High-End Faces

Medford, Long Island–based manufacturer Shahinian Acoustics has announced a recapitalization and a manufacturing-facilities expansion to meet demand for its quasi-omnidirectional loudspeakers. In a related development, Vasken Shahinian has succeeded his father as president and managing director.

Company founder Richard Shahinian (who will stay on as chief designer) explained that the recapitalization, from private sources, has enabled the company, which he founded in 1974, to move to larger premises nearby and, for the first time, to bring its cabinetmaking operations under the same roof as its loudspeaker assembly. "For the past 10 years, the biggest holdback on our growth has been the difficulty of getting sufficient quantities of our complex speaker cabinets from outside contractors on any kind of regular schedule. Our larger speakers use folded transmission lines for bass loading, and prism-shaped modules for the midrange and treble drivers. It became apparent that building these demanding designs in even greater numbers would require bringing cabinet production in-house."

Shahinian Acoustics' loudspeaker line extends from the Compass ($2860/pair) to the Diapason ($14,300/pair). Shahinian's first speaker, the Obelisk ($4400/pair), is still in production. That speaker was cited in Stereophile's 40th-anniversary issue (November 2002) as one of "The Hot 100" products of the previous 40 years. Richard Shahinian notes that the Obelisk's design principle remains the same, but that nearly every one of its components has undergone evolutionary development over the past 25-plus years.

High-end cable manufacturer and distributor AudioQuest, Inc. has named audio industry veteran Mark Glazier executive vice-president reporting to Dean Miller, president. "AudioQuest is fortunate to have another experienced industry veteran join our team and assist us in the development of our company," stated Bill Low, founder and CEO of AudioQuest. "Mark brings over 20 years' experience in specialty dealer distribution and sales and marketing management." He added that Mark's experience "provides an ideal match for our product development and worldwide distribution plans."

Prior to joining AudioQuest, Glazier spent 21 years at Madrigal, both under that company's private ownership and after it was acquired by Harman International. For 16 of those years, Glazier served as Madrigal's president, focused on the development of worldwide sales and marketing efforts for the Mark Levinson, Proceed, Revel, and Audioaccess brands. He left Madrigal after the company's relocation to Massachusetts and its incorporation into Harman's Specialty Group in 2003.

"AudioQuest's innovative approach to product development and commitment to training and helping dealers realize their business potential in the category is unmatched by their peers," commented Glazier. "This is a team that shares my lifelong values about product, performance, and the important role of the dealer."

It seems an unlikely alliance, given the US company's commitment to tube amplification design and the UK company's position on the cutting edge of digital audio technology, but VTL Amplifiers, Inc. has announced that, starting February 1, 2005, dCS Ltd. is its new UK distributor. "We are extremely pleased to be in partnership with dCS," said Luke Manley, president of California-based VTL. "Our philosophy of striving for the best possible sonic performance via continual innovation in sound reproduction technology fits perfectly with that of dCS, and we are very excited to re-enter the exciting UK market with such a strong partner."

"We believe there is a strong demand in the UK for high-power, high-performance valve amplification that is well recognized," said David Steven, marketing and sales director at dCS.