John Sciacca Writes...
Random Thoughts (Blog)
Random Thoughts (Blog)
Random Thoughts (Blog)
|Posted on October 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM|
Sadly, audio has become a product category that is tough to get excited about these days. Don’t get me wrong, I *love* listening to music, and I think many others do as well. But it just seems like people don’t want to hear about any audio trends that don’t involve the letters “i” or “mp.” Sure, I love my iThing. It has replaced Sirius as my in-car listening of choice and doesn’t’ try to bill me $12.95 a month or tell me about “The Stern Show, Sirius 100!” every few minutes. Plus, when I don’t like a song, I hit skip and then another of the 8500 songs that I don’t like will come on. But when I’m at home I don’t want to listen through earbuds no matter how much I’ve previously warmed them by my brain heat. I want to listen to my home rig. I want to put on something -- OK, it will probably be Fiona Apple or John Mayer or something often described as "that depressing music you are always listening to" -- turn up the volume until the point where Dana says, “You have GOT to turn that DOWN!” pretend to turn it down a little bit, and then sit on the couch with some Crown Blizzack and *listen* to music on my high-endish rig. (Which, happens to include Definitive Technology Mythos ST towers. So, disclaimer. This post is biased. I also like my Marantz pre-pro but want Kevin Z to upgrade me to the new one. So, double-disclaimer.)
If you recall several months ago, my Definitive Technology rep, Woody, came by. Depending on your sadism level, the highlight of that evening was either A) the two of us sharing the gayest of all Zipang Cham-Sake drinks ever served to two men that didn’t have romantic aspirations for each other or B) Woody having a out-of-body, stabby-stabby tingly hands and feet “Am I dying?” moment.
What you probably DON’T remember is that the whole guise of Woody’s visit – to cover the fact that he was secretly trying to woo me and gauge my interest in lady Sake – was to demonstrate Definitive Technology’s newest speaker, the wafer-thin, perfectly mated to the new “oh, you thought YOUR TV was flat!” panel sets, XTR-50. He set it up, demo’d it, we listened and I was impressed. I was also impressed – well, more like “Whoa! Wow! Really? Hmm...” – with the price. At $700 each, these were not speakers that were going to fly off the shelves no matter how sexy-thin they look. And, to be fair, it IS sexy thin. A pair of these babies is like putting your high-def display in a Survivor Courtney and Keira Knightley sandwich. Except they both have great voices and no bottom end. (Oh! That just works on so many levels! Fist bump your monitor right now, we’ll be separated only by the briefest time and space...)
(Photo Courtesy: Lady Phone)
So, on this latest visit, Woody returned and promised to order the butchest Sake in the joint and to demo the new-new Definitive speaker, the BP8040ST tower. So we listened to that for a bit, me using the iPad and finger swiping and gesture-pinching my way through Remotescape’s Kaleidescape app, and the speakers sound awfully good, especially for its targeted buyer at its $1600/pair price point. It has some big bass and a fat mid-range that would really fill a room with those subtle, quiet, romantic sounds of tanks smashing into buildings and asteroids hurtling through skyscrapers and clipped-the-wrong-colored-wire bomb-defusing that goes horribly right.
As we’re getting ready to leave for Sake time, Woody mentions the new upcoming Holiday promotion and details an offer that was literally too good to refuse. For dealers that will bring in a set of three XTR-50s and demo them with an ultra-thin TV, Def Tech is going to throw some big-ass support behind them. (Big-as support will be a large print and Web marketing push with a participating dealers tag and in-store support materials and blah, blah.) The real hook is two-fold. Fold one: I get my demo speakers for half off regular my cost price. If I sell them down the road at a ridonkulous price, I’d still be making money, so there is zero sorry-you-got-stuck-with-a-dog downside here. Fold two, Def Tech is offering an amazing way for me to be able to upsell the customer to this speaker system. (And believe me, any opportunity to upsell audio these days is a *great* opportunity.)
During the promo period (Oct 15 to Jan 28 ) if [insert your name here] buys 3 XTR-50 speakers and ANY Def Tech sub, they will get a pair of up to $560 surround speakers for free. In my time in this business I have found one sure thing, and that sure thing is that people love free. Ask Dana. She will go to great lengths to download and print a coupon – then e-mailing it to me and presumably anyone else who can do her printerey biding – for something we aren’t even able to get in some cases just because it comes with free. So, with the free surrounds, you can buy a better overall system for the same money. And that is an easy offer to make. So if you find yourself in the market for some new speakers, you all know how to get hold of me. I'll leave the light on for you...