Artisanal Audio

‘Who made your sound system?’

Living out West is wonderful. There’s such a choice of organic farmers, craft breweries, coffee roasters, independent restaurants, bars and cafés, we can eat and drink really well. Provenance – knowing where things come from – is a big part of that. My friend Chris at 25A Old Market says he makes the best bacon sandwich in Bristol, ‘and I know the farmer.’

But what about our electronics at home? Those seem to be semi-disposable, with small speakers that cost less than a meal out and are replaced as often as mobile phones.

Do you know how and where they were made? And although your new little speaker works with your phone and Spotify, it’ll go obsolete before it breaks, and then you’ll buy another one. Does it perform anywhere near as well as your first proper stereo did? Almost certainly not.

If you keep changing things, you keep throwing things away...

There is a better way.

The other day I updated our old, but good, stereo in the playroom with an inexpensive, up-to-date music streamer. Now it has Spotify, online radio and all our music, even though it’s over ten years old – and sounds much better than a so-called smart speaker.

The same applies to Home Cinema – why not enjoy real surround sound from a system that will last for years, hand-built by highly skilled, well-paid craftspeople who love their jobs. Proper high-performance speakers and subwoofers should all last for many years.

On that, we spoke to Paul Cummin, MD of our key supplier Artcoustic UK who make fantastic speakers for both music and films:

‘Our speakers are designed to perform for years, and are handcrafted at the Artcoustic factory in Europe. The warranty is five years, but our speakers last far longer – they almost never fail and can always be serviced. If you buy the right thing in the first place, you’ll get a far better experience, long-term value and it’s so much kinder in terms of our natural resources.’

Artcoustic Target SL Loudspeaker in F&B Stiffkey Blue colour match finish

The other way to be really sure things live a long time is engage a properly trained professional to specify the system. Amplifiers and speakers should be sitting happily within their ranges for power and output, not pushed as far as they can go – that’s a sure-fire way to break things.

Your favourite music and films make a huge contribution to your emotional wellbeing. Why not do them justice?

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