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A Very Big Year

Greetings to all! 2012 was a very big year for AudioMachina, so big that I am just now finding time to try to catch up on the routine things like the website news posts. Read on….

1. Early in the year, we finally put the polishing touches on our statement loudspeaker project, the Maestro S. It uses a different tweeter than the one shown in the photos on the website (which were taken prior to final version), but otherwise looks the same externally. But do not be fooled by its relatively small size (only 52″ x 12″ x 12″), or its ridiculously low price in comparison with cost-no-object designs from the “big names”; this is simply one of the finest, if not the finest, loudspeakers on the planet at any price. In fact, we openly invite direct head-to-head comparison against any loudspeaker at any price, including those heavily-marketed behemoths in the $200K range. And due to its superb basic design, unlike the other “big name” flagships, it doesn’t need a six-figure amplifier and five-figure speaker cables to make it sound amazing. Just match it with a superb tube-based amplifier in the 200WPC @ 4Ohm range, such as the fantastic new Einstein “The PowerAmp” (or any one of the many other great moderate-power amplifier choices in the $20K-$30K range), along with a reasonable pair of cables, and for a combined cost of under $100K, it is possible to not only rival, but in many ways exceed, the performance of the heavily promoted $400K+ systems. Take the $300K+ you just saved and build the world’s most amazing listening room, and you will be as close to heaven as you can get while still on earth.

2. Late in the year, we finished the design of the newest (and final) member of our incredible CR (Compact Reference) line, the CRL. It was shown on static display at the Tokyo High-End Show in November, and should be introduced fully at the Munich and Newport Beach shows in May. A superb and highly versatile 2-way monitor, it fits neatly into the CR lineup between the astounding little CRM and the amazing CRG. Based on the incredibly musical CRM design, but with nearly twice the internal volume and using the larger 7″ midbass driver from the CRG, it achieves the same wonderful musicality as the CRM, but with significant gains in both dynamic range and efficiency. Used on its own, or paired with the incredible CRS powered subwoofer, it is one of the most satisfying long-term purchases, and one of the best values, in all of high-end audio.

3. And perhaps the biggest news of all: Our new facility is finally occupied and operational, if not fully organized yet…. In late summer of 2011, we bought a beautiful 40 acres high up on a secluded ridgetop in the Rocky Mountain foothills above Fort Collins, with a very nice Japanese-style “Haiku” house. We then spent the next year building a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, including a new “Golden Ratio” reference-quality listening room, finally completing it in the fall of 2012. The basic pieces are in place, and manufacturing has resumed with fairly minimal interruption (although it seems that these days, it’s impossible to get ahead of the backorders), and now we are trying to slowly find time to finish organizing the shop, get the final acoustic treatments into the listening room, etc.

But this is not the biggest news. Perhaps the most amazing accomplishment is that the entire facility, including all manufacturing, is 100% off-grid solar powered! I personally designed the building from scratch specifically for this application, with a huge south-facing 12/12 pitch (45 degree slope) roof, where almost the entire south-facing roof is covered with solar panels, totaling more than 10kW of pure solar output power(!). Combined with a state-of-the-art solar charging system, a substantial (and fully recyclable) battery bank, and several massive paralleled inverters, we have created the world’s first (and only) solar-powered ultra-high-end audio manufacturing facility. When the listening room is fully finished, we will invite customers to visit on an appointment-only basis, and experience our incredible loudspeakers in person, in a very peaceful, serene, and beautiful setting.

Once again, AudioMachina is not only leading the way in technology, quality, and performance, but achieving, yet again, things which the “big names” not only don’t dare to try, but can’t even imagine being possible. Year after year, we quietly continue to push the state of the art forward into places heretofore unimaginable, with breakthrough achievement after breakthrough achievement (SSA, MAPS, TI, and now the world’s first and only solar-powered ultra-high-end audio manufacturing facility), while the “big names” spend their time and money on small incremental changes, and of course, gobs and gobs of marketing and promotion. But when you’re finally ready to get off the “flavor of the month” merry-go-round, and ready for a loudspeaker which is based on an undying and unyielding passion for the sound of real live music, one which will give you true lasting happiness and untold hours of musical joy, we’ll be here, quietly waiting to welcome you.

Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2013!

Dr. Karl Schuemann