Based in the beautiful city of Minneapolis, ResTech Systems is a tightly knit team of expert installers and consultants who are uniquely passionate about designing smart home solutions to help their clients create happy, healthy electronic lifestyles. For ResTech, this means a seamless combination of entertainment, comfort, and security—all delivered by reliable, high-quality, high-value products that satisfy their customers’ needs, desires, and budgets.
Indeed, whether the goal is to build a deeply immersive home cinema, a soothing two-channel high-performance stereo, or a fully integrated home automation system, ResTech is eager to turn their clients’ smart-home dreams into exciting realities. “We want to educate homeowners—and share our excitement—about the convenience, elegance, and sheer fun of owning a smart home.”
It might be exactly this shared emphasis on education and experience that makes ResTech and AudioQuest such an outstanding team. However, back in 2013, when ResTech’s Alec Schwandt first encountered AudioQuest, he knew very little about the high-performance cable company. It was their mutual affiliation with the HTSA buying group that eventually brought the two companies together. And, while Schwandt admits that he may have initially been wary of AudioQuest’s prices, he soon found that he had no reason to be concerned.
“At our first meeting,” ResTech’s Alec Schwandt recalls, “Jim Scatena [AudioQuest’s Director, National Accounts] brought some AQ samples and we could easily see the quality of the cables—even in their entry-level models.”
The overall craftsmanship of AudioQuest cables was easily apparent, but what about the value?
“Once we ran the numbers,” Schwandt continues, “we realized that AQ was very close in price [to the competitors], so choosing AudioQuest was a no-brainer. We eventually switched to AQ for our HDMI and Optical solutions.”
Although the change to AQ would come soon, it didn’t happen immediately. Some old habits are hard to break, but, as Schwandt explains, change can bring great things.
“As far as installs go,” he says, “our techs had liked to make as many cables as they could when wiring racks. The final result did look nice, but, when we dug a little deeper, the process turned out to be extremely inefficient.”
Having installed for 16 years, Schwandt based the company’s costing on how long it should take to make cables. His findings were surprising and somewhat alarming: His techs weren’t nearly reaching the two to three minutes they’d budgeted to make a data cable or the four to five minutes for an analog cable.
“And to make things even worse,” Schwandt continues, “the techs liked using the old-school Mini59 connector to make RCA cables, and, as it turned out, the Mini59 was at the end of its life and our samples were super inconsistent and had major issues. All said, we had to completely re-wire six different racks with AQ cables. This was first straw that got us thinking we needed to make some changes.”
Following the disappointment of the Mini59, ResTech switched to AudioQuest’s install-friendly Instant Tooless Connectors (ITC) and Bulk Cat6 Ethernet cables for their equipment racks. While Schwandt says the change resulted in “much better quality,” it, too, was short lived.
He explains: “In one of our meetings with AQ, we talked about their pre-made Pearl RJ/E cables. Although we immediately liked them, we weren’t sure we’d be able to use them for our installs. At the time, the shortest available length was 0.75m. Granted, they were much better cables than what we’d been working with, but having to coil over two feet of wire to make a 6” jumper just wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. Shaun Schuetz [AudioQuest’s VP, Sales] said he would see if AQ could make more shorter lengths. Eventually, I received an email from Shaun following up on our request, and it turned out that AQ thought it was a good idea, too!”
A week after Schuetz’s email, AudioQuest’s new short-length RJ/E cables were ready to ship. Upon considering the pricing of these new cables, Schwandt and his team once again decided that choosing them would be an absolute no-brainer. And sometimes the stars align perfectly: Right around the time that ResTech received their samples of AudioQuest’s new RJ/E cables, Schwandt visited a job site.
He recalls, “I watched a lead tech with over 10 years of experience take about 15 minutes to make a data cable for a component in a rack, and at least 20 minutes to make an analog audio cable—not quite the two to five minutes that was budgeted! Once I got back to the office, it only took a five-minute conversation with ResTech owner Dan Woody about how we were losing two to three times the sale price (in labor) of every cable our techs were making, to instantly put an end to it. That day, I placed an order for AudioQuest RJ/E, analog audio cables, and digital coax cables.”
Schwandt and ResTech haven’t looked back.
“From that day forward,” Schwandt says, “all of our racks have been wired with AQ prepared cables. We are saving hours of labor on every install and the change has all but eliminated any service issues due to cables. Looking back, we should have done this a long time ago, but old habits die hard.”
Is Schwandt happy with the change? Absolutely!
He concludes, “I would definitely recommend AudioQuest’s prepared custom cables to every dealer out there for the time savings, quality, and profit margin.”
For more info, visit www.restechsystems.com, or, to schedule a tour of the ResTech Systems showroom in Plymouth, Minnesota, call (763) 710-5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.