Meet the Staff | Bensan - Rapallo | AV Design & Installation
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Rapallo | Meet The Staff | Bensan

Interviewed & Posted by Simon Bell

January 26, 2021

A huge part of Rapallo is our staff, as we are only a small team. All our team are crucial to the operation of the business but more importantly, they are the people that deal with you… our customer. 

In-depth information, the right advice, and always-available support are all here to make sure your needs are met with any sale big or small. And because our customers actively promote our business to their friends and family, we instinctively understand that you are the most important aspect of our business.

So this week, we thought, why not do some self-promotion with XMAS now a distance memory and to kick off our blogs for 2021. Learn a bit about Bensan and some of his favorite products. He’s new to the business but not the world of HiFi or Home Theatre, and his passion for it is only matched by Deano’s.

Without further ado…. meet Bensan (yes with an A not an E).

Rapallo | Our Staff - Bensan

Q. What’s your position at Rapallo AV?

I am a Sales and Product Specialist.


Q. What is your role?

I support Deano and Simon to run the Rapallo store plus I manage procurement and shipping for the online store. I provide online/phone support to our customers answering questions about a product or troubleshooting gear.


Q. So going back a few years, what got you started in AV?

My father used to own a Sony Stereo Cassette System (showing your age a bit there Bensan) when I was little and I remembered how excited my dad and I was while we were unboxing his stereo unit. We would always listen to this as a family and would sing along to whatever was playing and I have always dreamt about getting my own one in the future.


Q. What was your first HiFi purchase?

I got my first HIFI system 5 years ago. I started with Focal Aria 936 Speakers, Marantz PM14S1 amplifier and Bluesound node as the source for streaming. I used Spotify and Tidal which is really convenient so I can access millions of tracks. I remember feeling really proud and happy of being able to get my own Stereo System and was quite excited with the things that I can try to further improve the sound over time.


Q. How as your system progressed since the first HiFi you owned?

5 years isn’t a long time in this hobby, but I have tried a lot of different components just to find the perfect match for my system. I even did lots of tests that may seem crazy to some like elevating speaker cables off the floor or obsessing differences between power cables, I guess you can’t really have a substantial opinion on something if you haven’t experienced them first hand. At the moment, Im quite happy of where my system is at. I’’m satisfied knowing that I go home after a long day, I can sit down, relax, and just listen to music.


Q. Being firstly a customer, and now retailer, what’s the biggest mistake HiFi stores make these days?

As a retailer, it is important for us to listen to our customers. It is usually helpful to sit down and take things slowly for us to connect with our customer to fully understand what one needs or wants. I am new and I know I have heaps to learn. But in the best of my knowledge and ability I would want to work with my customers to come up with the best solution for them, making their visit a pleasant and satisfying experience.


Q. What brands do you retail that you love?

Klipsch, Focal, Elac, Magnepan, Martin Logan, Definitve Technology, Jeff Rowland, Cambridge Audio, Chord, Denon, Hegel, Ifi, Innuos, Isoacoustics, Isotek, Jamo, Jay’s Audio, JBL, Perreaux, Polk, QED, Audioquest, Riva, Sony, Epson, Wireworld, Vicoustic, Yamaha. I may have said most of our brands. What I’m trying to say is that I chose to work with Rapallo because I know that we carry most of the brands I like that are available in New Zealand.


Q. Are bricks and mortar stores still important?

Totally! It would be helpful for the customer to actually see or hear the products before deciding to purchase them. And at the same time, it provides you piece of mind buying a product with warranty from a company that you trust.


Q. Has digital music stopped people buying component HiFi systems?

No, I don’t think so. Digital music has provided us easier access to millions of tracks and has brought music back in our daily lives. I believe that this is a gateway for good components to bring out the best of these available media. Nothing beats seeing people’s faces light up when they hear their favorite music sound this good!


Q. Why is music important to you?

I can’t even imagine if music wasn’t a part of my daily life. It calms me down after a long day, at times it helps me concentrate or meditate and it can simply make a good day better. As someone who had the opportunity to play music, I have seen its ability to bring people together.


Q. Got a good tip for someone looking for AV products?

Trust your eyes and your ears! There are thousands of choices out there but only a few of them will ever meet your needs. Do as much research as you can to narrow down your choices. I would encourage anyone to demo products that are available. Take your time and do not rush.


Q. Can you list for us some of your fav products from the Rapallo line up please.

Rapallo | PrimaLuna EVO 400

PrimaLuna EVO 400 Tube Integrated Amplifier

Rapallo | Hegel H95 Integrated Amplifier

Hegel H95 Integrated Amplifier

Rapallo | INNUOS ZENith Mk3 music server w 1TB SSD

INNUOS Zenith Mk3 Music Server w 1TB SSD

Rapallo | Klipsch Heresy IV Floorstanding Speaker

Klipsch Heresy IV Floorstanding Speaker

Chord Electronics Hugo M-Scaler

Chord Electronics Hugo M-Scaler

Rapallo | Polk Legend L800 Floorstanding Tower Speaker with Patented SDA-PRO Technology

Polk Legend L800 Floorstanding Tower Speaker with Patented SDA-PRO Technology

Rapallo | Jeff Rowland Capri S2 Preamplifier

Jeff Rowland Capri S2 Preamplifier + DAC

Klipsch Heritage HP3 Headphones

Klipsch Heritage HP3 Headphones

Rapallo |Clearaudio Concept turntable w Satisfy Kardan tonearm + Concept MM cartride

Clearaudio Concept MC turntable w Satisfy Kardan tonearm + Concept MC cartridge

Maggies .7

Magnepan MG.7 Floor Standing Speakers

Rapallo | Topping D90 MQA Desktop USB DAC / AMP

Topping D90 MQA Desktop USB DAC

Rapallo | The Wand "New Zealand Made" Turntable & Tone Arm

The Wand “New Zealand Made” Turntable & Tone Arm

Here is his full list of items he’d love in his home:

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