaker, a commercial product. They've tweaked it even further to get as close to sonic perfection as they could, and then started demonstrating these two models to dealers all over Australia. Within weeks they nabbed several dealers, who in turn found homes for all the existing stock. I didn't hear from Brad and David for many weeks--they were too busy building speakers and filling orders.

Now that the Newport Show is quickly approaching, the BA2 is ready for its debut in the US. Colleen and I will be pairing the BA2 with our favorite amplifiers from PureAudio of New Zealand. We'll be using a high-quality analog rig (TBA) as well as cables and power management from Furutech, as part of our Down Under Audio presentation. You'll be able to hear the Brigadiers Audio/PureAudio/Furutech combo in Room 1012 at the show, right next door to the Axis VoiceBox S and REDGUM Audio room we'll also be hosting.

Again, the whole idea of Down Under Audio is this: Australia and New Zealand have always had a lively and active audio industry that has offered some great brands over the years. We're talking Plinius, Duntech, Whatmough, Orpheus, Perraux, Continuum, Halcro and more. But aside from one or two of those brands, Down Under Audio has kept a very low profile over the last decade or so. While in Sydney I heard great system after great system in dealers such as Len Wallis Audio and Knox Audio. In the last couple of years, I've heard plenty of stellar products from Australia and New Zealand such as the Axis VoiceBox S loudspeaker, the REDGUM Audio RGi35ENR integrated amplifier, the Audio Union Helix turntable, The Wand tonearm, the Antipodes music server and, of course, the amazing amplifier line from Gary Morrison and Ross Stevens of PureAudio.

If I accomplish anything in the audio industry, I want it to be this. All of this gear is phenomenal. I know I represent much of it and it's my job to promote it and market it and sell it. But here's the thing. I've got a birthday coming up, number 54, and as David Allen said to me back in Sydney, "Let's face it, we're not getting any younger." The context of this comment was that most of us have been in the audio industry for a very long time, and it's time to do something special. We're not talking about making a bunch of money and retiring to our own tropical paradises, because we should have picked a different market segment to do that in. No, we just want to do something of value, something truly good and worthwhile. Quite frankly, I'm all in.

So come to room 1012 at the Newport Show and listen to these wonderful speakers. A lot of good people are putting their hearts and souls into these products. Sure, that can be said for most of the rooms at any hi-fi show. We all believe in the magic of putting beautiful music into people's lives. But I've been into audio since 1975, when I used money from a paper route to buy a Kenwood receiver, AR loudspeakers, a Dual turntable and a Shure V-15 Type III cartridge and I was deliriously happy. And turning people on to sound production of this caliber also makes me deliriously happy as well.

See you at the show!

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