August 10, 2012

10Qs For Bos'ko Pjescic Of Beyond Frontiers Audio.

KLIAV is becoming increasingly popular with hifi manufacturers in the last few years. BFA is a relatively young Canadian/Serbian company with high end aspirations who certainly thinks so too.

They sent two of their audio engineers to this year's KLIAV to showcase their products, especially the latest Tulip integrated amp, which looks heavy and built like a vault. I spoke to the more senior looking and vocal guy, called Bos'ko Pjescic, and find out more about BFA and the personalities behind it.

BFA or Beyond Frontiers Audio is an industrial multi award winner too. Audio engineer Bos'ko Pjescic stands tall.

Big E: Tell us about the origins of BFA, or Beyond Frontiers Audio please?

BP: If you could remember the high end Canadian brand called Sonic Frontiers? Zdenko Zivkovic who is founder and owner of BFA was formerly an audio engineer in Sonic Frontiers. Since Sonic Frontiers brand has been bought over by new owners, Zdenko has been busy preparing to start his own high end audio company, and Beyond Frontiers Audio was chosen as the name, so that it will reflect the continuation in product design philosophy.

Big E: But wasn't Sonic Frontiers all about Chris Johnson?

BP: Yes, Chris Johnson was doing most of the marketing for Sonic Frontiers, but he had support in the design and production aspect from Zdenko Zivkovic, who was then little known.

Big E: How did the Canadian/Serbian connection came about?

BP: As you already know, Zdenko has already been living in Canada for the past 20 years or so, since the days of Sonic Frontiers. He still lives and works all his designs there. In fact much of the R&D process is done in Canada. In Serbia we import the PCB boards and bespoke parts from Canada, do the board stuffing and final assembly of the products prior to shipping.

Big E: Why don't you do it all in Canada then, perhaps the cost is lower in Serbia?

BP: I think the cost to quality ratio is best in Malaysia! That's my honest opinion. There's already a well established supporting industry catering to our parts supply needs here, plus cost is certainly one the most competitive, and ultimately Malaysian engineers have quality deeply ingrained in their work, especially in the electronics sector.

Big E: Malaysia? That's rather surprising, but what kind of terms and conditions, if any needs to be met before you can consider making BFA products here?

BP: As in any production work, there needs to exist a certain amount of manufacturing quantity, before it becomes worth while. I think if we can achieve a consistent manufacturing volume of 50 units/batch, then we can truly consider having BFA products made in Malaysia. That's why I am here, to evaluate our business expansion plans in Asia.

Big E: I noted that you mentioned that PCB boards are supplied from Canada, are they so special that you cna't make them else where, like in Serbia instead?

BP: As you may understand, technically the whole amplifier circuit is printed on the PCB board, which makes it extremely important to have a well designed and good quality board in the beginning. Zdenko has worked with some of the best suppliers of the industry during his days in Sonic Frontiers, and most of them, including the PCB board supplier are located in Canada. That's our way of guaranteeing genuine value and top sound quality with our products.

Big E: As for your business plans in Asia, is BFA sold elsewhere, other than Malaysia?

BP: Malaysia is our first Asian export market at the moment, but we are looking at Singapore, China and Taiwan next possibly. In the long term, we aim to make Malaysia as the base of Asian business.

Bos'ko, don't hide behind the speakers!

Big E: Amplifier circuit topology wise, what makes BFA designs different from other brands?

BP: We employ zero negative feedback in all our amplifier designs, which are fully balanced inside, from input to output. We believe this gives measurably ultra low distortion, and more importantly audible performance that gives more music, less noise when you listen. Even though our product's audio performance are strictly high end, our pricing is comparatively reasonable.

Big E: Would BFA consider making class A amplifiers in the future?

BP: We have no plans for that at the moment, but with currently improving circuit topology and transistor technology, there is less and less reason to go class A in the future.

Big E: What about class D?

BP: While there is potential to be harnessed from the class D topology, like cool running, huge power available from small, efficient box. However, we feel it's audio performance does not match the standards set by high end analog amplifiers for now. May be in the next few design evolutions, who knows! We are watching the developments of class D with anticipation.

While at it, Bos'ko asked if I knew who distributed BFA in Malaysia, and if I had met him? I said no.

Well in case if you didn't know too, BFA is represented in Malaysia by Acoustic Alchemy. You may contact Mr Danny Lim at 016-2187398 for an audition appointment, and general enquiries.

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