after 31 years as a band director, Mark joined the faculty of the University of
Missouri-St. Louis. He and his wife Lisa teach trumpet at UMSL and perform with the St.
Louis Wind Symphony and Compton Height Concert Band. A big fan of SET amps and
high-efficiency speakers, Mark spends his free time listening to a watt or two with his
two cats, Chet and Ella.
Leonard is a retired professor and chairman of a
university Modern Languages department. Since adolescence, he has been an avid listener to
and collector of classical music and opera, and a lover of the theater and foreign travel.
While a graduate student in Pittsburgh, he volunteered at symphony concerts and once
appeared in a production of Turandot starring the formidable Birgit Nilsson.
Leonard holds a doctorate in medieval Romance linguistics and spends much of his time with
his wife, Barbara, in Sarasota, Florida, volunteering at a local opera company as well as
for regional theater companies.
attempts at learning the viola ended in dismal failure, but music and its reproduction
continued to play important roles in Johns life. He has always considered his audio
system a means to an end -- listening to his favorite music -- not an end in itself. For
ten years, John wrote music and equipment reviews for Soundstage. He lives in
northern Vermont with his stereo and ever-growing collection of jazz, rock, classical, and
blues LPs, CDs and SACDs.
Dennis gave up an unpromising career as a pianist in
college when he avoided the practice room and began spending far too much time in the
library reading back issues of High Fidelity and lusting after AR 3a speakers. By
the late 1960s, he had saved enough money for a used pair of the speakers and never looked
back. In the early 1990s, he founded the San Francisco Bay Area Audiophile Society, and
later that decade he began writing jazz reviews for Secrets of Home Theater and High
Fidelity. He has been a regular writer for Hi-Fi+ since Issue 31. He has
been an avid record collector for decades.
Richard began his career as an audio and music reviewer
in the latter half of the 1990s, writing first for Ultimate Audio before moving
on to Listener and finally to Hi-Fi+. He has special affection for
classical music and early blues -- odd bedfellows -- and he has compiled a collection of
vinyl that is extensive in its scope. He continues to broaden his music collection,
especially into the digital realm. When not listening to music, which is rare, he enjoys
watching films on his home-theater system.
Richard Freed is a former music critic for The
New York Times and Saturday Review, and contributing editor of Stereo Review,
where his "Basic Repertoire" series introduced legions of readers, including
some of The Audio Beat staff, to important performances in the classical-music
catalogue. He has served as assistant to the director of the University of Rochester's
Eastman School of Music and as executive director of the Music Critics Association, as
well as record critic for The Washington Star and The Washington Post, radio
host for the concerts of the St. Louis and Baltimore symphony orchestras, and program
annotator for those orchestras as well as the Houston Symphony, National Symphony and
Philadelphia orchestras. He has received two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his concert and
record annotations, and a Grammy Award for the latter.
Eric is a philosopher and the associate chair of a
Humanities department at a large research university. For years he wrote equipment, music
and movie reviews for GoodSound, Home Theater & Sound, and Soundstage.
His musical interests center around jazz (particularly Blue Note and Impulse! artists and
albums), electronic music (from Subotnik and Kraftwerk to Burial and Ellen Allien), indie
pop/rock, and what he'd call world music if the term didn't make him wince. He covets
Gilles Peterson's house of records. When not lecturing on Plato, writing, or listening to
music, he can be found climbing the hills of northern New Jersey on his bicycle.
After learning that life as a street musician in Europe
was not going to pay the rent, Vance stumbled into broadcast journalism, where he worked
for National Public Radio and its member stations as a reporter, producer and editor.
Having access to public radio's vast music collections and hearing some darned good studio
recordings at various radio stations ignited his passion for hi-fi. He now works as a
communications teacher at a college in the Midwest, where his students help keep his
Jason has been reviewing hi-fi equipment since getting a
staff job with Hi-Fi Choice in 1987. Having paid his dues, he went freelance in
2001, and he now contributes to a number of audio publications, including Hi-Fi Choice,
Hi-Fi+ and HIFICRITIC. He resides in the town of Lewes, East Sussex, UK,
onetime home of Thomas Paine and the most lively place to be on November 5th. Jason became
obsessed with music at an impressionable age, but because he was unable to re-create it on
an instrument, he became a high-end-audio writer instead. One day he hopes to get a proper
job, but for now listening to great music on great kit keeps him off the streets.
Sue's passion for music and hi-fi began at an early age,
long before she learned her affliction had a name -- audiophilia. Twenty years and many thousands of dollars later, she
sent a note to the late Harry Pearson suggesting he consider hiring her as a writer. This
landed her a ten-year gig with The Abso!ute Sound reviewing some of the
finest gear high-end audio had to offer. Sue hails from the legendary frozen tundra of
Green Bay, keeping her listening room toasty warm during the long winter months with the
glow of a vintage 1950s fireplace.
Guy is a retired social-services worker who was
exposed at an early age to music on his parents' all-tube Fisher system. By the end of
high school, he was headed toward a career as a professional musician -- anyone remember
"The Cheater" by Bob Kuban & the In Men, circa 1966? College and then
graduate school beckoned, and Guy put down his trumpet and began writing about music and
audio gear. He was a contributing editor at Stereophile from 1989 to 1996 and has
had articles published in Dirty Linen, Opus and Spectrum. Music comes first
for Guy with equipment running a close second. He prefers vinyl and spends much of his
spare time listening to records. A resident of Delray Beach, Florida, with his partner,
Barbara, and their cockatiel, Chigger, Guy looks forward to sharing his thoughts on music
Ross is a Professor of
Neurosurgery in the Great White North. He has formal training in piano, violin and jazz
saxophone, the scars from which have never fully healed. He became fascinated with audio
gear as a student, learned to assemble a credible audio system, and worked part-time for
several years as an editor, audio reviewer and opinion columnist. During the format debate
of the early 2000s, he predicted the demise of spinning discs in favor of non-physical
digital media. Ross took a hiatus from audio reporting over the last ten years, but he
wishes now that he had continued to write about audio back then, when he still knew
everything. He has steadfastly resisted vinyl, believing that digital will eventually
catch up. He favors mid-power tube equipment, fine digital, and plasma tweeters.
In 1979, Jim's first hi-fi system cost $2500 and elicited
a typical critique from an audiophile friend: "Isn't it amazing how bad twenty-five
hundred bucks can sound?" Since then Jim has devoted his life to "getting it
right." After spending 33 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the pursuit,
he all but abandoned hope of owning a system that he considered "right" -- so he
became one of the most widely published online audio scribes instead. In addition to The
Audio Beat, Jim has been published by Soundstage, Enjoy the Music
and 6 Moons.