"Founded in 1989 by Martin Grindrod, joined by Ashley James in 1995."
AVI was founded in 1989 by Martin Grindrod. Always the professional, he'd invested vast sums of money in a top flight industrial designer to produce a full blown, multi-room music system, beautiful looking and complete with the highest possible sound quality.
AVI was probably the first British company to do multi-room and our designs mightily impressed the boss of a certain Scottish hi-fi company and they introduced their multi-room a short time later.
The Series 2000 system as it was called was supplemented by the S200M series, these were similarly styled, midi sized and immensely successful in fact, AVI struggled to meet demand. Martin had designed everything and written all the software, he'd supplemented the range with his original DAC design and a year later a CD player. Later on AVI introduced one of the most sophisticated FM Tuner ever sold for hi-fi. It was a dual conversion, fully synthesised design with full RDS and digital display. Later on with the Lab Series we produced a full blown DAB tuner too.
In '94 AVI introduced our first miniature monitor loudspeaker, for years we had loads of LS3/5s lying about and they'd been a sort of reference, but despite their reputation, they are pretty awful and terribly dated, so Martin designed the Neutrons. These were the most successful product ever and sold in the thousands. We tried making bigger and better speakers, but always people preferred Neutrons, even if they weren't as good, simply because of their tiny size.
AVI ceased manufacturing legacy separates in 2006 and in January 2007 introduced their unique and revolutionary ADM9 active speakers with built in DAC and remote controlled, multi input preamp. To this day we are still the only manufacturers making this type of speaker, which really is the only practical product for a full blown modern media system.
ADM9s have been progressively developed, even completely redesigned to keep them at the cutting edge sound quality-wise and they are shortly to by supplemented by the DM5s, our modern day Neutron. They are tiny, active as you'd expect and they'll far outperform traditional systems costing many times their price.
Nearly fifty years ago Ashley worked for his first hi-fi company while still at school though he was prevented from making a career of it by his parents who thought he should get a proper job! In '85 he joined ATC to try and resuscitate it. They'd bankrupted in 1980, moved to the Cotswolds and not really recovered.
ATC were pioneers in active speakers and pivotal in their widespread adoption for PA and Studio Monitoring in the late seventies and through the eighties. Super Tramp was one of their first big customers.
In '95 Ashley joined ex-defence avionics engineer Martin Grindrod at AVI and he admits these last 18 years have been the happiest of his working life. The AVI ADM series of speakers have been the most exciting development too.
The genius behind AVI is Martin Grindrod. He made his first radio at eight, he'd designed his first hi-fi by twelve and at sixteen he was the youngest radio amateur and slow scan TV operator in the country.
Martin graduated from Bristol University in electronics and became an design engineer, eventually with one of the world's leading defence avionics companies. To celebrate getting the job he bought one of the the then new CD players and a pre/power combination as recommended by the hi-fi magazines at the time. The result was appalling, which didn't make sense because theory dictated a dramatic improvement. Therefore he tried the player with the amplifier he'd built when he was twelve and lo and behold CD was as described. The pre/power was the problem.
Discovering that reviews are not reliable and that the most heavily touted amplifiers could be awful ought to discourage anyone from becoming a hi-fi manufacturer, but not Martin. His investigations showed that said amplifier was unable to cope with ultra-sonic radiating from the player and he like Philips and Sony knew how to design ones that were.
AVI electronics always sounded better and this is one of the reasons why.
AVI was one of the first companies we know to have a website, and we are now on our third iteration and well into a long history of producing high quality hi-fi and speakers.
For those of you who have older products no longer available on this site you can see them on our older sites.
To support owners of some of our older products, please find useful documents below: