End of an Era, Onkyo Halts Production of Loudspeakers in Japan

Onkyo logo<January 22, 2012> On Thursday, the Nikkei said it had learned that Onkyo Corporation has decided to cease production of loudspeaker systems in Japan. This decision ends several decades of domestic production of a product category in which Onkyo not only had a great reputation for quality, but also leading market share. Continue reading

Onkyo Demos New Technologies at CES

DSC_00402012cesreport<January 25, 2012> Onkyo Corporation had a very busy CES, not just because of the recent news of their strategic partnership with Gibson Guitar (and subsequent to CES, a partnership with Teac), but because the company was showing and demonstrating new technologies recently announced that will enhance their soon-to-be-released receiver line up. Paul Wasek, Onkyo National Marketing and Product Planning Manager, took the ALERT around the Onkyo booth to show and demonstrate these technologies. Continue reading

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…HiFiMAN

See UPDATE below article…

>See a slideshow with images from the HiFiMAN press conference here<<

2012cesreport<January 25, 2012> One of the more pleasant surprises of the show was an opportunity to meet a company – new to me but apparently known amongst many high end aficionados for awhile now – with a name that struck me as a little goofy – HiFiMAN. But, as I was soon to learn, the name fits…owner Dr. Fang Bian is a man truly dedicated to high fidelity sound reproduction…even in the face of our portable, overly-compressed, MP3 digital music world. Bian is truly a HiFiMAN. Continue reading

At CES – Monster Turns from Performance to Fashion Model Runway to Sell Headphones

Runway2>>See a full slideshow of the Monster Press Conference here<<

<January 25, 2012> In what had to be one of the more unusual press conferences we’ve attended, Monster Cable – who wants us all to drop the “Cable” from their name – launched a whole roster of partnerships including the clothing brand Diesel, and put on a fashion show for both their Diesel-related products and their new Inspiration headphone line. Yes, that’s right, we said a fashion show complete with models walking down a runway of sorts (a cleared center aisle) with music blaring and flashing colored lights, showing off various Monster headphones. Continue reading

Awash in a Sea of Incrementalism, Pre-Show Press Day was a Desperate Search for Innovation

2012cesreport<January 18, 2012> The day before the International Consumer Electronics Show opens, the show promoter holds something they call “Press Day.” Press Day is a mind-numbing endurance test of the media’s stamina with back-to-back-to-back-to-etc. press conferences. Each press conference is supposed to be 45-minutes long to give the press 15-minutes to move to the next one. Continue reading

Onkyo & Gibson CEO’s Give the ALERT the Inside Scoop on their New Partnership

OnkyoGibson2Gibson Guitar Becomes Exclusive U.S. Distributor of Onkyo & Integra Brands

<January 18, 2012> As one of a select (and very small) group of reporters invited to a hastily-arranged private audience with the CEO’s of both Gibson Guitar Corp. and Onkyo Corp. to discuss their recently announced strategic alliance, I was intrigued. The interview was held on a custom Gibson tour bus literally and figuratively…as the Gibson CEO clearly drove the discussion. Continue reading

CES Wrap-Up #1 – The Big News at CES Was That There was No Big News

2012cesreport<January 18, 2012> When my kids were younger, they used to really love those Magic Eye puzzles. You know, the puzzles that look busy with lots of bright designs and graphics, but a hidden image is buried within them if you put your nose on the page, defocus your eyes, and really concentrate? This could be a pretty good analog of this year’s recently completed CES. How so, you ask? Continue reading

LG – Last Year We Were Smart, This Year We Are Smarter

>>See a full slideshow from the LG CES Press Conference by clicking here<<

2012cesreport<January 18, 2012> CES Press Day kicked off this year with LG who seemed anxious to update the media on their progress in 2011. Wayne Park, President and CEO of LG USA, told reporters that although 2011 was a tough year economically, LG’s revenues were up 8 percent. Park also told the group that LG had a record-breaking fourth quarter in U.S. sales. Continue reading

D&M Makes it Official – Brian Poggi is Appointed President, Americas

Brian Poggi Headshot<January 6, 2012> As first reported in Stratecon’s BEACON yesterday [see story here], D&M Holdings, Inc. officially announced today that it has appointed Brian Poggi as President, Sales and Marketing – Americas effective immediately.

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Sources Say D&M Holdings is Set to Announce New President

D&M Logo<January 4, 2012> Sources are telling the Beacon that D&M Holdings is close to announcing a new President of Sales & Marketing for the Americas, a position that has been vacant ever since the company parted ways with former President Bob Weissburg in August 2011. According to these sources, D&M will announce shortly, perhaps as soon as next week’s CES, that it has selected Brian Poggi to be Weissburg’s replacement. Continue reading