News from Planète Haute-Fidélité!

More space with three listening rooms and a new web site.

The Planète Haute Fidélité boutique in Repentigny, east of Montreal, celebrated its fifth anniversary on November 21st, and the unveiling of its new listening rooms and showcase took place on November 15th. I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting the founder Christian Vézina once again to discuss the many changes that have been announced in recent weeks.

We’ve come a long way in just one year! We met him on the occasion of his fourth anniversary, and the expansion project was not in the plans at that time. Planète Haute Fidélité has now passed the test of its first five years with flying colors, and the store is as healthy as is its founder.

TED: Hi Christian,

Christian: Hi Yves.

TED:What was the background to your expansion project, and how did it come about?

Christian:Actually, I had a lot of products on display for the space I had, and I was a bit cramped. If I’d had this opportunity two years ago – I’d have turned it down. But now, I was financially able to do it: willing and able, as they say.
I was sad to see my next-door neighbor go, as he’d really struggled during the pandemic. I had negotiated a right of first refusal in my lease and the landlord came to talk to me about it last May. Once we’d agreed on the price, I discussed it with my wife and my mentor, and the planets aligned once again. I took advantage of the summer slump to fit out the new premises. The challenge was to create a more streamlined space that would blend in well with the previous premises. It took a long time to get the city’s permit to open the wall and do the layout, but once the permit was obtained, the work progressed very quickly afterwards

TED:When you made your announcement on your Facebook page last May, it was all very new?

Christian:Yes, the week before, there was no project at all. I picked up the ball on the fly and “repitched” it. It’s a make it or break it deal! We agreed on a 5-year lease. I have a neighbor upstairs who’s a sports medicine therapist, and I didn’t want to disturb him. The ventilation is shared and sound travels throughout the building. He reassured me that the music wouldn’t bother him. Even the noise during construction didn’t cause a neighborhood problem.

TED: How did you come up with your layout and choice of materials?

Christian: All the design and decoration came from my imagination. Some of the details come from my surroundings, like the neon sign with the slogan L’expérience au service de la passion (Experience at the service of passion), which comes from my wife. The astronaut was designed from a $100 mannequin and inspired by the concept of the Maxell ad. I could make a video for the Making of the mascot, I had to cut the arms and legs to articulate them the way I wanted. I only found the wig last Monday (only two days before the launch), it was almost at the end of the world. I attached it to the head with Velcro and headed off to the mall to a hair salon with my head on. The girls laughed their heads off when they saw me walk in with a head in a bag…. I had a lot of fun making Ralf, even though it probably took me the longest to do.

TED: Where does the name Ralf come from?

Christian: It came out of the blue. I was saying to my wife that I should come up with a name for him when I was butchering him.

TED: You doubled your surface area with the expansion. Do you have any new products?

Christian: I have more space to better display my products. I used to have a lot of them in the display behind a glass door, but now they’re installed on a cube at the right height so you can see them well from all sides.

I’ve got the big Hegel H30-P30 kit on display. There’s also the Pathos INPOL Heritage, the only one in North America (thanks to Richard Kohlruss). I also have Jadis under evaluation. I’m open to other products. I have the new Sysmic Audio cables made in Quebec, which I was able to meet the founders and advise on at the last Montreal show. It’s important that the products don’t interfere with each other. Sysmic Audio and Audioquest cables don’t conflict with Luna Cables, which are my cables of choice.

TED: Any other plans following your 5th anniversary?

Christian: November 21st was the anniversary of the opening of Planète Haute Fidélité. It was a happy coincidence that the official opening of the extension took place just a few days before. No, I now have the space I want, it’s perfect. I’d like to have a partner, a full-time person here, I have a few people in mind, but I’m not chasing them, I’m waiting for them to show interest. You can’t force it, timing is everything. I’ve got a new website, I’ve got daily specials, not just for Anniversary Days or Black Friday.

TED: How do you explain your success? There’s service, and I know that’s important to you, but what else?

Christian: Service is important, that’s clear, and it remains my top priority. I also put a lot of energy into what I do. I feel like a child on his first day at school. It’s like that every morning.

Yesterday, the launch party finished very late and I was happy to come back to work this morning even if I had a few hours of sleep. It’s important to me that customers feel good when they’re here. Many of them tell me they want to stay longer and don’t want to leave.

I want to present a variety of products at different prices. It’s important that my message is authentic. I give the same service to a customer who buys an entry-level product as to one who buys a larger kit at a higher price. I resist selling online, because I’m more interested in shaking hands and demonstrating the best camera settings in a store than in sending boxes.

TED: Last night, during the unveiling of the expansion, you paid a touching tribute to Karl Tremblay, front man of the Cowboys Fringants. The air was festive, but you showed once again that your heart is in the right place. His wife is from Repentigny, and his family now lives in nearby L’Assomption. Who was he to you? Did you ever perform with him?

Christian: I’m very sad that he’s gone. I don’t consider myself a complete fan, but I really like their music and lyrics. Most of the band live in the region.

I didn’t play with them, but I was a harmonica player for a band opening for them at one of their concerts. Our bassist had broken his bass and the Cowboys Fringants bassist lent him his to open for us.

Karl came to the store for advice on a home theater for his family. He’s a bon vivant and was really cool. Their songs will age very well. It’s sad for the Lanaudiere region, for Quebec as a whole.

TED: We can see that your heart is in the right place. You chose to begin your opening address by mentioning his death. It was touching.

Christian: Yes, I thought it was important to have a minute’s silence for Karl. I was pleasantly surprised that people respected this to pay tribute to him. It was still a cacophonous atmosphere. I’m also sorry I couldn’t invite everyone – I didn’t have the space to do it.

TED: What are your latest musical discoveries that you’d like to share?

Christian: I have them all the time. I’ve just discovered a song by Al Di Meola: The Grande Passion from the album of the same name; Thomas Feiner & Anywhen‘s For Now; Jamais trop tard from Arianne Moffat‘s Incarnat album; Marian Hill‘s Differently (with a strong bass that moves a lot of air); California Love by the Charlie Hunter Trio; Jean-Jacques Miteau‘s The Color of Love and finally Raleigh and Spencer by the Tony Furtado Band.

TED: Once again, thank you Christian for your great generosity. It’s always a great pleasure to meet you, and I wish you every success in your new projects.

Christian: Thank you, it was my pleasure!

With already five years behind the tie, Planète Haute Fidélité is well known not only in the Lanaudière region, but throughout the province. With the addition of two new listening rooms, the boutique has almost doubled its floor space, while continuing to offer high-quality audio and video products, with a strong emphasis on customer service. It’s always a pleasure to meet founder Christian Vézina, who never misses an opportunity to share some of the new music he’s recently exchanged with his customers. I invite you to go and meet him in person, and see for yourself his striking new showcase. I wouldn’t be surprised if you make this visit a habit.

543B Rue Notre-Dame, Repentigny, QC J6A 2T6
Tél.: (450) 841-1711,