There is a joke that sometimes circulates around the American high-end audio fraternity, which goes something like this: Q “What do you call a high-end audio store that also does home theatre?” A “A home theatre store!” OK, so it’s not going to win joke of the year, but it has a kernel of truth to it, because so many audio stores discover home cinema or custom install, and almost immediately forget the core of their business. The Source AV of Torrance, California is a notable exception; it’s a high-end audio company that also builds excellent high-performance home cinemas, produces custom install systems, and designs and builds home automation systems with equal ease.
With a line up of some of the finest names in audio and audio/video, this is perhaps completely understandable, but The Source AV’s reputation reaches far and wide, far wider perhaps than just a good line in products might suggest. Much of that reputation comes from tireless co-founder of the company Jason Lord. Genuinely one of the hardest working, and one of the nicest, people in the audio business, Jason embodies the spirit of The Source AV – dedicated, professional, and thorough.
It took some time to pin Jason down, because he’s almost constantly designing, demonstrating, installing, or updating one of the many systems in California that bear his company’s name.
What brands/products do you stock?
MBL, Boulder, Dan D’Agostino, McIntosh, Gryphon, Moon by SimAudio, DataSat, Marantz, Denon, bel canto, aurender, Chord, Cavalli, Woo Audio, and Sony ES are the electronics brands we display and stock. When it comes to loudspeakers, we concentrate on Sonus faber, Focal, MBL, Totem Acoustic, Quad, and McIntosh designs. We have found these brands meet the needs of both audio and video lovers.
What inspired you to get into the industry?
My motivation was that I wanted to create a store, no… make that a company… that really was a part of the community. A place you could go where there was no sales pressure, and no motivation based entirely on financial benefit. In other words, a store that would take the time to teach the consumer best practices to meet the expected outcome.
Who has been your biggest influence?
In the audio world, my biggest influences were Saul Marantz, Frank McIntosh, Charlie Randall, Morris Kessler, Bob Carver and John Curl. These guys helped define – and in some cases continue to define – high-performance audio at all levels. Many of them also built some of the most famous names in the audio business to this day.
What music do you listen to when doing a demonstration?
Not a very good question really. I listen to whatever the client wants to use as a reference for their ears. My personal music choice is mostly jazz. I like lots of different genres, but jazz is my go-to music most of the time.
We all naturally have our own choices of music we use, whether it’s to evaluate equipment, help set-up a system, or just for listening for pleasure. But when it comes to the tastes of the client themselves, I would never impose my own music on them unless they didn’t bring any music along. Which is maybe the best reason to bring music to demonstrations!