Copper at 3: the Writers Speak!

In the beginning, the idea that Copper would survive three issues seemed far-fetched. But three years? Inconceivable!

The biggest joy of the whole process has been working with a remarkable group of writers, many of whom share their thoughts here regarding their Copper experiences. Thanks to all of them!

First off, we’ll hear from the gent who inspired Copper, and named it—Seth Godin:

In search of better

Not more, simply better. More amps or more speakers won’t help. It’s the quest for a system in harmony, the chance to hear something just a little better. Thanks, Copper, for making that journey just a little more fun.
—Seth Godin

I have only the foggiest notion how long I’ve been writing a music column for Paul McGowan. I can remember the first and only thing he asked of me: to keep it real and relevant. I readily agreed, then realized I had no idea what that meant. So I’ve tried to reach out to a broad cross-section of audiophiles. Copper made my task incomparably richer, also easier. Sharing a stable with Bill, Dan, Richard, Anne, Roy, et al. bestowed both freedom and community. Thank you all! Congratulations to us!
—Larry Schenbeck

It’s not an unusual thing for a manufacturer to produce a magazine; but Copper isn’t the usual old marketing department huff, puff and bluff, but a serious attempt to put together some sage knowledge from a few audiophile apostles (or is it fossils…) in an informing and pleasing manner. Something old, something blue, and even something new!  It was an absolute pleasure to read articles that had depth, breadth, and from which I learned and gained knowledge. Hats off to the boys and girls at PS Audio to see the world past their own factory gates, and for being strong enough to publish.
—Haden Boardman

On the 3rd anniversary of Copper, what comes to mind is how wonderful it is to be associated with an extraordinary and unusual collection of thinkers and writers. There’s been something surprising in every issue of Copper.
—Dan Schwartz

Happy Anniversary, Copper! It’s been a pleasure to read you, and an honor to contribute. Since the first issue, the magazine has been a breath of fresh air on the audio journalism landscape. Bill, you’ve somehow managed to corral a very diverse group of knowledgeable opinions, right across the spectrum, while maintaining an informative, respectful and welcoming tone. I’m not sure how you did it, but it’s a lot of fun to watch Copper continue to thrive. This is what great audio writing should be. Thanks!
—Ken Kantor

Wow! Three years!?!

Since I became aware of Copper, I have read every issue (including going back to read the initial issues I had missed). In fact, after signing up, seems like I always have to read the latest issue within a few hours of receipt…

For me, it’s been the wide range of topics – well written, interesting, occasionally provocative (and sometimes just plain fun), but always informative.

Also, regardless of what’s happening in the industry, the next issue is always on time! How???

FWIW – I would gladly pay to receive them, but FREE is just fine – keep ’em coming!
—Jim Smith

In the time since I wrote for, and briefly helped with, Copper, I’ve joined a retail store and now sell PS Audio, among other brands. I’ve noticed that PS Audio customers have a deep connection with the company, and good understanding of its products and philosophy. Copper and Paul’s videos illustrate the importance of connecting with the immediate community and telling a story that’s much larger than the brand itself. I’m proud to have been a part of PS Audio’s story, however small my contribution.
—Gautam Raja

Copper is a welcome alternative voice amidst the din created by publications that use far too many words to say not very much at all. While I have been accused of that very sinon more than one occasion, I might addit is nonetheless a joy to have the privilege to occasionally contribute my attempts at wisdom to a publication that is freely given to the community with so much care and love.
—Jason Victor Serinus

Discussions of bass traps, $50 audiophile records, and vintage gear go over like lead balloons among most people I know. At the last family gathering, I withstood derision over the large size of my speakers. My wife and brother-in-law insisted that one wireless speaker sounds just as good and is no bigger than a can of tuna. That was some birthday party. Where could I go to find people who would appreciate my stories of audio trials and triumphs? I was thrilled to discover Copper and overjoyed when Bill Leebens agreed to share my thoughts with fellow audio enthusiasts.
—Tom Methans

I’m one of Copper’s naughtier contributors – I’ve owed Leebs an article for a couple of years – I consider myself fortunate to be included in such august company, especially a plethora of actual musicians … and not a few personal friends. My fave part of Copper (and I am not sucking up to the Editor) is the coverage of long-forgotten audio pioneers. Either Bill has a great memory or he’s lying about his age and is really 86.

For a free, online magazine (Bill’s inability to do layouts without lots of wasted white space, captions on the next page, etc, notwithstanding), this is a great read – which is more than I can say for most hi-fi print titles. Long may Copper conduct.
Ken Kessler   [Don’t worry, Ken—I don’t think anyone will mistake this for sucking up!Ed.]

There’s nothing more satisfying than discovering fantastic new music. Thanks for letting me share some of my recent discoveries. Support the band. Buy the merch. Own the record.

Repeat and Enjoy!
—Dan McCauley

It’s hard for me to remember what life was like before I started writing for Copper Magazine two years ago. Sure, I was a writer and musicologist, but I didn’t have such a welcoming place to share great recordings in many different styles and genres. I didn’t have a readership I could count on to offer their personal perspectives yet also be willing to consider new ones. I wasn’t part of a publication bursting with unique voices that covered all aspects of music and audio.

In a world where distinctive arts journalism feels increasingly unappreciated, Copper Magazine is a gem. And thank you, Bill Leebens, for maintaining that gem’s cut and gleam.
—Anne E. Johnson

When Bill asked me to say a few words about Copper Magazine, I sent him a note saying I was a ‘Newbie’ to the rag and could offer little in commentary. He then advised that I had written over 40 missives already, so I was hardly a ‘Newbie’.

For me, Copper is a delight. I get to write what I want and occasionally someone actually reads it and challenges me. Bill is a great editor (that means he leaves my copy alone), and is almost as much a curmudgeon as I am. The magazine, outwith* my copy, is improving and I only see good things on the Horizon. I wish Copper great success. Happy Birthday or Anniversary or whatever a three-year celebration is called.
—Roy Hall
*
From Roy: “It’s common in Scotland and means ‘without’ in a more elegant way. I knew you would ask.”

Copper: Three years on

I came to Copper in issue #29 after talking to Paul McGowan about the possibility of writing for this (at the time) new venture. I have known Paul going back almost 30 years-even before I worked at Lyric HiFi in NY.

I had just signed on as a columnist for Goldmine magazine. I pitched a Beatle story to the editor of Goldmine which led to a regular feature. It all started about a year earlier when I began writing a business column for inc.com. Both Inc.com & Goldmine have  pretty defined subject matter i.e. Entrepreneurship in the former, & Beatles-related stories for the latter.

When Paul suggested me writing for Copper I knew that writing about audio wouldn’t be difficult, as it has been a passion and obsession of mine since I was 15. I wanted more latitude, however. More than just a review of something like a piece of gear or a new artist release, I wanted to just meander within the musical valley but with less constriction. It could be gear. It could be music. It took a most unexpected turn when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

When I told Bill Leebens about it and that I wanted to write about it, he was totally on board with it. Writing about the diagnosis and my choices to deal with it is a perfect example of the kind of latitude I have been given and your responses elicited the kind of humanity that I knew reflected the intelligence of the Copper reader.

This is what makes writing for Copper so unique.

I can thank Paul and Bill Leebens for trusting my instincts and taste enough to let me roam and, in the process, extract the kind of comments that that many of my readers, who are as passionate as me, feel free to express.

This column is really, for me, the most fun because of that. I want the readers to suggest topics that may interest me to cover that I haven’t yet. Who knows where that will go…

Here’s to Paul, Bill & to Copper. Happy third year anniversary and to Issue #80!
—Jay Jay French

Copper is not simply a metal that we use to conduct audio signals through our systems. But an intrinsic conduit through which we explore our history and the way we feel about music. And its use here as the title for a discourse concerning the music we love and share is indeed fitting; particularly as its bright perspective shines through our daily lives to help us derive quintessential understanding, appreciation, and meaning from this – our hobby, and my profession!
—Jeremy Kipnis

We can all blame our parents for a number of our issues. And most of us blokes can lay a LOT at the feet of our Fathers. My Dad can take the blame for a couple of things; he was the one who encouraged my open mind when it came to music, and he was ALSO the one who taught me the value in quality replication of said music. I’ve been an “audiophile” for decades now and have gone through more gear than I ever thought possible. It’s been a real honor, with all of that in mind, to find myself being asked to write about my #1 Passion in a magazine supported by a company as well respected for its gear as PS Audio is. Through my bi-weekly postings I have been introduced to some brilliant readers who have said some really lovely things about what I am doing with The Sessions, and my writings about them, I don’t take it for granted. A lucky man, I am.

So, thanks to YOU for reading, thanks to PS Audio for being a cool enough gear company to want to support an on-line magazine that talks about MUSIC, thanks to my Dad for being the perfect bloke to raise someone who is addicted to this art-form, and, an extra big thanks to Bill for reaching out and asking me if I would be interested in writing for him. It’s been a privilege, and I’m sorry, Bill, for being, probably, the most high-maintenance writer you have on staff. [>cough<-Ed.]

See u at the next one,
—cjh (Christian James Hand)

PS – buy yourself a Sprout100. It’s AWESOME! [Yes, I generally edit all mentions of our stuff. I hate to dampen the wee lad’s enthusiasm—Ed.]

Ever since discovering Copper Magazine, I have not only found a medium for writing music production profiles and learning about all other related aspects of music and hi-fi audio, but have found a resource for supplying the gaps in my historical knowledge about audio and recorded sound. Thank you, Copper!
John Seetoo