CHENNAI: Modern day music fans are rediscovering their love for vintage gadgets and music formats of yesteryear, incorporating cassette players, tapes and vinyl records to their listening habits. To cater to this audience, 33-year-old Neeraj Sablok started Noizzy Box, a city-based company that sells vintage speakers with brilliant sound quality and retro design. In a tete-a-tete with the City Express, he shares his journey.
When did your love for vintage items begin?
I was born in Chennai and raised by my grandfather. He had a vinyl player, which did not work. It looked very amusing to me, and one day, my grandfather got it repaired. When the music started playing, my love for vintage articles began. They are so classic.
Is that when you decided to start Noizzy Box?
No. When I went for a friend’s wedding to China, I found a dummy of an antique speaker. I bought it for my grandmother so that she can use it as a showpiece at home. However, when I gifted it to her, she turned the knobs and smiled remembering her childhood. I wanted to see that smile on everybody’s face.
How did you find manufacturers of vintage speakers?
That was a very long and difficult journey. I left my job at one of India’s biggest online stores and went to China to search for manufacturers in 2015. Though China is ten years ahead in technology, after 1990s, nobody produced analog radios. Through one of my friends, I found an old man who had a junkyard and was manufacturing radios when he was young. I sourced raw material from Taiwan and he made 186 pieces for me. I then began Noizzy Box in January 2016 and the vintage audio systems sold like hot cakes.
How were the first couple of years for Noizzy Box?
It was quite difficult. The man who made the piece passed away after delivering two orders. So, I had to search for manufacturers again. Meanwhile, I tried selling modern speakers, but it failed because people had already started associating Noizzy Box with vintage. Then we got different moulds of the speaker made in different places, so the cost of production increased and we were running in loss. Finally, I invested all my savings and started a factory in China in 2017. Today, I produce my own stereos.
Why the name Noizzy Box?
My wife, who is a great pillar of support from the beginning, and I thought about it for many days. We wanted some name with ‘noise’, meaning the static sound that you hear between radio channels and finally came up with this name.
What are the different speakers you sell?
Retro XS Prime (6 watt speaker, Bluetooth, SD card and USB), Retro Titan (20 watt with DSP radio and SD card), Retro XXL vintage (20 watt analog 4 band radio with USB and SD Card), Retro XS Vintage (10 watt 3 band radio with Bluetooth) and Retro Vogue (60 watt sound bar with Bluetooth, FM, USB and SD Card)
Where can the speakers be purchased?
Amazon and Flipkart. For demo, one can walk into the corporate office on the basement floor of Prince Plaza in Pantheon Road. Also, we offer 50 per cent discount on MRP to police and defence personnel.
How do you unwind?
I listen to music and go through market trends. The thought that these trends will help me grow and that I will keep growing in future helps me refresh.
Your future plans?
We will soon start manufacturing vintage furniture and vintage accessories. We also plan to introduce new models of speakers.