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American Made: Audio Research I/50

  • Factory tours. We’ve done several on this channel: HEDD Audio, Spatial, Audeze, Devialet, Ayre, Zu and, most recently, Focal. The first three were shot on a smartphone. At Focal, I used a mirrorless Canon EOS-R but it’s easy to see that I’m no Olaf. How might we elevate the standard of factory video videos to match that of our review videos? Finding someone with the camera skills but who also knows the ins and outs of hi-fi hardware and who is happy to appear on camera isn’t an easy task.

    Stepping out from the sidelines of YouTube pre-roll ad and prize giveaway video production was Jana Dagdagan. Having spent the last two years shooting and editing for clients within (and without) the hifi industry – Ortofon, Stax, Vinnie Rossi, Audeze – she had elevated her video production skills to fresh new heights. And her Brooklyn home put her within striking distance of a broad range of US-based high-end audio manufacturers.

    Over the course of a week, on the phone, Jana and I honed the idea further: she wouldn’t just take an ad-hoc factory tour but show exactly how a product gets made, step by step. The manufacturer would do the explaining — after all, it’s their process. Crucially, these videos would be made at no cost to the manufacturer. I would shoulder that burden through Patreon. The series would be called ‘American Made’ for which we already have six companies in our crosshairs.

    Last month, Jana flew out to Audio Research’s Minnesota headquarters to film how the newly announced I/50 integrated amplifier comes into being.

    🎥 Camera: Jana Dagdagan
    🎬 Editor: Jana Dagdagan

    Further information: Audio Research

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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