The UK Hi-Fi Show Live 2023

BAAAM visits the UK Hi-Fi Show Live 2023

The UK Hi-Fi Show Live 2023

This year we are attending The UK H-Fi Show Live at Ascot Racecourse where we’ll be joining up with Fraser and Glen from Airt Audio and with Alexander Vitus Mogensen from Vitus Audio.

We’ve kindly been invited to the press day on Friday by the folks at Monitor Audio (thank you Ayesha!) who are unveiling their incredible new Hyphn loudspeakers as this year’s show.

Who to look out for

Our client, Airt, will be providing the amplification, digital sources, cabling, support and grounding for the Monitor Audio room. They are bringing two of the powerhouses – recently landed in the UK – that are the SM-103 Mk.II monaural amplifiers from the Vitus Audio Signature Series along with an MP-L201 Mk.II Linestage from the Masterpiece Series. Both of these are in the brand new (and highly desirable) Midnight Blue colourway. A first look at these beautiful pieces for the UK audience.

You’ll also find products from Kalista, Stillpoints and Entreq all from Airt’s portfolio of brands being represented in the room. You can see the full kit list over on the Airt Audio website.

Dates and tickets

The show takes place on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October at Ascot Racecourse. You can buy tickets from the shows organisers for either day or a weekend ticket if you want time to soak it all up! Full details can be found on the UK Hi-Fi Show Live website.

We hope to see you there!

Seawave Acoustic: To shoot or to CGI?

Seawave Acoustic

Seawave Acoustic: To shoot or to CGI?

When it comes to capturing the essence of a brand or product, it’s hard to argue against a beautifully executed photoshoot. Yes, it’s a time consuming process, but when the right creative team partner with the right photographer for the product or brand, the results can be stunning.

Sometimes however, a photoshoot just isn’t an option. Whether it’s the difficulty of getting all the right people together at the same time, the ideal location not being available or for any other myriad reasons, sometimes it just cant be acheived.

Size matters

For our client Seawave Acoustic, based in South Korea, we knew it would be tricky to set up a photoshoot – but not for want of trying. Seawave make loudspeakers. Extremely high-end horn loudspeakers to be precise. The cases are milled out of solid blocks of aluminium. Perfect for the acoustics, less so when you need to move them to a location across the globe!

So we planned to travel to SK to shoot the speakers there. But then, of course, COVID made travel really tricky. When faced with a perfect storm of obstacles, we needed a different solution.

Enter CGI

We suggested they might consider the use of a CGI artist to render their products. The goal was to capture the beauty, the stature and the essence of the speakers as well as a photograph could.

Achieving photorealism is a lot easier in the age of cloud computing, but capturing the spirit of a product is a different matter. It takes a keen eye for detail, both from the creative team and from the client. Picking up on the minutia, the tiny details that define a product, even the tiniest of flaws that make it “real”, are all part of the task.

Our CGI approach

When recommend CGI when its the best approach. It could be for the reasons above or perhaps because we want to create something physically impossible or imagined.

Agency Visit to Vitus Audio in Denmark

Agency visit to Vitus Audi in Denmark

Agency Visit to Vitus Audio in Denmark

We took a trip out to Denmark this year to visit our client Vitus Audio. Until this point, everything we’d worked with them on had been done via video and phone calls, so getting out to meet the team in person was a really important thing.

It also gave us the opportunity to gather a range of photography and video at their production facility in Herning as well as interviews with the new owners of the business CEO Alexander Vitus Mogensen (taking the helm from his Father Hans-Ole Vitus) and COO Lukas Birk Eriksen.

And quite honestly, it gave us the opportunity to indulge in a jaw-dropping listening experience in their Vitus Audio demonstration room. It is, of course, important to experience the equipment about which you’re eulogising, first-hand!

Day one

Creative Director Paul Flower and I began our trip with a 3.30am taxi ride to Stansted Airport. Our Ryanair flight was due to leave at 7:40 am to Billund Airport in Denmark. No business class here, keeping it real! The day would begin in earnest upon arrival. Alexander picked us up from Billund and drove us the hour to Herning where the AVA Group facility resides.

Our plan for the first day was to have a complete tour of the factory to get a deep insight into the many processes involved in creating Vitus Audio’s exceptional components. We wanted to gather as much photography and video as we could (being very careful not to expose any confidential material!).

Alexander and Lukas took us around every department of the factory, each explaining the various machines and their roles in the production process and patiently explaining the role of the myriad components used. We also got to meet the teams working in each department to ask them questions about their work.

What is immediately apparent when you step into the building is the pride and attention to detail the whole team share. It’s definitely not about turning out audio equipment at speed. Every step is focussed on crafting a component of the very highest order. The care that is taken in every part of the build process is astonishing. We came away with the feeling that this work is a complete labour of love. Even the wiring looms placement inside the components is meticulously organised and inspected at every step. Great work takes time to produce!

As well as the production side, we also got to see the VA demo room taking shape and see a sample of Hans-Ole’s formidable turntable collection (if you’re a turntable-head like me, it will leave you drooling).

Because it was the run up to AXPONA, we got to hear the Focal speakers to be used at the show, driven in the demo room by an SIA-030. Frankly, an astonishing experience. We can only guess at what the Masterpieces would do with them! A quick side note, they let me loose to play some music on the system which was a total delight – if I’d had the luggage space I’d love to have brought some records over… alas. Maybe next time!

Day one ended with a meal at a local steak house – Dirty Ranch Steakhouse (seriously good steak!) and a couple of well deserved beers. We then headed back to our hotel for a little rest before day two at AVA Group. We have to thank Hans-Ole and Britta for driving us there and back to our hotel. Really loved the back massage facility in the BMW – really travelling in style!

Day two

The second day was to be dedicated to video interviews with Alexander and Lukas. Hans-Ole very kindly picked us up from the hotel at a very accomodating British time of 8am (these guys begin their work day at 6am).

We arrived at the facility and set up our equipment in the demo room. Lukas gave his interview first with Alexander interviewing after. They spoke candidly and with great passion about their business, what drives them and where they want to take Vitus Audio in the coming years. 2023 has seen great growth for the brand and its really exciting to see their vision and work bearing fruit.

We also took the opportunity to take some shots of the team against one of the feature walls in the AVA Group meeting room. You’ll see them popping up in the user manuals…

We also got to see more of the construction process. One thing that became abundantly clear is that both Alexander and Lukas are very hands on. They’re not sat in an office all day as one might envisage a CEO or COO. These guys are part of the team building the products. Not just inspecting, but building. It’s part of what I think makes the brand special. There is a voracious appetite to make sure everything that comes out of the factory is not only of the highest quality, but that everyone has had a hand in its production, each sharing a responsibility for – and a pride in – the product being perfect.

The afternoon allowed us to meet and discuss future plans. This was followed by a listening session in the demo room of some large ribbon speakers. Dinner this evening was at a Chinese buffet – my Achiles heel for over indulgence!

Day Three

Our final day allowed us to spend a couple of hours getting some final footage from the factory before heading back to the airport for our flight back to the UK in the afternoon. Alexander drove us to the airport once again, perfectly bookending our trip to Denmark.

It was a fleeting but essential visit for us. It really drove home to us what Vitus Audio means as a brand and why it’s growing as fast as it is. It’s not just a company making hi-fi equipment. The team put passion into everything that leaves the factory. There’s a palpable feeling of drive for the next level of perfection. There’s certainly no standing still here, those 6am starts happen for a reason! 

Thank you to Alexander, Lukas, Hans-Ole and Britta for your exceptional hospitality. And thanks for giving us such a detailed look at Vitus Audio. We’re excited to be a part of what comes next. 

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