US-Corner: Triple whammy. Or, how to retail in HiFi – Pitch Perfect Audio
Now on to something completely different. Not really. More of a revisit to a subject near and dear to me.
As I had originally outlined in my previous article and featured visit to Alma audio for the Wilson Audio and MSB event a few months ago, I have for some time now lamented the fact that while coverage in magazines has rightfully focused on our beloved HiFi toys, little to no attention had been paid to the actual retailers of such fine brands. Fact is that it is precisely these retailers who carry the highest burden and generally most risk. Think not? Think different. Retail offices, preferably in a well to do, demographically speaking, area? Check. Payroll for a few well informed, honest consultants? Check. Bankroll several high-end equipment lines? Check. Earn a living whilst performing Herculean efforts in an ever shrinking, yet ever more demanding market place? Check. Still keen on this type of income? Read on.
Finally, as part of this triple whammy, a lazy Saturday LA afternoon – the clock striking about 2PM – I waltzed into the one genuine gentleman’s club in Los Angeles, I can recommend without hesitation. Welcome to Pitch Perfect Audio. To wit, the salon’s proprietor, Matt Rotunda, is perhaps the most quintessential gentlemen’s club owner I know of. Not satisfied with selling merely the normative HiFi goods, Pitch Perfect focuses and specializes on the truly musical and more exotic lineup of modern day HiFi. Think Leben, think Shindo, think J.C. Verdier, think DeVore Fidelity, think EMT and Grado Labs. Generally speaking, Matt is into all the hallmarks that make up parts of the industry I often find association with: the finer, bespoke, family heirloom type components that find value in their lasting design, not necessarily chasing the latest and greatest for just the sake of it. Undoubtedly, the typical acquisition at chez Rotunda will yield a lifetime of musical enjoyment, a lifetime of musical fondue.
Likewise, even as Matt obviously has a business to run, e.g. earn money like any other small business owner, he will never come across as abrasive, pushy or otherwise obnoxiously annoying. At Pitch Perfect, one is treated to one thing, and one thing only: the quiet, definitive and straightforward task of seeking out musical enjoyment. Think fine time piece shop in Schaffhausen, think Saville Row. Pitch Perfect finds its current address in a vintage Angelean brick building, complete with wood beam and all brick interior and of course, the requisite old school service elevator the size of a typical New York apartment. Once inside, the focus, even as Matt also sells digital, clearly is on analog: one immediately notices the rows of vinyl, some neatly stashed, some just stashed, most of it in heavy rotation. Several premium decks serve the client’s playlist of choice: care for a fine Shindo Garrard, or a loaded Spec? No problem. Want something equally exclusive, yet more European? Matt just recently signed on with French analog couturier, J.C. Verdier and their line of La Platine Verdier decks.
Naturally, each deck runs classic, “vintage” inspired cartridges and arms; from EMT to Ortofon and anything in between – no matter your preference, the sound is always welcoming and musical. You won’t find Shakti stones, magic dots or other such wizardry; likewise, those seeking to pixel-peep should probably also look elsewhere. Saturday’s session left little to add to your want list. Expressive, musical and emotional is probably the best descriptor for what I heard. To quote a friend who visited with me, “you listen to this [system] and it refocuses you on what’s really important”. Indeed.
A full service, by appointment only salon, Pitch Perfect is without question worth a visit or four. For any connoisseur of fine HiFi a must visit; for everyone else perhaps the beginning of the enlightenment period. A+++