Black Ocean Audio

To the few trolls who frequently post on this website:

If you think high-end audio is dead, you haven't met designer Nick Tarnofsky (above), a touring guitarist and engineer with an Instagram presence who is in his second year of selling Black Ocean Audio speakers direct. This man is savvy enough to have set up an enigmatic display outside his room—a piece of driftwood with a light on it—to lure people in.

Pairing Black Ocean Audio [M] Stack loudspeakers (starting at $11,000/pair, depending on wood) with VTL 450 monoblocks, whose sound he loves, Nick played hi-rez Spotify files with an MPro Audio Controller connected by homemade cables. The sound was extremely fine. Mark Knopfler's "Boom, Like That" sounded quite nice indeed, with an alive and attractive top and smooth middle that was easy to love. Ditto for Boz Scaggs's "Thanks to You," which sounded as winning as I've ever heard it.

Black Ocean Audio's Design philosophy, which includes hand-selected natural hardwoods, is rooted in the principles of transparency, accuracy, and sustainability. One can only hope that more high-end manufacturers embrace the last of these concepts. The 2.5 way ported [M] stack combines two models, the 5.5" ported Le Chiffre on top and 2.5-way Pale King on bottom. Nominal impedance is 4 ohms, and frequency range 40Hz–20kHz. A passive crossover connects the two units.

Anton's picture

He seems John DeVore level cool.

I am strangely reminded of both Fritz monitors and Tyler Acoustics speakers.

beave's picture

Nick Tamofsky or Nick Tarnofsky?

He's an engineer?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

My bad. I couldn't read my own handwriting.
As for "engineer," Nick's brochure says "founded by guitarist and engineer Nick Tarnofsky."

beave's picture

I don't see anything in his background that indicates he's an engineer. Self-proclaimed only, it appears.

stungun's picture

Now THAT would be some real news!

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

And I don't follow Spotify. But I do recall asking myself the very same question. Bad me for not researching this as I struggle to write report after report on schedule.

call me Artie's picture

In theory, you'd have to have an graduate degree (college I think it's called in the USA) in some kind of engineering to call yourself an engineer. But lots of people end up employed with job title engineer without degrees in the discipline, by dint of a lifetime of accumulated experience in relevant areas. I guess you can legitimately call yourself an engineer if you are employed in the role of engineer. I'm hazarding a guess that he is referring to audio engineering.