THE BRAND

THE TEAM

THE TEAM

MR. NGUYEN HOANG THI

FOUNDER & CHIEF ENGINEERING and R&D DIRECTOR

R&D

Manufacturing management

Sound testing

MRS. JOE NGUYEN

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

R&D orientation

Sales & marketing planning

Branding & brand ecosystem development

Product design director

Sound testing

MR. NGUYEN ANH VAN

CHIEF ENGINEER OF OUTPUT TRANSFORMER R&D

Output Transformer R&D

OPT technical management

MR. NGUYEN HOANG THI

FOUNDER & CHIEF ENGINEERING and R&D DIRECTOR

R&D

Manufacturing management

Sound testing

MRS. JOE NGUYEN

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

R&D orientation

Sales & marketing planning

Branding & brand ecosystem development

Product design director

MR. NGUYEN ANH VAN

CHIEF ENGINEER OF OUTPUT TRANSFORMER R&D

Output Transformer R&D

OPT technical management

OUR HIGHLY SKILLED & WELL-TRAINED TEAM

Electrical – electronic engineering / assembling

Industrial / product design

Graphic design / 3D modeling & rendering

Web designing & developing

Interior designing / Home decorating / Acoustic treatment

Recording / music video producing

Branding / marketing / business connecting

Event planning & organizing

 

OUR HISTORY

ThivanLabs – 20 years of research and development

Nowadays we are one of the few audio brands and manufacturers in the world that has a diverse ecosystem of products for a complete home audio system. Our journey into the world of audio began with research and experimenting in the early 2000s continuing until now, over 20 years later. In this journey, we have built a dialectical sound philosophy through a variety of experiences from culture, music and art and this has contributed to the distinctive sound characteristics of ThivanLabs products today. In addition, we regularly undertake research into music experiences and audio trends to develop new products bringing the best musical experience to our listeners. The following is the story of our 20-year R&D journey and how the founders built ThivanLabs and the associated audio ecosystem.

  • The beginning into the audio field in the early 2000s and the founders

In the early 2000s, after graduating with honors from the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Thi began his passion for audio equipment. Loudspeakers were the first field he researched and made. Many types of loudspeaker were researched and DIYed in these years by Mr. Thi including closed and vented loudspeakers, reflex loudspeakers, transmission line loudspeakers, TQWT loudspeakers and horn loudspeakers. This research period laid the foundation for the formation of the most successful and professional audio brand in Vietnam today, ThivanLabs. Mr. Thi is Co-founder, Chief Engineer, Production and Technical – Technological R&D director of ThivanLabs. He plays the most important role in the whole technological, research and development and production process at ThivanLabs.

Since marrying in 2004, he has been greatly supported by his wife, Mrs. Joe Nguyen, in product design and business development in the audio equipment industry. When they were students, Mr. Thi and Mrs. Joe received honorary certificates from the Ministry of Education and Training for scientific research projects in their fields this was when they met. Mrs. Joe Nguyen graduated with honors from the Faculty of Industrial Design, Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts. After that, she went on to complete two master’s degrees, one in Vietnam and one in the UK. Her first master’s degree was in fine arts and art history theory at Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts and the second one was in Management and Entrepreneurship at Northumbria University in the UK. She became a researcher and lecturer in the field of industrial design at Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture in 2004, a post she retains until this day.

Although starting his passion for making loudspeakers in the early 2000s, Mr. Thi started his new hobby of researching and making vacuum tube audio equipment in 2005 and he participated in many DIY tube amplifier competitions in Vietnam. During the years 2008-2010, his vacuum tube amplifiers won the best specification awards at the Vietnam Sumo vacuum tube amplifier contests.

 

  • AirPower – the early stage of development 2008 – 2009

After success in many contests, Mr. Thi started his first business in the audio field with the first brand name AirPower in 2008. In 2009, Mrs. Joe decided to extend the business and approach new customers by moving the head office and a part of the workshop to the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Between 2008 – 2009 the company focused on researching and developing vacuum tube amplifiers, preamplifiers and phono preamplifiers. To define a style for the company’s product, Mrs. Joe supported him with various designs this time. Additionally, to strengthen the technical R&D, Mr. Thi invited Mr. Nguyen Anh Van, his close friend at university, to join in several of his projects. While studying at university, Mr. Thi, Mr. Van and another close friend founded a team to research and create robots, for which they won a National Championship of robotics.

After graduating, Mr. Van became an aviation engineer for the Vietnam National Airline. He was trained in aircraft engineering in the US before returning to Vietnam and working for Vietnam Airlines until 2020. During this time, Mr. Van took part in many of Mr. Thi’s projects making tube amplifiers and output transformers. They successfully researched and developed a bespoke Output Transformer technology for the vacuum tube audio equipment. Today, all of the Output Transformers used for our products are made in-house to control the technical quality and criteria strictly. The research, development and improvement of output transformer technology is now completely implemented by the in-house R&D team. Mr. Van is now Chief engineer of Output Transformer production in ThivanLabs. His high technical standards in aircraft engineering contributed much to the high-quality standards of the current ThivanLabs Output Transformers.

 

  • The establishment of new Thivan brand and an aspiration to develop international business 2010-2012

In 2010, Mrs. Joe Nguyen was awarded a government scholarship to study for her second master’s degree in Management and Entrepreneurship in the UK. During the two years of living and studying in London she formed an aspiration to bring the brand and their products to the world and the first target market was Europe. Her aspiration was implemented by creating a new brand name for their products with a stronger brand identification. Inspired by the names of Mr. Thi, Mr. Van and their beautiful friendship, Mrs. Joe designed the Thivan logo in London in 2010 while also developing some online communication and interactive channels for the new brand.

The new brand name and logo, however, are not simply a combination of the names, there is a deeper, more beautiful meaning she wants to convey through its image. The Thivan logo features the ‘Thivan’ phrase and the image of a beautiful woman in the middle. The words ‘thi’ and ‘van’ in Vietnamese mean ‘poetry’ and ‘literature’. Poetry and Literature are close friends of each other and this is similar to the beautiful friendship of the two men, Mr. Thi and Mr. Van. A strong bond is what she wants to convey from their friendship. It represents development based on the solidarity and synergy of many dedicated people to be able to build a strong organization. Poetry (Thi) and Literature (Van) are forms of art. These words are also used in the logo with connotations of emotion, artistry, a harmonious and optimal combination of components, sophistication and high standard. These meanings represent the highest product standards she wants ThivanLabs’ audio equipment to achieve. The image of the beautiful woman dancing and holding her arms up high in the middle of the logo represents beauty and the desire to reach the most emotional and fullest beauty of sound and music. It’s also the sound standard she wants their audio equipment to achieve. Moreover, the image represents her aspiration to build up Thivan as a subject with a distinct identity and personality.

While living in London, in order to implement the idea of introducing Thivan’s products to the world and especially to the EU and to define a philosophy of sound and orient the product development for the brand, Mrs. Joe took advantage of researching the international market and traveling to many European countries to experience music and culture. She also experienced acoustics and sound reproduction when visiting and listening to music at the churches, cathedrals and theaters in both the UK and Europe. Until now, while Mr. Thi is the one to decide on technical issues, Mrs. Joe is the one to decide the sound quality and the design of a new product model. Both Mr. Thi and Mrs. Joe decide on R&D at ThivanLabs.

In the end of 2010 Thivan became the official brand name and the new logo was used for the products to meet her international business development goals. After 2 years of studying for her master’s degree and living in London she returned to Vietnam in 2012 and has been the CEO of the company since then. She has played an extremely important role in building and developing the brand and company, developing new brands and building an ecosystem of brands in Vietnam. She also has an important role in deciding the R&D orientation and product design in Thivan.

 

  • ThivanLabs – an outstanding international business development 2012 until now

After completing her master’s course in the UK, Mrs. Joe Nguyen returned to Vietnam in 2012 and decided to continue extending the business and improve the product quality and the design. The Thivan logo was enhanced with the word ‘Labs’ in 2013 as an affirmation that ThivanLabs has a well-organized research and development process. In this R&D process, ThivanLabs completely controls all the key important technical and technological developments that define the distinctive sound characteristics of ThivanLabs audio products. Today, thanks to the focus on engineering research, Thivanlabs products consistently achieve the highest sound quality and stability. Mr.Thi and the ThivanLabs engineering team have always made great efforts in researching and perfecting the technique and technology to affirm that each product is the best result of an elaborate process of research and testing.

The second change of the brand name also came from her desire and plan to introduce audio equipment researched, engineered and handcrafted in Vietnam to the international market. Since 2013, along with developing international online marketing, Mrs. Joe has visited international audio shows to research the audio market and introduce ThivanLabs’ products to international distributors and dealers. In addition, her cultural and artistic experiences in different European countries and forming partnerships have also contributed to helping her better understand future European customers. In 2016, the first distribution channel was established in Germany with the TCG Handels GmbH Company. At the present time, TCG Handels GmbH is ThivanLabs’s hub distributor in the EU.

Since 2016, after the establishment of distribution in Germany, the official distribution has been extended to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Benelux, Belgium, Poland, Greece and Portugal. Thanks to the great efforts of the distributors and dealers of ThivanLabs in the EU, it is very easy and convenient for audiophiles to order and own ThivanLabs products. Outside of Europe, ThivanLabs’ products have been exported to many different countries including the USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, India, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia among others.

ThivanLabs is now a brand in an ecosystem of brands that are being developed by Mrs. Joe Nguyen and Chau Nam Khue Group. The ecosystem of these brands covers many fields of audio equipment and includes manufacture and commercial services in audio, recording, décor, art & music events, media and others.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SOUND

This part tells you what ThivanLabs’s philosophy of sound is, how ThivanLabs’s founders have come up with this philosophy and how they have achieved the goal.

Since 2012, during the years of developing the brand, ThivanLabs sound philosophy has been continuously constructed and achieved through diverse musical experiences from attending classical concerts to practical sound reproduction experience when visiting the churches and cathedrals in the UK and around the EU. Through this practical experience, Mrs. Joe has found that the best reproduced sound should be as realistic and accurate as the original sound because it brings real emotions like those felt directly by the listener at a concert. As a music lover, after attending many concerts, she also feels and understands the original emotions live music and sound bring to the listeners, not only the emotions of the sound or music but also the sound stage and musical atmosphere.

ThivanLabs’s sound philosophy is defined by two slogans ‘Master of Performance’ and later with ‘Like Live Music’. ‘Master of Performance’ is a criterion of sound standards while “Like LIVE Music” is a criterion of realistic emotions that a recording, audio equipment or sound system needs to reproduce for listeners. This is the goal for the ThivanLabs team to aim for when researching, developing and manufacturing products. With the goal of developing audio products that meet the criteria of the philosophy and slogans, Mrs. Joe and Mr. Thi always focus on attending classical concerts on every European trip in order to experience live music in order to hone their musical sensibility and have the best comparison between real and reproduced sound.

In Mrs. Joe’s opinion, classical music, especially symphony, is one of the best music genres to experience live for a sound reproducing equipment manufacturer because this kind of music is performed almost entirely live so the sound is original. Among different kinds of music, symphony is the most difficult one to perform. Symphonic concerts are often performed by a large number of musicians with a variety of musical instruments. To get the best symphonic concerts, some important elements are required including the skillful playing techniques of musicians, the smooth and harmonic coordination between musicians as well as among groups of musicians and the conductor’s talent for orchestration. In addition, it is extremely important to perform the classical concerts at standard halls to get the best and most accurate acoustic quality. It is wonderful to experience many things at the same time.

Mr. Thi and Mrs. Joe always prioritize experiencing the concerts of top symphony orchestras and artists such as violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the best rated auditoriums and cathedrals in Europe such as the Vienna Musikverein, Berliner Philharmonie concert hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom). In addition to these centers of classical music, they attend a variety of musical performances, including classical music with unique instruments and street musicians. All of these experiences are invaluable to those who make the sound reproduction equipment.

According to Mrs. Joe, music is an art and like other art forms it brings emotions to listeners and viewers. Therefore, those who research, develop and produce music reproduction equipment really need to experience culture, art and music to cultivate artistic feelings, thereby being able to create ‘an emotional sound’ for the products. As soon as researching the European market in 2010, Mrs. Joe took advantage of visiting many cities in Europe to learn, feel and experience culture and art. During these trips, she learnt how people listen to music and perceive art. This is really important for an audio equipment manufacturer.

Perhaps not many manufacturers have such a mindset. After visiting audio shows in Europe and researching the audio market, she found that most brands focus on high technique, technologies, engineering and finishing. All of these things are very important for a good audio product but these are not the final destination of ThivanLabs’s R&D journey. Instead, the technical and technological solutions need to be applied to bring emotions and feelings to listeners, not give listeners ‘specifications’. That is ThivanLabs further goal in R&D! The essence of music is to bring emotions and feelings to the listener and what listeners need from music is emotions and feelings. This is a two-way relationship. Whether the audience listens at a concert or from an audio system, what they hear is the music, not the equipment and specs. Therefore, what the best audio system brings to the listener is ‘emotions and feelings’ and these should be as live as they were when they attended the concert. It is not easy to get to this destination; however, Mr. Thi and Mrs. Joe have always pursued this goal and dedicated much time to researching and learning through culture, art and music. This is very important when expanding to new markets and has been maintained throughout the development of ThivanLabs.

In addition, live vocal and musical instrument performances are also very important to compare between reality and reproduction. At present, in order to understand more about vocal songs and vocal recording, real sound, recording method and sound reproduction, Mrs. Joe is learning to sing to test recording and Mr. Thi is researching both live and studio recording with different singers. For musical instrument recording and sound reproduction, they have recently begun experimenting with recording live musical instrument performance. Vocals and instrument recordings are both performed on ThivanLabs audio equipment to test sound reproduction against live sound. Some music videos posted on ThivanLabs youtube channel to introduce this research and experiment process and the results improved day by day. These research and testing methods consistently demonstrate ThivanLabs’ goal to deliver the best, most realistic sound reproduction to listeners. With the desire to bring truly authentic music experiences to listeners, they have planned to develop audio equipment used for live performances, live recordings and recording studios in the future.

 

PRODUCT ECOSYTEM

After 20 years of research and development, today ThivanLabs proactively controls all of R&D process of new products, their quality, finish and sound characteristics based on the ThivanLabs philosophy of sound and design. During this long R&D journey, nearly 150 models have been made, including various valve audio equipment and loudspeakers. The latest models all utilize the technical and technological achievements from 20 years of R&D.

During the period from the early 2000s until 2015, with the effort of Mr. Thi in technical development research, Mrs. Joe’s product development orientation and the support of Mr.Van in some electronic projects, ThivanLabs’s engineering team has fabricated a wide range of valve audio equipment and custom-made loudspeakers. This period of time was the foundation of technical – technological improvement and development of ThivanLabs. Mr. Thi and his engineering team developed audio equipment using various vacuum tube types and designs including 845 SE/PP, 811A SE/PP, 572 SE, 300B SE/PP, 4D32, 3D21WB, GK-71, GU-81, KT88 (KT90, KT120, KT150), 2A3 SE/PP, 6C33-C OTL/PP/SE, 6336 OTL/PP/SE, 6H13C (6AS7,6080,5998) OTL/PP/SE, 6C19P OTL/PP/SE, GM-70, 6550, KT77, KT66, 6L6 (6P3C-E), EL34 (6CA7), EL84 (6BQ5), and the latest tubes from 2018 until present with 833 (GU-48) SE, 211 (VT-4C) SE/PSE, 805/805A SE, 813A SE.

Thanks to the rich experience of researching and manufacturing different kinds of loudspeakers that Mr. Thi earned between 2000 and 2015, he was able to research and develop the first commercial loudspeaker in 2015, the Fullrange 10, with 100 pairs ordered as soon as it was launched. After this loudspeaker model, many others continued to be born including Open Baffle Loudspeakers, Half/full Open Baffle loudspeaker systems, Horn loudspeakers, Bookshelf loudspeakers, Center loudspeakers, Subwoofer loudspeakers, 21inch super subwoofer loudspeakers and Soundbases.

 

 

PRODUCT DESIGN STYLE

With a keen eye for aesthetics and a rich experience in industrial product design, Mrs. Joe Nguyen has played a very important role in orienting the R&D and almost all of the product design concepts. Since starting the audio business in 2008, she has tried many different styles in order to define an identity for the brand’s products. Many of these designs were just concepts and 3D sketches that have never been produced. The aesthetic designs are always balanced with technical requirements to both bring beauty to the product and ensure that all technical points and sound quality are the best for the product. Therefore, all of the design concepts are always considered and decisions on technical requirements are made by both Mrs. Joe and Mr. Thi.

ThivanLabs products today have a very distinctive, elegant style and high identity. For vacuum tube amps, the designs were initially a combination of modern styling and a little East Asian taste with colors and details. While the initial designs were harmonious yet full of improvisation in terms of layout the later designs have gradually transitioned to Bauhaus minimalism and enhanced high functionality. Bauhaus has become the main style for ThivanLabs’s products after Mrs. Joe’s culture, art and music tours in the UK and Europe, especially after the distribution establishment in Germany. For example, almost all ThivanLabs’ loudspeakers have been influenced greatly by the Bauhaus art style. The designs are all about functionality and elegance; simple, basic shapes with high quality finishing. Thanks to this the products are easily matched with diverse interior and decor styles.

Since 2018, Mrs. Joe has researched new design concepts to create a new look for ThivanLabs’s loudspeakers. From this research her latest loudspeaker concept, the GrandHorn, was born with a more artistic shape. This model was demonstrated at the Vietnam Audio Visual show in 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam. The GrandHorn has been demonstrated in many showrooms around the EU and has been tested and reviewed by popular audio magazines in Germany and Poland. The Bauhaus style is still the main identification for ThivanLabs vacuum tube amplifiers and loudspeaker designs today.

 

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ACTIVITIES

Since 2019, the brand name ThivanLabs has been exclusively used for exported products. The brand is currently one member in the brand ecosystem of Chau Nam Khue Group. In the 20 years since the 2000s the founders have developed ThivanLabs to become an international brand known to many audiophiles around the world.

Not only working in the field of manufacturing audio equipment, ThivanLabs has joined in various activities of Chau Nam Khue Group in several other business fields. From 2019, combined with the Audio-Visual shows that ThivanLabs attended in Vietnam, Mrs. Joe Nguyen has pursued the idea of connecting brands and business partners in different fields related to audio such as home decoration, furniture, art and music to bring a full experience to audiophiles. Research and development energy is being invested in new product segments and will be announced in the near future. In addition, in line with Mr. Joe’s personal humanistic philosophy, she has sponsored education, music and art events with the desire to encourage and introduce young talents in design, music and art to the world.

 

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