are Europe’s leading suppliers of professional recording equipment and services, from a single cable to complete recording, broadcast or post-production studio design, installation and equipment.
With major branches in London, Paris and Milan, the company has been established for over twenty years and has supplied new and refurbished used equipment to thousands of satisfied clients in more than fifty countries worldwide.
We have been involved with designing and equipping major recording facilities in countries including China, Georgia, Russia, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, USA, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We work closely with several of the world’s most respected studio designers and architects to offer complete studio design and installation services for clients worldwide. Funky Junk offers unrivaled technical knowledge and international support. We have large workshop facilities and a huge inventory of stock and spare parts. Our technicians regularly travel abroad to install and commission equipment, most recently in China, Russia, Georgia, Spain and Norway.
Although internationally recognised as leaders in the field of vintage and modern analogue recording equipment, our staff includes digital experts well versed in all aspects of modern computer and networked audio equipment.
Languages spoken include Russian, Chinese, Italian, French and Spanish.
The Funky Junk Team
Analogue and vintage sales and purchases
Sales. Digital specialist
Little shop of horrors and Funkeys/synths
Finance Director and stuff
Website design, advertising and techno
Social Media, PR and Drums
Sales; keyboards, digital & analogue outboard
The Boffin Island Team
Outboard and consoles
Microphones, tube and vintage
An interview we did for Pro Sound News
How do you try to learn about new companies/smaller equipment producers and give them visibility through your company?
Unlike any other audio retailer in Europe, we have a very stringent test procedure for new equipment we’re offered, particularly for distribution, which falls into two parts;
- 1. We put equipment through a very rigorous set of tests in our workshops (we have three of the best techs in the country on staff) and as well as checking spec on our Audio Precision and Neutrik test sets, we examine the build quality, ease of servicing and performance. As official UK service agents for Tubetech, Manley, Retro and others as well as having the best equipped and most experience microphone repair shop in the UK, we’re extremely experienced in audio equipment design, build and servicing.
- 2. We then put the gear through its paces in a professional session at our SNAP! recording studios (www.snapstudios.co.uk) where we discover how the gear performs in a proper professional session. Very few new products pass both tests and those that do (like the Pulse Techniques Pultec eqs we’ve just taken on) have a stamp of quality and reliability based upon a set of criteria that no other dealer can offer, On many occasions, we will work with manufacturers to iron out faults we encounter, particularly where we’re impressed by the performance but discover problems. Recent examples include the excellent SANDHILL microphones (where the manufacturer had to redesign the pcb to eliminate low level residual noise) and the impressive SOUNDSCOURGE mic preamps and eq’s, where we found the external power supply was susceptible to radiating low level noise to other equipment in the immediate proximity. In both cases, neither
the manufacturer nor other dealers had noticed the problems but the companies worked with our techs and engineers to rectify minor faults in what were otherwise superb pieces of gear.
How important is the location of the manufacturer to you? Do you look for UK-based products at all?
Location is very important. We encourage UK manufacturers wherever we can and have a policy of promoting the best European made gear for several reasons;
Firstly, we find that much of the equipment currently being designed and manufactured in Europe is of a far higher build quality than comparable equipment coming from the US, and in particular we’ve been extremely impressed by equipment made in Eastern Europe, prime examples of which include WESAUDIO (Radic is an extremely clever and far sighted designer), SOUNDSCOURGE (fantastic attention to detail in both design and manufacture) and FLEA microphones (far and away the best classic microphone repros at half the price of poorly made US designs).
Secondly, we feel strongly that a healthy European manufacturing industry is crucial for a healthy European recording industry, as it is less prone to distortions from parallel imports, currency fluctuations and marketing ‘hype’.
We’ re known as a largely ‘Chinese Free Zone’ not that we have any problems with Chinese manufacturing (we have some excellent clients and friends in China) but because to date we’ve found most Chinese made audio lacks character and personality. Moreover, we’re concerned about luxury products being made in sweat shops employing poorly paid and overworked labour. Moreover, we’re unhappy about the number of products made in China and rebadged in the west, claiming to be US or UK made and sold at prices up to ten times higher than the same item can be purchased in China. We believe in transparency in termsof the origin of the gear we sell but sadly customers are often misled. The giveaway with mics is the XLR connector – pretty much all the mics made in China house the XLR connector in a protruding ‘barrel’ at the base of the mic, something no European or US manufacturer ever does. If you check the connector on 60% of ‘US made’ mics these days, they’re instantly recognisable as being of Chinese origin, pimped up and price-inflated en route to the market.
What about your client base? Are they local, or do you distribute to the U.S., Europe, elsewhere?
We probably export to more countries than any other UK or European professional audio dealers, and have been involved in complete facility builds in China, Russia, Georgia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Niger the USA and throughout Europe as well as the UK. Of course, we also ship individual items worldwide
How do you build relationships with the end client?
We have a degree of knowledge gained in the professional industry as engineers, producers and technicians that is unique and can therefore advise clients on every aspect of the process from studio design to installation and even the economics of running a studio as well as equipment choice. Much of our work comes from personal recommendation and we’re flattered to have been credited and thanked on many top selling albums.
What do you find most effective? Trade shows, print advertising, or web marketing?
In this digital age, the website is everything. We also produce brochures that are distributed with magazines, but these are designed to be informative and instructive rather than mere sales vehicles.
What are the challenges your business will face/have to deal with in the next ten years?
The recording industry has undergone many changes in the twenty five years since Funky Junk started, and we have constantly reviewed our services and business to ensure we continue to provide the goods and services demanded by a changing client base. Indeed, it’s indicative of our success that we and HHB are probably the only pro audio suppliers to remain successful over two decades.
What types of product line do you see doing well in the UK right now?
We sell an awful lot of microphones and monitors. Outboard and consoles are becoming less in demand as more and more clients mix in the box although we do sell a lot of the latest new
and used SSL Duality and AWS consoles, as befits our position as Europe’s leading supplier of recording consoles.