When did your company begin trading?
TM Systems started in 2006
What inspired you to start the company?
It existed as an R&D thing, not doing that much on audio, we did a ratchet system for dental implants for example. I originally had TM Systems when we joined Verity because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen afterwards. When I was experimenting with cables that’s when I reinstated TM Systems in 2006, that was the hand built cables and only for some customers but then it got bigger and it had to be under some banner. It was like that for three years until people started asking for longer lengths and we had to use machines to build models like Pulse B, Pulse R etc. This was in 2009 when I resigned from Roksan and went to brand the company, which resulted in Vertere.
What inspired you to start building cables?
I was setting up systems, turntables etc. in customer’s systems and you always had some issue, they never worked consistently. Some were better, some not so good, some you couldn’t sort out and listen to and I narrowed it down to the cables. I started with the hand built ones and took these around and tried them and they all worked every single time, in all the systems. That’s when those guys [distributors] started asking for it and I had to start putting it into production. Once they had all the interconnects sorted, that’s when they started looking at the longer lengths that we couldn’t make by hand at the time. Now we are beginning to hand make long interconnects for active systems, we did a 12m pair recently.
What is your motivation throughout your work?
Trying to sort out what we believe are the weakest links. Whether it’s a cable or a tonearm, it’s the same goal. With cables you get barbecued from all sides for different things to utilize, and you end up with a larger range than you would have done because there are so many different products and price ranges. But when it comes to the tonearm we’re going to do two other arms after the Reference and hopefully stop there. If you get bogged down by larger manufacturing you need to constantly furbish the existing markets and customers.
Which of your designs are you most proud of?
Probably the Reference tonearm, that or hand–built Pulse, that was a real turning point for me. It changed things, you started to think; now we can really do something.
What do you find most satisfying about your work?
Demonstrating the system and enjoying it. I did an event recently where lots of people brought records from the 1950s to extremely contemporary stuff, it was just fun. To utilize what you actually make and enjoy it, that’s the best part. And of course it gives you a buzz when you see someone else using it and they’re really happy, that definitely makes the pain worthwhile.
What makes you happy?
Interesting, I don’t know, it must be some kind of a chemical that goes on in your head. All sorts of things, if someone gave me loads of money or if some super model came in, that might work!
OK, what do you enjoy doing?
I love music, whether it’s live or reproduced. I like movies, good books, nice company. That I suppose is the utmost because whatever you do you like to share it.
What is your most iconic product/the product you want to be remembered for?
Hmmm, a single product? It’s such a link, every bit is as important as the rest. I still think the tonearm at this point in time has done a lot, it doesn’t matter what you do with it, what you put it on, it does its job without bothering you. It gets out of the picture.
Who’s your favourite artist or band?
I really like Thelonius Monk, he’s phenomenal. There are a lot of other good ones. [Pink] Floyd, I grew up with them, if I’d grown up with the Beatles it would have been the Beatles.
Which Monk album would you recommend?
There’s a live double album called April in Paris, it may not be his best weirdest work but it has so many things in there.
What system do you have at home?
Currently bugger all! I can’t listen to anything, I’m really spoilt now. I have to wait until I’ve got my tonearm, turntable, everything. I will have an RG–1 turntable with the Reference tonearm, with either a Hyperion OCL cartridge or a prototype cartridge which I made with John Rudman of Goldring but I’ve not listened to it even though it’s decades old, or a modified version of the Shiraz. Then I’ve got a Vertere modified DX2 phono stage and my modified Roksan Platinum Pre and Power amps and PMC PB1i Signatures. Which ideally will be changed to PMC MB2se or fact.12. Probably MB2se, they’re a lot more loudspeaker.
Specialities: Turntables, Tonearms, Audio Cables