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A Swiss audio craftsman in South Africa


Andrew Richardson of FaitalPRO interviews Christian Buchmuller of CB-Audio, South Africa.

A.R.: "Please can you give us a brief overview of your company, your range of activities and the customer groups you focus on."

C.B.: "I have always loved music, building my first cabinet in 1984 when I was 16 by following existing speaker plans.
In 1998 I moved from Switzerland to South Africa, Cape Town, where I started renting some acoustic systems to clubs.
In 2000 I built myself my first rental sound system, then followed a venture with a partner in a small company called S&B custom sound. I moved away from this idea and started on my own as CB-Audio creating a quality service to all clients, new or existing.


I decided, during 2016, to formalize my plans for CB-Audio, taking as much time was needed for R&D, with the goal of the best possible quality for all clients. I am an audio consultant for my customers since I both produce active and passive systems fitting perfectly in any existing venue therefore CB-Audio system must sound good and look good.

Then, in 2018, my big year came, and CB-Audio was finally ready for opening. My raw enclosures are made by a Swiss carpenter. The final assembly of the cabinet is done in South Africa.
My rigs have been used locally for the rave and trans music party events here in South Africa.
Currently I still focus on mobile applications like indoor/outdoor parties and DJ music events, especially renting complete systems.
I am also in the process of installing rigs at a club which will be opening in March 2019, so I am also focusing on fixed audio installations."

 

A.R.: "Your philosophy is very customer-application oriented, isn't it?"
C.B: "Yes. I believe in giving clients the best possible solution and application for their individual needs. So, customers' design and personalization is my first priority.
Every system of mine needs to fit perfectly in a precise environment, and the bass stack is often installed in a corner, under a staircase or similar.
Sound is my passion, which means giving clients excellent service during the entire process of designing, installing or renting, and not forgetting after sales service.
The audio market here is very competitive, and the fight against Chinese, low budget but also low-quality products, is tiring.
Convincing customers that quality and reliability are the only choice is a slow and constant process.
I intend to give DJs and music performers the best reliable sound system in the upper quality range, the best products their money can buy."

 

A.R.: "How have recent changes in our economy affected you and the way you do business?"
C.B.: "Since I started using FaitalPRO drivers I can make high quality sound systems that really fear no competition and as South Africa is an expensive place to build my cabinets, only high quality and unique speakers can be sold."

 

A.R.: "How long have you been working with FaitalPRO loudspeakers?"
C.B.: "I first saw FaitalPRO drivers at Frankfurt Music Messe and immediately I started using them back in 2010 under the brand name S&B as custom sound producers and renting audio systems.
I have been using the Italian drivers creating small and compact point source enclosures because, so far, each venue has been for 2000 people or fewer.
It is quite common for me that following a system rental, the customer is so impressed by the sound that he commissions a similar version for purchase and fixed installation.
My customers are always very satisfied and among the most famous ones I can quote the Red Bull sound rig in 2011, with a system designed and built for the Music Academy World tour in Cape Town. Later I made a second rig for JHB."

 

A.R.: "Why did you switch to FaitalPRO and what products are making the most impact on your business?"
C.B.: "At the start I also used some other loudspeaker manufacturers products with reasonable results, but I soon realised they could not go further up in quality. I started using the FaitalPRO Midrange 6FE200 which was very impressive and continue to use this in multiple rigs for many clients of mine.
Soon afterwards I decided to adopt several other models from the FaitalPRO range."

 

A.R.: "What is the overall impression and comments from your clients since making the change to FaitalPRO components."
C.B.: "They love that sound, it's a loud HiFi supplying them with top quality audio, giving their listeners the satisfaction of a good party.
In other words, these loudspeakers represent great value for money giving excellent sound quality.
These products also offer reliability and have never failed me or any of my clients. I believe in quality and not quantity. FaitalPRO's range gives all that at once."

 

A.R.: "What are your best enclosures or best sellers?"
C.B.: "The 18" sub 18HP1060 for bass and the subwoofer R218S loaded with two 18HP1060 8 Ohm is by far the most sold box. It is followed by the quad mid/high M406 loaded with four 6FE200 4 Ohm and HF108R.
The FE200 series have given the most beautiful voice reproduction for me. That's why I chose to cross-over as high as 5kHz. Often my customers are most astonished at the small 15" R115S loaded with the 15HP1060 neodymium 8 Ohm for the tight, powerful, deep and precise bass which is just unbelievable. I love it."

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