Open Disclaimer: Analog Head Store
PART 1: Introduction
A while ago I was offered an opportunity to open a headphone store based in Indonesia. It was an exciting proposition and I agreed to go ahead with the idea. I knew that there would be some conflict of interest with Headfonia, but I didn’t think that it was going to be a major issue. After all, I’m just starting a small store in a country where the majority of Headfonia readers never even heard of, and a lot of things that I review on the website would not even be sold in the shop since we have two very different target markets. The store’s target market is the general public, while Headfonia’s readers are mostly die-hard enthusiasts.
PART 2: The Store
We decided not to use the Headfonia name because we want to keep things separate. After some brainstorming, we came up with the name “Analog Head”. We chose Analog because your ears only take analog signals, and the word Head was thrown in by my partner Moko since we couldn’t get a twitter username for “Analog” (what a lame reason, right?). Anyway, we felt that the name has a nice kick to it, and would sound pretty good on Twitter (i.e we just bought a pair of kickass ATH headphones @AnalogHead). I think in a way it almost sounds like an Indie Rock Band — “Yeah, we are THE ANALOG HEAD!”.
PART 3: My Work
The store is not yet open, but we’re trying to do so before the end of August. It’s a three guy partnership, and my role as one of the owners would be to help with product selection (I want to make sure that every product we stock in the store has a good sound) and I’m also responsible for the store’s website. For day to day operations, at the moment we hired one guy to be in charge of the store and all aspects of sales. None of the owners, including me, will be at the store on a day to day basis.
PART 4: Product Selection
Even though I am responsible for the product selection in the store, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to be selling every product that I’ve recommended on Headfonia. Nor the other way around, me starting to do reviews on every products that I would carry on the store. There would be some overlaps, but the store and the website are two different businesses and they’re just not going to be the same thing.
Certain products that are talked about often on Headfonia, including the popular Sennheisers, we may not even have them. Some other popular brand like Fiio (site sponsor), Hifiman (site sponsor), and JDSLabs (not sponsor), we are still debating if we should have them. One brand that we will have is Sony, but it’s going to be mostly the consumer level stuff, colorful earbuds, headphones like the XB-series which I really have no plan to review (except perhaps an XB-1000 vs Pro700 Mk2 comparison, simply because a lot of people have been asking for that comparison).
We may carry Burson amps because the local guys seem to like it and because I know the local Burson importer personally, but we’re still not sure as our target market is not really into high end desktop set-ups. Beats by Dre, which I’m never really a big fan of, will be stocked at the store because you know, all stores have them. So is Vmoda, which I never really mention on the site except for one review which Edd did. The Schiit Asgard and Bottlehead Crack, two entry level amps that I’ve been recommending to all of you here, we won’t even stock. The Audio Technica M-50 (which I’ve been recommending the Sennheiser HD25-1 over), we actually will stock. So, a lot of these decisions are far from “Hey, let’s stock everything that I have written a good review on Headfonia about”. Why? The store’s target market is the general public, while Headfonia’s readers are mostly die-hard enthusiasts.
We are going to stock Vsonics because I found these entry level IEMs to sound pretty good, and while Headfonia will be publishing a Vsonic review, I won’t be the one doing the review. What happened was a few months ago I got an offer to do a full Vsonic line up review, but I’m not really an IEM kind of guy (you all know that), and so me and Lieven got a writer who agreed to do the review for us, and he’s been working on the review far before the idea for the store even came up. I’m not even talking to him about how he should write his review, nor would I edit his writing when it’s finally finished.
I hope all this would help you to understand the position that I have in the store and the website. Headfonia has a readership all around the world, yet the store that we’re going to open is just a small store in a city in a country called Indonesia. I think it’s going to be a pity to see the website being discredited just because I’m trying to push some Audio Technica headphones on the store.
Finally, as an effort to keep transparency up on this site, every review on this site, starting from the Burson Soloist review that I published last week, will be accompanied by a disclaimer paragraph.