Danish loudspeaker expert Audiovector is no stranger to the pages of Hi-Fi+. The company has picked up many awards for its loudspeaker designs (both in this magazine and elsewhere) and many of the reviewers have used or still use Audiovector loudspeakers, including the Editor, who uses a pair of R1 Arreté stand-mounts for both personal listening and as part of his audio assessment line-up.
We spoke to CEO of Audiovector, Mads Klifoth, about the company, building the perfect loudspeaker, upgrading that speaker, and why Freedom Grounding is so vitally important in today’s top loudspeaker systems.
When did Audiovector start, and why?
Audiovector was created in 1979 by my father, Ole Klifoth, who wanted to build the perfect loudspeaker for himself and other music lovers. He was (and, of course, remains to this day) a passionate fan of music and wanted to listen to it in the most enjoyable and realistic way possible. He couldn’t find a speaker that recreated this to the level he envisaged, so he made his own!
When did you take over the company and what role does Ole have in the company today?
I took over the reins as Managing Director and majority shareholder five years ago and have been running the company commercially since them. Ole’s great desire was to focus solely on our high-quality products full time, so he remains an integral part of the company in his role as Head of R&D.
How big is the Audiovector team? Do workers stay with you for months, years, or decades?
We have a total of 17 dedicated staff based in-house. The ideal is that each of them forms a fundamental part of the team. Some have been with us here for decades, which is an achievement to be proud of and testament to the company’s spirit. A successful manufacturing company is not only about the products – it’s also the people behind them.
Where did the upgrade path idea come from?
This innovative concept started in 1982 and was my father’s idea of looking after our loyal customers in the best possible way. We could build brand loyalty that also benefitted our customers financially. The cost and procedure of upgrading is more affordable and flexible than selling and re-purchasing and it is also eco-friendly. In addition, it created a unique concept to the market which remains fundamentally the same to this day.
Do people actually upgrade?
We handle upgrades every week, mostly from our more mature markets. Lately we upgraded a pair of S6 Avantgarde speakers from 2001 to the new R6 Arreté which we launched in September 2020. This particular pair came from a Swedish customer and shows perfectly how we can update something twenty years old to the very latest specification.