TecSArt: Amando Fontana of TecSArt; an audiophile company of some repute in mainland Europe and probably unknown in the UK

 

Editor's note: Howard discovered http://tecsart.com/en/ and we thought that instead of our usual approach of sending a set of questions and then printing those with the answers, we'd do it a bit differently this time. I asked Howard to write to them with an invitation to write up to 1,000 words on the French audiophile market. We have printed below what we received. We hope you'll enjoy the read. Thank you

Neil McCauley / OLC Editor in chief

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Europe and France in particular is assisting to the decline of HiFi market, today reduced to a niche. Just two years ago there were 5 paper magazines dedicated to real HiFi, plus a number of others talking of music and quality reproduction. Today the number is reduced to 2.  Same tendency for dealers. For sure the global crisis hits this market too, but we should look for the causes somewhere else.

We are in the middle of a small revolution, but it seems that professionals are not ready to cope with the changes and everybody blames everything. MP3, new formats every 6 months, internet, class D, …

In my perspective the world is changing, each purchase is now seen as investment, demonstration is that real value brands can still find their space and keep growing. The customer is now a lot more exigent, in terms of performance, look and price. Our small and old minded HiEnd world is too slow to cope with the new technologies that in reality are just opportunities if considered as a technical and distribution challenge.

As actor in this market, I take particularly care in choosing the brands to represent in France. The values to which I pay particular attention are : name, performances, reliability, support and price. Believe it or not there are surprisingly very few brands delivering this all and not forcedly the most known ones.

One of the most impressive acquisitions I made, and this was recently, is with Nola Loudspeakers. Brand completely unknown in Europe and a priori not particularly attractive in pricing neither. But once I sat in front of the Metro Gold, driven by a good tube amp, the price perception changed immediately. There were just my eyes to tell me that Andrea Bocelli  was not there singing for me.

How can be that nobody knows Nola in Europe, it was the first question arising.

I discovered then the KO’s, priced a lot more accessibly, but not equally scaled in term of compromise on performances. For sure it is not an entry level loudspeaker as Nola present them, In my opinion they can be already considered as an arriving point, definitive loudspeakers for many music lovers.

It took 6 months to achieve a significant evaluation of the brand, today I can say that Carl Marchisotto, the mind behind Nola is not only a technical master and the owner of Nola,  but also a wonderful person. Actually everybody in Nola is. I only had one occasion to evaluate the support of Nola, and not really for reliability problems (a basement steel bearing ball got lost), I can only say that they can deliver oversea in one day despite the distance.

Slowly, given the difficult times, Nola is starting to grow his reputation in France, gaining very happy owners.

Nola is the example how technology, science and good human behavior can approach the art, intended as beauty and emotion. Despite market conditions, Nola grows. Nola’s customers are  audiophiles but more often just common people that for the first time discover the power or the  emotions that music can deliver. These are the new customers that we must take care of and Nola is one of the few manufacturer that deliver what common people asks for.

Thank you

Armando Fontana
Technology Science & Art

http://tecsart.com/en/