Category Archives: Memories and Memorials


Like Factoids, but not….



Audio technology is different than any other type of engineering I know of. In normal engineering, we start with a certain problem, and then try to invent a solution to this problem. But, in audio, most of the time, we start with an invention. Then we try to discover what it might be good for. However, just because one has a cool invention does not mean that the invention is useful or any improvement to the art.


Been There, Done What?

I guess I was in an insecure mood when some hostile internet creep recently took my hearing and lack of proper equipment to task for comments I made about the audibility, or lack thereof, of the sonic differences between similar amplifiers.  This was my rant.  Embarrassing.

Since I was a young kid, I have been obsessed with music and audio. I was 7 when I attempted my first amp mod. (It failed.) When you were playing touch football in junior high, I was in my garage building a tube amp and a guitar multieffects box. When you were learning to drive, I was building and modding Dynakits, and my first self-designed turntable and arm, and a really crappy speaker using parts I pulled from my Dad’s console. Learned to play three instruments; played (poorly) in orchestra and band. When you were out dating, I was tweaking my stereo, and trying to improve the Hafler surround extractor. Learning recording. I earned college money doing design work for a dozen Boston companies, and took every audio-related course I could. Worked summers in an audio research lab. Got a “minor” in music. Played in an early art punk band. When I graduated, I did not follow my peers into the emerging world of digital and computers, and worked for local audio companies. Went back to grad school to study music, art and performance. Did my thesis and post-grad fellowship on the historical impact of telecommunications technology on music and art. By 30, I had the corner office at what, at the time, was the largest speaker company in the US. When you were starting a family, I was starting an audio company. Still love my work, and have taken two one week vacations in 20 years.

I’ve released two albums of original music, and mastered four commercial records. Recorded perhaps ten. Designed the monitoring system for the San Francisco Symphony and worked in the studio with many classical and rock artists. Was a contributing editor at Audio and High Fidelity, technical editor and columnist at Etown and Audio Video Interiors. I have spent countless hours listening to the home systems of Gordon Holt, (who also visited me), Larry Archibald, Julian Hirsch, Michael Fremer, Bob Harley, George Peterson, Corey Greenberg, Alvin Gold, Martin Colloms and many others, including most key high end reviewers and audio clubs around the world. I have heard experimental systems at ATT, BBN, NASA and Delta that would make you weep. I spearheaded International Jensen’s efforts to buy high end brands, and so visited with several of the most esteemed smaller brands in the US and Europe. Over the years, I have built midfi systems for myself and the tweakiest high performance systems, too. Oh, and at one year’s big AES convention, I won the prize at a listening competition sponsored by TDK to try and distinguish between a music source and a recording of that source done on their best tape. Got all my trials 100%.

I am >not< posting this as an appeal to authority, or to suggest it makes me correct. I am posting it so you will have a better idea of my, “frame of reference.” … I put food on the table by the quality of my listening decisions.

An old friend.

I discover

An old friend.

is now dead.

Long out of touch, I suddenly realize how influential he was

on my life.

The AR “Magic Speaker.”

klk_mgc_02 klk_mgc_01

Archive: Tymphany Heats Up!


I’m So Confused.

effectiveness= doing the right thing

efficiency= doing the thing right

Damn it, I have such a back log of things to post, including encounters with:

Robert Frank

Dick Cheney

Billy Gibbons

John Cage

The Queen of Denmark

Nam Jun Paik

Neville Thiele

Tiananmen Square

Jerry Wiesner


Henry Kloss

Jim Marshall

Will Sergeant

Michael Tilson Thomas

Sally Star

and countless others who, doubtless, don’t remember me.

Audio Vitae

Audio companies I’ve owned, (co)founded or managed:

Acoustic Research
Intelligent Audio Systems
ZT Amplifiers

Audio companies I’ve worked for:

Acoustic Research
International Jensen (Advent,AR,Magnat,NHT,Phase Linear)

Audio companies I’ve consulted for:

Advent                                                                    Gigatek
ATT                                                                         High Fidelity Magazine
Audio Magazine                                                       Kloss
Audio Precision                                                        LG
Boston Acoustics                                                      Microsoft
Bose                                                                        Monster Cable
Denon                                                                      Sound Concepts
DST (Peerless, ScanSpeak, Vifa)                             TOA

Audio companies I’ve done smaller projects with. (Partial list.)

Amber                                                                      Jamo
Apogee Sound                                                         JBL
Apple                                                                       KEF
Atlantic Technology                                                Keiga
Audiolab                                                                  Klipsch
Bang & Olafsen                                                        Logitech
BB&N Mark                                                               Levinson
Cambridge Audio                                                      McIntosh
Cambridge Soundworks                                           Mobile Fidelity
Carver                                                                      Monarchy
Cello                                                                         Parasound
Counterpoint                                                             Perpetual Tech
Creative Labs                                                           Philips
Credence                                                                   Pioneer
Day-Sequerra                                                            QSC
Dolby                                                                         Quad
Earthworks                                                                Recoton
Edgarhorn                                                                 Red Rose
Eminence                                                                  Rotel
Etymotic                                                                    Samsung
Fane                                                                         Snell
Fender                                                                      Sound Advance
Ferrofluidics                                                              Sonavox
Fosgate                                                                     SSI
Foster                                                                        TC Sounds
Fried                                                                          THX
Headroom                                                                  3Nod
Hewlett-Packard                                                          Velodyne
HHB                                                                             VTL

(OEM customer lists from DST/Tymphany are proprietary.)

(Sorry about the formatting.)

Before There Was The Internet, There was

In early 1980, I hit 10,000 playing Super Invader on an Apple 2.

Trivia: At the time, Apple was not quite 3 years old. Super Invader was reportedly its best selling software, moving a whopping 20K units that year. I was an Apple Certified Developer, working on a card-based, audio FFT analyzer. Forget hardware drivers, just 6502 code and DMA. Loaded off of cassette tape, until we could afford one of them newfangled “floppy disk drives.”