Upping the Ante

Upping the Ante

The other day, Mike wrote about our decision to dump Amazon.com, and how it galvanized us. Instead of pulling back, we're upping the ante, starting with the addition of veteran luthier Derek Stone, to help take our already superb products to the next level.

Rejecting the Amazon.com model really inspired us to reaffirm our commitment to using locally sourced, instrument-quality tonewoods to create our award-winning, imminently customizable Site:1 audio speakers. As part of that new resolve, we’re happy to announce that we’ve asked Derek Stone, an incredibly talented veteran guitar luthier, to join our growing ranks, and help take our already superb products to the next level.

Meet Derek Stone
The newest addition to our staff took a rather circuitous route to Princeton Audio. While he was born in nearby Madison, Wisconsin, he comes to us after working many years as a professional luthier for famed handmade instrument-makers Bourgeois Guitars of Lewiston, Maine. The company’s guitars are highly sought after and command a premium price. Founder Dana Bourgeois has an international reputation for exquisite craftsmanship, and is considered one of the foremost authorities on the voicing, selection and utilization of fine acoustic tonewoods. Derek worked closely with Bourgeois for the better part of a decade, and learned his lessons well.

“I started at Bourgeois by first spending two years building, assembling, shaping, and inlaying acoustic guitar necks,” Derek recalls, “From there, I finagled my way into the body department where I spent four-and-a-half years bracing, voicing, and assembling the bodies.” he says.

A Site for Sore Eyes
Derek is a big fan of the Site:1, and pumped about the opportunity to join the team at Princeton Audio. “The Site:1 is a great accomplishment,” he says, “it’s a remarkable design, and the sound is amazing. As a luthier, I really appreciate the time and craft that goes into building them.”

That said, Derek is quick to note that he is eager to explore all the possibilities for potentially making the Site:1 even better. “It’s early days,” he laughs, “I can’t say yet how the Site:1 might be further improved, but I look forward to finding out.”

Mike and Derek.jpg

Princeton Audio founder Mike Pelland is psyched about Derek joining the fold. “The Site:1 is already the world’s finest portable Bluetooth audio speaker, but that doesn't mean we're sitting still,” Mike says, “It’s all on the table, we’re looking at everything, and I can’t wait to hear Derek’s ideas. We’re excited to have a luthier of his abilities contributing to the evolution of this company. I see Derek helping us to continue to innovate our building process, advising us in the selection of tonewoods, and perhaps improving the functioning of the body of the speakers. And I know his input is going to be incredibly valuable as we work towards finalizing our new upcoming Site:Woofer. It's all going to be a ton of fun.”

A Bracing Addition to the Team
Derek looks forward to exploring possible new bracing techniques for the body of the Site:1, as well as testing new combinations of tonewoods to further the already-superb sound quality.

“Certain woods are stronger while others move more, and so on,” he notes, “I think we’ve only scratched the surface of the different ways that we might combine different tonewoods to increase volume and the overall range of tone.”


Derek isn’t only concerned with the structural aspect of our products; he also looks forward to pushing the envelope from an aesthetic standpoint.

“I love that customers have the ability to personalize the Site:1 through such a wide range of customizations,” Derek says, “and I think we can go even further down that road and do even more decorative things, such as pearl inlays.”

Beyond his enthusiasm for the company and the work itself, Derek is also very happy to be a part of bringing manufacturing back to Wisconsin. “It’s important,” he says, “This state has a lot of people who are very skilled, and they’re being underutilized. I’m from here, and I can tell you that there’s a work ethic in this state that doesn’t fully get the recognition that it should. Wisconsinites are raised to work their butts off. Princeton Audio is proof of that.”

Brace yourselves, Craft Audio fans, the best is yet to come.

Stay tuned!