IBJNews

Indy Audio Labs wiring for relaunch of high-end home theater brands

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two former Klipsch Group engineers plan to return to the market a brand of amplifiers famous among audio enthusiasts.

Indy Audio Labs, owned by Rick Santiago and Ted Moore, bought the Aragon and Acurus brands of amps, pre-amps and sound processors from Klipsch in April for an undisclosed price. Now they’re trying to arrange for manufacturing and meet a planned second-quarter 2010 launch.

Klipsch bought the lines in 2001 from Mondial Designs Ltd., of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. But responding to changing trends in the market and a decision to refocus its core loudspeaker business, Klipsch discontinued production of the Aragon/Acurus lines in 2005.

Beyond delivering high-performance audio to multi-room audio-video and home theater setups, Santiago and Moore aim to make the line of amps and processors a platform to connect seamlessly with new digital media devices, such as Blu-Ray players, iPods or networked media servers. Santiago, who formerly worked on audio systems at Chicago-based Shure Inc., focused on applications of new digital media devices while at Klipsch.

“High-end audio-video has become more affordable in recent years, but we’re in the midst of a digital media revolution,” Santiago said.

Indy Audio Labs also aims to carve a niche in ultra-intuitive operation. Many increasingly complex audio devices now require a user to know too much about the device’s architecture. That’s something many baby boomers who tend to buy these products have diminishing patience for as they age.

“We actually want the equipment to be able to start to learn what the user’s [expectation] is. The equipment should be smart,” Santiago said.

Today’s audiophile market has hundreds of brands catering to boomers, who once drove the success of high-end brands like Aragon and Adcom, noted Jerry Del Colliano, publisher of Beverly Hills-based HomeTheaterReview.com.

“Those same customers already have top-performing AV systems. So Acurus and Aragon will need to tap into the 2-million-strong iPod-owning audience to show them why they need better AV equipment than you can [get] from mainstream electronics companies,” Del Colliano said.

The key to the brands’ success, he added, “will be if they can create consumer demand. The days of an audiophile company building a better mousetrap were over long ago. The most successful new brands bring millions of dollars to the table to create consumer demand.

Indy Audio Labs has cobbled together funding mostly from friends and family to this point, Santiago said. But he’s also embarked on a campaign to find seed funding, with a goal of at least $600,000. One thing going for the upstart company is that next year it will have a product to bring to market to generate revenue almost immediately—tweaked versions of the last Aragon and Acurus lines.

“A technology doesn’t have to be brand new to be good,” he added.

Santiago, who also is a saxophone musician, said the company will not sell into mainstream retail channels but rather specialty audio firms and to home theater installers.

“Brick-and-mortar dealers may or may not add the line, which is why many lines looking to capture market share have gone to selling directly to the consumer,” said HomeTheaterReview’s Del Colliano.

Klipsch had been manufacturing the units in California. Santiago and Moore said they’d like to build the units in Indiana, if possible.

Now, the company is based out of the founders’ homes. Indy Audio recently became an affiliate of the new Purdue Research Park at Ameriplex, just south of Indianapolis International Airport.  As the company grows, it could become a tenant of that facility.

Consumer demand for higher-end audio devices has been challenged. Sales of audio receivers costing $800 and up have fallen 37 percent in the first half of this year versus the same time last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Sales of stand-alone amplifiers are off about 75 percent, said the Arlington, Va.-based industry group.

Largely, “only the tried-and-true enthusiasts are primarily the ones that are buying—either that or the super-wealthy,” said CEA analyst Steve Koenig.

However, Koenig said consumer wallets are predicted to loosen the middle of next year, about the same time Indy Audio plans to launch the Aragon and Acurus lines.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • are you hiring
    i just realy need a job iam a single father trying to suport my son
  • Are they hiring? JK This is exactly the advanced manufacturing that could rebuild our "blue collar" class though. I hope they can deliver; and the upcoming big civic project, the convention center or Carmel arts, will consider them!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT