Ciao, and ... pleased to meet you!

My name is Franco Viganoni and in Italy I gained a reputation among hi-fi world insiders and classical music lovers, becoming, within these circles, one of the opinion leaders. I was even greeted humorously with such "funny" titles as "the Count" or "His Grace" (I have always loved joking!), but, in 1995, fed up with Italy, the Italian hi-fi market, Milan's life-style, climate and pollution, I immigrated with my family to New Zealand, making the most intelligent decision of our life and now .. we're proud Kiwis!

Anyway, I'm 73 and I can say that I have devoted my life in music, hi-fi and sound-research. In fact, my late Mum had a degree in piano and I, for a lot of time of my childhood, listened to her playing. When young (those glorious Beatles' times), I used to be the bass-man and singer in the Italian band "Gli Sciacalli", but, in my adult life, my real passion, besides music and hi-fi, has been to capture and reproduce the sound in the best possible way. So, my hobby has been and still is, live recording of classical music. I started in 1976 with analogue recorders, but I was the first person in Italy to make a live digital recording on 12/05/1981. Since that day I have continued to record exclusively in digital. To the dismay of some analogue "nostalgics", that day, after listening to the recording, I simply stated: "hi-fi has been born"!

In Italy, I recorded many of the best performers in the world of classical music (mostly Baroque), including Ton Coopman, Kenneth Gilbert, Gustav Leonhardt, London Baroque, Ensemble 415, Nikita Magaloff, I Solisti Veneti, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Severino Gazzelloni, Raimondo Campisi, Hagen Quartet, Pina Carmirelli, Jörg Demus, Bruce Dickey, Giardino Armonico, Marco Taio, Tölzer Knabenchor, Patrizia Kwella, Enrico Gatti and ... many, many others (much more than 1000 hours of live recordings).

Still today, here in New Zealand, I keep on feeding my passion for live recording, being the official recorder for Bach Musica New Zealand (of which I have the honour to be a member of the Board of Directors), Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Aorangi Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra, Jade String Quartet, Auckland Opera Studio, Hausmusik New Zealand and (partially, for now) Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. I have also recorded several worldwide premieres of New Zealand contemporary composers of classical music (I love their music very much!). Anyway, if you would like to know more about this topic, please visit the very interesting and informative pages "live recording" and "live music vs. hi-fi".

However, playing in a band when young and live recording of classical music have given me a quite unique experience in sound, which I profitably have used in my professional life, as an insider of the Italian hi-fi world, where, starting in January 1973, I worked in the distribution of many different hi-fi and hi-end brands, until the time I happily made New Zealand my new homeland.

In 2000, almost for a joke, I started the Sachem project, and, after two years of research, experimentation, terrible and exciting moments, the final result turned out much more than a joke indeed! Ten years later, pushed (or better, tormented) by the Sachem's enthusiasts, who were not totally happy with the hi-end preamps available on the market, I seriously started to take into consideration the idea of an innovative preamp. These Audiophiles "just" wanted a unit able to entirely free the potential of the Sachem mono-blocks. So, I started the Sachem pure project and in 2013 the pure joined the family: it's been a success and another big source of pride. If you visit the "testimonials" page, you will be impressed by the unconditional approval of our very demanding Customers, who have bought Sachem electronics!

However, the last exciting challenge has been building this web site, where, in a not very "politically correct" way (sorry, but half of me is still a bloody Italian), I try to teach Audiophiles the fundamentals of the real hi-fi, hoping to manage to move them from "religion" to "science". Please, don't tell me that I'm a pathetic dreamer: I've already realised it a looooong time ago!

To finish, if you needed my experience and skill in sound and hi-fi matters, I am very willing to be at your disposal. In this regard, please visit the page "hi-end doctor".

And now, a humble request ... please forgive my lack of "Oxford" English!

         His Old Grace     Franco