AS PART OF our ongoing Q&A series, I decided to look closer to home and put a few questions to Martin van Rooyen, the Managing Director of Perreaux Industries, one of New Zealand’s best known manufacturers of hi-fi equipment.
Witchdoctor: Is the silver disc dead? Perreaux still offers two CD players and a CD transport but the Audiant range is disc-free. Is the day approaching when you just drop disc transports and run with pure computer audio solutions?
Martin van Rooyen: Confirm…the silver disc is pretty much DOA. We still sell some CD transports to those who have big CD collections. Our challenge is to fill the void with other products.
WD: What would you say is the next hot trend in hi-fi?
MvR: Tough one that. Mobile devices that put out higher resolution music formats and seamless integration with them.
WD: What’s your take on the whole “The Future is Wireless” theory, where loudspeakers will be fully powered or active and hooked up to nothing more than a power cable with the source being a Wi-Fi connected computer, tablet or phone?
MvR: This is realistic, however it will still take a significant amount of time to gain traction and mainstream acceptance.
WD: Can you give us a heads up about what’s next from Perreaux?
MvR: We are exhibiting in Munich this year and plan to release something then.
WD: The Silhouette range is getting a bit long in the tooth, any plans for a new small form factor range of components?
MvR: The Audiant series has superseded the Silhouette series. The few missing components (the headphone amp, phono stage) can be added to a half or full-width version in time.
MvR: The Audiant DP32 comes as close as you can get to that, however we did not include the headphone output, specifically on account of not wanting to compromise quality. We can easily do this. However, as a general rule, the correlation between small size and higher pricing remains weak and it is best left to others to implement.
WD: Is there a market for a really high-end offering from Perreaux that’d sit well above Eloquence and Prisma? Something in the darTZeel or D’Agostino mould?
MvR: When you go into the Ultra High end, you need to be a bigger than life personality and be prepared to spend a considerable amount on marketing and exhibiting at shows. We have to accept our limitations and stick to our recipe, which is to offer genuine quality at a realistic price. How many NZ buyers do you think there would be for something like a pair of monos from Dan Agostino?