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Devine set to shake up speaker sales

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By Julius Grafton.

The professional audio trade at the top end is a wonderful fusion of the latest technology, acoustician theory and psychology because – and it’s a big because – the top brands are all quite close in specification. And you can’t ‘see’ sound. A top brand is a best choice because these manufacturers work to tight tolerances, they are strict with quality, and their performance matches or beats specification.

That’s a lot of the reason why you see the major brands at the major events more often. People know they can bank on the brand, so why take a risk on a less known brand, in a high stakes environment?

Which brings me to the three factors: technology, acoustician theory and psychology. This is where this story is headed, because Steve Devine (former partner in Meyer Sound Australia) is now working at National Audio Systems where he will sell d&b audiotechnik. Along the way he almost ended up at Jands, who now sell L-Acoustics.

Devine is in part a genius and in another part slightly insane. He has spent decades marshalling the many parts of his own brain, and when it all comes together he is an invincible brand ambassador because he gets how people think and he bats hard for the client. His early decades in lighting suited the crazy because the 1970’s and 1980’s were crazy. His insane was more comical, never particularly dangerous (not counting the Mexico drug bust).

In the 1990’s he learned what he needed to know about audio – which isn’t as much as many – and went out there and won business because he would say ‘I don’t know some of what you are asking, but I’ll find out and get back to you’. To do that, he had stellar backend support and again at NAS he’ll have that too.

Knowing some of the actors in all of the major audio firms, I think Steve will cut through because he’s the kind of person who wouldn’t attempt to sell something if he didn’t believe in it. There’s an inherent caution in younger professional audio sales people because they are nervous about being wrong and feel they no choice but to trust the specifications. Devine won’t have the caution, he’ll just play the game his own way.

NAS and Steve Devine. Who knew? It’ll be interesting.

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