In the music products industry, there are iconic, universally known brands that, in many cases, gain the lion’s share of the attention, both from trade journalists and, in some instances, even from the retail community. And, given the size and strength of, say, the electric guitar or drum markets, items that fall under the heading of “accessory” can sometimes be crowded out and robbed of the attention they deserve. For every rule, though, there exists an exception, and Asterope might just be that exceptional company.
Ever since Asterope surfaced on The Retailer’s radar screen, we’ve been impressed not only with the technology at the company’s heart, but also its philosophy and approach to business. You might have read the Five Minutes With interview of Dariush Rad, President & CEO, which appeared in the July issue. That was a huge month for Asterope because, at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, a partnership was announced with Fishman Electronics, according to which Fishman manages the sales and distribution of Asterope instrument and XLR audio cables for the musical instrument and pro audio markets globally. It also provides for collaboration on marketing and promotional efforts. The Retailer recently spoke to Rad and Dean Kline, Vice President of Communications, to delve more deeply into the products.
“We have two primary series right now,” Rad began, “the Pro Studio Series and Pro Stage Series.” The former, in Asterope’s signature burgundy or deep purple, has an ultra-clarity gold connector on it. It provides a more dynamic, spatial sound, which is ideal in environments that are more intimate, where one is looking for clarity and an open harmonic response. The Pro Stage Series, Asterope’s black cable, has a nickel connector on it. It offers a warmer, punchier or more percussive sound. “And,” Rad mentioned, “it seems to manage gain a little more effectively, which is important when you’re in live situations and the signal is more volatile.” So, he mentioned, Asterope finds that its more heavy, rock-centered, high-gain players gravitate toward that. The Pro Stage Series also suits acoustic players in a live situation; it helps to manage flighty harmonics.
Although Asterope is protective of its proprietary technology and manufacturing processes, Kline lent some insight into what sets Asterope apart. “We use the highest quality materials in our manufacturing, as well as proprietary production methods,” he revealed. “We utilize patented ultra-clarity connectors and manufacture with a durable exterior jacketing.” So, the products are extremely rugged, suiting the different environments in which they’re used. Enhanced noise-resistant shielding helps protect the overall sound that’s being delivered. Finally, a unique unidirectional design further enhances the sound over the life of the product. Rad underscored the aforementioned ruggedness, saying their products are “bulletproof.”
Asterope centers its marketing pitch—and, really, its complete value proposition—on the idea that its cables deliver an audible, unmistakable increase in sound quality. “It’s essentially based on an ultra-efficient signal flow,” explained Rad, “which is dramatically increasing (continued reading)