Thrive Cafe in Loves Park is now open

We're happy to announce that Thrive Cafe in Loves Park is now open. Thrive Cafe specializes in healthy food choices...wraps, bowls, salads, smoothies and much more. I'm not usually a fan of cold coffee but I had one of Thrive's cold-press versions yesterday, (they use coffee beans from Rockford Roasting Company) and it tasted fantastic. They soak the coffee beans in water for twenty hours before serving. Nice!

They are located on Perryville Road, across from Peak Fitness. They are also right across the street from Choices Natural Market who offers quality fresh food in a grocery-style setting.

We installed their robust internet network and wifi system in addition to a Sonos music system and three commercial-grade LG digital signage screens. Bisconti Computers in Rockford designed the digital signage menu content. Nice job, Team Bisconti!

Best success to Jason and the team at Thrive Cafe!

Technology is helping to drive business growth

At Thinker Ventures, in addition to helping businesses grow and prosper through marketing and visual design, we are now also offering different technologies for business 'spaces':

Managed digital signage

Voice-over-IP phone systems

Internet network hardware

Audio/visual for conference, board and meeting rooms

A little about Spaces at Thinker Ventures, 317 W. Jefferson in downtown Rockford and yours truly...

Thanks- Doug

p.s. Look for our special opening night celebration coming soon...

Grado headphones

I've been asked by several people lately to recommend headphones under $100 for home listening. I recommend any models from Grado Labs. They perform well, look good and their open air design allows for a much better, airier sound.

Forget, earbuds. They are crap. Get a cool set of cans from Grado Labs...another benefit- the company is based in New York and they still manufacturer their products there. Family owned for decades and some of their higher end headphones are still built by hand. 

You gotta love their retro look too. 🎧

ToneAudio online mag and the upcoming Axpona Audio Show

Hi everyone- 

I thought you might like the online audio mag, ToneAudio. If you register with ToneAudio online you’ll receive this free each month in your inbox!

Also, there is a very cool high-performance audio show each April at the Westin Hotel in Rosemont, IL.  It's a great show and highlights performance audio from over one hundred manufacturers. Brands that we sell such as Peachtree Audio, Paradigm, Anthem, Audioengine, MSE Audio and Yamaha are scheduled to show as well. Axpona is April 21-23- you can learn more and purchase your tickets at Maybe I'll bump into you at this year's show.


New (old) vinyl

The Windham Hill Sampler of New Electronic Music- Soul Of The Machine

Who says vinyl is expensive? I found this mint vinyl copy at Half Price Books for a buck. The high quality sound and pressing sounds clear, dynamic and balanced with a nice lower bass register (all typical of Windham Hill Records releases). This was released in 1987 and on the back of the album jacket they remind us that this release is "available on CD and BASF chrome cassette". A mellow collection of keyboard and electronic artists so if you like this style of music be sure to pick up a copy for yourself if you stumble across one. If I can find this on CD I'll pick it up for sure.

Sonos product announcement regarding Spotify

We are reaching out to our customers in regards to a recent update Sonos rolled out in early December, 2016. Sonos software release 7.0 included some improvements that Spotify has made to the music experience on Sonos that has resulted in better reliability and will ensure the best listening experience moving forward. These improvements include the exciting launch of full control of Sonos from the Spotify app. 

The majority of Sonos owners who use Spotify have already successfully updated their system to 7.0 or higher. However, we wanted to give you a heads-up that beginning February 28th, 2017, Spotify users on Sonos who do not update to the latest Sonos software 7.0 or higher will no longer be able to use Spotify on their Sonos. This change could impact any unauthorized Sonos integrations in terms of Spotify functioning on those systems. Endorsed partner integrations that have updated to Sonos software 7.0 or higher will not be impacted. 

Any Sonos owner who has already updated their system to Sonos software 7.0 or higher is not impacted by this, but we wanted to communicate with you in advance so you can help all of your customers update to the latest Sonos software to ensure they can continue enjoy listening to Spotify on their Sonos. 

Here is a link to the full release notes of Sonos software 7.0