This week, we’re moving into industry characters with 10 questions with Douglas Ip of STAX Japan, STAX Japan's head of marketing, for the uninitiated.
Here, Douglas waxes lyrical on the need (of lack thereof) of expensive gear, his beginnings and most importantly, STAX’s plans for the future.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself!
I have been a music fan since 9 or 10 years old. From the disco, breakdance, electric, nature, R&B, till now Jazz music.
2) How did you enter the audio hobby?
My friend got me working in the speaker business 15 years ago.
Since I was a kid, I have been listening to crappy music in some of the studios. You always want to introduce consumers and audio stores to the best sounds and best recordings. As the music industry grew from vinyl, cassette tape to CD, CD to MP3, and now, best of all uncompressed music, more and more friends can show you different downloadable formats too.
3) Tell us about your journey in the industry.
As you let people listen to audio products, you feel that there is a need for true sound at its original stage. The more and more you let retailers and listeners get to know the history of your products, you let them see how all the dots are connected.
Once you listen to the (STAX) products you’ll be amazed at the sound, even when you compare them with others. When headphiles listen to your products, they’ll realise that the sound stage and detail comes out not only from their ear, their face and words tell you that they’ve really experienced the amazing sound, it is that moment that drives you to the industry.
4) How do you think brands and retailers can better reach out to hobbyists?
I love it when brands have retailers get together with groups of people (they don’t have to be headphiles) to share ways of listening and to show off the models that they have been listening to. That is a form of interaction with each other, not only from the brand to the people, but sharing between person and person.
5) Desktop or portable?
I am getting more and more to the portable direction.
6) Show us your favourite personal audio rig!
An iPhone gets the job done but using the Sony NW-WM1Z is an experience.
7) Your favourite audio spots around the world?
It is best to sit at your desk relaxing and listen to instrumentals. Or, when you know you’re going to take the subway, bus, or flight for a two to three hour journey. That is when I will bring my listening gear for sure.
8) What is the one indispensable device you have in your collection?
I do think it’s what your ear likes that matters, it isn’t the dollar, you need time to train your ear to be better and better. I only have a SR-407 with SRM-007TII.
9) The next big trend in anything?
2018 is our eightieth (80th) anniversary. We will have number of new products rolling out. The sound is "fenomenale" in Italian, and “phenomenal” in English. It’s very exciting to see all of it. So, please do stay away from our news. (laughs)
10) Any parting words?
What makes us special is that at every stage we are striving to produce precision sound.
Douglas is a regular at trade shows so you can go say hi to him at the STAX booth the next time you’re at one!
Do you know what would make Douglas really happy? If you checked out the STAX Series 3100 at our stockists and retailers, get the list here.