Alpha in 2011 - 2014
In 2011 your author was still employed by HUB publishers – later Reshift – at a computer magazine called PCM. As a computer nerd I was mainly busy with computer hardware and networking. Something that still attracts me. However, the hunger for testing audio equipment never stopped. That’s why the contacts in the hi-fi world have always remained warm. And that’s also why Alpha Audio has always stayed online. However, we did not publish the daily news and weekly reviews.
In the summer of 2012 we had to deal with a major round of dismissals. Almost all editors were fired. Including your editor. It was a heavy time. And a moment to decide what to do next: looking for a job again, or trying to create something by myself?
I had a good relationship with a former sales colleague at HUB. Someone who definately wanted to help starting up Alpha Audio. And that help was desperately needed. I’m still grateful for that help and the beautiful time that followed. Together with some ‘government’ finance (some sort of allowance after getting fired) it was possible to get Alpha Audio started in six months.
In the years that follow, a lot of work has been done to expand the network and gather authors who want to help with the testing of all the nice stuff. One of the first authors to apply was Jan Karssen. An author with good ears and a very fluent writing style. Later followed Yung Lie – still active at Alpha – and Eise Willemsma (now a cook).
What surprises your author is that in 2012 we were already measuring headphones. The knowledge and resources were very limited at the time, but when we see the first measurements, they are not that bad. We now have a professional set-up and a lot more knowledge about how to read the measurements. But anyway, one learns by doing. The hunger for the ‘why’ hasn’t changed in ten years. That is clear.
We also participated in the first show at that time: the Café Engels Show. Together with Dion Audio. Later we also stood on the Xfi (twice) and we have a number of times a stand occupied at the iEAR show. It is really nice to have direct contact with readers and to do demos of new equipment and insights.
An important step was that we started looking for new space. At the end of 2014 it turned out that it is no longer possible to work from home. The home office was constantly full of boxes, so testing wasn’t really possible anymore. And working in the living room again and again: well… i’d rather not. In short: we needed to move!
Initially, we moved in with Author Yung who rented a nice office in Leiden. That went well for a while, but unfortunately we had to move And that meant back to the home office. Although not for long… thank goodness!
We did a restyle in 2012 and 2014. There are also some tweaks (and ‘beta’-tests) of course. In 2014 we had a custom design made for the first time. However, this design turned out to be a bit too dark for some users. We changed that design drastically in 2016.
By the way, don’t pay attention to the lack of photos. The wayback machine can’t load those sometimes, unfortunately.