My first actual visit to Archive Audio had me a little nervous. I cannot say how many retailers who work from their home are more like “mad scientists” in their laboratory!
My first impression was so overwhelmingly positive. I knew at the moment I stepped into Bob Kirk’s house that (finally!) there was a place I could comfortably bring along “she who must be obeyed” as the Brits fondly refer to the fairer sex. And, yes, she would have to give at least tacit approval to any purchase I would make.
One could not ask for a more real setting than sitting in his living room and listening to music. (Not to mention the good taste of the lovely appointed living room.) Yes, Bob Kirk has not lost sight of the fact that we’re all “doing this” because we love music. (It also helped that he had a pair of gorgeous Joseph Audio RM33LE’s there that actually looked like they belonged there!) Their narrow profile was “just what the doctor ordered” for my other half who is extremely conscious of the aesthetics in the room. Plus, I have heard them before but for some reason he made them sing.
Each room had it’s own dedicated system that integrated so well within the room that everything just seemed so relaxed and natural. Plus, for those “die hard” enthusiasts among us he actually does have a more traditional” listening room downstairs where he moves everything around if necessary for a really critical listening environment.
My hat is off to Bob at Archive Audio. He is a shining example of what occurs when one really does care about their customers and knows how to make the whole experience enjoyable. Remember: Professionals make it all look easy.
If I would have met you earlier in my audio adventure, I certainly would have saved a lot of time, money and energy in my pursuit of audio excellence. Finding an expert for anything you personally don’t know much about makes sense no matter what the subject. It just took me awhile to understand and appreciate just how many options you have when building a system. It was a wonderful surprise to find someone of your experience right here in town.
Though it seemed a bit unorthodox at first coming to your home based business to audition equipment, your laid back approach and love of what you do made it very enjoyable and I’m really glad I did. Should any of your potential customers ever want to speak to a reference, please don’t hesitate to pass on my name.
Thanks for taking time to work with the equipment I had already purchased and bringing my system to an entirely new level.
All the best,
Collaborating and working with Bob Kirk in order to carefully explore, plan, and create a home audio system is rather like working with a highly skilled and intuitive “wellness” provider. Let me explain.
I am a physician. When I first meet new clients for an initial consultation, they typically bring with them a number of hopes and expectations, of which the most important are a desire to be heard, understood, and cared for, as well as the wish for wellness and happiness. The establishment of a sense of trust and rapport is critical if any meaningful spiritual work and growth is genuinely desired. When I work with people, what I first offer them is my undivided attention and my desire to be helpful. What most often follows is a close and collaborative venture that’s ultimately healing, fun, and rewarding for both the giver and the receiver.
When one schedules an initial “audio” consultation with Bob at his home where his business is based, many similar dynamics are set in motion. Bob is a very gifted, sensitive, spiritual, and energetically balanced soul who is motivated by Spirit rather than profits. He is a very intuitive and talented energy-worker and sound-vibration worker who channels the healing powers of Spirit by helping his clients to best align their soul energies with the Divine Source through the medium of sound and music. Music has the power to raise our vibrational levels to higher and higher states.
Working with Bob is rather like working with an “audio therapist”. I feel almost redundant by stating I hold Bob Kirk in the highest regard.
Kurt Heintzelman, MD
Hi Bob –
My wife had told me you called several weeks ago to check up on me and see if I was happy with my purchases. Sorry I didn’t get back to you in a timely manner. I listen to music much more than I used to with my old system (specifically the Thiel’s), and not just audiophile recordings. My biggest upgrade was getting the Joseph Audio RM33LE speakers from you. Is my system perfect? Probably not, but with my current SimAudio Evolution equipment and how it sounds, I don’t really worry about it.
Hope you are well. We’ll talk conditioning and tweaks later this spring.
Best – Brian
I spent several months in early 2007 working with Bob to build a system that satisfied these “hard to please” ears. I had never purchased a hi-fidelity system and was somewhat overwhelmed at the thought of having to make a choice among so many quality stereo components. What struck me about Bob is that he simply engaged me in an informal conversation. I felt no pressure to purchase; in fact, it seemed as though Bob was willing to sit and talk with me and listen to tunes for as long as I wanted! I made at least 3-4 visits to Bob’s house to try out an array of systems before I ultimately took the plunge. I ended up purchasing a Cambridge 840A ntegrated amplifier, a Cambridge 840C CD player, and a set of sugar-sweet Joseph Audio RM25 speakers. I cannot begin to express how beautiful this setup sounds in my house!
Bob is a great person to work with and has amassed a wealth of knowledge about hi-fi audio. I would highly recommend speaking to Bob if you consider investing in a quality sound system.
Archive Audio-It’s about the music. Bob listened to what I wanted from a system and, after 8 hours of auditioning, we put it together. I couldn’t be happier!
I’ve been to several hi-fi retailers over the years and gotten all kinds of experiences. Have you ever been forced to listen to the technology behind the speaker before you listen to it? Does that mean I have to explain that to everyone before they can hear how good they sound?
How about the guy who reads over the technical specification sheet and says that’s all you need to know? You don’t even have to listen?
One retailer boasted how he had been to the factories of the different speaker manufacturers and how his had a superior manufacturing process?
I could go one, but if you’re reading this then I’m probably preaching to the choir. There were several reasons that finalized my decision to purchase my equipment from Bob:
First, he has complete confidence in his equipment. Bob believes in the brands he chooses and feels that they will stand up against any of the other retailers at that price point. For me, there was nothing spontaneous about this decision, and I needed time to compare and consider the differences between systems.
Second; there was no pressure. Bob let me listen for as long as I wanted with the music that I chose. As I was listening, he would check on things but he didn’t hover. He would actually just casually come and go.
Third; I could compare products easily. If his systems weren’t set in a way for me to compare, he would get it ready before I came in again.
Fourth; Bob doesn’t B.S. If he doesn’t know something, he will tell you. However, it was my finding that he has an awful lot of knowledge and experience. I know this because I asked a lot of questions not because he tried to sell equipment by trying to impress me with that knowledge and experience. With Bob, it’s always a two way conversation.
Fifth; I never received a technical explanation BEFORE I listened.
Frankly, I don’t care how the equipment functions, as long as it sounds real to me and it will last. I don’t want to have to explain how advanced a
speaker is before someone can enjoy it. After all, it’s about the music.
In my own quest for musical satisfaction, I have purchased a myriad of components from a myriad of dealers. I am dismayed by what I’m seeing today in the world of musical reproduction. Many audio dealers have migrated to home-theater and automated whole-house solutions. Whether it be via compressed MP3 players or unobtrusive “lifestyle” solutions, people nowadays seem to be listening to music more and enjoying it less. When music is relegated to nothing but a background activity, a soundtrack for other activities in our lives, its power to reach us, to engage us, to move us, becomes diluted.
But Bob remains focused on one thing – music as an art form. He has created a musical oasis for his customers that he operates out of his house in Bexley, and his listening rooms are not only imbued with a relaxed, no-pressure, at-home feel that one simply cannot find in a traditional bricks-and-mortar dealership, but they are normal from an acoustics standpoint-living room, den, spare bedroom, basement. Nothing is tricked out or obtrusive with wall treatment or mega-room tuning, yet all of the systems he sets up just sound really good, from modest systems all the way up to the CJs with the Pearls, or the MOON Evolution gear. He’s skilled at matching components to form system packages that transcend the individual capabilities of the components themselves. As I said above, I’ve been to many shops, but only Bob Kirk of Archive Audio has consistently helped me get closer to that elusive goal of musical nirvana.