Take a look at our exclusive interview with Vinnie Rossi, where he gives us an in-depth look at the new Brama series and brand.
Your introduction of the new Brama series has created quite a stir in our industry. Surely you are getting quite a bit of feedback and inquiries :)?
We have received an overwhelmingly positive response for Brama so far. All the units from our first production run have already been reserved and should begin shipping late 2021 / early 2022. There have also been numerous reviewer requests and interest from potential distributors that we are in discussion with.
I am both excited and deeply humbled by all of this. Once more people have had the opportunity to experience Brama, I believe global interest will continue to grow and our vision will be understood.
A new logo, a new website, completely new products. Is this a completely new direction for Vinnie Rossi?
As I mention in our press release, Brama has opened a new chapter for Vinnie Rossi. We are now demonstrating to the world our strong commitment to designing and manufacturing innovative, reference-grade audio components at the highest level.
Please list the complete current product portfolio.
The Brama Collection is our current product portfolio, consisting of:
- Brama Preamplifier
- Brama Stereo Power Amplifier
- Brama Integrated Amplifier
Judging by the feedback, many of our readers are fascinated by the mechanical gauges and the beautiful industrial design, the unique high-tech approaches. Tell us how it all came about and how it was implemented.
My vision for Brama was to completely start from the ground up with entirely new designs. Nothing was borrowed from our previous products, and this also meant a new industrial design, user interface, and materials used throughout.
I began working with Montreal-based Olivier Raymond Studio for Industrial Design. Olivier Raymond had previously worked with Mercedes Benz, Porsche Design, as well as electronic products. We hit it off right away and connected with our love for simplicity and elegance in design. This link contains a brief write-up by Olivier detailing the industrial design process for Brama and what we aimed to achieve: https://www.vinnierossi.com/about/
What is happening with Vinnie Rossi’s previous products and how do they differ from the new Brama line?
Previous Vinnie Rossi products continue to be supported, but have been discontinued.
In every way that I can think of, Brama offers significant improvements over our previous designs:
- Sound quality – This is still and always will be a top priority for me. The line stage, power output stage, and power supply design of Brama sonically outclasses everything we have done in the past.
- Output power – Essentially any loudspeaker on the market can be driven with ease.
- Build quality – Only the finest enclosures and quality of parts will do.
- Features – The total control of a rich set of features happens right in the palm of your hand with the exceptional Brama Remote.
- Aesthetics – This is the new look and “design DNA” of Vinnie Rossi. We believe that a product of this level premium of sound quality, build quality and functionality must have equally impressive aesthetics to match.
- Protection and Diagnostics – There are numerous protections against trouble such as shorted outputs, AC mains overvoltage, over-temperature, etc. as well as immediate reporting to the Brama Remote to inform the listener of a fault condition. This eliminates guessing and makes our designs more bullet-proof.
I am confident and proud to demonstrate how the “law of diminishing returns” simply does not apply to what we have achieved with Brama.
A whole range of high-tech materials and approaches are used in the Brama series, such as sapphire crystal, light and motion sensors, proprietary mechanical gauges, and so on. Combined with the chic, strikingly elegant industrial design, this was undoubtedly a great investment. Tell us more…
Yes, it was all a tremendous investment for us in terms of:
- The materials used and all the custom tooling required to fabricate at this level.
- The hardware and software engineering involved in implementing the sophisticated control circuitry, yet making it intuitive and enjoyable for the listener to use.
- The industrial design by Olivier Raymond, which consisted of numerous design iterations of all three Brama components and the Brama Remote.
- The spectacular product feature videos made by Jana Dagdagan in a 3D environment.
- Time. Brama has been over 2 years in the making, with many days working around the clock. This is especially true with regards to the design and evaluation of the analog circuits, as long listening sessions are a must.
It was evident from the beginning that these investments were required to achieve all of our goals.
Behind the Brama is undoubtedly meticulous work reminiscent of finely crafted mechanical objects like watches, and sure to appeal to a much wider audience. Intentional?
Absolutely – every aspect of the design was intentional.
Since you brought up the front panel gauges, it is worth mentioning how our lives are increasingly becoming bombarded with digital touch panels. They are on our phones, tablets, computers, automobiles, and increasing number of things that we use. This is why we intentionally excluded digital displays on the front panel of Brama in favor of custom-made, analog gauges.
Does form follow function with Brama?
Olivier Raymond and I approached the industrial design of Brama with a “form-follows-function” mindset, but we wanted to do so in the most beautiful way that we could. You could say we appropriated form-follows-function instead of being restricted by it. We created a shape out of function, but were especially careful not to be rigid about this. We wanted a shape that would communicate our new design DNA, and we demanded beauty not only from the front panel, but from every angle.
A conscience effort was made to remove as much visual noise as possible. For example, removing repetition and unnecessary buttons and labels, such as labeling the right knob “Volume” when the gauge next to this knob obviously relates to volume. The same is true for the left knob and left gauge, which clearly shows an input select function, so there was not a need to label that knob “Input Select.” We trust in an audience that is already familiar with a niche product such as this. It had to be uncluttered and always a pleasure to experience.
It was especially important that Brama’s industrial design would be sheltered from passing trends. We were aiming to make a timeless design statement from the very beginning, and in such a way that would redefine indulgence in the most elegant and enduring fashion.
What do you think about the current state of high-end audio technology?
Products in the sub $10,000 have really continued to improve and offer more value now than ever before. This applies to both audio components and loudspeakers. As for products at higher price points, I believe there is still room for improvement with regards to innovation, features, user interface, build-quality and aesthetics. This is where we aim to come in strong with the introduction of Brama.
Many will ask. High prices are a must?
There is a higher price associated with designing and manufacturing a product of such a high caliber, especially when holding onto our no-compromise convictions.
The reality of Brama had to match the dream. We have been chasing after perfection from the very beginning, and this comes at a cost.
While it is more expensive than our previous products, but I believe our customers will be extremely pleased with their decision when they experience everything that Brama delivers.
We have already become part of the luxury industry. How do you see that?
The high-end home audio industry is a luxury industry, but not entirely.
A high-performance product may not necessarily be a luxury product. However, a true luxury product must not only prove to its customers that its performance is among the very best in its class, but it must also be made of the highest quality and standards in its industry. As mentioned above, this usually comes at a greater price, but it also tends to limit supply because of the cost, time, as well as the complexity in designing and skill required in manufacturing such a product. This most definitely applies for Brama.
What can we expect from Vinnie Rossi in the near future?
There is a strong possibility that you’ll see a Brama source component(s) to complete the product line within a year or two.
We are also currently working on partnering with more international distributors to obtain a stronger global presence, and are looking forward to returning to trade shows that we have all missed out on during the pandemic. Afterall, it is one thing to read about and see pictures of Brama, but it is an entirely different thing to experience it.
Do you have a final thought for our readers?
I’d like to share our company mission: Designing home audio components that provide the listener with a feeling of unmatched realism, long-term satisfaction and pride of ownership. We aim to transcend the ordinary and lead the way with innovation and exceptional quality.
I would also like to thank Mono & Stereo for this opportunity and thoughtful questions, and thank your audience for taking the time to learn more about our brand and our new Brama Collection!