Before the days of Lotus, I enjoyed a long and successful career in visual effects, designing and supervising computer graphics for Hollywood blockbusters and landmark BBC television programmes. It was a fantastic career but I grew out of it as I got older and I said to myself that whatever replaced it as a job, it had to be at least as enjoyable and rewarding.
As a stopgap in those interim years I invested in property so when I set up Lotus in 2010, it didn’t need to bring in much revenue and it was never a money making scheme or for the trophy of being a businessman, but rather, for fun, for enjoyment, for doing something in exactly the way I wanted, with passion, with sincerity and real belief. This is the way I have always run Lotus. I have always maintained that if you are passionate about something in life, if you really believe in something and have an audience, then they will be interested and inspired too, and will come to have that same passion as you.
Hiroshima Bay, 2017
So what does this all mean ? Well, firstly it means that I own the entire company and call every single shot. I sell what I love and have huge belief in and this strong belief is underpinned by understanding my products on a profound level. Because I am utterly certain of what I like and what I consider to be a good sound, I do not ever chase the latest fashion or money spinner and I don’t take on products with uncertainty, only to drop them half a year later when they haven’t sold very well.
In addition, I do not stock a brand simply because one of my distributors tells me its good or pushes it onto me; in fact the opposite has been true where whole brands have come to the UK and distribution networks have been constructed as a result of me initially prodding them and being passionate about bringing their equipment here. Brands like Tidal, Allnic, Tara Labs, Dohmann came to these shores because I preferred them to popular rival offerings that were already available in the UK and I went out and got them off my own back. It’s a bigger commitment, more risky and a lot more expensive to go it alone like this than to simply sign up to existing lines already distributed and supported in the UK.
Key to this is that I also conduct my own forensic research into the industry. I consider myself very much in touch with all the latest ruminations, developments and salient changes within the world of audio, and a lot of it is very fast moving too. So everything that has a place here has been very carefully scrutinised, understood and cherry picked. It is also no accident either that nearly all of the manufacturers I work with very much mirror this Lotus persona as well; free operating individuals who are driven by passion, a love of music and a desire to do things very well, rather than for profit, shareholders or market dominance.
Another thing I don’t believe in is a big range of products. I don’t scattergun, hoping that with so many items, at least one thing might stick with each customer. I’m simply not interested in making as many sales as possible but rather, to work with nice like minded people, the products I love, and develop and create beautiful systems for enjoyment and pride. Too much choice is not always a good thing and I position myself to cater for the individual who is not so interested in the kit but who just wants a world class system with exceptional reliability that will deliver every day of the year on all types of music. By having a smaller range I am telling my customers that I believe wholeheartedly in each and every product and also have had the time to properly understand and fully experience each item as well.
It is also important to point out that with the smaller range of products I sell I can still fulfill most briefs and create most sounds that customers want, biasing the end results a little this way and that way with ancillary products and setup to give the final desired outcome. Anyone can put a ton of brands and product in a shop window but the key element to realise with High-end hifi is that the chef is actually more important than the ingredients. One wrong component or a poorly treated room, a less than optimised speaker positioning or one box improperly supported and it can ruin an entire system.
So it follows then that if you want to peruse the sweetie counter and salivate at dozens and dozens of bits of jewellery, engaging more with the materialism of this hobby, then I might not be the right dealer for you. No, here at Lotus you are buying into a smaller highly focused range of high-end audio systems that have been very carefully put together, pre-selected and understood exhaustively. They have already been proven over and over again in people’s homes over a period of almost a decade.
Assembling a high-end system is a dark art, no question. Many people spend years on the bargain hunting secondhand merry go round, never really achieving a good system, never knowing what goes with what, never really knowing what a good sound even actually is, focusing more on the materialistic lure of the ingredients rather than the overall recipe, with no one to truly guide them other than that most hazardous of information sources, the internet forum or arguably worse still, the magazine review. So my first piece of advice in this guide, is find yourself a really good dealer, someone who knows his equipment and system setup backwards and who really does care, someone who can advise and properly help you, get to know you and your tastes and music, generously loan you equipment on an extended basis and really work with you closely to build and develop a properly satisfying and high performing system. Someone who is truly earning his profit margin rather than just shifting boxes. If you like the sound of me and what I bring to the table then perhaps that dealer should be me. I will welcome you warmly and do my utmost to assist you in the very best way possible.