Rapallo Deano

Rapallo is celebrating its 13th birthday and we’re pretty certain that 13 is our lucky number. It will come as no surprise to you that we strongly believe that the quality of the employees in a business determines the success of a company.

We are convinced that with our latest Rapallo addition we hit the jackpot. What’s more, we are set up for whatever the next 13 years will bring.

Part British, part Italian, he roamed the globe for a good part of his adult life. With a beautiful and smart Kiwi wife at his side, he has finally settled on our stunning New Zealand shores.

We’re introducing Deano Lambert, Rapallo’s new General Manager.


Working in an AV environment is more than a life-long dream for Deano. Ask his wife and she will tell you he spends far too much money on high-end headphones, vinyl, turntables and speakers (we know, there is no such a thing, right?)

That passion for, especially audio, started early on as a child. Deano grew up in a unique environment, where his 5 siblings are all older than he is, with his oldest brother 20 years his senior.

The Lambert household was filled with music of different decades, which inspired Deano’s taste in music: his brother used to listen to The Jam, Style Council and punk mod rock legends; his sisters were into boy bands, Paul Young, Shakin’ Stevens, the Bangles, A-ha and Wham!  and mum and dad Lambert played Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, James Last and Richard Clayderman on vinyl every Saturday and Sunday.


At first, the family had standard HIFI systems, nothing too elaborate. But then his brother got his first job, and lo and behold, the very first thing he bought was a Linn LP12 turntable. Deano was 9 years old and a new world opened up for him. For those who may not know much about the Linn LP12, this was supposed to be the end game at the time. If you owned one of those units, you were on top of your game. Deano got introduced to vinyl in a technical way, fascinated by how it all worked, rather than really focusing on the listening at the time.


Fast forward 3 years, and thanks to an uncle who bought the “new thing” called a ‘90’s flat screen TV, and young Deano was hooked on the “V” in AV. His uncle had his brand spanking new TV hooked up to a super-duper Technics audio system. The amplifier was class A, the CD player output was class A, and Deano loved it so much, it became the uncontested standard for him.

One day, the VCR played Jean-Michel Jarre live in Houston “rendez-vous Houston”, a tribute to NASA. Deano still gets goosebumps thinking of it. Seeing lasers and lights, massive images projected on skyscrapers in Houston, the music playing through the amplifier was amazing. “Mindblowing, the sound quality blew me away”.


From then on, finishing school and as per family tradition, Deano spent his first pay check on AV gear. Off he went into the hifi store and he bought his first amp. Still living at home, mum and dad were not charging him rent, so his second pay check went to a top of the range CD player. The story continued (and never ended) from there. Being around the best of the best electronics from a young age, top end quality audio gear is still a ‘primary need’ in Deano’s book.


Today, Deano’s setup took him 24 years to get it to a standard he is now happy with. Deano is convinced it’s all about system matching. Some CD players don’t play well with certain amps or pre-amps. Some cartridges don’t work well with certain phono stages. It takes time to get that right. Deano’s rule of thumb is that British made equipment goes well with British, French with French, Japanese with Japanese, etc.

Although satisfied with what lives in his listening room (a Thorens TD125 mark II custom turntable, a Light Dependent Resistor custom made pre-amp, a custom-made phono stage, a Krell amplifier KSA50S (50W per channel 8 Ohm pure class A), a power conditioner or two, his turntable has a Clearaudio artist V2 cartridge and the tonearm is an SME series III.), a lot of the Rapallo products still get him dreaming.

His wishlist? A Funk Firm Sapphire turntable powered by Perreaux Prisma monoblock amplifiers and a Perreaux VP3 Phono Stage. Deano currently already owns a pair of ELAC BS403 speakers, but the ELAC FS509 floorstanders are on the wishlist. Chord and QED cables connect the whole set-up.


Since he moved to Auckland, Deano has arranged his dedicated listening room with sound insulation panels for optimal listening. Deano describes his passion for music as follows: ”When I put Pink Floyd’s Division Bell on and turn the lights off, I can’t see where sound comes from, so I drift off with kind of euphoric, I am transported into a different place.”

Deano wants to be as close to the person making the record as possible. With the right equipment and knowledge – and it took him 25 years to figure out what works – he believes that components are a means to an end. They are chained together to produce what the recording artist is putting out.


It’s pretty obvious why Deano joined Rapallo. Apart from spending every working day surrounded by his favourite products; he also wants to share the love and give others the opportunity to buy components that give them the best possible experience within their budget.

Passionate and knowledgable as he is, Deano will put his extensive experience into practice at Rapallo and he will be at forefront of new technology within computer audio, portable audio, and general mainstream AV components. Giving advice, helping customers make the right decisions is one of the major drawcards to his role as general manager.


On the way to work, Deano listens to music every single day on public transport. His Beyerdynamic DT1770 pro combined with either his LG V10 or FiiO X5 gen 3 and the Topping NX5, make up for an excellent setup. Highres audio is Deano’s preferred format when he is not at home.

After all, Dave Brubeck’s “the last time we saw Paris” 1968 live album on vinyl is his absolute favourite record of all time. When he prefers to listen with headphones, he takes out his Audeze LCD3’s or EL8 ‘s at home.

At the moment, he is planning his next investments: a projector with surround sound set up.


Oh, how we love what we do!


When you next pick up the phone or visit our demo room, you will be very happy to meet Deano. We’re sure he’ll be able to pass on a helpful recommendation or two…or three.