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Exclusive: Coda Audio UK can offer ‘a unique alternative’ to loudspeaker market, says new MD

In his first interview as Coda Audio UK’s new managing director, Rich Rowley has told Pro Sound News Europe that the company’s newly launched UK operation can bring something new to the current loudspeaker market.

Appointed to the newly created role just yesterday (July 13), Rowley has given PSNE an exclusive interview, in which he identified the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the business in an already highly competitive market place, as well as the key areas he will be prioritising in taking the business to the next level.

With a career spanning 30 years, Rowley will look to utilise his wealth of experience in leading Coda Audio UK – a new, wholly owned subsidiary of the Coda Audio Group – in the domestic market. Having started out as an engineer to iconic producer Trevor Horn, he has since assisted in the design of numerous innovative products, such as BSS Audio’s Omnidrive, Varicurve and Soundweb platforms, whilst amassing an impressive list of sound design credits in the worlds of EDM, theatre, touring and festivals. He has also developed a strong commercial background, developing and implementing distribution channels and strategies for pro audio manufacturers across EMEA.

Paul Ward, sales and marketing director at Coda Audio, said of Rowley’s appointment and the launch of the new division: “The recent establishment of Coda Audio USA and Coda Audio Deutschland has seen us bring on board some formidable talent and Rich without doubt fits that bill in the UK. His track record in the industry speaks for itself – as a sound designer he’s worked on projects such as Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage and Fabric nightclub, so his grasp of the technology is indisputable. Rich’s ability to build strong business relationships throughout his career has been the backbone of his extensive commercial success and we’re very pleased to have such a trusted and skilled practitioner leading our UK operation.”

Here, we find out what Rowley has in store for the new operation and why he believes the business can offer something truly unique to the industry…

What will the newly created Coda Audio UK bring to the market?
The function of Coda Audio UK is to give the brand a true point of reference here in the UK. Operationally we will look to offer education and training, technical support, application engineering and of course be stock holding Coda products to support a selected number of key dealers/rental partners. The UK will also be a key player in Coda Audio’s global tour support network alongside the newly formed Coda Audio USA office and our headquarters in Germany.

What are the biggest opportunities in the market for Coda Audio UK?
Coda Audio is pretty unique, really. Coda is privately owned and designs and manufactures all their own transducers, cabinets, electronics. Even the rigging pins are made in our manufacturing facility in Central Europe. Coda’s approach to loudspeaker design is to get it right from the very beginning. This philosophy has led Coda to pioneer several technologies that make a measurable and audible difference. These technologies include the Annular Ring Diaphragm, the DDP Planar Wave Driver and Sensor Controlled Subwoofers. Coda is something new and exciting. Hearing is most definitely believing!

And the biggest challenges?
Is there room for yet another loudspeaker manufacturer in an already over stocked market? I believe that Coda is deferential enough to make people listen and consider an alternative. Not only do these enclosures have a sonic performance that matches or exceeds any system I have heard, but Coda’s Flagship AiRAY system (2 x 12”) also comes in at less than 40kg per element and takes up 1/3 less truck and warehouse space than the competition. No longer does restricted weight in venues need to compromise system design.

What will you be able to bring to the role?
I have focused my career on a passion for technology and to develop a firm understanding of clients’ needs and expectations. I have a common sense approach to most challenges and find the biggest influencer we have is the way we manage our relationships and build trust with our clients. I have spent the last 10 years understanding the nuances of the rental sector across multiple markets and disciplines.

What are the first things you’ll be looking to do as MD? Are there any key areas of the market/any initiatives you will be prioritising?
First thing will be to get the right team around me so the product can be supported in the market place. Secondly, I am keen to introduce the HOPS (High Output Point Source) range of enclosures into the UK market. These products will definitely open the minds of theatre sound designers, TV Studios and corporate AV companies. It’s a small enclosure with a big sound.

What does the launch of Coda Audio UK say about the growing profile of Coda Audio as a whole?
The recent establishment of Coda Audio USA and Coda Audio Deutschland has seen us bring on board some formidable talent. We believe the time is right to start introducing Coda Audio’s technologies and to further embed the brand as the leader of the next generation of professional sound system manufacturers.