（L-R: ISI’s John Krupa, Studiomaster’s Summer Xu, Mike Bufton, ISI’s Simon Nathan and Studiomaster’s Patrick Almond）
SCC Audio, Milton Keynes, Bucks., UK., 26 June 2020. Studiomaster has announced it has appointed Italian Speaker Imports (ISI) as its exclusive authorised US distributor. Formed in 2014, the New York State headquartered company boasts a roster of brands that includes FBT, JTS and Bespeco. In a deal cemented at this year’s NAMM show, ISI welcomes the iconic British PA company and its high-quality versatile ranges of audio mixing consoles, amplifier products and loudspeakers, as complementing its existing portfolio and positioning it as a “one stop shop” and an end-to-end supplier of live sound equipment.
ISI’s owner and president, John Krupa, states, “The partnership represents the combination of high-quality products and outstanding service and integrity. A significant aspect of ISI’s mission is to work with premium global brands in the audio industry and bring outstanding quality products to the U.S. market. Studiomaster offers superior products that are held to the highest standards of quality control, resulting in a range of sound mixers, amplifiers, and loudspeakers that are highly competitive, including with brands typically offered at a higher price point.”
Commenting on the partnership for Studiomaster, General Manager Patrick Almond says, “We are thrilled that ISI is our exclusive distributor in the US. It is a partnership in which our respective company values are totally aligned.
“John Krupa and his team are dedicated to providing an exceptional customer experience, and his team includes several partners with previous involvement with and extensive knowledge of the Studiomaster brand, making the partnership an obvious one. We are confident that this deal will bring the brand back into prominence in the US market.”
Of course, with the world going into lockdown in the immediate aftermath of the agreement, potentially it could have been viewed as unfortunate timing, however Studiomaster / Carlsbro rapidly reshaped itself to the prevailing conditions of the crisis and convinced parent corporation Soundking to facilitate its continuing to trade its way through the pandemic and not go into lockdown. As part of that arrangement the UK operation supported Studiomaster / Carlsbro’s international markets via its distribution partners, promoting a positive attitude with new ideas and new products, and ways to help them work through their particular local issues.
“We already had the experience of China being in lockdown for six weeks,” says Almond. “That had produced a significant downturn in supply from China immediately ahead of the UK going into lockdown. As the UK went into lockdown supplies from China were starting to come back fully on-stream. We understood that the only way to ensure the company survived in the UK was to take the decision to trade our way through the crisis. We introduced measure to drastically reduce the number of people onsite in the offices and warehouse to alternating rosters of just three people at any time, and with everybody otherwise working from home. We managed an almost instant transition to a virtual Teams based sales operation, which has proven highly effective and, perhaps more surprisingly, highly efficient.
“By correspondingly skewing our stock holding to the demands of markets, as worldwide, these changed virtually overnight, we have proven the wisdom of our strategy, not only surviving the economic consequences of the crisis but actually increasing our business significantly over the same period last year.
“In the US ISI has negotiated the patchwork of various statewide shutdowns and re-openings over the extended period of the spread of the pandemic. Over these months it has been focused on attracting a growing number of tenders for Studiomaster market products, especially for our USB enabled micro mixer series and portable PA and it is now rapidly shipping these as orders.”
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Studiomaster is among the most famous brand names in pro audio – the British company credited with pioneering the development of modern, affordable PA systems, throughout the 1980s and 90s, making the first high powered, pro audio power amps and practical live mixing desks, and going on to effectively create two more highly successful product classes, with the first home recording mixers and portable powered mixers. Today the company’s catalogue of loudspeaker systems, analogue and digital audio mixers, and accessories is extensive, covering everything from portable micro ‘carry-case’ PA systems and self powered, DSP controlled sound reinforcement, to both compact and large-scale audio installation loudspeaker series, for all manner of music venues and commercial AV applications.