By Bruno de Lorimier
I am very pleased to introduce you to one of Nordost’s top North American Dealers: Absolute Audio/Video.
After realizing that there was a lack of quality stereo shops in Calgary, the founder Ross Sisson, who’s an avid music lover, opened the original store back in 2005. They now operate out of a newer, larger, and more sophisticated location.
The first store, which was slightly more modest than the newer more luxurious shop, was situated just a block down the same road in the Bowness Area in Calgary. Ross, who’s a very handy guy, actually built all of the original showrooms pretty much by himself and did an amazing job. It didn’t take long for local clients to start pouring in and be amazed by the line-up of quality brands and products on display. What impressed clients even more was Ross’s technical expertise and, furthermore, his diverse musical knowledge. I have always believed that the main reason Ross and Absolute AV are so successful is because of his contagious passion for music. I have come to meet many of his patrons over the years and if there is one thing they all have in common, it’s their love of music and trust for Ross’s recommendations and advice.
With his lifelong knowledge of music and what good sound is, Ross helps others by providing knowledgeable information on topics like room acoustical improvements and electrical upgrades for audio and video improvements. His advice scans many topics from whole house audio and video to lighting and security.
Ross was raised on good music that he was introduced to by his mom and his older brothers. Ever since he was a kid, strong audio and musical versatility was extremely important to him. He’s an LP and CD collector who spends much of his time finding rare gems in record shops around Canada.
In 2015, Ross spotted a nicer and larger location just down the road, which he envisioned as the perfect space to turn into his dream store. In May of 2016, his dream came true and the new shop was inaugurated. Clients and suppliers alike were delighted with the new store’s look and functionality. In my humble opinion, the new location is truly one of the nicest stores in Canada.
Here are some of the brands you can currently find at Absolute AV: Nordost, Bowers & Wilkins, ATC loudspeakers, Monitor Audio, Odeon Audio, Vivid Audio, Bryston, Muraudio, Neat Acoustics, Transrotor, Acoustic Solid, Oracle Audio, MOFI, NAD, VPI Industries, Dynavector, HANA, Nagoaka, Kiseki, Grado, Sorane, Jadis, MOON by Simaudio, Ayre, Rotel, Atoll, Rogue Fezz, Zesto, Dan D’Agostino, Merging Technologies, Lumin, Antipodes Audio, Roon Labs, Lindemann, etc … What a line-up! It’s also worth mentioning that Absolute AV was the very first Supreme Reference Dealer in Canada in 2007.
The other thing Absolute AV is really good at is organizing very popular and sought-after special events, many of which are held off-premises in glamorous settings like art galleries and famous restaurants. Attended and hosted by famous people as well as industry specialists, these events have surely contributed to building a strong and loyal customer base which consistently continues to grow.
Then, in 2008, came along James Davies who is now the Sales Manager and Product Specialist at the shop. James is a contemporary and avant-garde Jazz music lover of the late ’60s and early ’70s, as well as lots of other music spanning across generations.
“For as long as I can remember, I have listened to music: from the calming effect of listening to The Moody Blues’ “Night in White Satin”, as a child, on the radio, to rhythmic complexity of electronic beat gurus Autechre and Avant-garde Jazz pioneers The Art Ensemble of Chicago – I crave music. I consume music. I believe, if there is one secret to the success of any one Hi-Fi dealer, it’s in their ability to help customers explore and consume music. And, existentially, where do we expect the music industry to be tomorrow if we aren’t supporting our favourite artists of today?
Before getting into the Hi-Fi industry (and probably the main reason I ended up in this industry), I sort of flew where the wind took me. I don’t have a background in any one thing. I’ve been in manufacturing and construction, and am a trained painter and illustrator (and I look forward to pursuing this again if I ever get to retire!). The parallel between painting and music is a fascinating one for me, as colour theory and musical harmony are really one and the same. The same is true of the technologies used to record and produce modern music. If you understand the behavior of one frequency band, the rest starts to make a lot of sense. Much of all art is simply problem solving…we just use different techniques and methodology.”
James’s primary tasks are searching for reliable brands and creating bonds with people in the community. James loves products and brands that don’t make excuses for themselves and that have an interest in not only modern relevance but progressive techniques and ideas as well, which is why he likes Nordost so much.
“I don’t think there’s a terribly sophisticated reason for our success with Nordost. In the beginning, before my time with Absolute, I believe we chose to represent Nordost not because of its marketability or brand cache, but because of its performance and the company that stands behind the product. In my time with Absolute, I have never experienced a company more dedicated to training its dealers and willing to disclose as much of the technical aspects of their products. As you can imagine, a cable brand with no technical background is easy to label as nothing more than snake oil. So the knowledge base that Nordost brings to the table is really paramount in our success.
Secondly, Absolute AV made the investment. We do not wait around for customers to inquire about and order products on a whim; we demonstrate them in all of our systems, keep a generous amount in stock for quick turnaround, and take the time to recommend the correct Nordost cable systems to meet our customers’ needs and budgets.
Absolute AV is a performance oriented retailer. That’s not to say our focus is purely on esoteric high end. Rather, we do our best to present Hi-Fi equipment as more than an appliance simply meant as a means to an end. Working with Nordost products helps to remove some of the mysticism surrounding high end audio by being firmly rooted in science and engineering; Nordost products take the guesswork out of Hi-Fi, allowing for predictable and repeatable results.”
The entire staff at Nordost is extremely proud to count Absolute AV as part of our team, and I am personally honored to count Ross and James as personal friends of mine.
Long live Absolute AV!
6303 Bowness Rd NW #100
Calgary, AB T3B 0E4
Phone: (403) 202-7302