May, 2019





99% True

A bit more than 2 years I began writing my memoir, 99% True.

On Tuesday, June 4th, the book will officially go on sale to the public in multiple forms: paperback, hardback, Kindle, and an audiobook (that I narrated).

For those of you unfamiliar with the book you can go here to read up on it.

The first half of this 357-page work reads more like a humorous novel which reader Tom Richard described as “Adolescent Huckleberry Hellion turns stoner dreamer, following a story arc that could have been written by Hunter S. Thompson on gonzo entrepreneurialism in the space age.”

The second half of the book focuses on the trials and tribulations of launching PS Audio with my co-founder Stan Warren, Genesis with co-founder Arnie Nudell, then back again at PS Audio.

It’s a story filled with both laughs and heartbreaks from my not-so-innocent youth growing up in the shadow of Disneyland, to my dope-smoking, snake-eating, draft-dodging, loony-bin misadventure through Europe. Through the pages of the book, you can follow along with my struggles to build a thriving enterprise from a stack of dusty albums.

If you want the inside scoop of PS Audio and the tell-all of the world of high-end audio, then 99% True is a definite must-read.

You can grab one on preorder right now, or wait until its launch on June 4th when the Kindle version will be available at half price for one week only.

The books in all formats are available through Amazon here.

I have also made a limited number of personally signed hardback copies available and you can only order those here starting tomorrow, May 30. (There will not be a second printing of the first edition limited run signed copies).

Happy reading!

Order 99% True here



The end of Thiel

I have a long and personal relationship with Thiel Audio, one that goes back years.

Jim, and Kathy and the crew at Thiel were some of the finest people our industry has ever known and I loved their speakers too.

After Jim’s passing, Kathy did her best to keep the fires alive but, in the end, it was too much and the brand was sold, passing from hand to hand and finally winding up with business people apparently clueless about the heart and soul of high-end audio.

The story that follows is a sad one indeed. And now, the final chapter’s been written and we all mourn the loss of a good friend in the industry, Thiel Audio, as it breathes its last gasp of air.

Their spirit will be missed.

Read about Thiel’s demise


Moog

In my book, 99% True, I detail my earliest days of being blown away by Emerson Lake and Palmer in Munich’s Circus Krone.

So taken was I of the synthesizer’s soaring glissandos and commanding sound—as Keith Emerson did battle with a box of flashing lights and patch cords—that I determined to weave my life around music.

We just recently remembered the anniversary of the passing of Robert Moog, the creator of Emerson’s synth, through a wonderful essay by the Sound Doctor, Barry Ober. Thought we’d share, thanks to the Boston Audio Society.

HT to Uncle Kent for this article

Read this touching rememberance


Copper Magazine

“Ronnie McGill received a note, mysteriously signed “Michael Schumacher”, which offered him a friendly warning. “Vinny Spadina is figuring to rub you out”. This, naturally, was worrisome. Ever since he had gotten into a loose partnership with Spadina and Elgin he had never felt entirely at ease about it. And now a retired Formula One driver, apparently, was making him feel twice as nervous.

Across town, Bryce Elgin also broke into a sweat. “Ronnie McGill is figuring to rub you out”, said the note. Who the hell is “Michael Schumacher”, anyway? He screwed the note into a ball and threw it across the room. McGill might be a prick, he reasoned, but he has no reason to want me out of the picture. Has he?”

Read A Murder of Symmetry in the latest issue of Copper Magazine.

Copper is cost-free, ad-free, and committed to great articles without an attitude.

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HiFi Extremists

Extremism in HiFi?  How can there be such a thing in a hobby whose purpose is the enjoyment of music? The answer, which applies to many cases of modern day extremism? The Internet.

HiFi Extremists believe they know the correct way to determine what everyone should buy when it comes to hifi. These men, and you know they are all men, actually believe they are in a position to dictate to others how to go about buying a hifi.

Follow writer Michael Lavorgna in his wonderfully thoughtful essay on HiFi Extremism.

Read HiFi Extremists



How we identify sound

Have you ever wondered how our ear-brain mechanism can identify locations, measure space, approximate distance, and build a mental picture of the world around us?

It may seem simple and obvious, but consider how each of our ears and each of our hearing senses are different, yet most of us can hear the exact placement of a musician through a crowded orchestra.

Thanks to reader Bob Enger, who sent us a link to this informative YouTube video, we can now understand how we localize sound, why dogs tilt their heads to identify sound, and unravel a great deal of mystery in this fascinating and easy to understand video.

Watch the video


Alexa, play high rez

If Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, and Apple Music aren’t enough, here comes Amazon to gobble them all up.

Amazon’s seemingly insatiable appetite to sell everything to everyone’s now going to include high-resolution audio through a new streaming service. Advertised as “better than CD quality” the new service has already signed one major label and is working on others.

There’s no official launch date yet but pricing is said to be $15 a month, $5 cheaper than Tidal.

Looks like Alexa is going to try to give Spotify a run for its money.

I’d say they have their work cut out for them. Spotify isn’t the best sounding streaming service but they surely have one of the best interfaces and depth of musical selections of any of the services today.

Read the article