Dave, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My exposure to custom installation and hifi started in the navy when I was tasked with installing a shipboard audio system. The biggest system I’ve done to date by the way, and it was my first. Not great on fidelity but huge on enjoyment. It really exposed me to the power of music and how it can greatly improve the quality of each and every day. After my stint in the US Navy, I landed a tech job at now defunk New England audio services doing comprehensive a/v repairs. At that time, Neas was doing all the repair work for a high end audio company in Framingham, where I eventually went to work, working as their service manager for 32 years.
I became well known in the area for cassette deck and turntable alignment, among other things, and. Customers from all over New England brought in their equipment for me to modify or align to achieve higher levels of performance. Being surrounded by a wide variety of products expanded my knowledge base in sales, repairs, programming, and installation.
It had always been my dream to have my own store, and in 2016 I opened audioart in Sudbury, Massachusetts, which has allowed me to expand my vision and my client base, while providing products and services for many of my original customers.
In addition to performance stereo and media systems, audioart serves as a gallery, exhibiting some of New England’s finest artists and craftspeople, and allows me to pursue my other passions, fine woodworking and photography.
Has it been a smooth road?
The transition from working for someone else to opening my own business has been relatively easy, notwithstanding the enormous number of hours spent on the build-out, which was both a challenge and a joy. Because of my previous client base, jobs came in without any downtime. One of the biggest obstacles was getting new clients in the door, using various traditional and social media marketing. But referrals, from both clients and contractors, have continued to be our best advertising.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the AUDIOART story. Tell us more about the business.
Audioart is the next wave of a/v stores, offering audio, video, networking, programming, art, custom furniture and upholstery, window shades, as well as interior and exterior lighting. This allows us to handle all phases of a job, simplifying the process for customer. Audio art also employs a master electrician as service manager which streamlines the process, and our installations consistently surpass exceptions.
Audioart represents some of the most prestigious lines in the industry. Many of which are exclusive to New England. Our showrooms are professionally designed and welcome the listener in a home-like environment, which is both beautiful and functional, Our clients describe our showrooms as unique, amazing, comfortable, tasteful, and, my favorite, magical. And we demonstrate the latest a/v systems, with knowledge, experience, and insight, tailoring electronics to the customer’s need.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The a/v industry in always evolving. With the latest big thing being hi-res audio and 4k video streaming along with voice activation. Automation is becoming a larger part in our lives, with new apps constantly being developed. Combining these with voice control, like Alexa and echo dot, home automation can turn on the system, change the channel, lower shades and dim the lights. Obviously a strong wireless network is paramount in order to accommodate these technologies. In addition one of the fastest growing areas of the industry is outdoor entertainment. An estimated 3 billion dollars will be spent on outdoor living this year including audio/video.