In an age of on-line audio supermarkets, telephone call centres and box-shifters, Funky Junk may seem old fashioned.
If so, we make no apologies.
Underlying the Funky Junk philosophy are three core principles;
- Customer service
- Unrivalled, unbiased specialist product knowledge
- Value for money
Our starting point is music. After all, the equipment we supply is designed for one purpose and one purpose only – as a tool in a creative process rather than an end in itself.
Unlike other retailers, our knowledge of recording equipment is based upon personal experience rather than second hand preconceptions trawled from the Internet or magazines.
Most of those at Funky Junk come from a professional recording background, and many are still actively involved with music production and engineering in our award winning commercial studio, SNAP!
Having been called in to salvage many badly designed and constructed studios (some designed by well-known ‘acousticians’) we decided to build our own facility from scratch three years ago, chronicling the process on a blog. The result was SNAP! studios in North London.
From the outset, SNAP! has been home to many of the UK’s leading artists and has been nominated for or won every major studio award in the UK, including the prestigious Music Producer’s Guild ‘Studio Of The Year’ award in 2013 (previous winners of which include Abbey Road, Air Lyndhurst and British Grove).
As well as showcasing our uncompromising standards of studio design, build and installation, SNAP! doubles as a home for Funky Junk employees to develop their engineering skills and provides the most rigorous testing ground for audio equipment in the world. Access to such a facility, offering ongoing professional recording experience and staff training, makes Funky Junk unique amongst audio suppliers, enabling us to provide customers with the fruits of our first-hand knowledge of recording equipment and it’s application.
Funky Junk is approached to represent and/or distribute dozens of brands of audio equipment every year. Unlike other dealers, we choose to get involved with only a fraction of the gear we’re offered. To meet our rigorous standards – and those of our clients – equipment must perform to the highest level, deliver uncompromising results and offer outstanding value for money.
We often take months putting a new piece of equipment through its paces in demanding sessions before deciding to get involved. And this means that we know that gear intimately – we can discuss its merits (or drawbacks) based upon first hand experience rather than hearsay. On occasions, we’ll work with manufacturers to resolve design problems and improve performance to meet our strict criteria, one the many reasons that we enjoy such longstanding and friendly relationships with our supply partners.
Those few pieces of equipment that receive our five star award for quality and value have been through the most demanding tests the audio industry can offer. Unlike others dealers who will often recommend equipment based upon hearsay, chatroom hype or profitability, we will only put our reputation on the line for gear we personally judge to be deserving of our hard-earned accolades.
Funky Junk is unique in employing more backroom service engineers than sales staff. This is no accident. Our business has always been based upon customer support, which is why we’re proud to boast the most prestigious professional client base in the industry. What a piece of equipment does is only part of the story. Ensuring that it delivers optimum performance, works reliably day-in day-out, and can be quickly and efficiently serviced or repaired is crucially important – for most of our customers, gear is not a hobby, they rely upon it for their livelihood. Unlike other dealers, our service bias means that we know which pieces of gear are well designed, solidly built and reliable and those which may prove problematical in everyday use. That’s one reason why several well-known brands are missing from our catalogues and website – there are products that we prefer not to sell because they are so poorly made or designed that in our opinion they fail to meet basic professional standards.
No one at Funky Junk is paid commission on sales. This means that the advice we give is entirely in the customer’s interests. Indeed, our starting point will often be to discuss a client’s existing equipment and examine ways of ensuring that this is performing properly. Sometimes a few cables, a bit of rewiring or some simplification will lead to dramatically improved results without spending a cent. We have no desire to encourage a potential client to spend needlessly and risk adding more problems to a badly designed or constructed system. Our philosophy is always to start by helping the customer get the best out what he or she already has before investing more.
Whereas many dealers splash customer endorsements and quotes all over their websites, we prefer to let our work speak for us. In part, this is because every customer is equally important, whether they’re buying a microphone cable or asking us to design and equip an entire facility from scratch. However, we are constantly surprised and gratified by the unsolicited credits we receive on album covers, yet another area where Funky Junk remains unique amongst equipment suppliers. And our work is best represented by results rather than any idle claims we choose to make. After all, our primary concern is to provide the service and support that our clients require to be creative. Indeed, if we do our job well, we should be invisible.
Perversely, we take pride in being taken for granted. Funky Junk is not the story – our customers and their music are what matters most.
Long before recycling became fashionable, Funky Junk led the way in buying and part exchanging used equipment for new. Indeed, the company is still perceived by many as merely a supplier of top quality, fully serviced used and vintage gear, despite the fact that three quarters of the equipment we ship around the world these days is new. Nevertheless, we remain firm believers in finding new homes for unwanted equipment – not merely is this logical in an age of diminishing natural resources, but it softens the financial blow of reequipping. Trading in your used gear is a win-win situation – the customer benefits financially and the planet benefits from recycling.
So Funky Junk is something of an anachronism in this age of self-promotion, Internet hype and forum chatter. But we’re happy to avoid the spotlight and carry on quietly with what we’ve always done best – supplying top quality equipment to clients, many of whom have become lifelong friends, and helping them make great music.
Funky Junk has grown by word of mouth and personal recommendation rather than blanket advertisements, chatroom manipulation or false claims about being ‘studio experts’. We don’t need to make empty promises about ‘lifetime service support’ as others do, despite not having a soldering iron in their building let alone an experienced tech on staff. Our service backup is real, immediate and in-house, supported by huge quantities of spare parts, the latest Audio Precision and Neutrik test equipment and engineers with a lifetime of experience in some of the largest and most demanding studios in the world. This backup is extremely expensive to maintain, but despite this, our prices are amongst the most competitive in the industry. But so far as we are concerned, no serious audio equipment supplier can function without this level of service support. Where other dealers make false claims but in reality rely upon returning faulty gear to manufacturers (often abroad) and asking customers to wait for weeks or months before the equipment returns, Funky Junk delivers after-sales support on-site, quickly, quietly and efficiently.
In short, Funky Junk was designed to offer the kind of service that those who work here always wanted but could never find.
So is Funky Junk old fashioned? Maybe. But we believe that despite a changing world, values and service standards shouldn’t have to change.
Funky Junk…1991 – Present!