How we build a system

Building a truly great Hi-Fi system is more than just assembling a bunch of good components. When you build a system, you have to think about the way that the sound of each one will interact. You've got to think about the type of sound you want to achieve. You have to think about the types of music it's going to be used for and the room it's going into. You have to consider budget and aesthetics. In short, you have to experiment. A lot.


We're fortunate to have some of the planets finest Hi-Fi here on display in our Carlton showroom. Over the years we've tried thousands of different Hi-Fi products across hundreds of brands and we're in the fortunate position of being able to stock what we love. Sometime a product is universally beloved by the staff. Sometimes it will have a single champion. But we know that we are very lucky to be able to chose the gear we sell the way we do.

This means that when a customer comes into the store with a particular taste or requirement, we can help them find that special something that will thrill and excite. We love nothing more than spending the afternoon trying components with a customer until we hit upon that special combination that excites them. In doing so, we try our best to throw out prejudice, as just because a component didn't fit the bill the last 5 times we tried it, this system might be the right time for it to shine.

We've been playing around in the online space now for a few years. Hi-Fi is a difficult thing to buy online. No-one wants to buy a $5,000 amplifier they haven't listened to. How can you know if it's going to integrate well into your set up? You can buy products through our website, but unless it's a major discount on a commodity product, then people just aren't buying.

Sure, we could play the discount game, but there is no magic to that strategy - the lowest price will win. This does a dis-service to the entire market place. If we are racing to the bottom with our competitors, no-one is going to make any money and ultimately, stores will close and customers lose out. Besides, we encourage customers to listen to the products they want to buy. So what our solution?

The solution is to leverage our expertise. We're using this site to craft one fine Hi-Fi system every month. We are going to assemble a panel of staff, industry members and even dear customers to put in the hours to design a perfectly crafted Hi-Fi system. Once a month we will gather, start with a premise and spend many hours listening and comparing to find the right combinations of products to achieve the goal. And each month we will document the process telling you how we arrived at the system we chose.

That premise will vary from month to month. It might be as simple as the best vinyl replay system we can build for under two grand, or as complex as building the perfect system to make 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' come alive. We may tweak up a system we've sold recently, or we could even be as crass to start with a product on special and find the best possible partnering kit for it. We will assemble everything, from the speakers to the source, including cables, power conditioning and supports as appropriate. And then, just like in store, we'll see what we can do about the price. We will always try to offer you the best value possible, while still making enough margin to keep our papillon overlords sipping Lygon St lattes.

Now, this approach won't suit everyone, not everyone wants the whole system. But we want to try something different. We are happy to discuss your exact needs and help you find something that suits. And there is still the issue of not being able to hear it. For that, you're going to have to place some trust in us that we've used our combined hundred plus years of Hi-Fi experience to make a system you will love. We know our customers and what they like, so we think that you'll love one of these carefully curated systems.