Paul Fowler – Founder and Designer
Music has always played an important part in Paul’s life, he grew up listening to his father playing music on Technics tape and record decks. Early editions of Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Elvis and Frank Sinatra were always being played.
Later as an engineer, working at a well renowned British engineering company, he learnt from the best, specialising in the design of military radar equipment. Early on he participated in one of the few apprenticeships available, learning electronics and mechanical engineering. That experience proved to be invaluable, little did he know then, the experience would ‘feed back’ in into a long love of music and HiFi.
Upgrades (We All Do It)
Paul blew his first few pay cheques on his own Technics record deck and separates, then hand built a pair of Aluminium monitor speakers.
As time went on Paul swapped out bits of his setup as we all do, opting for Arcam and B&W. Yet at the time he still had not appreciated the value of high-end audio systems or the importance of cabling, in fact he was positively dismissive of expensive HDMI and USB cables. Overtime he borrowed cables, power conditioners and his perception gradually changed from scepticism to obsession.
An Introduction To High End Audio
A friend was in the market for a new system and dragged Paul along to the Bristol HI-FI show and once he heard good the sound coming from high end systems he could not unhear it…
He descended into a cycle of regular upgrades looking to improve the sound from his system, from new speakers to clean power supplies, to better input sources, to expensive silk lined cables – it became an obsession.
Paul had some initial ideas, found someone online to draw up some CAD drawings, then had prototypes made. Several months later he settled on a manufacturer that could turn those drawings into reality.
When the prototypes arrived in the post he could not wait to unbox them. Pulling apart the wealth of packaging they were wrapped in, his heart sank when he tried assembling them and realised that they would not fit together. It was back to the drawing board with the CAD designer to refine the drawings.
Several months later the revised set arrived on his doorstep. Plucking up the courage to open up the package, he realised that these were not much better. It was time to say goodbye to the designer and for a time, his self-belief.
It Started With A Bottle Of Wine
In a chance conversation with a friend one day, it emerged that his friend was adept at using CAD software, in exchange for a bottle of wine, he would show Paul how to redesign the drawings.
This reignited Paul’s passion for the project he so very nearly gave up on. The revised drawings were sent back to the manufacturer.
Built In Your Garage?
The first prototypes sort of worked, but as he passed them around friends and showed them to his preferred HiFi dealer they could not escape the feeling that they looked like something built in his garage. Paul didn’t even own a garage!
He didn’t receive the feedback he was expecting from friends and the project sat on the shelf for a while.
Inspired In A Dream
Paul doesn’t know what inspired it, whether it was something he had read or seen, but he woke at 5am on a Saturday with an idea. Given tungsten was good at absorbing vibrations, what if he used a central chamber filled with it acting like a sponge for vibration energy?
Anyone that knows Paul will tell you that he’s not a morning person but sure enough he got himself out of bed and set to redesigning the vibration feet which were the genesis of the products we have now launched.
It would be a romantic story to say that he got it right first time. However, in truth Paul spent the next 12-18 months refining the product from the composition of the tungsten alloy to its thickness, the number of silicon nitride bearings to the choice of tungsten powder.
Having a winner on his hands he set about getting patent protection, which is in itself a whole new set of hurdles to overcome.
We think that you’ll agree that the journey was worth it, they hold pride of place under his Chord DAVE DAC and his Macintosh Amplifiers.