I am foodie as well as a tech head who loves to talk about the greater aspects of all things that should be public. I am more about the good than the bad and ugly and I thought it was time to go public with what I deem to be sensational.
Published December 19th 2013
By now you have probably noticed that I will really will only write about stuff that should be spoken about - not hated on, it seems the internet is filled with how people have had such a bad experience here or there, not enough people who love things are vocal about them.
I spent various weekends looking for speakers for my house, soon to realise that I needed amps, wiring etc etc etc. My experience was over a few years, but finally I can safely come to a conclusion. I will tell you why Rab and his crew at Carlton Audio Visual are the best hifi guys in Melbourne.
I have always loved sound, great quality sound, however sound is one of those technologies that you simply just cannot measure that easily and it is very hard to benchmark, it's not an iPhone where fashion prevails over sensible technology and you pick the white one over the red one and it also is not a technology where a higher price does not always mean a lot better; a higher digital spec also does not always mean a better sound.
Buying speakers based on specs would be like buying a car based on specs. I mean you would not buy a car, without touching it, hearing it, smelling it, feeling it – driving it. Still some people buy computers by just digital specs on paper, if that was how technology was measured you could buy a macbook spec equivalent machine for $500 in a PC and technically be happy with the hardware you just bought as a $500 PC does have what a $1300 Mac has.
So sound must be heard, and it must be complimented and matched up with the individual components correctly.
Now try this at JB, and you will fail, not only has the speaker range disappeared, so have all the people that used to know stuff. The people working at these mass large format retailers are box readers, they don't love what they sell or know anything about it, plus you can get their prices anywhere as well nowadays. I don't want to go on about how bad the others were, but would rather talk about Rab and his crew and what they did and you can decide yourself.
Rab, upon hearing my set-up said, how about I come out? I said sure, after an hour there, he was pretty clear and certain about what was needed, while he was respectful of my budget, he made sure he didn't blow my money in the wrong places.
I was having problems with the progress of the build so I left it there. To save some money, my sparkie agreed to do the wiring for me, based on Rab's quick wiring guidelines, I bought the cables from him, and they were not more than anywhere else in price, just better. The gauging was perfect. The layout was given. Normally Carlton Audio Visual will do all of this stuff for you, however they were more keen on getting me up and going rather than anything else.
Fast forward two years (yes it took this long) I still did the audio rounds going from place to place looking at speakers. The situation at the "others" had only gotten worse. I knew my last stop would be Carlton Audio Visual. I thought, let's do this. The guys recognised me, which was incredible and the next few hours were a ball.
We played around with speakers, in some of these offset side showrooms which are separated by a restaurant, I needed around 10 speakers, a projector, screen amps etc. Rab was honest, rather than make me spend $500 on a pair of speakers he showed and advised on speakers half the price, saving me thousands in total. All of this was backed with working proof and samples.
I was even treated to listen to a pair of $120,000 speakers, for the life of me however I could not tell, see or understand why they were so special, but hey, that's audio.
I dropped my money, got my speakers, they are now installed and sensational, I was recommended these Aaron speakers which are made by a local Australian company, hats off too those blokes as well. Aaron apparently are a mid to high end local manufacturer that works with boutique dealers. I like.
I need new amps and a projector and will be returning shortly the guys on Lygon.
While we were waiting for the stuff to come out to the front, we grabbed some lunch at the Thai Lemongrass restaurant next door. Let's just leave it at that, I will keep true to my blogging promise and not review places not worth mentioning.
I was helped to the car, given loads more advice and discounts, and even a free set of speakers to try.
Thank you to the best audio crew in Melbourne, go past if you want some mid to high end equipment, you will not be disappointed.