Podcasts

Hello, this is Jim Smith. Welcome to the … I know you probably don’t remember this but we did have a podcast and this is number 11. With me is Randall, my son I guess he’s my trusty sidekick but really we’re…we’re back.

I’m the one you got.

Okay. We’re..we’re going to… it’s hard to believe but we\re doing another…but we finally got our schedules together and we’re looking forward to giving you some extra information about some things I think you’ll really like. Randall?

What?

What exactly do we have on the schedule for today?

Well on this 11 th episode of the Breaking Through Podcast, we are going to start with an update on Through the Sound Barrier Project, all the news that’s fit to talk about there and then a little bit about RoomPlay and RoomPlay Reference and how those offerings have…what they were designed to be and how they’ve changed and morphed for the better over time, and then we’ve got a special treat in store today and that is an interview that I conducted with Mr. Mike Bovaird, at Suncoast Audio in Sarasota, Florida. Some of you may know Mike as the guy who started the Audioshark forums and we’ll talk a little bit more about that as we get to it. But, we got a little bit of time in with him a couple of days ago and I’m looking forward to sharing that with all the folks out there in podcast land.

Okay, Randall, I do want to mention we…he has an event tomorrow. I think he talked about it, we might not get this podcast out by Saturday and Sunday, so I want to be sure that they understand this if after the facts it still has nothing to do with how cool it is to come down there and visit with him but I think we’re going to make it by the time his event starts tomorrow. Do you think so?

You know it’s a good question. I do know that he’s got a good number of folks already lined up there. I think…I don’t know if he’s had to take reservations or..

Yeah, it is with RSVP. He had 40 or 50 people last I heard so..

Yeah.

It’ll be a pretty good sized crowd. Anyway, I thought I would mention that in case we’re just a little bit late to takeaway in anything at all of what we’re about to…what we’ve observed with Mike and what he’s doing but I’m not sure if we’re going to be on time for his event on Saturday with Magic show??

Yeah, we shall see. With any luck it might go up in the exact same time that his event is happening so who knows. Somebody listening to this podcast may have the opportunity to jump in their car and drive down there in 30 minutes and catch it. Who knows?

Yeah. We shall see.

All right, so I suppose it’s time to tell you a little bit about where we are in the project right now.

Yes. Let’s do that.

Okay. Listen up, on Sound Barrier’s latest.

Well, I think I’ve been for the last couple of..but at first it’s complete, I mean complete, nothing else to write, it’s done, edited, City Tracks are licensed. Those licenses, they took forever to get here, not only that there’d been masters so we’re ready to go on the CD and the first book. The second book, I guess there’s good and bad. The good is there’s been…wow, the people have seen some of the topics that are in the book and have gone crazy a bit. It was wow, but they really liked what’s in the book and they’re excited about it and I’m too. I think it was a…we’ve had some worthwhile additions to the project. It’s going to make it even more meaningful people and the bad news I guess is the, well I’ve wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for this CD thing, but honestly speaking with the second book being taken further I’m convinced it’s going to be worth it.

I had somebody come here, not long ago, he’s an industry person, he’s a reviewer and he writes on a blog, but anyways I got him to agree to participate in a video so he’s going to be here in the room with me. If you have seen the DVD that we did to get better sound and in this case I won’t be talking to the camera but he’s got some excellent questions he wants to ask as well so moving forward to the DVD and I guess I should talk about, it will be more conversational than ..right.

I’ve been given the talking head approach….(laughter) that’s a formal statement. I’ve nothing on that. All right.

To carry this on a little further, ETA, I’ve always given the same answer pretty much, males, a huge number of phone calls I get every day, so I can’t be sure but for the first time I’m relaxed and the knowledge that I’m in the home stretch and hopefully within 6 months.

All right, you heard (name) here (laugther) and hopefully within 6 months time which is exciting. It is. Umm, okay, so even maybe this is a proper segway into talking a little bit about RoomPlay and RoomPlay Reference but it did have a good chunk of the folks who are back TTSB project and a good chunk of those folks had elements of it that included some kind of RoomPlay and you were going to talk a little bit about putting folks together to get those scheduled I think.

Oh, yeah, thanks. I guess it’s been about half of the pledges they included, they have included what was called Bernie Talks, it’s actually called …Talks on the website RoomPlay or RoomPlay Reference, about half of those people that pledged that way and the bought those levels of pledge, we’ve done, we’ve completed them and for you that are listening it includes any of those sessions you’d like to get them done, I mean Jim at bettersound.com and we’ll set a time to get it done, there’s no reason for you to have to wait for the book or DVD, if you’d like to start on it, let’s do it and..Go ahead.

Speaking of RoomPlay and RoomPlay Reference, let’s talk about those for a bit.

Okay, I guess it’s been kind of a….I don’t know just a change for me, an unveiling of what I’ve had planned when I first started RoomPlay Reference Randall it was intended to help audiophile establish a reference about what is possible and over time I’ve consistently found that this, establishing a reference for what can be done is the main issue for audiophiles. Truth be told, they don’t know, they won’t hear referenced audio shows, at least I don’t think they will, but they hear from most dealers how as time has gone by they become, RoomPlay References become part of the informational process as establishing a reference, probably more and so today…

What do you mean by that, if I can stop you for a second. It’s been become part of the informational process as it is establishing a reference. How is it, informational process, unpack that for me. What does that look like?

Okay. Well, what it means is a…I’ve had so many of these people come in for RoomPlay Reference and of course, they like the sound they hear blah blah blah. I felt like we needed to do more. So many people had, even though they’ve read the book they get better sound, they’ve got questions that they didn’t really understand what they were gonna hear till they heard it settle them. I’m there, I’ve been, I can even quote some people who have said that they didn’t know the next level, how to get there so, I began to spend more time with them explaining what the next levels are and how to get there. So, we spend a lot of time on going through what’s going to happen in this cut and the end of the cut we talk about how do I do that. And then they ask questions and we go through there so I wouldn’t say the teaching process cause I used to be a teacher and I wouldn’t say it’s teaching but anyways, it’s something that they believe that I’ve helped them and get to whole better place and their sound. What usually happens is they’ll send me a few emails asking me questions and I’ll respond back, so it’s kind of like an ongoing process but it’s been more than just getting a reference, it’s been: How can I make it better myself? Instead of seeing that I fall short: How can I not fall so short? And that respect has been great. That’s kinda how it’s been in the last year or two in RoomPlay Reference, but my problem really is a just being able to book the sessions and in that respect RoomPlay is similar. While I can only take about one to five applicants, but the good news is that every client that I’ve done it for has said that it was the best they ever made an audio. Well, that’s the point of it. So, from that sample they’re moving along and I urge people that have thought about it but didn’t really know what it is, I said if you have any more questions email me or call. I’m happy to explain what the possibilities are, but I..when I first started it never occurred to me how important it was gonna be, how important of a part getting better sound has been. Actually, in some ways it’s been bigger than get better sound and so many people have taken advantage of this program.

Yeah, so even though you declined to call it teaching on your part, it certainly has become part of the education process and education experience for people.

Yeah, it has and I took..Tell you what that makes me feel so good because when they have questions and I see that they’re responding and doing things they hadn’t even known to do because they hadn’t listened for that or how to get there when they heard it and seeing them respond to that and do it and moving their systems forward for really relatively low money compared to what people spend for cables, amplifiers and stuff, it’s been really rewarding. I personally have taken great pleasure in it.

That’s awesome. Good stuff. And speaking of RoomPlay, we’ve got on the talk at Next here, to spend a little time with Mike Bovaird, who’s actually taken advantage of RoomPlay with you a couple of times, isn’t that right?

Yeah, it’s interesting, the first time I went down to do that, I participated on his board Audioshark.org I guess it is and for a long time I’d notice that his board was informational but not confrontational. I mean you could go on there if he had a question or a comment and no one talked down to you like you were an idiot. That unfortunately seems to be the way of life for so many other boards and so I became interested in the things they would do on that board and one day he’d mentioned he had a ….I’m not sure how it came about but from 2000 – 2005 I guess we had a fairly major impact for them in that time. I set up, I don’t know, a hundred pairs of them maybe? A lot. And so he asked me to come down and do a RoomPlay for him, it was really his room uspstairs but it was also when he was starting some of his gear, it was also his demo room so when I came in there, we had all the equipment in there and my mission was to bring the ….mission to life. They sounded good but they didn’t sound alive. I wanted them to sound alive as if the performers were here with us, just uncannily right you can almost unpluck the guitar strings or if it was a big piece in a concert hall, what I call Concert Hall Presence, it seems like there is no speaker there, just…we’re in the hall in a way we managed to pull that off from the …. And I don’t know we spent a long time…and then he contacted me again recently and told, he got the new Magic O M3 in and he wanted me to set those up in his new show room which, you’re gonna talk about that, aren’t you?

Yeah.

Okay. In his new show room, so I did. I went down there and we spent some time doing that..really almost two days. The good thing is him having been present for the first and the second one, he really got maybe more out of it, so now I’ve noticed that when he talks about it he has way more ideas about how to go about it and he’s already talked about the difference it made for those clients. So, I’m pleased that we were able to do that and I’m really looking forward to seeing what your interview is all about Randall.

Yeah, we just took a little time and talked to him about the Audioshark forums and the genesis of them and what world he sees them playing in the world of audiophiles, really his vision for them and then talked about his new retail location for SunCoast Audio and now no longer just his house but actually his physical plant, a physical location where he’s running demos and having people in and in fact where he’s having the event for magic co on Saturday.

Can I say one more thing before we start that. You know I’m guilty that I’m the one that wanted to have an interview with Mike. The reason I wanted to have you talk with Mike is that he’s somebody that has an agenda. He’s trying to help people in audio and I’ve actually run into a few people that read my books that told me about it. We talked to Mike and if you’re thinking about something that you might buy and he thinks it’s no right you know what he does? He tells you don’t buy it. I mean he could take your money but he won’t do it. So, I think that’s incredible so I wanted people to learn more about Mike’s efforts, everyone else in audio and on top of that, this is important to me and I don’t say this very often, Mike is a man of integrity. He says something you can count it, you can take it to the bank.

You know, just going along with that, the other things that we talked about that’s not in the interview per ce, we were just talking afterwards, he was very conscious of the potential conflict for him being a dealer and then also running a forum about audio because it’d be very easy for someone to say that: Hey, how can you be impartial? You’re not gonna be privileging the equipment that you offer and his response is very much a…I think he used the expression: I had to go in and open up my kimono on that one because he wants, basically it sounded like he wanted the best for people regardless of what brands ended up being in there, you know in their cabinet or on their sound room floor. So, to hear you talk about him in terms of: this is a guy who won’t sell you equipment unless he thinks it’s right for you. I mean that’s the guy that you want. If anybody can still be an impartial supporter of the love of audio, it’s a guy like that.

Well, I thinks so and that’s why I’m so thrilled that you all got together and you spent some time talking to him, so if we don’t have anything else to talk about here, can we, should we just start on it now, play that interview so we, all of us can hear it?

Yeah. I think that sounds like a great idea. We’ll see everybody again for episode 12 of this Podcast when we get around to recording it, but meanwhile here’s my interview with Mike Bovaird of Suncoast audio.

Stay tuned.

(Interview begins)

RS: Hey folks, this is Randall Smith hollering at you from the studios of the Breaking Through Podcast and with me here today virtually is Michael Bovaird. Hi Mike.

MB: Hi Randall, how are you?

RS: I’m doing quite well up here in the world of Atlanta and that’s not where you are, you are in Sarasota, Florida, is that right?

MB: That’s correct, Sarasota, Florida.

RS: So, we’ve asked Mike to come on the show today and chat with us a little bit about his life as an audiophile as well as some of the things that he’s been doing in the world of audio, including his creation and management of Audioshark forums as well as his more recently opening up a retail operation in Sarasota, Suncoast Audio. So, I wanted to take a little time and talk about those things but let’s start. Mike if you don’t mind giving us a bit of history. Who are you? What makes you tick in terms of audio and how did you get into this world?

MB: Well, I’ve been an audiophile since the 70s. My father was an audiophile and I grew up around Mackintosh and Klipschorn Speakers, turntables and reel wheels, quadraphonic sounds in the 70s. It was a great exposure for me, my dad taught me everything and he took me to some of their early trade shows as well. You know a big Saturday for us was to jump in the car and head to retail stores and check out the latest equipment. For me, when I was 8, 9, 10 years old I really got into it. I remember the first job I got. One wasn’t good enough so I picked up 2 and I saved up all year to buy my first turntable and that was probably 1979, somewhere around there.

RS: Do you remember what it was?

MB: I would be embarrassed to say it but I do remember it was a CEE turntable and it was not very good but it was what I could afford.

RS: Yeah, it was all yours.

MB: All mine. And my dad gave me a sure cartridge and I mounted that and I had a receiver. I think it was a Pioneer receiver and my dad gave me a pair of speakers and you know the rest is history. The bug hit me right after that. All through the 80s and 90s and 2000s, I would be embarrassed to say how much equipment I’ve actually cycled through, you know and tried. You name it: Wilson, BMW al the big ones, Carver, Maxwell, Napan, I mean sure Tanoic, Magico the list goes on and on. The system I have now, I’ve probably had for the longest and I don’t really have any desire to change so that’s something in itself for sure.

RS: And how long have you had it?

MB: For me it would be a world record of 2 years with no changes.

RS: With no changes? No tweaks at all?

MB: No. Absolutely the same stuff and you know, I don’t even think about tweaking. I’ve tried a couple of things, you know I had a David Bowie OTL in my system a couple of weeks ago. It was wonderful but it was different but not better than my current trial Japan 300B model so very happy with those and sure the burning is sometimes better but the 300B also did some things that I prefer so yeah, I haven’t changed anything.

RS: That’s awesome. And all this from the ripe old age of 8 or 9 years old.

MB: Yeah, 8 or 9 years old. I remember you know, my father’s quadrisonic system. He had the Sony model blocks and I remember they were kind of narrow and they weren’t very tall. They were probably, if I’m guessing 6 by 7 inches and 30 inches long. I mean they were just the longest amplifiers you’ve ever seen and he had 4 of those with a Sony Air quadraphonic amp and we had a quad turntable. Well, it was a quad cartridge obviously and of course, you know, I mean there was no…material back them but there were some pretty crazy things like Pink Floyds outside of the moon which you know was an experience in quadrophonics. Mindblowing.

RS: So, since then you haven’t been content to just listen to great things. You’ve actually been active on the internet by creating these forums, the Audioshark forums. What led to that? Why did you do it? What do you see the role of those forums being now for the world of those audiophiles?

MB: Well, Audioshark just had it 4 th year anniversary. Statiscally, it’s grown in leaps and bounds. Google Analytics shows some incredible statistics, incredible 8000 hits per month, right? What prompted me is..is started like everybody else. I was a member of other forums, I still am, I just didn’t like the way some people were belittleling, a lot of bickering, it would get nasty, ugly, mean and I really didn’t like that. I think we need to create an environment where everybody can ask stupid questions.

RS: Sure.

MB: And feel comfortable doing it. So, that’s the one thing I noticed with a lot of the other forums. The didn’t have what I call iron-fisted moderation. The allowed the lies, the bickering, they created an atmosphere of hostility and sometimes it can actually come from the moderators themselves so that was never a good thing. So, I created Audioshark. Honestly, I just woke up one day 4 years ago and said: I’m gonna do this. I registered the name, I hired an artist to do the logo, I hired technical people much smarter than me to build the website and build the forum out and as they say, the rest is history. I remember the first night, I think I threw the switch at 5 o’clock and then went to the movies. I came home from the movies and I had 9 members. I was like wow. It kept rolling. Now, we have approximately 8000 members, we’re having people each and every day to the site, we’ve got an
incredible amount of international participation with people from Europe, Asia, Australia, fascinating to get their input their take their input, their feedback on different things going on in the industry, the equipment, shows, music, mergers and acquisitions, whatever it’s really an international flavor we got.

RS: Do you feel like folks overseas bring a certain…it seems to me they would force the idea of being brand agnostic in some level in that they have access to different brands than the average American audiophile might have at their disposal. Do you find that to be true or is that not an issue for you from what you’ve seen?

MB: Well, I think it is true. I think they constantly wear the badge of brand access and I think they are open to newer companies rising up such as SH Precision, for example, solutions, some of the other, the newer companies if you will rather than some of the American companies that have been around for 50 years. They’re much more open to younger engineering, creative ideas and pushing the envelope of sound and technology. And it’s been interesting because some of that equipment does not fnd its way to our shore immediately so it’s interesting to get their feedback and read about these products and their experience with them before we get a chance. But on the other side, it’s the same way here for example our new pas product, our new air product, magical product, our new whatever product. You know they are fascinated to hear about our experiences because we will have our exposure to these products before they have theirs. So, it’s give and take. It’s a fun relationship.

RS: That’s really cool. So, you’ve seen the membership of your site and these growing over the past few years to where you’re getting say 800 000 hits per month.

MB: Yes, our Google Analytics show two factors: 800 000 a month, 40 000 unique visitors wordwide. That means these are 40 000 different people, not the same people, worldwide visitng the site per month and the site over that gets over 800 000 hits per month. Those Google Analytics have been increasing steadily each and every month so ….I was surprised too, believe me. One of the first things I did was put the Google Analytics code on the site so we could track and our ranking and all of those things are doing very, very well. Audioshark is really one of those things you know, you plant the seed, you let it grow. It’s the people. It’s truly nothing I do, it’s the people that are on the site that make it what it is.

RS: Sure. You get the right mix there and it takes on its own life. Do you have any sense as to how your site compared to some of the other audio forums out there in terms of…The reason I’m asking this is because 40 000 unique hits seems to me to be a lot. And that actually seems high when you think of..in terms of how many really dedicated audiophiles there are out there. 40 000 is more than I would’ve guessed.

MB: Well, that’s only about the audiophiles. So, if we start a topic about the latest Adele album, we create a thread about the latest Adele album, we will probably be discussing the pression of the music, but it’s still gonna come off in Google hits and somebody who’s not an audiophile will click on it and see it or they might just go to Google and put in: New Adele Album and Audioshark will come up somewhere in top ranking and they will click on it and read about it. So, it’s not 40 000 audiophiles but I still know that we don’t have a lot, most of it is Bruno reissues with Miles Davis and whatever. Really, we’re talking more about that kind of music and the numbers, they’re interesting but you won’t know what people are searching for. For example, record cleaning machines all of sudden will come off and the audio, the BTI, will start reading about it so there’s a lot of products out there that people are constantly searching for. Whether they join is another thing, it’s easy for people to make that effort, it’s easy to join, it’s up to them to make the effort to put in their username and the password and you know, away you go. Some people do it and some people don’t.

RS: Well, I think, in part of what jumped out at me in this number is that in some ways it speaks exactly to your stated goal of making forums welcoming and we know there is not a sense of being considered stupid or uninformed and that sort of thing, the kind of thing that illicit more visitation from guests so..

WB: Randall, remember its worldwide, people from all over coming and searching for a product and Audioshark comes up in all audio searches. That’s unique visitors. They might from Austria, New Zealand, Australia, they could be from anywhere.

RS: So, what do you say is the future of Audioshark?

MB: Well, you know its something I’ve been talking to a few reviewers about..they’re really well known reviewers but some guys are writing for smaller publications, online publications and they feel that forums are the future for reviews. They think that every review is a positive review for a product today as Mary Pearson where people are literally sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to see if they’re gonna like it or not. If it did, your product will sell if not, it’s going to thrash. Today, everything is the greatest, everything is the best and people can turn to the forums and get real feedback from real owners. And that’s critical. I’m not saying that every member of the site is gonna do a review, of course we do, there are some guys that do a fantastic job and they don’t get paid, they’re just passionate about it, whatever they buy and they want to do a review. Of course, we do not have everybody doing that, but also if you purchased the latest cable, amplifier and they will do a write-up and say I’ve been living with this now for 90 days and here’s what I went through during break-in sound, here’s what I like, here’s what I don’t you know, and they’re getting real feedback from real people. I think the benefit of that for the consumer is extremely valuable.

RS: Especially if you feel like you can trust the people that write these things. And if you feel like, you know put them out there and they’ll be appreciated it in the spirit of what they meant.

MB: Correct.

RS: Good stuff, I’m..that’s fantastic. This is not all you’ve been up to lately. You’ve been doing stuff lately or so my dad tells me, tales of different components out of your home for a while but you’ve just unveiled a new retail location called Suncoast Audio. How did that come about?

MB: Well, I’ll be honest with you, if I like knock on the door, my parents passing away in 2013, early in 2013 suddenly and it was a wake up call for me. I have been a very successful businessman and I own other businesses involved in large scale enterprise, what we call resort planning, going into huge organizations the size of Coca Cola and large governments and doing….I’ve been doing for 25 years. So, I decided with the passing of my parents, I didn’t want to do that anymore. I still run those other businesses and have a very good management team that does 99% of the work. So, I wanted to do something I love and I decided well, I don’t have anything, I don’t have experience doing this. I decided I’m gonna do it. I want to give it a shot. So, out of the blue, I picked up the phone and called the distributor. I said you don’t know me, I don’t have a name, I don’t have a name for the business, I don’t have a website. I said this is my background and this is what I want to do. And there was a long pause. And then he said, OK, I’ll give you a chance, I’ll give it a shot. I needed a sizeable amount of money to do
an opening order amplifiers, cables yadda yadda yadda. I purchased a bunch of stuff and as they say: the rest is history. I started selling out of my house and it was odd to have people coming in but I didn’t mind if they didn’t mind.

RS: When you say people coming in, you mean coming in and the equipment that you were selling was in your sound room and they were able to sit and listen in the sound room. Is that how that worked?

MB: Yeah, I have a dedicated room in my home and I have a large family room so I was able to set up, ultimately at the end of the day for people to hear. I then swapped speakers and amps as they required. I simply kept all the money in the business. I didn’t spend any, I didn’t take any money out is what I’m trying to say. I kept stockpiling little bits of money here and there and eventually ended up opening a brick and mortar store at technically, the beginning of this year. So, yeah it’s good. I’ve got 4 show rooms, I have a small, medium, medium-large set ups and I move speakers around in different sized rooms. I can move speakers around. You know it’s a good situation better than at home and it’s working really, really well. And less evasive too. No, I think I’ve created a very nice environment. In the store, if you have been, every single room s treated with the same acoustics so I had people from acoustics come in and measure them and we’ve put a 75 000 dollars worth of room treatment across the entire building. Then, I’ve covered the place with jazz posters, some really nice framed musicians like Miles Davis..(more names) these guys are cool. So, it makes the place look cool. That was my theory. My wife picked up several thousands of dollars worth of plants so it looks nice. So, yeah we’ve got it decorated, on display we’ve got Focal, we’ve got Rido, Anderscheme???, we’ve got Avantgarde and we have Magico. So we’ve got plenty of variety to hear from different speakers, electronics, we’ve got air, we’ve got pas, we’ve got vat, which are made here, I’m very proud here in Sarasota, Florida. I’m friends with the folks at Vat, wonderful people , you can drive down the road and get the new amp and down the H game.

RS: That’s fantastic. So we’ve got an event on Saturday, is that right?

MB: Correct. Peter McKay from the National Survey of the Global Films Directors for Magico is flying in and we’re going to be launching three new Magico …..loud speaker. It retails for 28 000 dollars, a fantastic speaker in its category and we’ll be launching that speaker. So we’re expecting 30 or 40 people who’ve confirmed so far. There’ll be snacks and drinks and stuff for people to enjoy. Pete is going to be telling us all about this speaker. We’ve had them in for about 2 weeks now, so those have 400-500 hours on them by the time Pete arrives on Saturday.

RS: So, you’ll be going with the cult star even though. This speaker is fantastic. And that is Saturday, April the 8 th . Correct?

MB: Correct, Saturday 1 to 4 pm at Suncoast Audios, Sarasota, Florida is our location.

RS: Which they can find by going to the www.suncoastaudio.com . So, I feel like I have to throw this in there cause after all I’m doing this with my dad. Let me ask you this: what experience have you had with some of the things that he does with RoomPlay or RoomPlay Reference.

MB: Oh my, I’ve always been a fan, I’ve always read his books, watch what he does, read his articles, I’ve always been a fan. The system we have now, actually we’ve had for a little over 2 years it’s the Avant- garde duo mezzo speakers. Your father was the Avantgarde distributor for a very long time. Very very knowledgeable about the Avantgarde so, it was about a year and a half ago, maybe more, I reached out. I’d spoken to him a few times on the phone. They weren’t quite where they should be. He came down to say that he worked miracles. It’s understatement. I never thought they could sound that good. I mean I knew they could sound really good I’d heard them at other people’s homes and at shows but I never knew they could sound that good in my house. They had not moved a half inch. If people even go near them I say don’t touch them. They’re not moving. They’re dialed into perfection. So, when I got the building and we finished the renovation in the big room, the statement room and with the…

RS: You’re talking about Suncoast Audio now.

MB: Right, for Suncoast Audio. The Magico M3s, which are approximately 85 000 dollars. They’re statement speakers for sure. I knew the right guy for the job was your dad. So, I wanted him to come down and set up the M3s in the big room. Look, I’m making a statement with this speakers, I want this to be the statement speaker. He came down and spent the better part of two days and helping me and he got them to a level where…you know I monkeyed with the for 3 months and I could never get them to sound as good as what he did. Tell me good, he got them sounding incredible. Now that I’ve been through 2 sessions with them, I’m starting to be a little bit more educated with his process, what he goes through, what he’s listening for. It was great last time, he was explaining to me what he was
listening for and the hues. Yeah, I definitely want to do his sessions where we go to his place and he does more training for you.

RS: Yeah, that’s a RoomPlay Reference. That has actually…you know it’s funny, I have talked about that offering for a few years now since its inception and its..he’s always tinkering with it, he’s always changing it, he’s always making so that it provides more value and you know, it’s interesting to hear you talk about the RoomPlay sessions that he’s done for you. He’s really trying to turn RoomPlay Reference into a teaching session where it’s all about educating your ears and you know, giving you exactly the insights that you need so that you go back home and you know what you’re listening for, what you can target after that.

MB: Yeah, that’s exactly why I want to attend RoomPlay Reference as I’m getting close, you know 30, 40, 50% of the way there. If I can attend RoomPlay Reference I think it’s a great benefit for me to have as a viewer. The better setup I can provide to my customers, ultimately the happier they will be. I want to take those extra steps to educate myself to be a great, not just a good setup guy as I’m there now by reading his books, but I want to be a great setup guy. I want to be able to have my clients hjust over the moon happy like I was when Jim came and setup my speakers.

RS: Those are bold words, sir. And rightly so. Good ones. I think that’s exactly the kind of thing that you should aspire to. You and my dad talk about different, you know the world of dealers, the world of distributors and that kind of thing. It’s a…it can be dispiriting at times, but to hear someone like yourself who’s content to push a product or sound ok, but you actually want to make it the best it can be, objectively.

MB: Absolutely.

RS: That’s awesome.

MB: yep, a happy customer is a repeat customer so everybody will want to buy a new dac or a new cable or tweak this, tweak that, but if they’re very happy with your service and the support they’ll keep coming back.

RS: Well, Mike thanks so much for talking with us. Best of luck with Suncoast Audio and with the future of Audioshark as well.

MB: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

Episode Eleven: We Like Mike

Hello audiophiles! We’re back with an eleventh episode of the Breaking Through Podcast. In this episode we begin with the usual TTSB update, and then talk a bit aboutRoomPlay Reference. The real treat, though, is Randall’s interview with Mike Bovaird, founder of the Audioshark forums and an equipment dealer now in his own right at the newly opened Suncoast Audio.

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