Welcome to Archive Audio

Ready for getting the most out of your music listening? Your musical sources have no doubt moved into new directions. Steaming? Downloads? Apple devices? Or just plain CDs, SACDs, Vinyl, all good formats. In any case, resolution is the best it’s ever been.

There is quite a bit that is new this season. In addition to the systems ready to be listed on our all new systems page, we will adding two new categories: Reference systems and Elite systems. In the field of high-end audio, one person’s high end is another person’s starter system. We all come from different places in this game and at Archive, we want to make sure we offer cutting edge gear-at all price points-a daunting task.

But let’s talk about reference points. Live music surely is, but all of us in this hobby for any length of time have ventured out to shows or audio demonstrations of various kinds in search of some sort of holy grail, some sort of absolute “best” sound you can get. At Archive Audio, I operate from a top-down perspective. Having assembled over the years, a number of systems that are truly reference quality (see Reference System 1) I can feel relatively sure that in listening to recordings of various kinds, few cheaper systems or products are likely to sound as good.

So, as we move down the food chain, how close can we come to the reference-that is, the sound coming from an in-house state-of-the-art set of components that are as tweaked out as most any audiophile (within reason) might assemble? Placing lesser cables, turntable, pre amp, amp, or speakers into the assembly diminishes the overall in what way? Or, in playing the buyer role at shows, how close does the show sound come to the “reference” at Archive? If it gets my attention in some feature of its performance, a cheap integrated will become a product available at Archive Audio. All products you see on this website found their way here by that process.

Believe me, I love the work. ‘This is work?’ I think sometimes as I sit in front of RS-1? No, it is play. Your listening sessions should be play too. After all, your music system is your leisure time-endeavor, right? I can tell you this-all the systems specified here have passed the “two week test” as I like to call it. That means that I have succeeded in spending two weeks of leisure listening time in front of that system without a glitch, a feeling of ‘something’s amusical, something’s colored, something’s bugging me, I gotta change it.’ So I have recommended them.

Inexpensive gear has it place in audio. Let’s not be snooty. We all started where we started. I can offer a killer little system for 1K-Monitor System One, and, neophytes will hear a good recording on that modest kit, and be shocked at how vivid it sounds. Moving up the food chain, there better be a difference-and there is-or I wouldn’t recommend it.

That said, at Archive, we take a system approach, but, that doesn’t mean there are not valid in-betweens. In fact the various permutations become rather mind-boggling. That’s what we’re here for. If you wonder how good any given system will sound if a change is made somewhere, add a bit of cash to the expenditure, we can tell you the best place to apply that increase. And I’ll tell you straight up-adding some Audience Au24s cables to the aforementioned system is not the best way to do it…they cost more than the system! Wouldn’t that help? Sure, but not as much as a pair of Joseph RM-7s would. Don’t believe me? Come and hear it for yourself.

All the systems in our systems lineups are here to be auditioned by you unless stated otherwise. That’s right, this is not a mail order operation. This is a home-based business with at least 8 systems set up and ready for audition at all times, and just about everything else ready to be set up for any interested party.

The proof is in the pudding. Call Archive and arrange an appointment, and listen for yourself to that system or piece of gear you are curious about. The decision will be yours and yours alone. Your ears will tell you.

Call me at 1-800-267-2305

Bob Kirk