RIO Sound & Vision - Our Story
From humble beginnings to now the world’s largest AV Specialist Store.
The year was 1993, a small warehouse located next to a BP Service Station in Thornbury a northern suburb in Melbourne Australia
“We began next to a gas station in the suburb of Thornbury……Melbourne Australia in the month of March 1993 and I had nothing……everything I had ever owned is in this business…..” Paul Riachi
It was then RIO Auto Sound began.
An Electronics Technician and an Audio Engineer, Paul Riachi’s vision and quest was to provide his clients the most inspiring and aspirational car audio installations anyone could own developing his own technique in custom car audio molding and manufacturing of vehicle subwoofer boxes and door trims.
Not able to afford stock, Paul Riachi sold products via catalogue.
“not having stock or displays is a true testament of one’s ability to sell”.
As time grew so did the RIO team, dedicated technical staff and car audio installers were employed learning the RIO way.
RIO’s ethos has always been you want the best people you hire the best people, and through this process we developed a training regime for car audio installers.
Clients trusted the brand “RIO” and throughout the early years RIO won several car audio and design awards, including some innovative tech that’s still used today by others.
Fast track to 1998 and RIO Auto Sound changed for ever……It became RIO Sound and Vision.
Understanding the transitional landscape of the Audio and Visual industry, RIO branched into home cinema and hifi.
It was then that LOEWE and Toshiba Television began to transform RIO to a premium visual and audio retailer, with the likes of the then Harman / JBL inc Miller and Kreisel products entered the establishment, and with that RIO built a purpose designed THX Gold Class Cinema seating 14 people.
This cinema was labelled as “The M&K THX Ultra Performance Cinema”.
Tuned at 7 degrees pitched ceiling and calibrated to THX Ultra, it was then that Chuck Back (head of M&K Sound USA) claimed that RIO had built “the best personal cinema outside the USA”.
Throughout the years certain movies and documentaries were sold using the RIO establishment at its THX demonstration facilities.
RIO quickly began partnering with Movie Production studios and A-List celebrities, in whom they have been responsible for some of their own personal or business installations.
It was later that Paul traveled to Lucasfilm’s headquarters in the USA in which he completed all levels of THX Sound Certification and Engineering.
2003 – RIO Sound and Vision Hampton opened its doors, and till today this boutique offering serves up the very best in the most affluent area in Melbourne, labelled as the Bayside region.
Things had changed and business was growing and growing fast, and RIO’s constant re-investment saw them catapult from a small warehouse to a 1000sqm warehouse operation just to full-fill their online hunger for products.
2013 – From Big to Bigger… project “PIB”, (pushing Industry boundaries) RIO Sound and Vision acquired the Preston premises.
Design and Construction models were commenced in conjunction with Warner Bros. studio artists and architects.
Employing Movie set designers and Artists from all over the globe the plans and design of RIO Sound and Vision Preston went into full scale production to grow what the industry call it a “1st”.
There is nothing like it…
Comprising of a 50 seat THX Dominus Auditorium and dedicated cinema’s including a state of the art 2 Channel Hi-Fi lounge, with the world’s first LOEWE Galleria store within a store, RIO has set the new benchmark in the AV retail experience.
With real movie props and custom built cinemas, RIO Sound and Vision wil be labelled as a must see attraction in Melbourne, Australia.
Paul Riachi – “ RIO Sound and Vision is not just about selling a product, its about experiencing what our industry has to offer in its best form. Our offerings range from whatever your needs are or budget requirements. We are here to serve you – our past, present and potential clients.
All are welcome and all will experience something like no other store can claim or offer”
RIO Sound and Vision today is growing at an unprecedented speed and future projects are being discussed right now. Who knows, there may be one coming soon to you.
Stay tuned and register online for all our activities and give away’s, and most importantly our story.
- Conceptualizing sound and vision applications
- Providing simple take home systems on the spot, with stock on hand.
- Designing a custom application from your house plans to suit your new home and multi room needs.
- Utilizing the space of your existing application into a home cinema.
- Superior product knowledge to give you the best advice and supply you exactly what you need.
- Technical and acoustic design and installation.
- Plus 1 on 1 customer service and after sales support from our team of trained staff, ensuring that your decision to come to RIO for your entertainment needs is everything you wished for.