President of Straight Wire
Steven Hill is the president of Straight Wire, an AV Cable company whose product line ranges from entry-level to reference-level speaker cables, interconnect, digital A/V cables, power and custom installation products.
Straight Wire’s products are mostly made in the United States, for better consistency and quality. With over 30 years of experience in this industry, there are a lot of aspects to Straight Wire that makes it a great match against its competitors. It’s long term employees help set Straight Wire apart. They are great resources for the company and they are passionate and supportive. We have a strong foundation of value based engineering and production in house to deliver high performance at a reasonable cost. Straight Wire provides customers with custom solutions tailored to fit their needs and applications at little to no upcharge.
We have been around since 1982 – that’s 30 years. I think the industry will see a great change in the consumer electronics industry in the next 15 years. I see a further divide between low-end and high-end solutions with less in the middle. Low-end solutions will offer great value and functionality with limited quality. High-End will offer special solutions and the utmost performance with high build quality and potential upgradability for extended product life.
I define innovation as coming up with a product or service that clearly stands out as an improvement over the competition. It is not enough to just make something different or “cute”.
An innovation has to have substance and longevity where people say “why didn’t I think of that!”
I would have to say the products that have been the most groundbreaking and innovative would have to be the patent-pending Push Prong RCA & BNC system, and our Virtuoso and Maestro cable series. The Push Prong line offers installers and DIY consumers a reliable, re-usable plug format that requires no special tools. This sets them apart from its competitors because it can be used with any 23 ga coax (the broadcast standard) and other technical advantages. The Virtuoso cable series was innovative in offering two different tunings with the same materials and design.
At the time of its introduction, this was needed to optimize performance of tube vs. solid state electronics and planar vs. dynamic speakers. Finally, the Maestro cable series was unique and innovative with the introduction of a matched series of speaker cable and interconnect of an advanced symmetrical coaxial design that enabled a broad range of equipment to have a synergistic coupling. The Maestro series of cable was highly and widely regarded for over 20 years as a benchmark for high and audio performance.
I believe the only thing that the government can do to help Straight Wire is to keep trade restrictions to a minimum and allow us to compete freely on a worldwide basis. We are a narrow focus, high end AV cable company and a net exporter (we sell more overseas than we import). While many of our competitors have moved to greater offshore sourcing and production we believe that the opportunity still exists for high quality, specialized American manufactured products to be competitive and desired (sold) on a worldwide basis.