The mountains of North Carolina have always hidden gems worthy of worldwide attention. Aside from the actual stones beneath our soil, landmarks like Grandfather Mountain and people like Doc Watson have garnered global reputations as treasures among our very hills. Like the colorful jewels formed beneath the veins of our peaks and ridges, our richest assets have often been those unassuming places and people just waiting to be discovered.
Three such people were recently discovered and are receiving national attention in the world of high-end, custom-built sound equipment. Inventors and entrepreneurs Joe Crosswell and Bill Godwin, as well their partner John Vernon, attended the Capitol Audio Fest in Washington DC last month for the public debut of their unique, custom-made speakers. Their company, “Fyssion”, is the result of seven years of research and development that has matured into a full fledge offering of speaker designs able to satisfy the most discriminating ears and eyes. And satisfy they did!
Although this was their first show, their expectations were high because of their distinct style of speakers, all of which utilize a patent-pending design that maximizes volume and clarity while minimizing the amount of electronics usually required to obtain high end sound. In true “David meets Goliath” fashion, these men went with high hopes and great faith and they were not disappointed! Among the fifty-three exhibitors represented at Capitol Audio Fest, Fyssion stood out for their unique one-of-a-kind sound chair, winning the coveted “Edison Award” and “Best of Show” from the well respected website hometheatershack.com. Each of the men attributes their success and the source of their inspiration to God and the creative potential He has placed in them to achieve speaker designs that were once thought to be impossible.
Back at home in Boone, they are refining the production process and pursuing partnerships that will help bring their offering to the marketplace. Cylinder speakers wrapped in leather and mounted on wooden tripods carry the name “Nautical 4”. Floor and bookshelf models from their “Dignity” and “Omega” lines in walnut and maple cabinets have a distinct off-axis trapezoidal appearance creating a sound stage as rich as the woods that surround them. With a listening room full of the various designs and models they’ve produced so far, potential customers and partners can sample the natural, warm, transparent sound for which Fyssion is becoming known. And of course, the award-winning sound chair is the best seat in the house for someone seeking to be fully immersed in the music or movies they love.
Like the mining and jewelling process, Joe, Bill and John are constantly refining their craft of designing and building speakers in hopes that they can bring something unique and enriching to peoples’ lives that has been lost in the world of disposable electronics. Each of these men has stories and lives as rich and distinct as the speakers they create. From an accomplished professional musician and business owner, to a soldier and self-proclaimed audiophile, to a retired nurse and business administrator, the list of their combined experiences and credentials is as plentiful and diverse as the mountains they call home. It is clear that their paths were meant to cross and what is coming from the culmination of their skills and talents is destined to reach the ears of people all around the world, once again placing the treasures of our region on the worldwide stage. This time, however, that stage isn’t for the performer or the music but the speakers through which they are heard.
If you’d like to hear them for yourself, be prepared to experience music like you’ve never heard it before, from people the likes of whom you’ve never met. The guys at Fyssion are always up for another “listening session” at the very shop where their speakers are made where potential customers or connoisseurs of exceptional sound drop in to get a sample of something special. Like the quality of the speakers they build, a few moments in their presence will make a lasting impression and leave you wanting to hear more. A full display of their products can also be seen and even purchased, but unfortunately not heard, at their website www.fyssion.com or you can call them at 828-367-3961 to schedule a visit. Either way, one thing is for sure: the enduring qualities that make our mountains well-loved around the world have a new voice and that is the sound of Fyssion.
Written by Nathan Caparolie