May 2006 Meeting
Date: Monday, May 08, 2006
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Room 120, Volpe Center (Formerly National Transportation Systems
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,
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
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.
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.