Welcome to Tru HiFi's Newsletter - Summer 2014
We are now at our new location. 383 Townsend St Albury.
The location is central to Albury and Wodonga just one block south of Mc Donald's Albury.
If you are coming from Victoria we are just one block east of the Fruit Fly Circus at the roundabout.
Tru Hifi has four sound areas in operation, our large main showroom, a specialist stereo room, a specialist home theatre room and an Audio Visual room. Over the coming months we will be building three new display areas including a state of the art cinema to house the High End cinemas that now don't quite have those lofty high end price tags.
2014 will be an exciting year on many home entertainment fronts. At the convenience end of the market Wireless Audio continues to increase in popularity exponentially with Sonos experiencing embarrassing stock shortages over Christmas. With the exception of their Subwoofer stocks Sonos are beginning to return to normal.
Sound bars have enjoyed a rapid rise in popularity; great new models from KEF, B & W, Cambridge Audio, Paradigm, Bose and others to hit our shores. The disturbing side is the amount of substandard products also available; if it looks too cheap it may only be a minor improvement to your television sound. Not a full entertainment experience. On the serious side of the soundbar market, Sound bars have shrunk the demand for low end AV receivers and with some justification.
Music streamers have been with us for a while; it was not until Cambridge Audio brought out the NP90 three years ago that a well-priced quality alternative to hooking up your computer to amplifier was viable. The Cambridge Stream Magic 6 followed allowing digital inputs and twin 24 bit DACS, over the past few month's products from NAD, Marantz and Denon have made this a very vibrant market. Last Year the Linn Kiko turned heads with a high end compact streaming sound system for around $5,500 and in the past month the Cyrus Lyric 09 will have the pure audiophile rubbing his hands with glee with this single piece of engineering. Not only a fraction of the all separate pricing but coupled with KEF LS50, Sonus Faber Toy's or Swans M3 bookshelf speaker's wow. Studio levels in a compact size has just got a lot closer to many more standard sized living rooms.
Tru Hifi has been able to increase our range of showroom products with the introduction of Primare amplifiers and Anthem AV high current receivers both of these products add further depth to our strong line-up. Tru Hifi has also added the Vincent hybrid Valve Mono blocks, pound for pound an industry bargain. We have expanded the ranges of many of our established brands including our Combination NAD Power AMP coupled with the NAD 150 x 150 Stereo amp at 150 watts x 4 a serious Bi Amp solution, we have coupled with the Swans F2.2 speakers a quiet achiever in Australia in the Ultra Hi end speakers.
All our usual brands continue to shine; Tru Hifi strives to sell products that are marketed at comparative prices to other European or American countries. Most of our products come direct from the importer or factory and as we are not controlled by franchise fees or high marketing formats this usually allows us to quote a world competitive price. It is not the size of the discount; anybody can place an overpriced retail product just to say save 50%. It is what you buy with your money that counts.
Have a great 2014.
Spring 2013 Newsletter
A lot has happened at Tru HiFI since the last news letter.
We introduce Andrew Haberecht to the fold; Andrew Albury born commenced at Haberecht’s Retravision as a Hifi consultant in 1997 and quickly became the two channel expert at the store. In 2005 Andrew was employed by Encel Electronics (an iconic HiFi business in Melbourne) within a short time elevated to store manager. In 2008 Andrew commenced at Audio Trends in Ringwood, one of Melbourne’s leading all round Audio business as the Custom Install Manager until 2011 when he decided to come back home to Albury to raise a family.
The combination allows us to better manage many of our regional and local projects which we get involved in. The unique opportunity for Tru Hifi we are in the position to offer the Metropoliton offerings including price and translate this to a regional market and regional service, we have covered most parts of regional NSW and Victoria. We talk at your level. In distant locations we often work with local qualified installers or electricians to manage an economical outcome. Albury is within four driving hours from most regional centres far less time than trying to cover the products scattered across the metropolitan landscape.
By creating an appointment, we are aware of your time and commitment to visit and work hard to make the effort worthwhile.
Great News for Tru Hifi: we were awarded Cambridge Audio Hifi Regional Dealer of the Year Award. This award is recognition from one of the fastest growing and major audio companies on the planet, this prestigious award confirms our customer first policy is the correct way to go.
Tru HIFi welcomes a number of new brands to our stable:
Anthem: A high quality well price amplifier brand, Anthem provides a number of additional high end amplification solutions without breaking the bank account. www.anthemav.com
Paradigm: A mid to high end speaker company with ties to Anthem. www.paradigm.com
Sim2 Projectors: Sim2 was part of our original stable until the distribution agency changed hands, Sim2 is for the non compromising customer, and with a shortly to be announced projector we are very excited to the prospect of introducing Sim2 standards to a broader market. www.sim2.com
Primare: We welcome back Primare to the stables, also with a change of distribution in Australia. Primare’ amplifiers have the precision and value to tempt any Audiophile. www.primare.net
Luxman of Japan. This iconic brand is back to the future. Lost to the market for a period Luxman is back, produced in Japan and for the music lover that has an affinity of well engineered electronics. Luxman has lost none of its ability to titillate your senses. Built to last and welcome to Tru Hifi. www.luxman.co.jp/global/
Vincent Audio: With our recent success with Richter and its fabulous Valve amp, awareness for other levels and features became evident; Vincent Audio fulfils the needs without the high ticket price tags. www.vincent-tac.de
Van den Hull – Ultra High End Cables was a logical inclusion, cables matter when you move into serious audio and visual. While a lot is made for and against cables (the negative usually caused by guys trying to inflict over priced cables on budget sound systems). When you’re serious about your sound then you should be serious about your cables.
Panamorph Lens: Home theatre systems are a serious business and with high end projectors and 2.35:1 screens becoming more affordable. It is possible to package a 2.35:1 Screen THX standard 3D projector coupled with an anamorphic lens for less than the price of the projector alone of three years ago.
I have had the opportunity to spend time with Gilad Tiefenbrun, Managing Director of Linn Products www.linn.co.uk. This Scottish based company principally remembered for the turntable that changed the world the LP12, Linn has worked feverishly on producing a better way for music reproduction other than CD (not to mention the other compressed sources). Linn has typically been for the purist ,that asks about the investment cost later. The trickledown effect a couple of years ago was a product called the Kiko and while we put the unit on the floor we had trouble finding a category to place it in. I now get it and hopefully you will too. Having just auditioned some of the high end products and wowed by the sonic realism, I went back to the Kiko and listened to its performance. The sonic realism was there albeit for a smaller room environment. Then the penny dropped there is no category for the Kiko it stands alone. If you are downsizing, want audiophile sound that allows you to interface with your television and enjoy the best audio streaming has to offer for around $5,000 this is the choice for the retiree. Simply a five star product.
Much more is happening at Tru Hifi, from home integration, assisting in matching home solutions from integrating existing electronics to planning for the future, we have by stealth rapidly becoming experts in wireless applications and connectivity, and with all the new products that have suddenly seen the net as if it has always been there, it has created a new set of challenges in each new product. Working across a very wide range of products is a Tru Hifi advantage enabling us to enhance your home system to match your requirements.
Look forward to meeting you at Tru Hifi.
Tru HiFi's Winter 2013 Newsletter
Tru Hifi announces many new brands to our impressive stable. Tru Hifi is based in Albury – Wodonga to cater for the regional market; the benefit Tru Hifi has access to more brands and products than most of our city counterparts. Competitive buying, lower regional overheads and our experience, we have now had over 80% of our clients visiting our store from outside Albury – Wodonga.
Our New brands include:
Focal: One of the World’s finest Speaker companies from France. For more please click on Focal.
Musical Fidelity: From the UK, Musical Fidelity set benchmarks in amplification technology and hardware reproduction. For more please click on Musical Fidelity.
Krell. Amplification brand of impeccable performances. For more please click on Krell.
Goldring: Cartridges and Accessories. Great Value Phono accessories. For more please click on Goldring.
QED: makers of award winning cables. For more please click on QED.
Music Hall: A European produced two channel company including the Famed Turntables.
Stax: Tru Hifi has some great headphones available, the missing link was Stax. The reference grade product is sheer class. . For more please click on Stax.
Paradigm Speakers: A Canadian manufacturing company of Speakers. Is a mid to high end premium Speaker Company of impeccable manufacturing standards. For more please click here.
Vienna Acoustics: One of Europe’s passionate premium speaker manufacturers. From Vienna Austria they bring a new dimension to Tru Hifi. For More Click on Vienna Acoustics.
Primare: Primare changed distributers in Australia last year, this is more a welcome back to Tru Hifi we missed you. For more Click on Primare.
Triangle: Loudspeakers from France. For more click on Triangle.
Sometimes our newsletter can be a good place to vent some frustrations. In a previous life I had the opportunity to retail coordinate Australia’s Audio association, and having interviewed most of Australia’s retailers that I can feel for some of Steve’s Rants on this web site from Eastwood Hifi in Sydney. Having moved back into retail, it surprises me that so many people just take the web as gospel or a part time incentive laced sales person in a department store as an absolute form of authority.
Most specialist retailers are prepared to sit down and use their knowledge to develop a system that best suits your needs and budget, not work out how I fit this product I have 50 of out the back to that person. In returning back to the retail field approximately 25% of our time is taken up in trouble shooting or rectifying poor choice decisions, it sometimes explains why we often have relatively new trade in products for sale, good equipment often sold for the wrong purpose.
To explain what you may be faced with, HiFi split in to two divisions. The main game is very competitive with the brand that can develop the best performance, and build it to the build quality while remaining competitive. This market is extremely competitive from both the manufactures and the retailers so quite often the pricing the item is promoted at is close to the price you pay.
The other end is sometimes labelled “Home Theatre in a Box market”. These products enjoy being “On Sale” 365 days of the year, based on so called off retail price. What does not help the customer is the very same brands that produce Hi end audio products, will source products at the lower end to cater for the consumer that purchases on the decision I got a good deal and got 50% off. It is very possible to get some real gems amongst the budget market; A Hifi specialist will probably have a better idea on identifying those gems.
Your sound system should be a team that is correctly matched, a common issue we are faced is the customer will purchase a well featured amplifier for price or size of discount off not how it will perform with the chosen speakers, then to ensure it will perform, purchase cables at up to ten times the calibre than was necessary, by reallocating the money it is probable you would have a better amplifier for the same money where you would actually hear a difference. The quality of cables do matter, it’s a waste of money to buy cables that suits a $10,000 system when you just spent $3,000. Having vented my spleen the real world of audio is still enjoying new levels of performances in the price ranges most music lovers can afford, even with the change of the Australian dollar pricing is unlikely to be affected for at least three to six months.
Tru HiFi's Autumn 2013 Newsletter
It is now the end of summer and time to head indoors to the home entertainment system. Change has been plenty over the past three months and while the temperature outside is cooling the heat in the competitive part of the market has gone to another level.
One such company I reacquainted my self was with Derek Pugh’s Inta Audio Derek I go back to 1972 with him when he first imported Sonab from Sweden. Derek has teamed up to be part of the progressive new outlook of Richter. I introduced Richter to the store just before Christmas fine tuned some pricing with some assistance from the new team and now we have a very competitive Australian speaker company, claims linger that the Richter Wizards are still Australia’s biggest ever selling speaker of all time from an Australian speaker company (Richter is certainly the most awarded), regardless of this a world competitive speaker exists. I know this competitive decision has upset some fellow HiFi stores; It is more frustrating having a great product that does not sell because it does not compete favourably on value for money. Richer has now gone one step better with the timely release of a valve power pre amplifier combination with an on-board DAC. The best of both worlds in one tidy package, at a very competitive $1799 this is a very worthwhile audition. Ask about the special April to June offer www.richter.com.au .
The game changer for 2013 and one that will be hard to top is Sonos and the release of the Playbar. Not another soundbar in a market trying to capitalize on stingy television makers aiming for lower power consumption figures. Sonos is a game changer to commence you could just start with the Playbar, this 9 speaker 9 amplifier sound system at only 900mm long and 85mm high punches out the performance that $999 appears good sound value. The game changer is the combining of the existing Sonos equipment for wireless multirooming, adding a wireless subwoofer and two wireless speakers to receive a surround sound system that makes many well marketed surround sound systems embarrassed. Follow the video this is one product that exceeds expectations and most of all any member of the household can use it www.sonos.com.au
New for 2013 are the AV receivers for Cambridge Audio. Cambridge Audio is one of the brands that have been under the radar for many years, over the past couple of years they have won some of the industry’s highest accolades. The receiver series will earn this right (if the reviewers understand the logic in the models). Cambridge Audio has built internally a top end musical amplifier with toroidal power supplies, solid compact casing and a very functional operation. Four models now grace the floors starting from $799. Yes for the price of many two channel receivers comes the Cambridge with all the digital connectivity.
Although released late last year the new line of Sonos Faber Venere speakers were only introduced this month. I have stated for the past fifteen years my personal choice of speakers is Sonus Faber with floorstanders more expensive than many motor cars like the Ferrari it’s an aspirational thing.
The Vener’s are produced in China under very strict supervision from Sonus Faber (most leading speaker companies try to hide the fact that there speakers are manufactured in China, it is no longer an issue). Now a floor standing speaker at $3,495 that looks like the better $10,000 models, how does it sound? We are excited. This speaker package will find many new homes from not only the stereo buyer but the newly developing music listener purchasing surround sound packages. We have set up the Vener’s Speakers with the Denon’s AVR 4250 receiver and REL T7 subwoofer. Tru HiFi now has two high end Value for money packages the other set up with the Swans F2.2.(these speakers are probably the best sonic buy in the country if your budget allows you)
Our customers keep coming from all over with now over 80% of our custom now coming from out side Albury. We endeavour to address your needs in an easy to understand and uncomplicated manner, we offer both alternative product line-ups, yes there are two; the engineered high discount product line-up usually nicknamed as home theatre in a box. The range is for the budget conscious and first time entrant that desires a product above the all in one packages, we cut through the artificial retail prices so you can compare fairly apples with apples. And the product line-ups that are generally working with second or third generation customers that can more readily identify value for money as distinct to a highly marketed product, this end of the market is focused more on performance and build quality over price alone.
Tru HiFi has the advantage, book a time with Geoff over 43 years continuously in the HiFi component industry, our regional base for low overheads, access to most products in the industry.
We compete with all authorised new product authorised retailers in Australia and many more from overseas. Tru HiFi is a fully independent retailer and not part of any franchising network.
Tru HiFi’s Summer 2012-2013 Newsletter..
Summer has arrived and Tru HIFi is gaining more and more momentum with our leading range. The recent Sound and Vision Awards held in Sydney vindicated our choice of products we have on the showroom floor.
Tru Hifi is significantly more than this, and we are starting to discover through customer feedback. Our intent was to become the destination store for regional New South Wales and Victoria who in many cases only had the choice of Harvey Norman, JB Hifi or the Good Guys, most regional stores only carry the economy models, which is like a $10 bottle of Penfolds good and reliable but hardly what the company's reputation is built around.
This is where we step up to the mark, with the selection available to us from our virtual store and our cherry picked floor range our clients are now coming from Melbourne and Sydney which was the last place I expected them to come from. It has been pointed to me out that you can spend less time making an appointment, and teaming with a knowledgeable and experienced consultant. This saves time going from suburb to suburb and ending up more confused. We maintain a match or better most on line prices.
I would like to talk about some of the new models we have set up on display. This year we have seen the premium receivers all step up with great offerings from the value priced THX ONKYO TXNR1010, Additional features from Yamaha’s RX-A 3010 receiver, NAD’s drive almost anything NAD T975, Marantz’s new range now adding Spotify to the airplay feature of last year. Our choice went to the Denon AVR 4250 receiver to marry up with the new THX 3D projector from Epsom the timely release of the EHTW9100 over the Epsom EHTW9000w comes just as Panasonic and Sony were closing the gap. It was not that long ago $15,000 could not have purchased this standard of projector that you can purchase for less than $4,000. If you were tempted to one of the new 80” panels and want a true cinema look and feel The Epsom EHTW9100 high brightness projector may change your mind.
No category has changed as much as the speaker market. The big game changer is the success of KEF’s L50 bookshelf speakers, I cannot recall one model of speaker winning the UK, European and Australian speaker of the year in their category. This Anniversary model has taken the heart out of the $35,000 KEF Blades and made it a stunning bookshelf model. The news keeps coming TRU HiFi have become the national showroom for the Swans F2.2 loudspeakers. Swan are the engine room behind many premium speaker brands as Swans manufacture all the speaker components themselves and place themselves amongst the world’s largest speaker manufactures. Tru Hifi has made a commitment to the Ultra Hi end market to make it significantly more affordable. Read Ed Kramers review. We have made the F2.2 even more attractive than $12,000 a pair due to some cost savings. http://www.avhub.com.au/index.php/Product-Reviews/Hi-Fi/swans-f22-loudspeakers-review-and-test.html
Talking about the right price Tru Hifi has just appointed Richter Speakers to our stable we had not put an Aussie Hifi company on, not through quality issues it is more that the imported speaker are around 20% cheaper than a few years ago.
The deal we have with Richter is the Dragons that were $2399 are now $1999 and the Wizards that were $1999 are now $1699 and we pay the freight. Richter is Australia’s most awarded speaker company with 27 industry and government awards including the converted Sound and Vision best speaker award for best speaker under $4000 for the Wizards in 2011 – 2012. This is the same awards KEF won this year.
The Linn Kiko is quickly becoming the absolute audio product for the digital age to suit a smaller room environment. The Linn Kiko oozes quality without the Linn price tag.
Sonos the wireless audio option has upped the ante for Christmas with a free bridge when you purchase the Play 3 or Play 5, it was not that long ago it would set you back $1117 to set up a Play 5 now it is less than $600. We have evaluated the new Sonos copy products and still convinced Sonos is still the best wireless product in the market.
We are working on a low cost two channel solution for the customer that does not have an Apple PHD, still prefers simple on off and start. We are happy to sit down and work with some low cost alternatives that have become available.
Tru Hifi provides all the Audio Trends for your next Digital Cinema and HiFi stereo, Tru HiFi has some of the best audio connections in the AV Australian market. Tru Hifi is independent from franchise fees, buying group or peer pressure appointments. Tru Hifi pays no commission on sales, coupled with our lower regional overheads we can deliver on matching or bettering most on line offers while still providing full service.
Look forward in seeing you,
Tru HiFi’s Spring 2012 Newsletter..
(note all links open in a new window)
Spring has sprung and the dreary days are behind us, we take an extra leap at Tru Hifi with new appointments, new models, several new announcements of more competitive models and the world returning to quality audio now in full swing.
We have many new models to talk about in the market place, and it is difficult to know where to start.
Cambridge Audio have introduced many new models the most notable being the Combination 851A and 851C this combination is a redesign of a very popular series. We now call the premium CD player and Digital Preamplifier, come 384K up sampler with twin 24bit DACs that just happens to play CD’s very well.
To match this product the 851A Amplifier has had a significant upgrade with the combination taking out the award of the “Best Two Channel System 2012 -2013” EISA award. Europe’s most prestigious award. http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/851A_tech_spec.pdf
Almost overshadowing the 851 package is the revolutionary product called stream magic. Now as an all in one Cambridge have a product that streams from your computer, plays 96 24 files via USB, plays Internet Radio, Plays streaming services and that is not all it than feeds this information to twin 24 bits wolfson DACs. We saw the highly acclaimed NP30 take out award after award without a DAC built in. Cambridge has just raised the bar before most have got to the NP30.
Tru Hifi has just Introduced Linn to our stable. Linn is one of the world’s most exquisite products. Not only do they provide the World with some of the finest products money can buy, but the cutting edge development is changing the world on how seriously we treat digital musical sources. Linn changed the World in 1973 with the LP12 turntable and made a turntable a serious sound source. Watch this amazing privately owned Scottish company. Linn’s new product Kiko now on display at Tu Hifi will change the world for its affordability, streaming performance, compactness and most of all the fantastic acoustic performance even in a small acoustically challenged room.
Tru Hifi and Swan have enjoyed a close relationship for some time. Recently we were asked to be the showroom for the fabulous F2.2 loudspeakers. These are no ordinary speakers and represent one of the industries bargains. If you are interested in serious speakers and have deep pockets ($12,000) we know these speakers match it with most models in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. Tru Hifi has cut out most middle man and promotional costs in an effort to make this available to many more homes. On listening to these speakers they will satisfy anybody seeking really top end sound with a brilliant depth of bass. (If you are interested at this level I have a very special offer available).
A new series from Denon is currently unfolding. The new series now adds Air Play to the second Zone and the Award winning triple zone AVR 3312 has been replaced by the AVR 3313 which incorporates 3 HDMI outputs. This receiver in the previous series was the bench mark sub $2,000 receiver now with a higher level of video scaling, better zoning. More details from What HiFi’s intro.
We wait for the Denon AVR 4250 premium Receiver the AVR 4250 will replace the AVR 4311 receiver and it will still be produced in Japan. The AVR 4250 is designed as a long life model just as the AVR 4311 was and even now the AVR 4311 is still the one others are judged against.
Our story with KEF just continues to grow and grow. KEF a UK based company has an alliance with the south east Asian company Gold Peak who already had Celestion speakers and a very large share of the professional audio market. KEF renowned for the Reference cutting edge speaker standard and design partnered with Gold peak to capitalise KEF into a world power. KEF has some of the world’s finest audio engineers and now the budget to develop. KEF now has manufacture and distribution costs in a competitive way allowing a revolution in speaker design, performance and affordability. Last year KEF took out many main awards with the T series bringing the world a compact audio source that blends nicely with today’s televisions and performs like nothing we had heard in a small package. Tru Hifi has just received the 50th Anniversary model LS50 like the Cambridge 851 has taken out the EISA award 2012 – 2013 in this case for the loudspeaker award. A direct trickle down of the $39,000 KEF Blades these compact sub $2,000 speakers will find many new homes.
Tru HIFi is a totally independent retailer working with low overheads serving regional Australia (based in Albury – Wodonga) we pay no franchise or marketing fees, and have most available audio and premium visual products, including the majority of brands imported by Melbourne and Sydney retailers. Tru Hifi matches or betters almost any on line prices and more importantly you can create your own appointment with Geoff of almost 45 years of HIFI experience. Geoff has sold and used over 120 different brands in his career. The focus is based on your needs and requirements to best suit your budget, better still make Albury Wodonga your next mini break.