Friday, June 26, 2015

Australia Bound?

One of the first things I've learned about Australians from dealing with them is that modestly is a always a prerequisite. I've always generalized Aussies as outgoing, fun and full of brio, and a little braggadocio seems par for the course. But no. Patting yourself on the back, tooting your own horn and otherwise propping yourself up in front of your mates is considered very poor form.

That's why it's been so difficult, and amusing, to convince Brad Serhan--the Australian speaker designer known for Orpheus Audio, the Axis VoiceBox and much more--that his speaker designs are something quite special. We've been good friends for a long time, but it's only been over the last couple of years that I've become familiar with his designs--which, of course, led us to represent Axis VoiceBox (pictured above) in the US. Every time I talk about how much I enjoy his designs, he gets all aw, shucks with me and acts a little embarrassed. But despite our friendship, I still truly and objectively dig his speakers.

Brad and I have something in common--we both love two-way monitors. We both love the simplicity, the coherence and lack of complicated crossover networks that are common with most premium two-way speakers. For the last few months I've been evaluating one of Brad's new designs--a very ambitious and well-executed two-way tentatively called the Brigadiers Audio Group (BAG) Compact loudspeaker, which is pictured below. I'm ready to send this prototype back for some minor tweaking--we want to see how low we can get the lower frequencies in this fantastic design for the US market. Brad and his partner in BAG, David Allen, were all set to send me the larger 2.5 way floorstanding version of the Compact, known for now as the McQuade. Suddenly, I had an idea--instead of paying all of the shipping on these rather heavy speakers, perhaps I could just come to Sydney and help them finalize these two products for market.

I was very surprised that everyone thought I had a great idea!

Let me first tell you about my wanderlust. I've only been out of the country twice--Tijuana back in 1984, and Toronto in 2001. Each international visit lasted less than a day. I got a passport in 2006 for a trip to London that never panned out, and to this day my passport is still a virgin. (I didn't need a passport when I visited Mexico and Canada.) I've traveled extensively throughout the US--I'm currently up to 46 states and only need Alaska, Montana and the Dakotas. But I've been chomping at the bit to travel outside the US ever since we started CCI in 2011. That's right, I'm the importer and distributor of five brands from all over the world, but I've never been off the continent other than the two times I went to Hawaii which doesn't really count, I guess.

So I'm crossing my fingers that this all will happen--at the end of next month. We want my visit to coincide with the Australian Hi-fi Show held in Sydney on July 31 through August 2, and hopefully I will be spending my birthday, August 6, in a land I've always wanted to see. I'm also hoping to meet other new friends while I'm there such as John Reilly (who co-designed and manufactures the Axis VoiceBox with Brad.) I will dub this journey "My Search for the Perfect Two-Way," and I hope I can write plenty about every single moment!


  1. hi marc,
    if you do make it to australia, wellington nz is only 3 hours away.
    i'm sure gary morrison et al would love to see you.
    mike w

  2. And I would love to visit with Gary as well! That's one of the first things I thought about, but I would have to ask the boss.