Harry Pearson, who coined the term "high end," spoke at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2009, held last week in Denver. "High end" has long since spread to cars, cameras, jewelry, real estate, boats, and a gazillion other categories, but audio is where it all started.
Starting in 1973, Pearson's flamboyant writing style and deep love of gear and music helped prod the state of the art forward through the 1980s. The Absolute Sound's tiny circulation and sporadic publishing schedule didn't hurt its prestige and importance in the industry. A rave review, especially by Pearson, could put a start-up company on the map.
Pearson made people curious about, well, the absolute sound. That is, the sound of musicians and vocalists, recorded in an appropriate acoustic space. We all wanted a hi-fi system good enough to put us in that space. That's impossible, but the goal, reproducing the absolute sound, still drives at least some audiophiles.… Read more