For Carlo Marengo – an Italian audio specialist based in Edinburgh – music is a language that knows no barriers.
But it was his love of cooking, and a successful career as a chef, that gave him the means to indulge his ultimate passion with the opening of his own business, Audio-philia.
Now celebrating its first anniversary, the shop is already cementing its reputation for quality hi-fi separates and systems.
It was a story that began near Turin, when eight-year-old Carlo was given a small radio by his mother, sparking an early interest in sound and music. “I believe a love of music always starts with a memory and that is one of the first profound memories I have,” he says.
Now 44, Carlo went on to study electronics, before moving to Scotland in 1997, where he gained further qualifications in audio technology while working as a chef. He finally made the break from the kitchen in 2012 and began selling pre-owned audio equipment from home.
“It took me quite some time to build up the clients and the connections to prepare me to launch my business, so it was not an overnight plan. It took a good decade of studying and saving, which also involved selling my apartment, so it was quite daunting,” adds Carlo.
Having persevered until the time was right, he feels confident that the music market is now as strong as ever, with the ongoing vinyl revival helping to fuel interest in high quality sound systems. “We believe that what we offer is genuinely different from what our competition is offering. Our products are artisan and more exotic, in the sense that they are produced in small batches by passionate people who really care about music reproduction,” he says.
Audio-philia, 95 Gilmore Place, 0131 221 9753, www.audio-philia.co.uk Open: Tues-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, noon-4pm; or by appointment. Closed Monday.