All New Sydney’s Audio Connection Writes Next Chapter
It was once said that “The next generation has always been better than the previous one. If it is not, then the world would not be moving forward.” Nothing could be more accurate for one of Australia's pioneering hi-fi specialists as it now writes the next chapter of Sydney's Audio Connection in Leichhardt.
When founder Joe Riediger sadly passed away last year, nephew Nigel Ng was already committed to respecting Joe's legacy, and in many ways, the grand plans had already been laid.
Nigel told us:
In one of our deep discussions over some fine single malt in the days leading up to his passing, Joe told me, “It's up to you what you want to do with it. Keep it running, or sell it if you don't want to manage it - I don't want to leave you with a burden.” For me, it was never a question - how could I give up on something that I've been around my whole life? From the age of thirteen, I was working within Audio Connection. I promised Joe that it would be an honour to keep it going.
And so, as the next generation takes the helm, learning from those before them, we are pleased to see the result of a makeover costing several hundred thousand dollars, nearly a year's hard work, and a youthful determination and resilience to succeed.
We launched a new website, a new logo, established our social media channels, and implemented live chat. We also wanted to raise the quality of the equipment available for demonstration and ensure Australia had access to some of the finest products available in the world.
Nigel says the real challenge, though, was its showroom. Being the original building with its late 90s original fittings, it looked dated. “It was clear that a simple spruce up wouldn't be enough - we were faced with no choice but to undertake a full gut and re-build.”
Audio Connection's new showroom would need to have a luxury, high-end penthouse look and ambience. The aim was not to feel like a retail showroom but more of a living space. It features a dedicated room to demonstrate high-end cinema and Dolby Atmos, but also just as suitable for high-end two-channel audio.
We wanted to have a meeting space to go over building plans for our projects and a bar, stocked with all our favourite drinks for entertaining guests (and ourselves at 4:30pm on a Friday). We wanted to incorporate headphones - not entry-level ones, but high quality, true head-fi products, and a dedicated space in which to listen to them. Mostly though, we wanted a space that suited the level of hi-fi we offer. There's several million dollars worth of hi-fi in this showroom, and the space should look like it.
All the considerations for designing and building rooms for its own customers were implemented in the construction of these dedicated spaces. From metal studs, each treated with acoustic damping, to Bradford batts utilised throughout the walls, plus Soundchek plasterboard with acoustic mebranes, acoustic ceilings, and more. Sonitus Acoustics were extensively employed to treat the room's interior spaces.
And today, the showroom is complete, and according to Nigel, “just the way we want it”. The pandemic has, of course, put a hold on grand launch event plans, which was to include live music, special guests from represented brands, and much more. Sydney's new high-end audio and video destination store is warm, comforting, and welcoming - arguably offering one of the widest arrays of equipment for all price points, right up to and beyond an audiophile's wildest dreams. Nigel and the Audio Connection team can't wait to be able to demonstrate it to you.
Our showroom renovation was just the start, but it was also an important one. It makes a statement about our direction and dedication to luxury hi-fi and our customer-first approach. It signifies my desire to continue strengthening our industry, and a willingness to work together with like-minded partners for the benefit of all.
And that is the perfect example of a new generation of a specialist store, its owner, and its most certain future success.
StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher, born in UK and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia where he worked as an Engineer in both the audio and mechanical fields.