Aussie Brand Pitt & Giblin Emerges From Pandemic With New Direction
While COVID-19 may have devastated economies and industries around the world, some good news stories are emerging. One such story is Pitt & Giblin, a Tasmanian brand that has shifted its focus and is now delivering exceptionally crafted hi-fi loudspeakers.
Tasmania, the 26th-largest island globally and 240kms south of the mainland, has a small but thriving hi-fi scene. It's also home to Holton Audio, or 'Aussie Amps', as it has become known to its thousands of customers worldwide who have purchased DIY components to build their own amplifiers.
Some of the best ideas are borne from misfortune or unfortunate circumstances, and the shutdown of entire industries in 2020 forced Jack Pitt and Ross Giblin to rethink their direction. Last year, having worked in the live music and pro audio market for over ten years, saw them refocus their knowledge and expertise and broaden their thinking towards domestic audio or hi-fi.
As the pandemic started slowing and the economy showed early signs of recovery in 2021, Pitt & Giblin emerged with some cutting-edge new loudspeaker designs.
Ross Giblin, one-half of the Pitt & Giblin company, told StereoNET:
2020 was a catalyst for Pitt & Giblin. We have been in a research and development stage for quite some time (nearly ten years), funded with our operations in the now somewhat defunct industry of professional audio services and live sound production. Though practising in the pro audio arena, our research, design, and prototyping are holistic - we're interested in the interaction of devices and integration of technologies across a range of uses.
Superwax in-situ at Waxflower Bar (Brunswick, VIC)
Their first project saw them commissioned to design and manufacture a sound system for Brunswick (VIC) listening bar, Waxflower. The result, which came to be known as Superwax, was very well received and fast became a foundational element for the brand. With this momentum, P&G wanted to release a more 'accessible' listening product - one that resonated with both the visual cues of Superwax, and that aligned with their acoustical design philosophy.
Shortly afterwards, the Superwax Mini was announced. A 15-inch 2-way active loudspeaker, and rather than imitating a classic, they reimagined it instead. Giblin said, “the integration of DSP allows us the opportunity to do things differently, and it's with this opportunity the waveguide, drivers, and cabinetry have been integrated in a way that results in performance simply not possible in a passive system.”
The exceptional craftsmanship is evident, and its retro styling is distinguished yet thoroughly modern and arguably timeless. It's exposed, with no frills and no grille. The waveguide is cast from solid bronze in hometown, Hobart, and finished by hand. The constant directivity waveguide exhibits exceptional pattern control and was designed in-house to suit the mating titanium diaphragm compression driver and integrates seamlessly with the mid-bass drive unit.
The cabinet is CNC machined from Victorian Blackbutt before being carefully assembled and finished by hand. Robust construction methods are employed with considerable bracing to create what P&G says is “an incredibly inert cabinet for minimal colouration. Built to last a lifetime.”
Hypex Ncore amplification is employed, and with careful DSP implementation, acoustical design opportunities were available that are simply not possible in a passive system. Giblin adds, “we were able to optimise the design of the waveguide, cabinet and drivers to maximise acoustical performance, resulting in superbly consistent in-room performance and vanishingly low distortion, at any output level.”
Specs are quoted as 116dB @ 1m max output, 45Hz-20kHz ±1dB (natural) / 30Hz-20kHz ± 1dB (extended LF) frequency response, 900Hz crossover frequency, measuring 460 x 715 x 380 (mm WHD) without stand, and weighing 32kg each. Inputs include mono balanced XLR, mono unbalanced RCA, AES3, SPDIF coaxial and Toslink. There's also a multi-function IR remote included.
The Supermax Mini is available now, built to order, and sells for AUD $13,500 /pair as an introductory price. Demos are available in Hobart, Tasmania and worldwide shipping is available.
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.