August 11, 2010

10 Qs For Jim Thompson, Director Of Sales, Eggleston Works Speakers.

Jim Thompson, Director of Sales a.k.a. the boss!, Eggleston Works.

At the KLIAV 2010, I met Jim Thompson for the first time. Odioslueth has a thang for the Eggleston Works speakers and as a very satisfied user of The Nine model, he has asked me to pose a few questions for Jim. Let's start!

Big E: Where in the US of A is Eggleston Works located? Tell us a little more about your company please?

JT: We are located in Memphis, Tennessee. We have 10 people working in a 10,000 sq ft factory. We ship out 600-800 pairs of speakers every year. Being a small company, everyone chips in and sort of does everything. Take me for example, despite what my job title says, I am actually involved in every aspect of the company. Other than sales, I also do product design, R&D work, production planning and general administrative work. Sometimes, I also sweep the floor! Ha!Ha!Ha!

Big E: Elvis town? Where Graceland is? And is Justin Timberlake tomorrow's "New King"?

JT: Yes, Elvis town, Graceland and Eggleston Works are all in Memphis Tennessee. I am not so sure about Justin Timberlake being to tomorrow's "New King". He's not exactly from Memphis, but a small place close enough. He says he is from Memphis now days, I wonder why?

Big E: I am sorry, we digressed a bit. Tell us how did you end up working in the high end audio industry, or Egglestone Works specifically?

JT: I joined Eggleston Works as an Accountant in 1996. Then a series of fateful twist later, the owner, Mr Eggleston himself, left the company and by the end of 1997, I ended up with the thankless job of running the company.

Big E: Were there any existing speaker products when you took over?

JT: The Andra and Isabel models were already established models by then, and we had the Rossa in it's final prototype form. I had to learn fast about speaker designs and manufacturing. Thank fully, we had a customer named Bob Ludwig, the famous recording engineer, who uses the Andra at that time, and he was guiding us to build him speakers that he would grade to later. That resulted in the Ivy, which is still our flag ship speaker today. The Ivy was then further re-worked to fit more realistic living spaces in the form of the smaller Savoy model.

Big E: So you had no prior training or experience on speaker design what so ever prior to running Eggleston Works on a day to day basis?

JT: No. That's why I had to learn really fast!

Big E: It's a well known fact that Eggleston Works name the products after ladies. But my partner Odiosleuth is really curios, why that tradition is broken in "The Nine" model, which he uses?

JT: It's true that all our speaker models are named after ladies, most of whom we know in person. except for the Savoy, which was taken out of Shakespeare literature. I originally wanted to name "The Nine" after my grandma, but I just felt the speaker just didn't reflected correctly with her. Since the product is the ninth model in our product line up, internally code named "The Nine" amongst our staff, the name just naturally stick ed!

Big E: Out of curiosity, what's your grandma's name?

JT: Dianne! Now you know?

Big E: Ha!Ha! That's good. Speaking of the Dianne, how's the model selling since it's launch at the 2008 CES?

JT: We had high expectations for the Dianne, it was well received by the audio press, but I think we got it in to the market at the wrong time. As you know early 2008 was when the world wide economic crisis started, many of our originally targeted buyers, meaning the music loving working class Americans, lost their jobs. The buyers of the Andra III and models up wards, seemed mostly remained un-affected though. So in terms of revenue, the Andra III is still our best selling model, followed closely by the Dianne today. We would have expected it to be the other way round, but we are not complaining.

Big E: The off center tweeter of the Dianne, any particular technical reason for it to be this way? Other than being located nearer to the mid woofer which en chances point source integration?

JT: Technically, what you have mentioned is worthy of consideration as a design benefit, but the Dianne is a low cost model for us, so there's really no budget for the usual Dynaudio Esotar tweeter that we used in all our other models, I am after all, an Accountant, remember? He!He!

Big E: If it's O.K., can you share with us who is supplying that tweeter for the Dianne?

JT: It's no secret by now, that many will know that all our mid and woofer drivers are supplied by Morel. The Dianne tweeter is also supplied by them. Just to add, the new carbon coned drivers of the Andra III are also Morel sourced, but that's custom built to our specifications and they cost more than four times compared to those used in our previous Andra II. Those are the best drivers I've seen from Morel.

Jim then proceeded to share with us a virtual tour of the Eggleston Works factory on his Mac. From there, we know that every Eggleston product, from the Dianne to the Ivy, are all hand made, and custom finished in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Jim taking us proud Eggleston Works speaker owners on a virtual tour of the Eggleston Works factory in Memphis Tennessee. Hey! Big E, yes you hiding behind the left there, you sure you have a pair of those speakers?

Jim also encourages Egglestone Works speaker owners to polish their prized possession every now and then with dark coloured, high quality canuaba grade wax, mostly used for auto detailing. "This will retain the shine on the cabinet finishing for many, many years!" he said.

However, he also advised owners of the Andra III speaker with the aluminium side panels to tape mask those panels first, before applying the wax, as it's difficult to remove the residual wax from the micro grained aluminium surface later.

I wish to thank Nelson and Sky of Center Circle Audio for including the Hifi-Unlimited team in the sumptous Eggleston Works owners get together event with Jim Thompson.


Drubb said...

How nice!
We finally get to meet Mr. Big E himself. Of course, he is still kind of shy, partly hidden in the second row.....
Congratulations to you and Odeosleuth and the rest of the team, for your gigantic efforts in putting Malaysian hifi on the map. Let's hope that there will be many more anniversaries to come.

Big E said...


I am by nature camera shy. Odioslueth took that shot without my realising what happened.

Any way, thanks for the compliments.