When we decided to debut our company at the inaugural LA Audio Show in June of 2017, people told us we were crazy, delusional, out of our bleeping minds, and they were probably right… but sometimes a little crazy in your diet can be a good thing.
“How can you expect to compete with other multi-million dollar brands who sale $100,000+ speakers?” “Who do you think you are?” We’ve heard this response more than once, and our answer is this:
We believe we have something to offer. More importantly we believe we have something worth offering. It’s who we are, and we don’t know how to be anything else. When we first embarked on this journey we invested two years of research and development upfront until we finally had a pair of speakers that we felt the world needed to hear. They were the Brezza Savant, our model one. Now, if you have ever listened to someone pitch a pair of loudspeakers you know that everyone’s pitch sounds the same, and everyone has the best speakers in the world… and we knew words wouldn’t do our sound justice. We didn’t want to waste our breathe telling people about our speakers, they needed to hear them and make up their own minds.
We were proud and received warm feedback with our Savants, but it wasn’t enough for a debut. We wanted our first impression in LA to make an impact and a 2.5 way wouldn’t cut it despite its performance. (Since writing this article we’ve had the opportunity to exhibit our Savants in Denver, check out the show reports here). We decided introduce ourselves by exhibiting our Brezza Fortes, the Savant’s full-range big brother, and the experience was remarkable.
Through our initial business outreach, we were able to assemble an all-star cast. Top-to-bottom our system was immaculate. It started with an Anitpodes audio server which linked to the ever so lively EXOGAL Comet DAC (I can’t wait to share more about EXOGAL, but not yet J). Once EXOGAL had processed the signal it was delivered to Jeff Rowland Design Group’s 400wpc S2-Continuum amplifier which fed our Fortes via Mike Powell’s Verastarr cables and interconnects. When everything was said and done, our system’s performance far exceeded everyone’s expectations and I took pleasure watching grown men wiggle in their seats. It was almost as if they were afraid to believe their ears, but always seemed to leave with a smile.
The soundstage had not only breadth, but exhibited appropriate depth with crystal clear imaging. The transparency and distinct separation of layers utilized the room to it’s fullest. Jason Serinas from Stereophile called our speakers “musical and lively.” At least, that was his impression before he was forced to remove himself from the room because of our glade air freshener (which we sincerely apologize for). You can read more about his experience in his article from Stereophile here.
John Stancavage from Part-time Audiophile also took time to give our room high applause. Our system made his Best of Show report and our Brezza Forte loudspeakers received his Auspicious Debut award. You can read more about his experience by visiting his article here, published online thanks to Part-time Audiophile.
Despite our successes at the show we still had a few shortcomings. Being the new kids on the block presented certain challenges that we did not (and honestly could not) prepare for. Marine Presson and her team did a fantastic job launching a new show in LA. On top of all the normal dysfunction that usually occurs at trade show, they too had unique obstacles to overcome as they assumed the role of pioneers in their field. Here’s a picture of the logistical nightmare these shows can pose. My hats off to everyone who organized and made this event happen. That’s a lot of equipment to move in less than 24 hours, and that ain’t even half of it… but despite the chaos their team did a wonderful job.
The show report here from positive-feedback says it all (by saying nothing) and exemplifies the pitfalls of being new to the scene. Despite hosting our own room and being responsible for everything therein, we were not included or represented in photographs of our room and received no recognition. We at Vehement take full responsibility and I’ve even thought about writing them to request an update, but looking back we can’t help but laugh. The things you learn at your first show!
Another unexpected lesson (that I did not expect to learn first hand) is that you can be mugged anywhere, at anytime, for absolutely no reason. The security officer called it a “random act of violence” and said that we were lucky to escape with minimal bruises and our wallets. That night I remember saying to Justin “Nah, he barely got me, my glasses did most of the work for him.” The next morning however I had to accept the fact that I wouldn’t be able to hide this one… presenting our company just got a lot more interesting.
Yes… Friday night on the way back to our hotel room, Justin and I were attacked by what we can only describe as a gang-banger, but were fortunate enough to walk (run) away physically and financially unharmed. I did however lose my spectacles in the scuffle and was forced to host our room with a huge shiner hanging over my left eye. Bar-fight jokes and jabs unfortunately became a common theme for the remainder of the weekend. Nonetheless, our time in Los Angeles was a huge success. Both our Brezza Forte, and a strange man’s fist against my eye, left their mark and I don’t regret a single second. Next up is Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October where we will finally have the opportunity to show the world our Savants. Stay tuned, more is just around the corner. (Update: The reviews are in! Check out our Savants from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017 Show Report here)
On another note, Los Angeles apparently has an affinity for large sandwiches. So much in fact I started taking pictures…
… but to wrap things up, it’s always nice to get the chance to sit down and break bread together. Burt from San Diego, Ryan and Pete from Saint Louis, Mike Powell from Atlanta, and of course Justin and I from Kentucky; all of us from different areas of the country, from different walks of life, brought together for one reason; our passion for audio. Absolutely great times with great friends.
‘Till next time,
Zachary Bohannon, CEO
Vehement Audio Group, LLC.