John spotted me and called out my name, whereby every eye in the room turned in my direction. I was trapped. “There,” he said, pointing his finger at me, “Paul McGowan, PS Audio. You heard the demo. What did you think?” Not wanting to cause any trouble I answered as honestly as I could. “John, the demo sounded excellent.” “There!” he crowed. “Even Paul McGowan agrees this new technology works.” That was too much. I just couldn’t let that one go. “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said. “I never said I bought the technology, John, I just said it sounded great. If you want to prove the technology, do an AB for us with and without those magic boxes.” The start of World War III might be quieter than the eruption I got out of John, who sputtered and waved his hands about disbelievers and naysayers. Heresy! It was simply too much, and I had to defend my words. “A friend of mine sawed your wooden block in half and found nothing more inside than a copper bar, John. Sorry, but maybe let these good people in the room know what the truth is behind the demo.” And with that stink bomb I left the room as quickly as I could, thankful to have escaped with my skin intact. It wasn’t long before John appeared at our display room door shaking like a leaf, cigarette burning brightly. “You’re going to die,” he said, pointing his glowing ember at me. “Radiation poisoning. Terrible way to go.” “Huh?” “Radiation poisoning,” he said. “You cut that block in half and inside is a Plinth transistor we grew in a radioactive environment. Deadly. That’s why it was encased.” He was sweating and shaking, and deep puffs of the cigarette didn’t seem to calm him down, though he tried hard enough. "Well," I said. "First off, it wasn't me that cut it open, so I'm not the one going to die. And second, how does wood stop radiation? I'm no physicist, but as best I remember it takes lead to do that.” I could see his blood pressure was soaring, his face beet red, the veins in his neck ready to pop. He hadn’t an answer to that one and stumbled around for something else to get excited about before leaving the room in a huff. It wasn't long afterward the products eased their way off their website and brochures—thank goodness—but this is the kind of hysteria and snake oil I had to wade through to get a legitimate product accepted into the marketplace.This is one of many stories within the pages of my new book. I'll let you know when it's available to read.
In yesterday's post, I shared part one of a story about the Bedini Brothers, John, and Gary. Their company made some great sounding equipment over the years and they were talented individuals, though a little off kilter when it came to the spreading of audiophile manure. I am sharing a few stories from my upcoming novel Confessions of an Audiophile, due out later this year. In part one, the brothers Bedini had launched a new product said to obviate the need for wires. Electrons between the power amp and loudspeaker were said to flow through the air and sound all the better for it. I had quietly entered their CES demonstration room and was in the process of making my escape after the demo, but brother John spotted me. Here's part two of the Bedini Brothers.
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