Past meetings of the Society
May 2006

May 2006 Meeting

Date: Monday, May 08, 2006
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Room 120, Volpe Center (Formerly National Transportation Systems Center)
55 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

**** Note that due to security requirements, pre-registration is required.
It is easy to do, just follow the directions at the end of the meeting description ****

Featured Guest: Rick Levine, Owner of Interface, Keene NH

Topic: Is High Fidelity Dead? and other audio topics on the history of audio in the Boston area.

Biographical Background: Born in Boston. For 10th birthday received a crystal radio kit from great grandmother and on completion heard an expected local radio station interupted from time to time by a mystery man talking. Investigation led to a ham radio operator and a visit to his shack set a direction for life. Undertook study of radio theory and began repairing radios at age 12 and by 14 was proficient in radio and TV repair, taking a full time summer job as a bench technician on Cape Cod a week after my 15th birthday. All through junior and senior high school I ran my own radio/TV repair business and on graduation joined the Navy as a guided missile technician.

3 years later I completed my obligation to Uncle Sam and got back into the world of TV repair where I happened upon Gaylord Russell, then second engineer under Henry Kloss at KLH. He convinced me to get out of TV repair and join KLH first as a service tech and later as senior technician in R & D. I was at KLH when Henry met Ray Dolby and decided to go into making tape decks with Dolby noise reduction and to keep the cost managable encouraged Ray to develop the Dolby B system because the A system used in pro recording was far too complex and expensive for consumer use. Before I left KLH, Henry heard that I was TV specialist and recruited me to teach him about NTSC color theory because he was planning to leave KLH to start Advent where he used the early Advent speakers to finance the development of the Advent projection TV.

I spent a couple of years there and then moved on to Instrumentation Lab in Watertown where I worked on state of the art medical instrumentation just as operational amplifiers began to become fairly widespread in instrumentation but were not yet built on integrated circuits. Ours were discrete. The work at IL led to the discovery of the log linear characteristics of some silicon transistors which made possible not only log linear meters for instrumentation but also the DBX line of noise reduction/dynamic range expansion devices by Dave Blackmer, who also worked there.

At the same time I met and became friends with an MIT student named Walt Morrey who went on to develop the DB Systems amplifier line with Dave Hadaway. When I left IL I moved to New Hampshire where I resumed TV repair and after a couple of years opened my own retail Hi Fi business first under the name Monadnock Audio and then after a name change as Interface. I've run it for 32 years developing it from straight home stereo into a home and car stereo plus home theatre business. I was the second all-HDTV dealer in the US, one of the first DBX dealers, one of the first Phase Linear dealers, the first and, to my knowledge ONLY Nagra dealer who was NOT in the motion picture industry. I've always had an interest in speaker design and a range of other audio pursuits. In the early 1970's I used the Boston Tea Party as a test facility for a line of HI-Fi speakers for sound re-inforcement that I designed. I may be the first to mount a magnetic cartridge with custom ball "stylus" on an Edison cylinder player for the amplified reproduction or cylinder records. I may also have been the first to incorporate a home amplifier and tuner powered by a vibrator inverter in a car for real Hi Fi on the road. (1965)

I discovered eBay shortly after they started and began buying and selling there as well as in my bricks and mortar store utilizing it to sell unusual audio parts and components and non-audio products, as well. That led to my getting a state auctioneer's license so now I accept consignments of widely varied items to sell to a worldwide market on behalf of others.

Hobbies include kayaking, digital photography, and Victorian antiques. I live in a Victorian home complete with functioning gas lighting and a great stereo system.

My talk will be on the decline of Hi-Fi. Of course, I'm open to discussion and questions about all of my past audio/TV experience. I'd be happy to give a brief course on the move from NTSC to HDTV and the relative merits of the various technologies if anyone wishes.

*** Repeat: You must be pre-registered to attend ***

To pre-register for the meeting, contact J.K. Pollard,, Phone: 617-494-3537, Cell: 617-512-6020, FAX: 617-494-3622. If you register by email, be sure to get an acknowlegement. Deadline for registration is Friday, May 5.


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

problems? email Barry:

updated 6/10/06