Publisher Profile

Life in and with Audio

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A couple of years ago, I was faced with what seemed to be a straightforward question. It was however very much a loaded question. “What is the single most significant musical event you have experienced in your life thus far?” I reluctantly responded in the context of an audiophile event, specifically a one-of-a-kind audio system I had heard some 12 or13 years back. Ever since that day, I have been hounded by the deeper meaning that this question actually represented.

You see it’s that word “significant” that continues to emerge and seeks to classify and define our actions and experiences in life. Don’t get me wrong. I have not been sitting around smoking doobies and contemplating my navel while watching Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life in an endless loop for two years.

The fact is that I have come to realize that the most significant musical event in my life up to that point was not that particular listening session of this wholly unique system of components and speakers that had all been designed by the one same genius designer. The moment of real significance in my rich life in audio actually had come years before when this same young designer came in to the listening room, sat next to me and asked me simply to explain to him “how to listen?” I took that question to heart and preceded to play a variety of LPs that demonstrated the good and bad qualities of the speakers we had on hand. We also talked about what an “ultimate” speaker would be able to do in terms of teleportation to the actual performance. The experience years later had only served as confirmation that he had taken our conversations and listening sessions as something of a roadmap and had actually done it!

Over the past three or four years, thanks to Constantine Soo and Dagogo, I have had the honor of meeting designers who shaped this small cottage industry of ours, as well as those who are up and coming. Some have entrusted me with their latest works in the audio art and have given me the honor and privilege to experience firsthand and share in their excitement over what it is that they have achieved and wrought with the confidence and knowledge that I will put in the work that is necessary in order to seek out and understand the context of what they were contributing to the greater body of work called High End Audio. This has led to great audio experiences, heady conversations, and countless “pinch-me” moments with gentlemen who have dedicated their entire lives to audio such as George Merrill, Bob Carver, Tri Mai, and Hisayoshi Nakatsuka (by way of US distributor Sora Sound). Equally as gratifying are the extensions of trust given to me by newcomers such as Dave and Tom Kleinman, George and Carolyn Counnas, and Merrill Wettasinge to maintain an open mind and neutrality while evaluating their audiophile contributions.

In my professional career I serve as enabler and conduit between developer and user, provider and client, business and finance. It seems that I have unwittingly carved out a small place for myself in audio that very much parallels that. With that realization, those “significant” moments will continue to emerge and inspire. I have come to the conclusion that I would have it no other way.

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One Response to Life in and with Audio

  1. Adam says:

    Hi Ray, would you mind filling in some detail on how you ‘listen’?

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