During the Warsaw Audio SHOW fair, as of early November 2014, I also visited the stand of a Polish tonearms and turncable company. The company called: Audio Fonica.
The name sounded familiar, so I decided to drop in, ask a few questions and look around. Whilst being there, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Radoslaw Łodziato. He told me the story of the company and its products.
The idea of rebuilding the “Fonica” brand, as a producer of High End turntables, appeared in 2010. As an Audiophile, I wanted to bring something to the world of audio, introduce something. I wanted to show the tonal colors that I normally like to enjoy whilst listening to my music, the type of tonal balance of the sound, the depth and saturation. No one has a monopoly as to the recipe for the best or “absolute” sound, and there are many different reproduction styles, just as there are many different tastes, perceptions and preferences, when listening to music.
I wanted to show to the world how I, personally, like to listen to my music, how I want it to be delivered and presented.
Oh, …. and By The Way, whilst doing it – I was also trying to build a serious business undertaking out of it. From the very beginning I knew that it must be “Analog”.
Indeed, one would want to tell a story, such that the beginnings were difficult, etc. But in fact, they were not. We have made a most fortunate decision regarding the “resurrection” of a well-known brand, which apart from the multiple years of tradition that go with it, the brand is also associated with beautiful sound. It just so happened, that our part of the group had the support from the side of the owner and from the management. We had a large capital budget allocated for Research and Development purposes, and enjoyed the luxury of building a team and taking-on a group of over a dozen of qualified engineers.
We had at our disposal the production capabilities hidden within several distinct production plants, all of which are producing high-precision instrumentation and systems. Additionally, we also had to the most modern Polish metrology laboratory.
In 2011, we were ready the first two models.
In the beginning, our actions mimicked the actions of more than 90% of the turntable manufacturers. We have built our turntables using tonearms that could be readily sourced from the market. These were REGA and SME based tonearms. In our newer models, we used the SME tonearms and the REGA RB700 and RB1000. Our lower models utilized the RB303 tonearm.
In 2012, we had our grand opening premiere, at the AUDIO Show in Warsaw, and here we kick-started.
In 2013, we decided to become fully independent. A new investor comes into play. So do new challenges. The lack of access to any and all of the higher models of REGA tonearms has accelerated our decision to terminate the Turntable Kindergarten, as executed till date, and to get serious with the development of our 100% own turntable designs. We wanted to become independent.
The design and construction work lasted for many months. Our first premiere, the “Hello World” of our first, fully own and 100% independent design, took place in mid-2013 and has triggered a very warm and positive welcome. Such positive market feedback has reassured us that we have chosen our development strategy and path properly. Our new model was the F 901 Violin. Available with a new myriad of types of finishes. And some yet further development of our tonearms. Since three months now, they are already available as the third consecutive version.
From the outset, as a company, we have focused on the quality and the use of the best possible materials. Therefore, we continuously build based upon very expensive and difficult to source materials, such as black acrylic, as well as granite rock, brass, and pure gold.
As for the year 2014, we are happily wrapping it up, after all those warm welcomes that we have experienced abroad. These – mostly thanks to our very successful presence at the High End Audio fair in Munich, where we have presented our turntables in two showrooms, riding upon the courtesy of two of our distributors.
The Audio Show Warsaw was marked by the release of several of our new models, including the revived entry level project, the F 401. During this recent Warsaw trade fair, we have presented a total of 6 models, including our chart-topping and most awarded model, the F 901 Violin – a “BEST PRODUCT 2014″ as nominated by HIGH FIDELITY.PL
Our plans for the upcoming year are to prepare a new, top-model, the F1000, which we hope to present at the beginning of 2015, with a choice of two tonearms. The F4 shall continue to be our top model on offer, and the F1 will constitute the most affordable offering. We also plan to start working on the specific needs of the Polish market and prepare a very special model for the Polish consumers.
For readers who are interested in Audio Fonica and their products, I recommend that you best make direct contact with the person who is “in the know” on these topics: