2017 is ending with excitement and fun
I am writing this just after our 25th and our Audio Note show. The news hit, it seems hard enough, about where we are about to take this company in new directions, and it seems to me, that folks don't want us to touch those blogs of ours. They are not being touched and were not being touched (mainly because every time I do revisit this issue I come back and change my mind !!), so this time, I will not come back, as blogs are were and are NOT being touched... that is what I meant by the using the word "humanity". We can and must change, yes, but we cannot throw the baby with the bath water either. We just cannot go where we were in our 20 year history of blogging ( the age of our website ) about audio, that's all it means.
1) Our Clearance page is being brought back, its where we will sell our high end exclusively. Start date will be sometime in late January.
2) Another aside (a central one and very important one at that), will be, in our new year, we will be disposing and letting go of using blocks of time for our portfolio of companies. The present busy pace at our shop no longer provides time nor space to allow us to do this. Even my hard head has to acknowledge this. It was long overdue by years, I must admit and it was affecting our clients, something I am no longer willing to do with our new client base.
3) Thirdly on our 25th anniversary, how we would like to thank those wonderful men that visited us today, it was 3 Celcius and a beautiful Saturday and with the pressures of holiday shopping on top of that and still, quite a few still managed to make time to share a few hours absolute fun on what was, for my company, an equally important and fun day. A kind thank you all is in order fella's. I am quite certain my team and I showed our appreciation in kind, and with the comedic and occasionally salty language to boot ;-), noooo, not coming from my mouth... if you believe that guys, I have real estate in Florida ;-)
The "guys" were treated with an Audio Note system that was heard for a 1st time at our location and publically in Canada. I think you folks liked a lot. It was our pleasure fellas.
4) Without revisiting what was said in a prior blog, we are now at the end stage of this years activity. Linn is about to come into play at years end, and it will continue to play in our new year. Then after, we will use an open format on our floor affective 2018, mostly like all other dealers use on their floor.
5) Introductions of Tannoy Products will also come in for our clients to see and hear. Our website will be revisited with no start date in mind, and several key lines are being seen on our sales floor for a first time. Of special note will be new Unison Research, of course new products by Linn and Tannoy, Funk Firm, Trigon, Adcom Audio, and yes Aqua DAC's, these have the reputation as being the top 3 DACS worldwide, with Audio Note and DCS.
And Finally : ) My boys and I are being blown away with the new Monitor Audio Silver series, but the one that takes the cake for us is the Silver 300. We were driving this with an Audio Note OTO, 12 glorious watts and a wicked Cary and Copland source, and the sound was stunning, and Kris and I have heard our fair share of good sound but this one sound took no prisoners... .food for thought.
In this yin and yan year for us all, we here, have seen both in spades. Winter is entering its rightful place, we are just about to get ready to knock off and close for our holidays and all I know is that I have my eye already on next year activity.
Please remember that what I have provided for our client base at this very time will be quicker response times and certainly a more efficient company not bogged down by the disparities of self imposed messiah, preacher and god like complex for great audio in every home ( I am now taking Prozac, my delusions of grandeurs have changed elsewhere, just joking :-).
Its time for someone else to take up those mantles. Placing our love of audio out of business interest and its hands is a good thing at this time. What do I know, I think, after 25 years, its time to give those joys of preaching good audio to someone else.
2018 will be exciting for us folks, and just saying this, should make you feel good, as we are entertaining as one of our dear friends Paul said earlier today... "Luc, we hope that you will remain another 25 years"
We could not have said better ourselves Paul!
A kind thanks for your support for the last 25 years, our measure of success is that we were able to deliver and provide happiness in your lives, its really that simple, and I think we did.
My god, what just happened !!
By the time you will be reading this, our website will have begun going through a crash diet of sorts. We will simply get ready for what we think may well be a terrific year for us in 2018, so it is we have lost some "web weight" and so we will need to offer better and quicker focus for our clients where our website is concerned.
Further changes taking place are that, other than a Linn event in late spring 2018, one organized by us but with Linn running with the ball as it were, we will not have any other shows planned for 2018. Our Audio Note event next year will be sent directly to our friends and clients.
I don't believe there has been a year in our history to finish any years prior, ever, where we started... and finished off like a bat out of hell... the introduction of many new lines and dare I say, some exclusive and high end ones at that.
2017 started with the dismissal of one of our biggest commercial accounts. They have not recuperated the Ottawa marketplace anywhere close to where it was, even after close to 1 year later. We further had suppliers that closed. Where holes are left agape, new companies are willing to fill them out. In 2017, we introduced...
** Copland tube line up,
** Tara Labs cables,
** DRACoustic cables,
** Magneplanar speaker line up,
** ROKSAN Blak and
** Roksan K 3 line ups,
** TRIGON audio (winners of both system of the year awards in POYA 2017, a first)
** the entire line up of Jean Marie Reynaud speakers,
** Funk Firm tables and accessories,
** new and entire Silver series from Monitor Audio that are creating quite the stir,
** new Audio Note levels that come from Lounge376,
** Adcom Audio, where affordable audio is concerned where our younger and not so young clients are concerned,
** the coming back of Tannoy and
** entirely new technology from Linn,
** Unison Research where hybrid technology is concerned,
** new AQUA DAC's, leading edge Italian DAC technology
***... and our 25th anniversary and Audio Note bash. I have left some out, but 2017 was a gradual crescendo in the making... and we have left some off our list. I even had one hand tied behind my back as our family suffered quite the damage with the spring floods.
This being said, despite the damage to our home that we had to cover out of pocket, the commercial investments with my company were massive by all accounts, ask my accountant ;-)
Many new little things have also began to change behind the curtains, most will go unnoticed, some will not. These are a reflections of what we are going through as I write this. For one thing, the under the radar feel I always attempted to pursue with my company, is crumbling before our own eyes. Dare I say, I was able to sustain for 25 years but in the last years, its been a losing battle. Where many knew us outside our own city ironically, I am afraid that we have been generally and finally " discovered " by our own community or back yard. This is provoking the changes before you.
We are testing out new ways of selling on line or on our website with our trades etc. Our Clearance page may come back, but we will see where it goes first with our SPIONLINE. Decisions will be made by the time we leave for our holidays at this level. Our website is always changing, its a breathing thing, and so it will becoming metaphoric once again.
Our POYA 2017 is being delivered in a different manner, and for one last time. Very popular, they have been a mainstay of SPI for about 16 or 17 years, if not 18 years... and a complete free labor of love on my part. In 2014, I truly believed I would end POYA, we even placed 3 prior POYA's on our website in October this year, so our new clients would know what they meant. This years POYA will be sent to our clients, and further, the 2017 edition will be our most exciting but equally it will be our very last. I nearly cancelled this 2017 edition just as I was finishing off writing it, but I decided this was to be done on our 25th date and not before. Now you know.
In a way, we may be using our 25th year to promote new ways to adapt, and deplete things that are no longer necessary in todays world. Shows may be virtually discontinued, our website will reflect a new kind of reality while we try to maintain some humanity, will this kind of reverb that you are reading right now cease (thereby stopping the " open heart " secrets to our competitors), they may well stop as of now. But if this is so, this must be done, so, we can increase our response time towards our clients needs, and the list continues.
These fun and long lasting things we insisted on for our client's and audio in general, do wear on you, and this company is not run by kids with boundless energies. At this stage, we have nothing to prove anymore, to anyone.
Nevertheless, let it be said that it was a exciting year for us all here, but one cannot go through these incredible changes without feeling some measure of discomfort and excitement. Let it be additionally said, is that by the 15th of December, my team and I will be ready to relax and share a glass of red or a Stella Artois with Santa and friends.
Let it not be said, that we do not give our friends and clients (... and competitors ;-) some heads up for what will be happening in 2018.
By December 1st, our benchmark Audio Note system will be fully on display and ready to play our anniversary song as we headstart and head toward our 26th year in business. The last quarter century has been a slice of pleasure and pain that I am happy to share with you all. I am quite certain that my team think the same way as well. Its time for us all at SPI to accept some form of warriors rest and respite of the many realities that were imposed on our own shoulders to prove that audio can be fun. My team and I need to relinquish this platform to someone else, perhaps younger and more vibrant young people.
Please don't read into the above that we are stupid or slow, its just that, we really don't feel this will happen anytime soon, but hope is eternal. For those who wish to meet with me, I shall be at the Montreal show, should there be one. Told you that many changes were happening ;-)
On this momentous and important time and year for my company, my staff that I love and respect to death and I, a Happy and safe Holidays, we will see you back on Saturday January 6th... bottoms up !
Its now officially November 23rd 2017, we met with Linn Products and have worked out an understanding that we will officially fully represent this prestigious company that we have been associated with for well over 20 years for the Ottawa/ Gatineau area. Protocols are now in place where we can deliver Linn goods and products in a much quicker time frame than under our initial July agreement.
The end of the year is near...