Niniveh co-founder Chris Bunjamin is a versatile photographer who has a penchant for high quality audio equipment. Currently based in Melbourne, Australia, Chris photographs personal shots of fleeting moments and the grandeur of nature alongside details of modernity. His yearning for the authentic is conveyed well into his pursuit for a fully-immersive sound experience in the comfort of one’s home.
As we delve into his relationship with music, we had a chat with Chris on his newest audio equipment curating project ‘Audio Nirvana’. Read on to find out how he went about the selection process, the satisfaction of a proper audio setup, and his vision for the brand, among other things.
- What is Audio Nirvana to you? What made you want to create a brand dedicated to music and audiophiles?
Audio Nirvana is all about finding your preference in how to listen to audio the proper way.
Helping others, by guiding their journey into high end audio according to their preference - I thought would be personally satisfying. Making sure there’s synergy between the high-end audio components within a specific budget.
- Why do you pick Vermouth and Gold Note specifically? What about them speaks to you?
I came across Vermouth Audio during my early years in high-end audio. Randomly trying the brand because of a suggestion by a trusted high-end audio retailer. It was all about supporting local brands. But then when I experienced how well Vermouth handled their aftersales service of their products, it made me dig deeper to get to know the brand itself and its founder, Mr. Hendry Ramli, during my visit to their workshop in Bali. From there, I had a stronger foundation and belief in the brand, as well as following the development of their latest innovative high-end audio products over the years. Vermouth Audio is about doing the right thing in high end audio, no gimmicks. They are about taking care of customers. Last but not least, they are about quality. And this was proven by how well received the brand around the world by getting awards from those high-end audio reviewers. It is their understanding of high-end audio and their commitment to their customers which got them to where they are today, and I hope Niniveh Space can help spread this experience to our clients.
Gold Note is another high-end audio brand from Italy that got my attention because of their emotional sound quality. They do both amazing digital and analog products, but what caught my attention was their entry level digital music streamer, the DS-10 and DS-10 Plus (it has an additional analog input for preamp function). They have been getting rave reviews from high-end audio reviewers around the world as well as replaced many high-end analog source in high-end systems. The thing that I thought was also interesting about Gold Note products, was that their high-end products cater different budgets. Meaning audiophiles do not have to spend a fortune to start experiencing their house sound. Please check out their product range under Audio Nirvana section at Niniveh Space and get blown away.
- Can you share with us an interesting experience you had, related to music?
When you have listened to music in a properly setup system, the experience is just moving! Emotionally and physically. As a photographer, listening to my favourite music as well as finding new tunes gave me inspirations, every day! Especially when you have tuned the system and maximized it to your preference.
- What is something that Hi-Fis can capture that standard musical equipment fail to do?
I think there are two things, accuracy and emotion. Accuracy in sound reproduction of the musical instruments, vocal, and placements of each of the sound on the stage. Emotion, is talking about our involvement to the music playing.
- Do you think vinyl is superior to digital? Why or why not?
If you have a properly digital audio setup, it can be superior to vinyl. Vinyl is not the best analog source; it can be surpassed by a proper digital audio setup.
- Do you spot any major differences between a local and international audio equipment brand?
The difference is mostly the branding of the brand itself. But it all goes back to the quality of components, the harmony of implementation. Even a lot of international audio brands use lesser components than local brands - we just don’t know about it. That is why at Audio Nirvana, we have curated high end components that use proper components and materials.
- Will you be introducing new brands to Audio Nirvana?
Yes, we would.
- What is your vision for Audio Nirvana?
To give the best quality and value for money in high end audio components to our clientele as well as guidance to help them achieve their “audio nirvana” setup.
Quick Q & A!
- Favourite song? I would say favourite album, Diana Krall, Love Scenes. It was recorded using a R2R, the sound is just amazing.
- Favourite audio brands? Gryphon, Vermouth, Gold Note, Empirical Audio, Furutech, and many more!
- Favourite items from Audio Nirvana? The Gold Note DS-10, PH-10, Vermouth Audio Reference products, Vermouth Audio Little Lucas Limited speakers, and Vermouth Studio Monitor speakers.
- Do you play any musical instruments? I used to play, acoustic guitar, drum, and piano.
- An interesting audio fact that you think a lot more people should know? The first thing to tackle when setting up an audio setup is the electricity.
Photographs provided by Chris Bunjamin.