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Crutchfield: The Podcast Ep. 26

Michael from Klipsch talks speakers, the Klipsch sound, and their 75th anniversary

In this episode:

J.R. interviews Michael Buratto, a musician and Senior Product Manager at Klipsch, about his history with the company, the gear he uses to make and enjoy music, and what has made Klipsch an enduring brand for 75 years. Michael also hints at some fun speaker projects in the works. After the interview, J.R. and cohost Eric explore wireless home theater solutions when they answer a customer comment on our small home theater ideas article.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

For more on Klipsch, check out J.R.'s recent Facebook Live overview. Thanks to Michael for letting us use his song "Rule The World" in the episode outro. Find more of his music on Spotify.

Explore more episodes

Read episode transcript

Hello and welcome to another episode of Crutchfield, the podcast. I am your host Jr back in the studio here at Crutchfield Call center with longtime co host. Eric how you doing, my friend? We need to talk what what's going on? What's on your mind? So tell me about this last podcast you did. I was available. I don't remember getting a call. Are you talking about the gaming episode? That's a great episode. It is a great episode. You listened to it? I did because I didn't remember having done it. And uh you know what, I'm not part of it. Are you bitter about this? I think we may need to go into couples council. I thought we had talked about this off air and had it all worked out. I thought you understood that I needed to work with other people. Sometimes. I wasn't working with anyone else, but you know, Colin I know that makes it worse. The fact that I know him makes it closer to home. That makes it worse man. Does this help? I'm sorry. Yeah, that does help. Alright, alright. Can we proceed with the show now? Yeah, that'd be great. So yeah, seriously though, we are back in the actual office, one of the first places we ever recorded Crutchfield, the podcast in studio segments. We have our producer lex is in here with us. Uh we've got a window. We can see coworkers right out there. There's not many of them yet. I think everybody's kinda slowly getting back into this thing. But you know, as uh to fully vaccinated humans can do, we're sitting in the same area Now. We have three fully vaccinated to brag, you know, So I noticed uh you used to be really sort of, you know, uh business casual you were, I noticed you're wearing shorts, which is, I mean I've been wearing shorts at work for years. We work in a call center, so shorts is fine, but you didn't seem to be on board with shorts until today. Well, you know, it's warm outside and I'm gonna be completely honest, my uh my my business khakis from a year and a half ago, they don't really fit quite the same as they used to. But you know enough about me, let's talk about clips, clips is the topic of the day. Uh we uh I did an interview. Uh there's a whole lot of clips going on in my life right now. Let me just break that down real quick. We've started carrying clips at Crutchfield about 12, 13 years ago, right around 2008. And I was like a kid in a candy box. I bought kidney candy box. I don't think it's candy box. No, that's not the phrase, right kid in a candy store. And in this case clips is the candy Crutchfield is the candy store and you're eating yourself up some clips. There's a reason I gained some weight. Absolutely no, we've had clips. I love it. I bought outdoor speakers. I bought bookshelf speakers. I bought a complete clips home theater system. I am a clip Fanboy and this year is the 75th anniversary of the company clips. That's a big deal. They have been pissing off the neighbors since 1946. That's one of their slogans. So I think we're okay to say it here. Yeah, yeah, there's more we're going to get into a couple of their famous sayings here. Producer Lex doesn't know that he's looking at us going, uh, what's going to happen, But we're building suspense here. That's what this is. Yeah. So clips started in 1946 with the clips. Horn. They've been building that speaker and a whole boatload of other speakers ever since. And they are some of the, the best sounding speakers in my opinion, mainly because of their horn tweeter. They've got sort of their own clips sound and uh, we just are celebrating everything clips we just did last week. So we're recording this on a Tuesday, last friday, early june. We are, we did a facebook live. We got a chance to talk to a guy from clips now, not just not just any guy. Michael Barato is his name. He's a product manager I think he designs and works with and like sort of leads the charge on developing some new products and there's a specific new product. He's working on that. We can't talk about yet, but it's coming soon. Right? You almost got it out of him. You, you were getting him to show some cards. Just, yeah, it'll be, it'll be out later this year. We're pretty excited about it. But don't worry about that. There's plenty of other wonderful stuff that Michael Barato and I talked about, We both happen to be drummers. We both so we're musicians. We have music that you can go listen to on spa modify the band big dot com. Uh, and uh, he's got music out there to, uh, he just had a baby. He and his wife. I did not know you, you had a baby. No, I mean, I was just saying, you said you had things in common. I was just trying to connect the dots there. You had a lot of coffee. I did have a lot of coffee. Yeah. We had to actually put off, put off the recording of the podcast because the day we were going to record the first time we got the email that his wife was going into labor. So we had to put it off for a few weeks. But we did end up getting together. We talked about his experience at clips, his, uh, you know how we became aware of clips and why he works there. Why he loves it. We actually took a clip from this interview and we played it on the facebook live on friday. Let's talk about that real quick. That was, that was cool. I tuned in. I listened, it was fun. I went back and listened to this interview with Michael Barato and it starts off, you know, we're doing it on, you know, like you do everything on zoom or Microsoft teams. He was like, oh, is this going to be a video thing? I said, no, don't worry. Our podcast is audio only. And I recorded all the video and then we um, unbeknownst to Michael Barato is we took three minutes of that and we put it on the facebook live. So if you want to get an ID idea of what Michael and I look like while we're doing this interview, go find us on Crutchfield facebook page. The live video is there. So you can at least see a couple minutes of us chit chatting about clips. There's a, there's a bunch of great stories about paul w clips. They gave us a book that's like a 75th anniversary pictorial history of clips. It's all over their website. There's a ton of history there. Um, one of my favorite stories though, before I told it on the facebook live, I went and had a chat with one of our VPs, one of our higher ups and said, is it okay if I say bullshit on facebook live on the Crutchfield facebook live, is this this would have, I mean any other context. It wouldn't make sense. But the actual did you ask about the podcast. Just just no, I didn't. I just said it for the first ever podcast, assuming it doesn't get edited out there. That was right. But here's the deal. The bullshit slogan is a part of clips lore it's a big deal. Paul w clips was reading an article about speakers uh and they were making a claim about it was another huge breakthrough and he was he basically threw up his hands and yelled bullshit and there was a marketing guy in the office and he said that is a marketing strategy and just drop that. No, I think he leaned into it hard. I think he said it with passion and feeling like bull. Like something like that, right? We've probably we're probably getting bleeped. Now there's a line somewhere we're approaching, we can see the line. I don't know if it's in the rear view mirror, if it's in front of us. I'm not sure. I was told I could say that word one or two times in the facebook. I think we've met our quota for the podcast. I said it. How many you counted? Three? I so I got permission and pushed the boundaries all at the same time. Sometimes it's good to push it and no but I'm still here. They're still letting me record this podcast episode so I couldn't be more happy. There is a whole page on cliff's website that goes into the details of the B. S. Sort of slogan and why it's kind of a big deal and it basically paul w clips was just annoyed with boisterous claims that were unverifiable about other products and he never wanted that to be a part of the clips story. And clips is clips has a commitment to honesty, integrity and just being forthright about their products and not making claims that they can't back up with actual performance. And so that's why it's important. That's why they let me say on Crutchfield facebook live And on this podcast like seven times. Well, you notice I haven't said it yet, I value my job, but but you're you're doing great. You continue. I got permission. Alright, so without further ado we're gonna talk to Michael Barato, a product manager from clips. He and I had a fantastic conversation. Uh and uh we might jump in with a few interruptions from time to time if we think something needs a little more explaining eric and I will be back and then after the interview, we're going to try to answer a couple of real questions that we've received from our customers on our website, awesome, let's do this. Let's do it. I can't help but see a drum set off in the corner. And uh I want to tell you that when I first got to go to clips headquarters in Indianapolis uh I don't know if any of the same people were there then that are there Now this would have been when crutchfield launched with clips, right? So yeah, so a few years ago but everybody that was in charge like they took us around to a bunch of different rooms. We did a whole bunch of different demos of speakers and every single one of the guys said I'm a drummer and I love clip speakers. It was like does clips only hire drummers? It seemed to be that way at that time. Anyway. Yeah. Yeah. There's a actually, I have been playing drums since I was about nine or 10 years old. Marcus Evans who is one of our senior VPs at clips who hired me, he plays drums. We've got drummers all over the office. Yeah, there must be something, there must be some sort of personality disorder that goes along with playing drums. That also makes you want to work at clips. When did you become aware of clips as a brand as a speaker as a thing? So, I got into audio not on the Hi Fi side. You know, as I as we talked about earlier, I'm recording this from my my home recording studio. I got into audio from the music side. And so I really first heard about clips from our professional and commercial speaker side because we would do installs for live music venues and from that sort of backtracked into the Hi Fi side. So I was probably in my teens like early early nineties, mid nineties when I first heard of clips. I actually did not know that we are at the time. We were based in Indianapolis and we still are, but I was living up in Detroit at the time and grew up there and had no idea that clips was here until I actually moved down to Indianapolis to play in a band. And uh, you can see are, you can see our headquarters from the freeway. And so that was kind of my, I said someday I want to work there. So here I am, here I am 10 years later. So you knew fairly early on? I think so, yeah. You know, I've always been partial to the, the clips sound and I think that's one of the reasons we have so many drummers and you know, rock musicians. It's a very, you know, midrange forward, very dynamic sound that we we have from our horn loaded technology. So I think that was, that was part of it. I always always loved how their speakers sounded. Um because I was a rock musician and a rock fan and I think there's, I mean there's a natural tie in there. I couldn't, I couldn't agree more. I, I fell in love with him in a pro audio sort of a situation. I wasn't playing music. Uh, as in creating music. I was playing music in a radio studio. I was a DJ. This was, this was right around the time I got hired at crutchfield, which was 1996 also in my early twenties and the studio monitors in the radio station were clips and I had never seen the word, I had never heard of the brand. I didn't know, I knew nothing. And what I loved about those speakers was we had this little tiny evil volume knob on this, on this old board, the mixing board. And you could take that little knob and just sort of like snap your fingers over that knob and take it from 0 to 100 in like a blink of an eye. And those speakers went from 0 to 100. Right with that volume knob, without having any issues whatsoever. They would blow you out of the studio. And there were certain songs that I mean that I just couldn't wait to play that song. So I could just take the headphones off, flip that knob to 100 and just let those speakers just kill me with sound, which is exactly what I loved. And yeah, I think you're absolutely right. Well, I think, you know, we tell this story about speaker efficiency all the time and how horn loading a tweeter gets you so much more sensitivity out of the speaker and that's absolutely true. It's easy to make a speaker that plays loud, right? Like that's that's not difficult. It's it's more difficult to design a speaker that plays loud and plays clean. And I think that's what clips does really well, we can because of that horn loaded technology because of that sensitivity and efficiency we can play Really whatever your source material, you know, cranked to 10 or 11 like you said, and it's going to play clean. It's going to have, you know, just as little distortion as it does at sort of what I call entry level volumes. So that's another reason I love the brand. You know, it's just, I love to listen to music loud. My wife will attest to that. Um, and I love to listen to music loud, especially when it's a nice clean sound. And you're not hearing that distortion out of the high end that you get with a lot of direct radiating speakers. Yeah, that's exactly what I loved about it. I mean I couldn't do the same thing in my car back then. I didn't even know about Crutchfield yet. And if I turn the volume knob all the way up in my car, it was a horrible, horrible experience because it was so distorted. And there, I don't believe that the radio station had some huge amplifier powering these studio monitors. They probably had some little 25 watt by two rack mounted amp powering these studio monitors, which, you know, by today's standards, we've here 25 by two. It doesn't sound like a ton of power, but it's way more than enough to drive. A nice set of clips speakers. And that is what I've always, I still think back to that sound and how I could crank it. and it was 100% crystal clear at whatever volume I wanted. Yeah, that's what, that's what paul clips, our founder 75 years ago. That's what he set out to do was to create a speaker that could, could put out 110 115 decibels out of, you know, 5 to 10 watts because that's what all that was available in 1946. You know, he wanted to build highly efficiency, high efficiency speaker because he had to, you know, we didn't have, you know, 100 200 watt class D amps like we have now or 1000 watt commercial amps. So the clips horn, his original speaker, which we still make today at our factory in Hope Arkansas Crutchfield sells it. Um you guys are one of our very favorite heritage dealers. But the horn, Yeah. Oh my gosh, of course. Uh, but the clips, Horn was at the time considered a very compact speaker and as you know, it's about five ft tall and three ft wide. And um, you know, it's not for everybody, but that was, that was the way to get big sound out of what at the time was a small speaker was, bye bye. Horn loading the drivers and we still do that today. The the clips horn when back to that day when I first got to go to clips headquarters in Indianapolis. They took us all around, did all these demos and basically the day was coming to a close the next day. We were gonna talk about, you know, planning out of training and everything for when clips was going to come to Crutchfield. And it seemed to me like the demos were over and I was a little bummed because they had not played us the clips horns. And I was like, wait, I literally I literally said, hey you are you gonna let us leave here without hearing the clips horns? And they're like, you know, we probably should play those for you. Uh and it said it takes a little bit of time to set up when you get here first thing in the morning, that's what we're gonna do. Uh And so they actually did set them up and uh it was every bit of what I wanted it to be. Uh you know, they didn't they didn't take much power, they were louder than some of our people could handle. You know, some of our merchandisers, they were like, okay, Jr wants it louder, I'm gonna go step out so you guys can crank it for him. And they did. And I've it was it was like being in the radio studio again, only bigger and it felt like the sound was washing over me. Like I just had this feeling of the music more than just hearing the music and I've I haven't experienced it before or since. Those clips, horns are magical. That. Well, first of all, I'm sorry, it wasn't on the original schedule. I'm glad you brought it up. I think, you know that internally we have, we sort of take that product for, for granted and you know, it's something that most of us have heard before. So we tend to want to show off the new uh new technology, the new, amazing speakers, whether they're powered or passive, whatever. We're working on that quarter that year, but it's always nice to go back to the clips horns and and like you said, it's a, it's an experience you don't get with anything else. We build. It's, it's, I think that there's a very small percentage of audio files and audio fans who have heard pure 20 hertz base and it's not something you hear, you know, to your point, it's something you feel. And I mean, that's an experience you get with the clips horns in addition to this massive soundstage, both, you know, left to right and front to back. And I just think you don't, you don't get that with uh a lot of the speakers on the market today. No, I couldn't agree with you more. They were very excited about all of the other speakers that they played for that day, the THX system. Uh this was in the early stages of clips, headphones. Uh they were they were showing us all the molds of human ears that they had taken. Uh and and how, how they came up with the oval tips on the headphones and all of that. So there were the focus wasn't all about for them on the, on a daily basis. The clip shortens obviously. But yeah, I was glad they were able to oblige my request and it's, it's, I will say now we have a relatively permanent pair in the office in one of the demo rooms. So it's sort of a prerequisite for anyone who's meeting us at the office to hear the clips horns. And like you said, we've had some people walk out of demos or um ask for earplugs because we, we crank it up because we want you to hear that we want to hear that clips or an output. That's how, you know, that's how that's how, you know, clips are for you or not. That's right, yeah. So as a drummer as a musician, talk a little bit about, does clips play a role in your pro audio set up at home in your recording studio? Yeah, Right now I actually have a couple pairs of RHP three headphones that I actually used for monitoring right now. I have the fives are powered monitors that we launched last year set up as my main monitor pair. So along with those, I have sort of a Frankenstein together um dual eight inch or I should say, pair of eight inch three way monitors that were sort of a prototype that I put together with a couple of our guys down in Hope Arkansas. So I'm testing those out. But primarily I'm using the fives right now to mix and master music on, which is, you know, we, we never set out to make a recording studio monitor. You know, I think it's a very different art form than than a Hi Fi speaker. But you know, these fives translate really well into everything I've worked on right now. Um, I've been really happy with them. Yeah, when I first saw the fives and uh, saw their input array and and heard what they were capable of. It seemed to me like a pretty solid left and right on on the either side of your tv sort of a solution that could also play all of your music sources as well. Uh kind of, if you weren't into the idea of a sound bar, this might be more to your liking and wow. Yeah, yeah. You know, we, we set out with the fives to bring a powered monitor to market that not only sounded like eclipse product, but look like the clips product. And you know, you're aware it has this beautiful wood veneer um, in the, in the walnut version and a hand painted matte black cabinet and the black version. Um, you know, these neural aluminum knobs that sort of give this retro sort of very tactile feel to the speaker. We we really set out to give a step up to a sound bar with the fives from an I. O. Standpoint and to this day it's the only powered monitor system on the market with an HD my arc input. So it is you know, not only are you getting your tv sound through it, you have that cc control capability with it as well so you can hook it to tv. And that's really what we what we sought to do going up against the sound bars. You know, sound bars all had H. D. M. I. Because of that control capability and and powered monitors were sort of pigeonholed into the two channel music realm because of the I. O. So adding HD my arc makes them a lot more flexible for not just a home theater or video use but you know they still have the phono input that we've had on previous models of powered monitors, great sounding phono input. Uh they've got optical and analog as well. So really it runs the gamut of of all your inputs so it's perfect for a hybrid system. Hey eric I feel like we should break in to explain H. D. M. I with a R. C. And C E C. Michael Barato mentioned it it's a feature of the clips is the fives and I think we might have even explained on previous episodes, awesome speakers by the way, I love the way those look. Oh my gosh, I think you guys mentioned that in there. But man, oh man, those are those are beautiful retro look and there really is no other product like them doing everything that they do. And one of the things that makes them special is how they connect with your tv. Using a R. C. Which stands for Arc which stands for arc audio return channel audio return channel. Thank you. Why was that so hard audio return channel? Is that the ability for the Tv to send the audio for whatever is playing on the Tv back to some sort of audio device like a receiver or a sound bar or in this case clips the fives which are a pair of bookshelf speakers to be a big deal for doing over the air tv broadcast these days. It's even bigger of a deal because everyone's streaming. Built in netflix, things like that. Right? The T. V. Is the source. So being able to get that audio out of the Tv back into the speakers without running additional cables. That's kind of kind of nice. Arc is awesome. And C. E. C. The other thing he mentioned H. D. M. I. Consumer electronics control which allows your tv remote right? If you're watching like your netflix and the audio is getting sent out over the H. D. M. I. To your the fives. You don't want to have to go to the clips remote to adjust the volume and the tv remote to change the channel right? One remote sort of rules them all because of the magic of the H. D. M. I. Cable communicating back and forth between your tv and your sound solution. Cool technology, not not exclusive to clips, A lot of companies use that but really good technology clips is the only one using it in a powered set of bookshelves right now. So that's what makes the fives so unique for a studio monitor. Typically what you want is a speaker that's not going to in any way color the sound. You want it to be as flat as possible, as true to what you actually just performed as possible so that you can then take it and make it sound the way you want it and you're finding that these uh meet that demand as well. They do for me. Yeah and honestly um I was skeptical about it when I first set them up and I actually heard I'm going to throw matt Summers who is our creative director sort of under the bus. He's the one that that first set them up and said man they sound great for mixing and mastering and he does really great sounding records and he does things outside the box like setting up fives as mixing and mastering monitors, which I am a skeptical product manager. So I wouldn't have thought to do that on my own without his his help. So I thought okay we'll give him a shot. And I was again very skeptical, but they're I mean they translate really well. Um again, I wouldn't say they're tuned to be especially transparent or especially flat, they're more tuned to a Hi Fi listener. But they, I mean, yeah, everything I've been mixing on them lately. Sounds really good. I've been really happy with them. That's awesome. So what about in the rest of your house? I mean part of what we do on Crutchfield the podcast is we usually we're talking to a Crutchfield employee, a sales advisor, somebody in the warehouse, you know, could be anybody. And we want to know, hey, you work at Crutchfield, you have access to everything. We sell clips and all the other brands that we sell. Uh what did you buy with your employee discount? Take at home, hook it up. And what are you listening to on it? You know, that kind of stuff? I presume you're only gonna name clip stuff, but feel free to name some other stuff too. Like what do you what are you using at home? We know about the studio, but what about the rest of the house? Yeah. So uh in our sort of main tv room, which is actually our only tv room, we don't have a separate theater. I've got R. P. 8000 Fs are dual eight inch floor standards. Uh the RP 504 C center channel. So the big quad five and a quarter center channel. Uh those are massive. center channel speaker. Yeah and I love it. That's great. That's the way it should be. Yeah but yeah but you know it pairs up really well with the dual eights and those are massive left and right speakers. Yeah I love them. Yeah. Um so uh sides and back have our Pro 5 25 R. P. L. C. R. So the reference premiere in wall dual five and a quarter. That's sort of a utility utility speaker. You can almost use it for any speaker in the home theater except for the subwoofer. Right? And and you know given the model name it's really designed as an as an L. C. Are but they sound great as surrounds and and frankly I think those keep up with the dual eights a lot better than a than a single 6.5 uh wall. So um and then sub wise I've actually got an spl 1 50 so our largest 15 inch subwoofer just tucked away in the corner as much as you can tuck that subway to kind of round out that system. We've got a small patio space out back that is um actually our pro series landscape system. So we've got four landscape satellites out back and two of our 10 inch landscape subs that's all hooked up to a K. D. A 1000 amplifier, our clip champ. And then the whole system is run by um frankly a very popular multi room solution that will go unnamed. But I think they from a software perspective I think they do a good job. So uh and then obviously other than that we just got like little heritage grooves and a couple of the threes the clips, tabletop products kind of string around the house like the kitchen and master bedroom and it works for us. We love it. So the home theater it sounded like unless I miscounted are we just a 5.1 home theater? 7.1 side. Yeah and we have you know it would be it would be an at most theater but we have sort of a cathedral ceiling in that room. It's a two story ceilings so it's it's worked well you know I've tested sound bars uh and it works pretty well for that but um yeah it's just uh you know keeping it keeping at this point keeping it kind of old school with a 77.1 system. Sure. Did you tell me if I if you did I missed it what are you using? The power the seven speakers are using? Yeah actually home theater receiver I presume or something else. Uh Yeah I have an emotive to uh oh my gosh Rmc one processor and then use some uh some of the clips K. D. A amplifiers for power system. Yeah so I've got three of those three of the K. D. A. One thousand's racked up which are you know 12 channels total but I'm using nine of them. So you do you buy and those eight hundred's up front. No no no straight up you don't really need you don't need to I've got the channel I should say I I'm using nine channels. I'm actually using 11 channels because I'm bridging the left right channels up front with the Kts to get a little bit more of them. But everything else is just straight up single cable to to single channel and the landscaping speakers that you have outside. Are those are those the speakers that look like rocks. No no they're actually landscape satellites. There are Pro pro 500 TLS and Pro 6 50 TLS so we have a five and a quarter inch landscape satellite 6.5 inch landscape satellite. And um horn loaded just like a clip speaker should be. But they're staked into the landscaping and then the subs are are burial subs like the mushroom subs. I like the looks of those subs. Are those speakers better? The rock speakers. I know you guys make some rock speakers. I have yet to see a rock speaker that fooled me into thinking it was a rock. I mean they kind of look like a rock until you see this perfect circle where everything looks different uh and and you know that's not rock. Just a little mesh grille on it. Yeah and you know I think rock speakers are great for a particular customer. You know, we have a lot of, a lot of customers and a lot of custom integrators in the southwest that can't stake into the ground because it's clay or rock. So rock speakers are great for them. But landscape satellites are really where that, that industry is going. The outdoor speaker market. I mean 100% and ever, I mean since we've been lucky enough to have clips in our assortment of speakers. Uh, we've sold quite a few clips speakers, uh, uh, to, to our, to our sales advisers who we all love them. Too many many customers. I mean, they, as soon as we got and we were like, okay, this is a game changer, um, having these in our mix 75 years and uh, that's pretty incredible. And to think that those clips horns have been basically unchanged for 75 years. Still built in Hope Arkansas like that. Uh, and you're based in Indianapolis. Do you get to go to Hope Arkansas very much to see whatever is going on down there. Yeah, I have a couple of times. Uh, it's, it's an amazing factory. It's the, I remember the first time I went down there, which was several years ago just being touched by the dedication and the passion of the crafts people that work there. You know, we have, um, we employ about 70 or 75 people there, that again, just, you know, put their, Put their talent, put their passion towards building these speakers that this one man decided to start designing 75 years ago and and here, we are one of the largest American audio brands and it's it's still today, you know, not a, you don't come up on this um facility in Hope Arkansas and say wow, they must be doing some high tech stuff there, it's very understated. But you walk in and you know, there's an engineering acoustic engineering lab, there's an echo chamber that's designed to match the an echo chamber we have in Indianapolis. So any tests we do are are sort of in line with each other. It's a very high tech facility on the inside, but very understated, very humble on the outside. And so that's I think something to be really proud of is um not just the longevity of the company itself, but the longevity of the facility and the people that work there and do the great work for us, building our heritage line of product. That's so cool. I've got a few questions left for you and these are kind of curveball oddball questions. Oh no, okay. One of them might, you know, I started again and started Crutchfield in 96 that's when I found out I was very young but I started, that's when I found out about so many things like there's this thing in Vegas every year called the Consumer electronics show. Uh and I had uh as soon as I found out about it I thought well gosh shouldn't Crutchfield be sending sales advisors to to C. E. S. And nobody seemed to agree with me to the point where they would pay to send me to Vegas for the Consumer electronics show. It fast forward 21 years and finally someone's like hey we should send that guy uh because I do all, I do a lot of videos and stuff here for Crutchfield. So it just made sense. So literally the first day I was in Vegas at C. E. S. Clips was the first booth we went to and the first product I saw on display I fell in love with and it has never been made, it's never been a product. That's the beauty of C. S. I know I can just show off a bunch of cool stuff excited and then business reality kicks in. So what was it? Are you gonna make me try to guess what it was? I'll tell you here in a second. I we had erin Cochran who is our representative of clips products here to crutchfield. I asked him, hey is this ever going to be a thing? And he said, I don't think so, but they were basically the fives on steroids, the clips, the thirteen's the 15. I had the wrong number. They were massive pair of just uh was it a two way or three way powered uh system almost. I think so too. Right, just a big massive, well for big massive horn midrange tweeter uh and it had all of the stylings of the fives with the beautiful volume knobs and the switches and everything and I was like I want these in my living room and I've been eagerly awaiting their announcement ever since and it's just never happened. What what's happening with the fifteens? I will say uh I love the 15th two, I thought they were a very cool product but I think we will be uh introducing some products that will hopefully quench that thirst for something like the fifteen's uh in the near future. So yeah, keep an eye out if you see it at CS, I promise you it's not just because we're gonna never build it, just tease me again with it. Oh man, I hopefully will not do that but yeah we are 100% putting, you know, as much as much engineering and product development resources towards powered monitors based solely off of the the success of the fives. So I think the fifteen's were maybe showing them at C. S. They're a little bit ahead of their time. So I think again, is that that sort of performance story and that hybrid use case of video and uh and two channel audio, is that has expanded and grown in that market has has become a huge success for us. I think you're gonna start to see some, some solutions like that from us in the next couple of years. So I'll be happy to do an early review of them if you need somebody to check them out. So cool up on that. All right, the next one, is there any talk at clips ever? Has it just been something you guys have decided we don't need to dominate yet another product category so we're not going to bother or what? Why are there no clips? Car speakers? Oh, interesting. Um, there's a couple of reasons for that one is again focus and just making sure our engineering and product development resources are sort of looking in the right place. And the second is it's a completely different business model from a traditional Hi Fi and, and consumer electronics company again, I'm going to sort of tease you and say, you know, keep, keep an eye out for what, what we're doing? Yeah, um, certainly nothing. Nothing's final. But this is something we've been working on for um, for a little bit of time now trying to get some sort of, of car or audio speaker off the ground. You know that a couple of years ago we launched marine speakers with Master craft, yep, I remember seeing the boat at the E S at your at your at your booth and I was like, oh, clips just getting in the marine, when are we going to get these? And I was told no, no, this is not, that's not what's happening here yet. It was originally intended to be a sort of a very focused distribution through, through master craft only. Uh, certainly not a business we've expanded outward yet, but it is a good segue into the automotive side. So again, without giving too much away. I want to um, just stoke the rumor mill a little bit and say, you know, keep an eye out because there might be some exciting it's coming. I love it. I mean I can imagine that it, the challenge has to be, how do we achieve the clips sound and make these speakers fit in a car? Right. I mean because the horn is not the smallest way to do a tweeter. Uh, and you know size is kind of important and when it comes to car speakers, if you want them to actually fit in cars. So yeah, I would imagine it's quite a challenge and it could very easily take many years to figure that out. And I'm, I'm happy to know that somebody is thinking about that besides me. I think the marine speakers brought us a long way in terms of R. And D. On the acoustic side. You know, cramming a tweeter into a relatively small space and making our cramming a horn loaded tweeter into a relatively small space and really emphasizing uh, yeah, a lot of a wide frequency band out of, uh, not a lot of surface area and trying to figure out how to get that done. Um there's been a lot of development work on that. Excite exciting stuff in the works for us. And clearly you guys know how to achieve the clips sound in a very small package. You've proven that with headphones. So yes, yeah, headphones. Uh you know our small heritage groove speaker? It's very much a clip sound um in a so uh you I also looked you up, I googled you and I found you on Spotify. So you've you are a recording artist. You wanna, you wanna plug how, how can people find you on Spotify? You wanna play your, get your, get your music out there a little bit just Michael Barato. It's my name, yeah. Record music as a sort of solo artist. Um obviously haven't done much playing out recently because of Covid, but have a new record coming out later this year. So cool. Yeah. Check it out on Spotify. And do you do it all yourself? Are you all of the music we're hearing there? Or do you work with the band? No, no, actually, um, the the there are 22 albums on Spotify ones in ep, that's one I did myself years and years ago. And then the most recent one is called National Animal. That came out a few years ago. That was done with a producer named john Vanderslice who's sort of a singer songwriter um has been around sort of the indie scene for a long time. He owns a recording studio in Oakland called Tiny Telephone. So I went out there for a week and recorded there with some just absolutely killer session musicians. And um you know, I think we both have sort of this similar mindset of like, let's let's make this as weird as possible. So it's a lot of synthesizers, a lot of um sort of tweaked out drums and things like that, but all in all, it's very pop uh pop rock in terms of melodies. So I think it's pretty accessible music, but at the same time it's uh as far as I'm concerned, pretty pretty interesting, pretty unique to what else is out there. Yeah, I put it on the other day, back when a week or so ago when we first plan to do this. And uh yeah, I just sort of had it on in the background and I found myself tapping my foot and getting some work done. And so yeah, man, good stuff. Thanks, thank you very much, dude, it's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much again for taking the time to talk to me again at such a crazy point in your life. Congratulations again on, on the birth of your son, what's his name by the way, we'll someday in the future you can play this form and say, this is what your dad was doing a week after you were born. Yeah, exactly. Uh thanks again so much for being here. Taking the time for being so much fun to talk to. Uh and I really look forward to this episode coming out because it's uh it's been a ton of fun. Yeah man. Thanks Jr this has been great. Thanks to Crutchfield. You guys have always been awesome to us and we love spending time with you guys and talking to you. So thanks for having me. And will I get to see you again in Vegas once. C. E. S is a physical event someday in the future. I hope so. I can't wait. I can't wait for us to get back to shaking hands or bumping elbows at least. And just having these conversations in person. So I've got my second round of vaccine next week and excited for That to become more and more the norm. Yeah. Congratulations on that. Today is the day I can say I'm 14 days since my second shot. So I'm cool, fully vax baby. Nice. Yeah. Good. Strange time. But getting through it. Yeah. So I'll see you there. Hopefully in January. You are really excited by those products. I, we'll talk about it off air. Do you even own? I do the clips product, I have rocks. Absolutely rocks product, you know, but mine actually looks like a rock. You guys talk about it in there. It's the one that you're not a big fan of like the one product that maybe you didn't see a use for. He gives you a great example of the use of taking that rock speaker and hidden it in your garden. The plan is to take it and and have it point back towards my house instead of having speakers that are against my house facing out. This will be away from my house facing in to disturb the neighbors a little bit less. Okay. Yeah. So you're not fooled though, right by the fact that you can see the circles where the speakers are on the fake rock. I like that. It's a speaker. It happens to kind of blend in for maybe some of my neighbors that are less in tuned with that type of thing. What you're gonna do with it makes sense because the neighbors might actually think it's a rock. They're going to see the back of it. Exactly. Only you are going to look at it and go, that's not a rock and I'm happy about. However, I would rather be a speaker than Iraq. It rocks. There you go. I like it. What do you think? Should we answer a customer's question? We've got one of those. Again, we do, we have one. Let's do this. So I went looking through some of our articles, we have an article about small home theater ideas and one of the comments on that article was a person. You didn't, this isn't a very long comments. So I'm just going to get through it real quick here. This is from Glen, in somewhere in Hawaii all Glenn says is I'd like to see a wireless speaker set up of different types and I guess maybe that that wasn't covered in that article, that's probably why he was asking. But we've got that wireless home theater speaker setups for the listeners at home. They'll they'll never in a million years guess what manufacturer actually makes some of these solutions? Well, there's there's more than, there is more than one. There's more than there is more than one, a couple of different ways to do wireless. There's a lot of wireless can mean a lot of things to a lot of you would think wireless would be easy to understand but there are a lot of different bars right? Which you would wire probably to your tv but then you can go wireless two rear speakers which need a wire for power but still plugged in for power. We're just talking about when you say wireless home theater, what you try trying to avoid is running wires from the tv area to the speakers behind you. Harris the speakers behind you. Obviously they need power most of the time and you're gonna plug them into the wall. That part is not wireless, we get that but I don't want to run wires from back to front and so a sound bar with wireless surrounds is pretty cool. There's a bunch of companies that do that, So knows, I think has some, you know, Oh, I think maybe clips has that. Yeah, yeah, I've heard of them. Uh huh. But if you wanted like a full on like heavy duty in your face surround sound, right? With some floor standing speakers, a big powered sub some bookshelf speakers behind you. A nice impressive center channel right below you're talking like a system for both music and movies. One that shine wonderfully in either scenario. Absolutely. There's not a lot of those. No, there's not. And the one I'm aware of is actually made by clips how convenient for this episode. Right? Yeah, I think they have more than one flavor of it as well. Yeah, there's a couple different you can get as a 3.0 system, 3.15 point one. A big Honkin center channel, which is like the cheat code to a wonderful surround sound system. You got to have a big center channel. I love that. It's the clips reference wireless 5.1 that I was thinking might be exactly what glenn from Hawaii is looking for because it's exactly what we just described. It uses a pretty cool technology. It's called Liza Liza or vice. I don't know if it's a German I think I will go with like that. We were wrong. Yeah, we'd love to hear from our listeners in the comments. That'd be great. So go to crutchfield dot com slash podcast to comment also to see a link to this Crutchfield or this clips reference wireless 5.1 sound system that uses a lossless wireless technology to get sound from your tv from your game console. All these different things that can send sound into a little transmitter that sends it out to all of your speakers completely wirelessly. You plug them into the wall for power. They have built in amplifiers and you just saved yourself from running wires all over your room. And that's kind of what it's all about. So yeah, there'll be a link to that in the show notes on this episode because that's a pretty cool product. So are you gonna go out and get some clips speakers now that you are more educated on the finer points of clips over the past couple days. Well, I mean that's so maybe on a future episode, you can you can talk about how you use your discounted by some Sure, yeah. Why not? Why not for the listeners out there? Just so you guys know they you can choose to only get paid gift cards um here at Crutchfield and after 20 years, you know, you accumulate gift card goes a long way with your employee discount. That's right man. So this is so much fun making this podcast. This is another fantastic episode. We will be back in a few weeks with another episode. I can't wait for you to join us. Go to Crutchfield dot com slash podcast links and show notes. Please like this thing, share this podcast. Tell your friends about it. Anybody that might be interested in in this particular episode clips products, but there's a lot of episodes about a lot of really cool stuff that crutchfield cells and if you want to hear more about why people are choosing to buy what they bought, that's kind of that's kind of what we're doing. And at the same time we are highlighting some of the coolest people that work here at Crutchfield. Yeah. Also ERic's on the show. Yeah, Thanks for that. I think it's time to log off now. I think you're right. All right. Eric I will see you next time. Sounds good. See you then.

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