High-end. Hi-Fi sound. Filipino.
By ANJO PEREZ
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino audiophiles have a lot of reason to be delighted and at the same time, proud of this Christmas season. For those who are just about to spend tens or even hundreds of thousands in hard earned cash for a new hi-end speaker system, stop! Hold on first to your dough and audition the A-Audio speakers—the first ever all-Filipino designed and made hi-fidelity speakers in the country.
Before burning holes in your pockets buying imported and branded speakers, why not try and listen to Anthony Leuterio’s “A-Audio” speakers first which are 100 percent Filipino designed and made.
Anthony, is a be-medaled Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate from the Mapua Institute of Technology in Intramuros.
He designed his first home theater speakers back in 1999, at 20 years of age, taking apart surplus speakers from Japan sold at the Port of Manila, tweaking its internals and putting them back together to make a better-sounding speaker system.
Due to his knack for electronics, some consider Anthony as a nerd as he was so smart--he was accelerated in high school skipping over third year.
In 1997, he became the gold medalist in the TESDA organized National Electronics Competition by putting together a regulated power supply in 11 minutes flat.
An inventor by heart, Anthony came out with a tried and tested fuel-economy gadget for a vehicles but had to drop the idea after being duped by some pseudo investors who took and sold his invention but never paid him back.
After realizing that it would be too cumbersome to run after his pseudo partners, he concentrated on designing and manufacturing high-fidelity speakers due to his natural love for music.
According to Anthony, he was intrigued by the excessively high price tags of hi-fidelity speakers that were made in Europe.
In 1997, he started researching on the design and details of these highly priced speakers.
Through friends who owned expensive speakers, he started repairing and tweaking high-end speakers and took notes of every nook and cranny of each speaker that he worked on.
Having worked on a big number of expensive speakers including brands like Bowers and Wilkins, Bose, Cayin, Klipsch, Transmission Audio, Tidal, Moon Audio, KEF, Magico, Marten, NTT Audio Lab, Hansen Audio, German Physiks, Shape Audio, and Harbeth, just to name a few, he studied the internals and design of each of the speakers and through reverse engineering, Anthony was able to draw the similarities of all the high-end speakers and came out with his very own design for the drivers, crossovers and box design.
After years of research and over 1000 pairs of speakers broken down into pieces and repaired, Anthony was able to understand not only the basics of the high-end speakers but the reason for their high price tags as well. According to Anthony, most of these speakers have the same drivers and crossover designs.
What make them highly expensive are the mark-ups of each manufacturer for promotions, advertisements, and marketing costs.
In his dream to be the very first Filipino inventor to produce high-quality speakers that surpass European and American standards without the extremely high price tag, Anthony came out with his own speaker design, from the cones, to the coils, to the magnets and materials used, and had it produced by Fostex in Taiwan and have it shipped to Manila where his team assembles it from scratch.
In 2005, Paranaque Congressman Ed Zialcita helped out Anthony by ordering 1,200 pairs of speakers that provided him seed money in purchasing machineries and other power tools to make his production meet international standards and be more efficient.
To date, Anthony has a lineup of 40 different speaker systems ranging from the book-shelf speakers to high-end cinema speakers—that will put high-end expensive speakers to shame.
Anthony, who has the Filipino audiophile website PinoyDVD.com to thank for giving him the break in the industry, said he has produced more than 12,000 speakers ranging from car, bookshelf, home theater, full-range audio and cinematic speakers with a price range between Php 3,500 to P120,000.
A-Audio now has a lineup of over 40 different speakers that are made on special order basis as his shop can only produce four pairs per day.