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    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    May 2003

    Interview With Aperion Audio

    At this year's Home Entertainment 2005 show I got to sit down and talk a while with Win Jeanfreau, CEO, and Lorraine Janeway, the President of Aperion Audio.

    I arrived at Aperion Audio's room at 4pm for my appointment, and immediately Lorraine, who was very perceptive, offered me a water, (I was pretty thirsty) which to my surprise had an Aperion Audio label! After just a few minutes chatting with him, Win struck me as a straightforward, very focused person. Quite proud of his products, he was not afraid to compare them to any speakers on the market. While discussing his vision I never heard him say a bad word about his competitors. He actually had some good things to say about them. He told me that he's purchased and listened to several of his competitor's speakers for months to help him with the ideas he wanted to use while working out the voicing of his speakers. He wanted to combine several of the good attributes he's heard into his product, and he said that he feels his approach has resulted in a better product, and a value leader among speakers.

    He seemed to me to be a real "hands on" CEO, or in this case a real "ears on" CEO. Case in point;

    After chatting for a while with both Lorraine & Win about their speakers, I decided to take a short demo of the speakers in the second room (Aperion had two rooms). The audio setup was a 5.1 system with their new 6 series towers up front, and the bookshelf speakers in the rear. The front end was a modified Denon multi-player. The amps, I believe, were Parasound Halo. Not cheap stuff, but not the mega-buck stuff that many of the other companies had to show off their speakers. Without Lorraine or Win present, and with CDs of my choosing, I evaluated his speakers. I used Pink Floyd's multi-channel re-mix of "Dark Side of the Moon" and a few other recordings that I'm intimately familiar with. While I do not post "reviews" based on a limited time with ANYTHING, I will say that the demo went very well.

    When I returning to the other room to continue the interview, Win asked me what I thought. I explained to him that I don't do reviews in a limited time frame, but that I did like what I heard a lot. He then told me that the voicing of his speakers was done by listening to them, and not just by spec alone. I commented on how well integrated, almost "seamless" the front three speakers sounded, and he remarked to me that they share almost none of the same drivers! He said it took months of listening to arrive at his solution for the center channel. The center channel is also unusual in that is uses a passive radiator for one of the woofers. He said that by doing so it resolved a lot of the lobing problems that an MTM speaker has when used horizontally.

    We talked about the internet speaker market, and how difficult it is for people to get a feel for a speaker without listening to them first. He agreed, and told me that he feels the only REAL way anyone can get a feel for how a speaker sounds in their home is to actually USE the speaker in their home. (A point I don't think any one of us could argue against.) Here's where he said that his company is unique. He claimed that his company has the best return policy in the internet business. Shipping is free in BOTH directions. I asked how that could be cost effective, and he stated that his company has less than a 2% return rate.

    To close out the interview, we chatted about the state of speaker manufacturing, both here and abroad. Aperions are manufactured in China, and he's been doing business there for a number of years. He let me in on a little known secret; many of the audio companies, and speaker manufacturers have been outsourcing from China for years. Crossovers, drivers, plate amps, a lot of the components that go into speakers are sourced from there. I asked him if he had considered any US vendors for his speakers, and he lamented the fact that there's simply no place for him to source components from here in the US except for cabinetry.

    Time was running short by now and he his next appointment had already shown up, however, he was very interested in my opinion of his new speakers the Intimus 633-T Tower, and asked me if I would be willing to critique a pair. I agreed, but only if I could have a set of the mains + center, so I can review them for both a 2-channel music & HT. I told him that I'm not one to pull punches, as a read of my review of my own Cambridge Soundworks T-500 on AR will show you. I also keep a reference audio system in the same room with my HT that's easy to use for A/B comparison so there's no way for me to get "romantic" about any speaker. He seemed totally unfazed by this, and even commented on how good a review would be possible in that kind of setting, especially when compared directly to speakers from one of the giants of internet speaker sales, and a close competitor. Stay tuned for my report!
    Last edited by Geoffcin; 05-01-2005 at 03:21 AM.
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