NZPC: You’ve been in the car-audio scene for the best part of two decades; how’d you get into it, and how did you end up where you are now?
Rich: I guess I started off by getting inspired by Rob Charteris, when he was working at Driving Sound. He did my first system and taught me the basic difference between getting a good system and getting a phenomenal system. Rob went on to own Rapid Radio, and, by default, I went on the journey with him on the wholesale side.
You’ve worked for a few audio suppliers in New Zealand as well as overseas. Tell us about that.
Yeah, I spent 10 years of my 15 years in the industry working in Australia, in all the main centres. I’ve been back in New Zealand for a couple of years now, and started up Zeroflex. I’ve got a few different brands on board, and I’m looking to take them to the top.
So, you’ll use your knowledge from the Aussie market to help with that and to try to reinvigorate the car-audio scene?
I got to work with some of the best stores in Australasia, so I’ve seen where a lot of the stores struggle — and that’s with the details and fabrication on highend installations. Those are critical items on demo cars or show cars, so I’ve invested money in CNC machines to be able to give my customers that service.
There are two sides to your business, custom fabrication and product supply — correct?
Absolutely; it’s pretty much 50/50 at the moment. We do a lot of work for custom vehicles if someone wants to build a big system. I’ve got CNC and laser cutters, so we can go down to the finest details with perfect quality to help make their customers’ come true. These tools are great for cutting logos into Perspex, or getting perfect cuts when building custom boxes — there’s really no limit to what can be done.
What products do you stock?
I’ve got Clarion, Audison, Hertz, Stinger, Roadkill, Pac, and iSimple, so we can cover a car from the battery terminal to the navigation in the dash, the $2K speakers in the front door, and the subs and amps in the back. We’ve got it all covered.
Are you focusing more on the high end of the range?
Absolutely. If your mum wants new speakers for her car, she’s probably not going to come and see me. But we’ve probably got the largest range of audio items that cost more than $300 of anyone in New Zealand.
You come from a sound-pressure-level and sound-quality background; is that your target market?
We do sell products for $99 and so forth, but my main focus is to try to inspire people to see what a good audio system in a car can sound like and show them what can be achieved by spending a bit more.