When Stan and I first started PS Audio we did everything ourselves. Literally. We punched each hole in the chassis, sheared the metal, bent it, silk screened the letters on, cut the walnut end blocks on a table saw, hand sanded each one, oiled them with Watco. We even silk screened, etched, and drilled every hole in the circuit boards before stuffing and soldering components.
Sounds like a lot of dedication to perfection and handcrafting. The truth was very different. We were simply broke and couldn’t afford much more than the raw parts.
As the company succeeded and grew, we were able to farm out the metalwork and PCB fabrication, though we continued to hand stuff and solder each and every board for the next several decades.
The company we used for metalwork was just down the road in Santa Barbara California, Neal Feay. In those early days, the Neal Feay company was run by Neal Rasmussen. Neal would eventually retire and the company was taken over by his son, Alex. Today, Alex is one of the most accomplished and prolific designers of metal art, supporting audio brands like Wisdom, Constellation, Stello, and Ayre. In the fashion world, he does work for Louis Vuitton and Design Miami.
In PS Audio’s early days it was Alex who came up with the P300 and P600 Power Plants and their curvy sculpted sine wave tributes.
Over time we brought industrial design in-house—building what I consider some of our finest work through our brilliant ME, Bill Abplanalp—but back then, it was all Alex.
The art of metal honors the beauty of componentry inside. Many pieces of metal sculptures gracing our home’s HIFI systems were the result of Alex Rasmussen’s pen and creative juices.
Chances are good you’ve owned one of his works.