In 1998 our family boom box sputtered its last sound and died. After the memorial service, I suggested to my wife we splurge and buy a full stereo system. With her blessing, and a snug budget of $1,500, the shopping began.
Little did I know I was going to step into a kind of hell on earth I didn’t know existed. So many speaker choices, dozens of them, and all displayed in an acoustically engineered showroom that didn’t begin to resemble my family room. Then there was the sales shpiel, droned by a commissioned salesman I was sure had just been lifted out of a car seat, and who flat lined every time I asked a tough question. But it was the markup that made me swallow my tongue. I used to build speakers in high school. I knew what the parts cost, and I knew if I paid the retail price, I would essentially be buying the distribution channel, not the speakers themselves.
Then the light went on, not so much like a revelation, but more like a logical epiphany to a really screwy situation. I thought, “I’ll build the speakers myself. ”But the big epiphany, the kahuna of epiphanies, the one for which I am forever grateful, came a few weeks later, incited by a guy in Mexico I was talking to about the sonic capacity of Peruvian hardwood. He asked, “Are you going to make a business out of building speakers?” And while the prospect of doing so had never occurred to me, what leaped out of my mouth was “Yes.”
With that "yes," the vision to build remarkable sounding speakers at a remarkably low price was instantaneously born. Of course, it was a no-brainer that the prime way to do this was to sell direct to the customer online. Cut out the middleman, the distribution channel, all the bureaucracy that sucks a budget dry, then pour that cash into developing and manufacturing kick ass speakers. The boon to the customer? Extraordinary speakers at half the price of retail.
So, what started at a budget of $1,500 in 1998 turned into a million dollars in capital within months. And while my wife and I put off buying the speaker system of our dreams, within time we finally got it. It’s called the Aperion Audio Intimus 5.1 System. The best thing about this story? This is only the beginning.