THE STORY OF FANATICS CHOICE
There’s one simple reason I’ve always warmed to Melbourne’s Carlton Audio Visual. There’s a sign on the window that says, “Fanatics Welcome”.
Fanatic, Enthusiast, Audiophile. Whichever your preference, it generally means the same thing; Passion.
I’ve been fortunate to work in several different industries over the years and within each one, the specialist retail outlets typically embrace the enthusiasts, or ‘influencers’ as I like to call them. These are the go-to people for their peers when wanting to know about the topic or products.
Yet in the HiFi industry it’s often the retail members of the trade that sigh or shudder when it comes to the thought of serving an audiophile. I’ve never quite understood that.
StereoNET itself attracted over 172,000 readers (unique visitors) in March this year, a record in our 17-year history. And for the nay-sayers, 92% of that traffic was from Australian IP addresses. Without fanatics, this publication would not exist.
So that sign that is proudly displayed on Carlton Audio Visual’s front window, their website and their marketing material appeals to me, and quite evidently, generations of Melbourne’s fanatics too.
In fact, Carlton Audio Visual’s team headed up by none other than the biggest fanatic of all, Rab Turner, are all indeed enthusiasts. A quick chat with any of them will reinforce this.
Turner has always thought ‘outside the box’. His controversial marketing and ad creative even made headlines some years back, but that’s another story.
But the latest move, and while unquestionably a marketing driven exercise, deserves a bit of cred.
Stores today offer a staggering array of HiFi and Audio Visual products that can be downright overwhelming for the consumer.
Launching a dedicated website, fanaticschoice.com.au, Carlton Audio Visual have painstakingly pieced together a HiFi system that is not only realistic in price, but is guaranteed to offer synergy, compatibility, and cater to the needs of most.
How do we know? They used their ears, tested, listened, and through a rigorous process, agreed on a system.
The fanatics explain:
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.
Once a month the guys at Carlton AV are crafting just one HiFi system that ticks all the boxes.
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.
Rather than trying to match the online discounters where the lowest price will always win, Carlton AV are instead leveraging their expertise.
Hats off guy and cred where it’s due.
We’re not going to give up the Fanatics Choice chosen system of the month as we believe they deserve your web click to check it out.
But for under $5000 it includes a turntable, digital streaming, amp, speakers, cables and accessories. And you can be sure it will work, well. The brands and products included all have pedigree and are world-class. You can even have it shipped to your door.
The fanatics have put a serious amount of work into this and the whole process is documented. In fact, even if you’re not in the market it’s an interesting read.
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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