After many months of blood, sweat, and tears it's time to stop listening to Spinning Wheel. Only kidding. It's time to introduce Superphonica to the world. Superphonica is the largest expansion of CA in its ten year history, and it's open today.
Superhonica is a HiFi focused marketplace where private individuals, dealers, and manufacturers all sell new and used products to the world. This isn't our grandfather's classified section. We've leveraged new technology to offer people the best buying and selling experience in the industry. Superphonica is CA's marketplace, but it isn't only for what some would consider CA type products. Superphonica is for digital audio, analog audio, music, and even products like NAS drives. In fact, this is why the marketplace goes by the name Superphonica rather than Computer Audiophile. Why limit one's buying and selling options because of a name or perceived product focus?
Some may view Superphonica as a site for private sellers to list used gear for sale. That's OK. However, the site is so much more and we have grand plans for the future. Superphonica is a central hub for buying and selling new and used gear, with dealer storefronts and brand boutique pages for manufacturers. Superphonica doesn't offer auctions or time-limited listings. That's anxiety causing old school. We want this to be a great place for buyers and sellers, and made decisions to remove some features that may cheapen the experience.
Speaking of the name, we purposely have the letters CA at the end of Superphonica. We've built a reputation for integrity, transparency, and fairness and we believe this should carry over to the new marketplace. Superphonica is run by us, real people who respond to emails and value honest feedback. Integration between CA and Superphonica is tight with respect to bouncing between the marketplace, reviews, and forums. On the other hand, there is a wall between the editorial team on CA and the business team for Superphonica. I've long wanted to remove myself from the business side of company and this is the first step in that direction.
Is Computer Audiophile or Superphonica a dealer now? We are as much a dealer as a real dealer's landlord. We provide the infrastructure to bring buyers and sellers together. In other words, absolutely not. We have zero interest in becoming audio dealers. We like to focus on what we're good at and let real dealers and manufacturers focus on that at which they excel. Plus, the need for HiFi dealers with real knowledge of the craft and A+ service is ever-present. We can't take the place of a dealer, but we can connect you to a dealer.
When we started this project several months ago, we set out to create something different and something on which we would be proud to put our name. We set out to do things differently, be 100% transparent, only charge a fee when we've provided something of value, and to create a long term business. Superphonica may be a bit disruptive but we aren't looking to take business from someone else if that person or company is offering real value in a competitive market. We've been here for ten years and this is the next step in our business expansion plan. In other words, we aren't throwing this at the wall to see if it sticks. This is a marathon not a sprint. We are in it for the long haul.
Our long term goal is to also grow the editorial side of CA. Superphonica will help fund the acquisition of more writers, measuring equipment, or a hired outside lab to conduct measurements / teardowns for CA. I'd like nothing more than to have a new review or article on the front page every day. Good writers cost real money and are hard to find. This is step one in the process.
Before sending readers over to Superphonica, I'd like to hit a few high-points that embody what Superphonica is all about.
- Fair Price & Transparency - Maybe it's our midwestern upbringing or the fact that we put ourselves into the shoes of everyone else when we created Superphonica. We only want to charge a fee when we've provided a service and the fee must be fair. This is why Superphonica doesn't charge a penny when people list items for sale. Only after an items sells do we charge a 1% (of the sale price) fee, with a maximum of $349. That's it. Seriously, there are no hidden fees or uncharges. We also offer dealer and manufacturer programs. Both of these programs' prices are listed on the Superphonica site for all to see. We're fair and honest and have nothing to hide.
- We Give Back - We like to give back when we can. That's why a portion of our proceeds will be donated to the MusiCares Foundation. Everyday we receive so much joy from artists' music, with little opportunity to give back. We believe donating to MusiCares is the perfect opportunity. When considering where to purchase something in the future, consider the fact that Superphonica gives back.
- HiFi Fulfillment - We've taken the best of Amazon and left the rest. Superphonica offers product fulfillment to manufacturers from all over the world. When a manufacturer sells an item through the site, we can ship the product from our locations in the US. We believe this can only help both buyers and sellers.
- Escrow.com Integration - Many sites, including eBay Motors, recommend paying through Escrow.com when the cost of an item is $5,000 or greater. We also believe Escrow.com is the best solution for larger transactions (lowest fees) and for the most security (both buyer and seller). Thus, we've worked closely with the team at Escrow.com for the past few months to provide our community with the industry's tightest integration between Superphonica and Escrow.com. Whatsdoe that mean? When a purchase is made on Superphonica and the buyer selects Escrow.com as the payment method (PayPal also an option), the transaction details are automatically sent to Escrow.com and setup in the Escrow system. Escrow.com accounts are even created on the fly if needed. Buyers and Sellers just login to the secure Escrow.com portal to complete the safest transaction possible.
I'd also like to introduce the CA Community to my brother Dave, who left his position as the President of two global high tech software companies, to co-found Superphonica with me. Superphonica is far too much work for me to take on considering my duties here at CA. When Dave said he was interested in launching this with me, I had to strike while the iron was hot. It was a golden opportunity to bring someone I trust onboard who could lead this new venture. The best part for me is that I can offload many of the business aspects of running the business. I don't want to be involved with what makes the company money. I know that sounds strange, but it can give the impression of impropriety. Once Dave takes over these aspects, I'll be free to focus on the editorial direction and writing more reviews while listening to more music.
Please give a nice welcome to Dave. He'll be around CA when needed, but will likely be buried in Superphonica business most days. He can be reached by tagging him here on CA @Dave or through the messaging system of Superphonica. You can read more about him on the Superphonica About us page, as well as see a couple photos from the Connaker archive (including our Dad's 1978 stereo with ashtray resting comfortably on the turntable).
Lastly, I should mention that the databases for CA and Superphonica have zero linkage. There are good reasons for this, even though I wanted very badly to provide users with single sign-on (same username and password on both sites). I encourage everyone to hop over to Superphonica to grab their username while it's still available. If needed, I'll give preferential treatment to members of the CA Community who want to keep their same usernames.
All Superphonica related discussions will still take place here on the CA forum because it's the best platform for forum discussion. The link to the Superphonica forum is here -> Superphonica Support and Discussion Forum
What happens with the CA Buy/Sell forum and CA All Access memberships? As of now, nothing. In the future there will be modifications, but for now people can continue using that area if they wish. My hope is that people will move their stuff over to Superphonica, but if you've already paid for a CA membership I completely understand any hesitation.
I guess this is where the rubber meets the road and we finally open the doors to what we've kept secret and been working on for many months. We honestly hope you'll love it as much as we do. At the same time we realize it isn't perfect. Two guys working night and day on something can cause them to miss the forrest for the trees. We completely understand this and won't be offended with honest feedback. This is where the wonderful CA Community can really help. Please let us know in the Superphonica forum area, feel free to tag either one of us ( @Dave or @The Computer Audiophile ), what you'd like to see changed, what isn't working, what's confusing, etc... Together we can make Superphonica even better.
It's time to shut up and introduce Superphonica, the HiFi marketplace of the future ...