Golden Ear award

October 1, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

The day loudspeaker designer Chris Brunhaver joined the PS Audio team marked the 2nd to the last step on a lifetime journey (Octave Records would be the final step in closing the loop of our vision of an end-to-end audio ecosystem).

Before Chris we could only dream about the day we could say with confidence “these speakers are the final step in making audio magic”.

It took nearly three years of work, 4 iterations of design, and the cost of designing and tooling from scratch every component from the drivers to the box itself to create the aspen FR30 loudspeaker.

It takes only one listen to these beautiful creations to know without question the success of the design.

It sure doesn’t hurt when the FR30s appeared on the cover of HiFi News heralding a glowing review that you can read here.

Closer to home was the latest The Absolute Sound magazine’s cover photo of the aspens.

Inside, a wonderful review from Anthony Cordesman coupled with the magazine’s prestigious Golden Ear Award.

We couldn’t be prouder of our Chris Brunhaver.

If you’d like to send Chris a note of congratulations his email address is [email protected]

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26 comments on “Golden Ear award”

  1. Congratulations to Chris, even though I’ve never read this magazine. Can the review be put online? Congratulations also to Mr Cordesman for still having some residual hearing at age 83. Measurements or just listening? I hope I get to hear these speakers before I’m 83, what with royalty dying at inappropriate times, although now we need someone to run the country and get our currency off the floor. The good news is that now Fat Rat can get his SACDs delivered to Oz postage-free.

    1. Unfortunately the distributor of PS Audio decided not to demo the FR30s during the HiFi show nearby- two month ago – due to the fact that the hotel rooms for the show are too small for these beasts. What a pity. I wished to have had a listen and the chance to congratulate Chris based on my own findings. Thus I guess we “normal” audiophiles have to wait for the FR10s – hopefully also designed as an active version as used in the control room of Octave Records.

    2. 83-year-old Mr. Cordesman…or as we like to call him, ‘Old Golden Ears’
      Steven, I’ll e-mail you my address so that you can send me all those SACDs that you mentioned 😀

      1. If only I owned any SACDs, I’d gladly send them to you. You have to buy them from Octave. Not that simple for the UK – £12 handling fee, 23% duty and soon a postal worker strike. Have you got yourself a streamer yet?

        1. Octave SACDs are AU$75 each here & rising now that the Aussie
          dollar is only worth 0.65 of a Greenback…out of my price range.
          I just picked up a near mint (44.1/16) CD of XTC’s – ‘English
          Settlement’ album for AU$15.

          I only stream when I pee.

          1. Thank you for passing on that information. Glad to know everything’s working. AU$15 seems a lot for a CD. If you had a streamer, for AU$15 you could stream for a month without a single trip to the dunny.

            1. And after one month the magic stops, unless you
              pay another AU$15 & then another, ad infinitum.
              And when there’s internet interruptions, one is
              inconvenienced & at the mercy of the NBN.
              No thanks, I already have a reliable library of
              music that I love & can enjoy without being
              chained to the TIDAL wheel.

  2. Congratulations Chris for being recognized for your accomplishment! You, Paul, and the rest of your team at PS audio appreciated what had been achieved developing the FR30. Now it is time for the audiophile world to experience your achievements.

    Paul, my hat is off also to you for seeking talent, recognizing talent, and providing an environment plus extensive resources to create the FR30. Elon could take a lesson in humility from you.

    Finally, to the photographer who took the picture of Chris with his award. Did you really need to force the perspective to make Chris look bigger? Or is Chris standing next to prototypes of the new smaller FR20? 😉

  3. Reading this post I kind of felt I’d read it before. Was it here, in Copper magazine or am I living in a parallel universe and reading in stereo?
    Whatever, wherever, many congratulations to Chris and the team at PSA, it must be very satisfying to see your hard work recognised and rewarded.
    Still, that photo, it ought to be a caption competition. I know Chris is smiling but what is he thinking? “Three years hard work and all I got was this bloody plaque” albeit a plaque of which he is no doubt justifiably proud.
    I wonder what speakers Chris listens to at home? I’d expect the answer to be Aspen FR30 but not everyone likes to take their work home with them, do they.

    1. I think you read it in Copper. I already sent my congratulations to Chris and he replied to me in a very special way. Must be nice for a Paul and PSA not only to have great engineers who have such incredible passion for everything that they do.

      With regard to AHC, not sure how many in our community know what his foremost profession is as he still may be active. Check Anthony Cordesman out on Wikipedia if you don’t I think you will be quite surprised.

    2. I think you read it in Copper. I already sent my congratulations to Chris and he replied to me in a very special way. Must be nice for a poll not only to have great engineers who have incredible passion for everything that they do.

      With regard to AHC, not sure how many in our community knows what is true profession is as she still may be active. Check Anthony Cordesman out on Wkipedia. I think you may be quite surprised.

        1. I’ve been reading his reviews since he started with the absolute sound and that’s a long time ago but I did not find out what his primary profession was until a few years later when I saw him on the today show as an analyst during a crisis period.

          I don’t know how he finds the time with the responsibility that he has to write these extensive reviews as they take quite a bit of time.

          1. There are a lot of people out there that put me to shame when it comes to how much they get done each day compared to what I get done each day. I do not see how Paul does so much each day. Where does he find the energy?

  4. I believe that Paul is very regimented and incredibly passionate about everything that he does. That can keep you going.

    If I could spend 11 days on a full movie shoot that was between 13 and 16 hours every day and I did this less than a month ago then I guess most of us can if we’re healthy enough keep going.

    I live by the slogan “Keep moving, it’s harder to hit a moving target”

  5. The Hurricanes that love Florida.
    I can’t believe the utter disaster North and Northwest of where I live. Didn’t want to make a joke out of this statement because it is so sad and doubtful that things won’t get better with time. I’m sure you’ve seen some videos of the devastation, some of these beautiful cities were reduced the total rubble.

    The quote that I used was one that my fellow engineer once said to me and I usually hold on to all of these little ditties for future use. And man was I moving during that 11 day movie
    setup, shoot and tear down. This was not much fun. Completely different than any of the house management that I have done for my friend with video shoots which I think I sent you photos of long time ago. Since that time we’ve had Ariana Grande and J Lo who signed my friends graffiti wall. There is such a difference between managing a video or steel shot shoot and a real dramatic movie. This was the first one that was shot in my friends home and that 11 days will probably amount to approximately10 minutes after the final editing. If you scribe to Netflix, look for “The Pain Hustlers“ which we will be released sometime in 2023.

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