Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What happened to Concert Sound?

A bit about who we are and where we came from.

(click image to enlarge)

Concert Sound was a hifi retail shop in San Antonio, Texas founded in 1981 by Creston Funk and Mark Heaston. We began with a few brands like Mission, Thorens and Acoustat, but things really took off when we began to sell Linn and Naim sometime around 1982 (we continued to sell both Linn and Naim until the early 2000's.)  

We continually searched for the best hifi gear in the world (Audio Note, ATC, etc.) and eventually found a small British company called Crimson Electronics. We decided that the products Crimson Electronics were making were so fantastic that we’d become the U.S. importer. Crimson Electronics led us to DNM Electronics and for a time we were the importer for DNM as well. (DNM Electronics are now imported by our good friend Tim Ryan at Simplifi Audio.)

Crimson Electronics also led us to Tocaro Loudspeakers from Germany.

So now we are the U.S. importers and retailers for Crimson Electronics, Tocaro Loudspeakers and Reson Phono Cartridges and Audio Gear, and we’re retailers for Harbeth Loudspeakers, Resolution Audio CD Players, ATC Loudspeakers, and Avantone Loudspeakers.

Then we moved to Austin and we decided that instead of having a storefront, we’d have a listening studio without regular retail hours, and that we’d have listening sessions on an appointment basis. By “appointment” we mean that we’d like you to give us a little lead-time before you’d like to come by. And by all means, just come by to listen. Don’t plan on buying something right away.

Okay, if you’ve really got some money burning a hole in your pocket, we’ll help. But seriously, the more people hear our stuff, the better. You’re not imposing on us if you just want to come by with some of your CDs or records and have a listen to some gear that you may not have heard before.

So, why don’t we have a retail storefront?

We had a retail storefront for over twenty years. The problem is that as soon as someone comes by for a serious listen, there’d be a zillion interruptions; the UPS guy would come by, someone would bring a broken VHS player and ask if we could fix it, then someone would come by and try to sell us stuff; you get the picture.

This way, it’s more relaxing. For you and for us. And besides, this way we can go swimming in the middle of the day sometimes.

But why the name change?

Back in 1981, Concert Sound seemed like a clever name. But honestly, we finally got tired of people calling to buy concert tickets or to rent sound systems for live music. Plus, we think Austin Hifi is a little easier to remember.

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