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Dual Personalities

At Posh Speaker Systems on Bainbridge Island, WA, the product development team likes to keep things simple. So simple, in fact, that its latest product line is comprised of only six speakers. And, to simplify things even more, these products are suitable for installation in both commercial and residential environments.

Officially introduced at this year's NSCA Expo, the Posh Solutions Series boasts three ceiling speakers (6 1/2-inch, 5 1/4-inch and 4-inch models), two indoor/outdoor speakers and one in-wall model. Each device is 8-ohm/70-volt selectable, making it possible for installation in a residential or commercial building.

"We started out as a high-end residential product company about 20 years ago," recalled Jack Davis, Posh Speaker Systems founder and current director of national and international sales. "Back in 1992 or 1993, we found that there was a very large need for higher-end commercial speakers. We began developing a line of 70-volt products to fit that need."

Ten years later, the Posh product development team began combining technologies the company had already introduced to construct the Solutions Series. "We took a couple of our existing products, upgraded them, and gave them some extra feature benefits that they didn't have before," Davis explained. "Then we developed the three ceiling speaker models to complement that. There are six models in the series now."

Not only is each Solutions Series speaker 8-ohm/70-volt selectable, they are all chambered products as well. "Our belief is that if you want good sound quality, you have to have a chambered product," Davis said. "You can't work with just a plate speaker for in-wall or in the ceiling and expect it to sound really good."

Davis maintains that Posh's attention to audio quality combined with its commitment to simplicity answers a need both in the commercial and residential arenas. "The Solutions Series is designed to give feature benefits that you want without trying to pass off anything to you that you don't need," he said. "We have three ceiling speaker models; we don't have 30. We are trying to keep it simple, but at the same time offer really good sound quality."

Posh Beginnings

Founded in 1986 by Jack Davis, Posh Speaker Systems got its start by producing systems for the high-end residential market. The products were based on an acoustic chamber, baffle plate and trim grille that eventually earned a 9-point patent from the U.S. Patent Office.

During the early 1990s, Posh began developing products for the commercial market. "With our higher-end residential products that we were able to adapt to commercial sound, we really had an excellent-sounding product," Davis recalled. A decade later, Posh started working on the Solutions Series, a line of six speakers that are designed for installation into both residential and commercial environments.

In October 2004, Davis, who had held the title of president, was bought out by local entrepreneur, Bill Benson. "He made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Davis said. Posh Speaker Systems now operates under Benson's company, U-2 Inc., and Davis oversees both national and international sales.

Davis concedes that today's speaker market is fiercely competitive, requiring companies to uncover creative methods of differentiating themselves from the rest. "Distribution is the name of the game," he stated. "There are more speaker models and companies out there than there ever have been. How do you rise above the masses? It's through finding unique distribution channels, partnering with the right distributors, and working closely with them. We have done that with three distributors. We are working very closely with ADI, and we have also reached agreements with CineLight and ActiveLight."

This, combined with a plan for the future, is what contributes to Posh's continued success, Davis believes. "What we have always tried to do is anticipate what the market is going to be looking for," he said.

Carolyn Heinze has covered everything from AV/IT and business to cowboys and cowgirls ... and the horses they love. She was the Paris contributing editor for the pan-European site Running in Heels, providing news and views on fashion, culture, and the arts for her column, “France in Your Pants.” She has also contributed critiques of foreign cinema and French politics for the politico-literary site, The New Vulgate.