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I believe there's no need to spend words explaining what Forbes is. It is, actually, one of the World's leading financial magazines, devoted to investment trends and everything expensive made on this Planet. Though HiFi can be expensive enough to be featured on such a magazine the article I'm about to tell you refers to extremely inexpensive HiFi gear. Actually, it refers to the most insane and less expensive piece of equipment I've come across in 25 years of HiFi addiction: the T-Amp!
Yes! On Issue 6, Vol. 176 (on the newsstands right now), at page 67 and 68 Dan Lyons tells the whole story behind Sonic Impact explosive success. And, of course, TNT-Audio gets cited and quoted as responsible for the unbelievable market boom. On a brief interview with Sonic Impact's crew, every detail gets exposed: how all the biz started and the impressive increase of market demand for Sonic Impact products after the review of their T-Amp was published here on TNT-Audio. Briefly, they were the last to know.
The brilliant article covers every aspect of the story, including Sonic Impact future plans for a re-boxed metal-case "audiophile" version of the T-Amp (at 139$!) and a more powerful (50 watts/channel) version (at 349$) expected for the beginning of 2006.
Also covered are some aspects regarding Tripath's technology, explained by its founder Adya Tripathi. For the whole story please visit Forbes online (you might need to register) or pay a visit at your nearest international newsstand.
Sonic Impact's financial success aside, this article is interesting and relevant because it sheds some light on our niche market. It is not easy to find articles about HiFi gear on magazines or newspapers that are "far" from our beloved hobby. HiFi used to be a status symbol in the 70's, then attracted masses' attention in the 80's thanks to the Compact Disc revolution and finally got some "exposure" thanks to the Home Theater bug (a flop, indeed) in the 90's. After that...nothing! Just silence. It seems that good Music reproduction is something of very little interest for the masses. Only MP3's rule. SACD and DVD-Audio failed to reach the masses (they failed to reach audiophiles, as well ;-)).
The new breed of inexpensive and extremely good sounding digital amplifiers can create some new interest and the whole "niche" can certainly benefit from this.
How many "men of the street" bought the T-Amp after the word was spread? How many old, bored audiophiles got stung by the upgraditis bug again thanks to this small marvel? How many students built their first HiFi system "around" a T-Amp?
4,000 (four thousand) T-Amps are sold each month worldwide because of the vast interest we created around it. As a simple multimedia amplifier it used to be sold in a few hundreds of units per month. So, let's forget if it's a real giant-killer or not, let's avoid flame wars about it...just let's exploit the situation to create a new interest for our beloved hobby!
New so-called "digital" amplifications are - perhaps - the first REAL revolution in, say, 50 years of faithful Music reproduction at home. You may have read something about the new NuForce amplifiers on other web magazines. Well, we're working on these too and, if we may anticipate something, trust us when we say we are facing a whole new era.
Traditional magazines might have underestimated the "power" of this revolution, considering the T-Amp nothing more than a toy. On the contrary, the T-Amp is the first way to get in touch with a new way to experience audio amplification at home. It has its shortcomings, of course, but it does prove - beyond any reasonable doubt - there's something hidden in those chips that offers extreme high quality at unbelievable low prices.
During these first 10 years of TNT-Audio we've always tried to "spread the word": bring good "vibes" to the masses. Not compressed digital Music, inexpensive multimedia and multichannel garbage or ridiculously complicated Home Theater systems! No! Pure, simple and cost-effective 2-channels HiFi gear for everyone. If we succeed bringing good quality audio to the masses our "niche" will become larger and larger. This will be a great benefit for all of us, even for pure high-end addicts.
Finally, we can't deny we are extremely proud to be featured on such a highly respected publication as Forbes but we are even happier because, for the first time in many years, the "outside World" shows some interest again for good quality audio.
Stay tuned, we'll try to bring good quality audio to anyone. As we always say ...making sure the fun never ends!
© Copyright 2005 Lucio Cadeddu - www.tnt-audio.com