Swiss audio brand Revox celebrates its 70th birthday this year and is relaunching in the UK with a new range of premium network music players that it wants to sell through a select group of specialist, independent audio dealers. Sean Hannam spoke to Steve Croft, the company’s export sales director, to find out why it could be time for a Revox revival…
Q: Revox has a great heritage, doesn’t it?
Steve Croft: We’re 70 years old this year – we started in 1948. Revox was founded by Swiss engineer Willi Studer. He was passionate about music and he started to design and build reel-to-reel machines because he wanted to get better quality sound recordings and playback. They were quickly adopted by recording studios and became the preferred way to capture music.
A lot of the great music in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s was recorded on Revox reel-to-reel machines – The Beatles, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd…
We’re part of music history.
In 1967, we produced the Revox A77 reel-to-reel consumer product, which grew the company massively – we sold 150,000 of them worldwide, they became the benchmark for audiophiles and off the back of that success we produced turntables, amplifiers and loudspeakers.
Q: And now, after several years’ absence in the UK, you’re back, with new products…
SC: We’ve been out of the UK for quite a while, but we believe that, with our new products, it’s the right time to come back and introduce people to Revox.
We have to move with the way people consume music – we’re coming back with a range of new, all-in-one, integrated, one-box network music players called Revox Joy (pictured), with a built-in, high-quality amplifier, wi-fi and a streamer.
The beauty of the product is that it can stream music from the cloud – like Tidal, for example – and you can use it to access internet radio and listen to podcasts. It can also stream music from a hard drive and it has traditional inputs to connect other devices – it’s a high-quality music hub.
The Revox Joy can play 24-bit studio master files natively – that’s why we came back into the streaming space, because we can make a great job of it. Not only did we capture great music back in the ’60s, but we’re now playing it back on a Revox Joy.
All our products are designed in Switzerland and Germany – we produce them in our German factory and they’re built to a very high standard.
Q: What’s your strategy for selling the new products in the UK?
SC: We’re looking for specialist dealers to work with in the UK who understand music and understand quality – we’re just starting that process. The products are available now and we need to build up a specialist dealer network – we’ll give them the opportunity to tell the whole Revox story. It’s early days, but we’ve got the products and we’re ready to roll.
Q: Are you looking for a specific number of dealers?
SC: Initially we’re looking at 20, to give us good geographical coverage. We don’t want to overdo it.
Q: What’s the Revox company set-up in the UK?
SC: We have a sales and marketing set-up in the UK, but as we build the market, it’s not out of the question that we would start a UK subsidiary.
Q: At what sector of the market are you targeting the products?
SC: It’s not esoteric hi-fi, but it’s not entry-level, either – it’s mid-range. Prices start around £850 and go up £2,350.
Revox Joy is a family of three products – a network music player, a CD player and a ripping audio server.
The products have Bluetooth aptX and our intention is to build more music services into them. We want to be agnostic – to take music from everywhere and make it sound better.