SACRAMENTO, CA - Light Harmonic, a Sacramento startup, is trying to make music come to life with high end audio gear.
And we're talking very high end.
"We're audiophiles, so I can say this lovingly," Light Harmonic's VP of Sales and Marketing Gavin Fish laughed. "Audiophiles are lunatics."
Their premier digital to analog converter, called the Da Vinci DAC costs $31,000. It's CEO Larry Ho's brainchild.
"It's a state of the art high assembling rate," Ho explained. "The best DAC on the market."
"It makes the sound feel warmer, more analog," Fish added. "It's almost like spinning old reel to reel tapes or spinning records."
Ho and Fish knew they were dealing with an extremely niche audience. So they decided to make a cheaper, portable DAC. The challenge was taking technology from something as large as Da Vinci and condensing it into something as tiny as GEEK, which goes for about $300.
"I tell Gavin 'let's try.' But we don't know," Ho recounted. "If it doesn't sound good then okay, just going to be a little toy."
Ho was ready to scrap the whole thing if it didn't meet his standards. But he ended up making it work.
"I think we keep 90 percent of the technology from Da Vinci into GEEK," Ho said. "And it sounds very good."
They launched a Kickstarter campaign to sell GEEK and what happened next blew their minds.
"We had a goal of selling $28,000. We hit that goal in 10 ½ hrs," Fish said.
By the end of the campaign, they had raised $303,000.
The demand was proof to the guys at Light Harmonic, which Ho started three years ago, that people want to hear the difference in high quality sound.
"I feel great. I feel relieved," Ho said. "I was really worried about the future, in the next 10 years."
They plan to unveil GEEK at CES in Las Vegas in January.
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